The growing airport transfer market reflects the shift in ski holiday booking habits from package holidays towards travellers independently packaging their own skiing holidays, but what should you look out for when choosing an airport transfer company?
The Airport Transfer Market
The combination of cheap flights daily from UK airports to the Alps, huge growth in search activity for travel information online and better online booking tools is making it easier for skiers to dynamically package their own ski holidays.
And although the past two years have witnessed resurgence in the popularity of package tours as some holiday makers seek fixed price holidays to minimise the impact of adverse exchange rates, long term the independent sector will continue to grow. It’s no surprise, therefore, that there is now a wider range of support services and ski extras available to skiers packaging their own holidays and invariably now you can get quotes and book online easily, airport transfers included.
Until the start of the last decade, the choice available for transport from airports to ski resorts was often limited to public transport options which were slow and indirect, hiring a car and braving the dangerous Alpine Winter road conditions, or trying to persuade a local taxi driver that speaks little or no English to take you to where you want to go.
Nowadays, there are a large and growing number of airport transfer companies to choose from that offer you a door to door service, mostly using eight-seat minibuses with plenty of room for all of your ski gear and departure times tailored to match your flight times.
If travelling as a group you can book a minibus exclusively for your group, usually the quickest way to transfer from airport to your ski hotel or chalet, but shared transfer options mean that lone travellers and small groups are also well catered for albeit that you may have longer to wait at the airport to allow time for the arrival of other members of your transfer group, but the service is still door to door, stress-free and can save you a considerable amount of money.
The increasing demand for airport transfers to and from ski resorts has resulted in many more companies offering a ski transfer service and while increased competition and having a large choice of transfer companies generally is a good thing, it also has it’s pitfalls as some operators will be better than others. It’s only natural to try and save money by getting a good deal, but keep in mind before booking that the cheapest transfer on offer is not always the best option. So how do you distinguish the good, the bad and the ugly?
Choosing an airport transfer company
1. Is the transfer company licensed to operate?
First and foremost, you need to be confident that the company you are booking with is legally operating and has the relevant transport documents necessary to operate in the country or countries that you are travelling through.
2. Punctuality and back-office support
Secondly, you want to be sure that your transfer is actually going to be there on time when you arrive at the airport and to collect you at the appointed time for the return journey! While
some of the smaller operators offer “a personalised service” that might mean that the owner is also one of the full time drivers and therefore on the road a lot of the time. If so, you may have difficulties in getting hold of “the company” when you most need to, and remember that the smaller operators are less able to arrange replacement vehicles and to resolve such difficulties quickly; ideally, without you being aware of the problem in the first place.
3. Check for good quality vehicles and drivers
Thirdly, you need to know that the transfer company’s vehicles and drivers meet the required high standards. It’s all very well getting a cheap deal, but the safety of your journey into the mountains should be an issue very high up on the agenda. If you’ve ever been off-piste in a minibus, it’s not an experience you’d want to repeat let alone pay for!
4. Do your homework
Clearly, being aware of some of the pitfalls will help you choose a reliable transfer company. You can usually find relevant information on transfer company websites to help reassure you, websites like brochure are sales tools so don’t believe everything you read online or in print. Looking at numerous different websites is time consuming, but without extensive research each time you go on a ski holiday to a new place it is difficult to know who to book with especially with such a large choice.
Ski-Lifts have been offering airport transfers in the Alps for the last eight years with a fleet of around 25 of their own fully maintained vehicles in the Northern French Alps. Known for high levels of service, quality vehicles and drivers, and generally friendly approach to the notoriously stressful airport transfer industry, Ski-Lifts enjoy significant levels of repeat business from a high proportion of returning customers.
Over the past few years, Ski-Lifts have steadily expanded their service to offer new ski destinations to their customers. Working with other leading transfer companies throughout the Alps, they now offer transfers to over 260 ski resorts from 26 airports in 11 different countries – the widest range of airport transfers to ski resorts in Europe! From the best value shared transfers through to luxury limousines and even coaches for large groups, all vehicles are of a high standard, with snow tyres and chains, and are all completely legal to be operated in the destination country.
The Ski-Lifts office is open 24/7 throughout the winter season, so if you do experience travel delays on your outbound journey these can be easily communicated without fear of getting stranded. All of Ski-Lifts advertised prices are the prices that you pay, i.e. no credit card charges, no added taxes or surcharges for bringing ski equipment (limited to one normal size check in bag and one ski bag per customer). Ski-Lifts offer group discounts, loyalty discounts and you can get quotes quickly and book online easily, paying in Sterling, Euros or Dollars then receive an instant booking confirmation.
Get a ski transfer quote from Ski-Lifts without obligation and book online>>>