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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@CaravanSkier, exactly. Whilst clearly a very unfortunate set of circumstances that affected everyone traveling at that time, what came across clearly from the thread was that those traveling independently were in a much better situation than those at the mercy of the TO group arrangements. I also remember reading about a number of people traveling with TOs who gave up and made their own arrangements to get to resort.

@froomie, I generally felt at the time that the TOs got a bad rap for what was a difficult situation. But it was also clear that they just didn't have the flexibility or money in the budget to solve things reasonably quickly for a lot of people. Traveling independently I can make the call to stop and spend €100 on a hotel room, when a TO is not going to make the call on spending that amount of money for 100s of passengers, even assuming they could find that many hotel rooms. Or even if I am stuck in my own car, that's still a lot better than being stuck on a coach or hall, as Caravanskier says.

The message I took away from that, which has been reinforced by numerous stories on here, is that if it's a minor problem, it's no biggie for you to fix yourself anyway. If it's a major problem, you'll be able to fix it yourself at least more quickly and more pleasantly that the TO will, for you as an individual.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
froomie wrote:
the savvier travellers may well benefit in situations like this. However not everyone has the required skills and knowledge. Not to mention resources.

Those who does DYI at least some of the time tend to acquire the skill and knowledge! While those who rarely travel independently would know where to turn when things went pear shape.

Quote:
Also much easier to fix things if you have a credit card that can absorb spiralling costs. Not everyone does.

A good portion of those expense will likely be covered by travel insurance. So likely many has the resources without realizing it. It's only the upfront cash (or credit card) that's needed on the spot.

I once helped coordinate a group of stranded fliers at Aspen airport to hire a van to Denver, 4-5 hr drive away. $60 a piece was the expense in the end. During the van ride, one of the passenger mentioned we could get a refund for the cancelled flight by simply ASKING the ticket agent at the airport! Lo and behold, I asked and got a $90 refund! So I actually came out ahead money-wise!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Pick dates, book flights asap to GVA.
Book hire car.
Over summer scope airbnb etc for suitable accommodation, then book in sept when winter prices are finalised (unless we spot a bargain!)
Book lift passes and hire once we know where we're going.
Ski.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
abc wrote:
.... insurance. So likely many has the resources without realizing it. It's only the upfront cash (or credit card) that's needed on the spot. ... we could get a refund for the cancelled flight by simply ASKING the ticket agent at the airport! Lo and behold, I asked and got a $90 refund! So I actually came out ahead money-wise!

I'm bemused about all this. Broadly, if the airline screws up, they take the cost and sort it out for you. Yeah you do have to ask, but grown ups should have no real problems with it. In tens of seasons of multiple "self powered" trips I've had a handful of issues where the airline's either failed to fly to schedule or lost my boards. In all of those cases they took the costs and I didn't miss one day riding. You need to stand up for yourself, but it's not necessary to delegate that task. As per some previous posts, I reckon I can get better results than Tour Operator staff because I care about it more and I know what I want and I'm not trying to minimize their costs.

But it's great that there's a range of choice. When I first started I used tour operators as the world was big and scary then and I didn't know how it all works. Plus it's much easier now it's all on the net. I'd expect that Tour Operators have been squeezed somewhat over the years for that reason - "disintermediation".

--
On the OP: work out where the snow is; fly there; hire a car; find somewhere to stay; get it done.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
BoardieK wrote:
Ravelin. If you aren't already aware then note that the Solden campsite will be fully booked over christmas and new year by about mid July.


Nope, they are already fully booked! Well at least they rejected the dates the wife inquired about. Trying Mayrhofen and a site near Fiss-Serafus-Ladis as next best choices but both will involve ski busses, which looks to be the norm as not many campsites beside lifts. Waiting on replies.

On one hand Mayrhofen appeals because we were there last summer and I've love to see what it's like in Winter and ski it. Also there are options to ski other areas in the valley, like Zell am Ziller. On the other hand I like the look of Fiss, but not so sure about how regular the ski busses are to Ried am Otzal where the campsite is (small lift served area right next door though).
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
A few observations:

If you're DIY and there's 2 or more of you it is probably cost effective to drive.
TO's flights to and from the resort are often at stupid o'clock.
The drive down and back can be a nice part of your holiday - the roads are much less crowded than in the UK, you can stop if you see something of interest, have a nice lunch, arrive in time to get extra skiing at either end of the holiday.
Going with a TO often makes sense and can lead to meeting new skiing buddies.

Many posters on this site get a bit dogmatic about whatever issue is being discussed. I prefer to relax, see what's available, discuss it with my wife/sister/other buddies and eventually make a plan. I have to admit that this is easier for us than for many as we have all failed to breed so we don't have to rely on school holidays. Laughing
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I use booking.com or Airbnb if I can't find anything else. Both good for shorter trips (I'm usually only booking two or three nights). I don't know what your situation is but if you want to go really cheap you can sometimes find rooms on various facebook groups, using a tiny spare room in some season workers place
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Gordyjh wrote:
A few observations:

If you're DIY and there's 2 or more of you it is probably cost effective to drive.
TO's flights to and from the resort are often at stupid o'clock.
The drive down and back can be a nice part of your holiday - the roads are much less crowded than in the UK, you can stop if you see something of interest, have a nice lunch, arrive in time to get extra skiing at either end of the holiday.



From Suffolk maybe. According to via michelin it would cost £250 (petrol and tolls) to drive for over 19 hours and 1858km to get from here (NE Scotland) to, for example, Les Menuires one way. And I'd have to pay tunnel or ferry charges on top of that. More cost (and time) effective to fly to Geneva and pick up a hire car. Much less exhausting too.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
philwig wrote:
Broadly, if the airline screws up, they take the cost and sort it out for you.

Airlines are just another TO!

When a flight got cancelled, the whole plane load of people has to somehow be accommodated in the next few flights, which quite often don't have enough capacity to accomplish. So depends on your luck, you maybe put on a flight 2 days later Shocked

(that's what happened to our group once. 1/3 of the group got on the next day's flight, 1/3 2 days later, and the last 1/3 flew to a nearby city and bus to the resort. That kind of "sort it out" maybe acceptable to some but not all.)

Thankfully, one of our organizer found a bunch of open seat on a different airline for not much more! He alerted us to book on the other airline. Collected the refund from the airline that couldn't fly, we came pretty close to breaking even. No lost of skiing days either.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
A factor for us is flight availability from regional airports in the UK. More choice with the TOs, as all the DIY folk (better organised than us) get in first when Easyjet etc release the seats for Geneva, Salzburg etc and those flights book up super quick.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@abc, not under EU legislation where passengers appear to have many more rights than on a domestic US flight Shocked . (Can't find an emoji for "being dragged kicking and screaming off my United flight")

Although, there are, of course, limits to what that can achieve.
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