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La Thuile - which airport

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Having just had my Friday early morning flight to Turin cancelled I now need to rebook with BA.

To still get an early morning flight I would need to get them to switch us to Geneva from Heathrow which I am lead to believe is in their policy, however looking at the route this will mean paying the toll for Mont Blanc tunnel.

We are hiring a car (90% we have free cancellation on the booking). What are the cost differences when it comes to the tolls getting from Geneva vs Turin.

If I rebook to the remaining out bound flight we would land at 16:30 in Turin - which I would expect would be on the road at 17:30 on a Friday evening! Suspect that would not give us a good and easy transfer and we need to get food and catering on route!
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I can't advise which airport is better as i normally drive. But my friends always fly to Geneva. In part because Swiss Air have generous luggage for skiers.

As you said the tolls need to be paid coming from the North. the Mont Blanc Tunnel is 46ish single and 55 ish return if under 7 days. Over and you need to pay 2 singles.

What i would say is that Swiss hire cars are easier to get with winter tyres if that's important to you.

The Valle D'Aosta requires either winter tyres or snow chains.

Most of the time i have driven in the the VDA i haven't needed either (though have both) however when you need it you need it. Last xmas when i was there it was 18degrees in the Valley with snow only starting at Les Suches in La Thuile so absolutely no driving on snow at all. However the year before there was snow on the road for the last mile or so to La Thuile Village.

The Section of motorway to La Thuile going from Bard past Saint Vincent and Aosta is expensive, one of the most expensive stretches in Italy iirc. You can come off At Saint Vincent or later on at Aosta and do the Strada Statale instead to reduce toll costs.
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https://www.viamichelin.co.uk/

Will give you a breakdown of the toll costs.

Turin to La Thuile is €26.80 in tolls and 167km one way

Geneva to la Thuile is €51.60 in tolls and 113km one way.

Thats only a guesstimate as I only selected the city not the airports, and don’t know the exact destination
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My only other input would be that drivers in Italy (Turin ring road in particular) drive like maniacs. Also Turin is a terrible city to visit and drive around. so if your nervous driving in Italy to begin with, I’d avoid it.
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It's 4 hours by train Geneva Airport via Martigny to Aosta (https://www.sbb.ch/en/buying/pages/fahrplan/fahrplan.xhtml). Are there transfer options from Aosta? Bus? Or car hire? At least you'd not have to transit the Gt.St.Bernard Pass driving an unfamiliar hire car in the dark.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Thu 28-11-19 0:19; edited 1 time in total
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@NickyJ, Turin and get a bus. Change in Aosta. There’s little point in having a car in Le thuile.

http://www.savda.it/en/
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jbob wrote:
@NickyJ, Turin and get a bus. Change in Aosta. There’s little point in having a car in Le thuile.

http://www.savda.it/en/


As I had understood it, there isn’t much of a supermarket within La Thuile for catering supplies, and as we are self catering thought it would be better to have a car meaning we can stop on route (or get there then dry off to nearest supermarket to stock up on food and drink for our holiday.

Also we have 4 of us including skis so car hire costs compare favourably.

Original flight time would have meant we had whole afternoon to do that.

We had booked 8 days - partly to get morning flights out as the Saturday flights to Turin by April are only on the afternoon. So if we switch to Geneva (if they let us!) then those tills will add quite a bit of costs. Thanks so much for that info
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LDP816 wrote:
My only other input would be that drivers in Italy (Turin ring road in particular) drive like maniacs. Also Turin is a terrible city to visit and drive around. so if your nervous driving in Italy to begin with, I’d avoid it.


Although driving with Italian maniac drivers doesn’t fill me with delight, that isn’t my concern with the arrival time, my concern was that would should be a 2hr drive across could turn to more like 4 if you get the queues out of the city on roads on a Friday evening we see in the UK? Does this not happen?
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Having just liaised with our accommodation provider they suggested we look at Malpensa which looks a good option if BA allow us to switch to LHR - MXP return rather than the LGW - Turin flights we had booked.

How do I find out the tolls on that route?
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That viamichelin link above maybe but that may just be France?
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Sorry @LDP816, missed significance of your link!
@MHskier, thanks for point it out!
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NickyJ wrote:
LDP816 wrote:
My only other input would be that drivers in Italy (Turin ring road in particular) drive like maniacs. Also Turin is a terrible city to visit and drive around. so if your nervous driving in Italy to begin with, I’d avoid it.


Although driving with Italian maniac drivers doesn’t fill me with delight, that isn’t my concern with the arrival time, my concern was that would should be a 2hr drive across could turn to more like 4 if you get the queues out of the city on roads on a Friday evening we see in the UK? Does this not happen?


I wouldn’t be too worried about that, you don’t go anywhere near the city to get to ski resorts from the airport, I’ve done it a fair few times (to via lattea admittedly but you still have to get out of Turin) and it seems that, because they all drive quickly, I’ve rarely seen traffic.

Milan malpensa is a bit further, the majority of the journey is on the same roads.

If it were me, I’d go with the flight time that gives the most opportunity for skiing!
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Also, I would go on google maps tomorrow, at the same time as your theoretical flights would get in, and see how much “red and orange bits” there are on the route.
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@LDP816, thanks - and that is switching to Malpensa Happy. Will call BA and see how I get on
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@NickyJ, good luck! I’m sure it will be fine, it’s BA after all and they are the ones who cancelled the flight! I’ve always found them to be accommodating, unlike the budget alternatives.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:


As I had understood it, there isn’t much of a supermarket within La Thuile for catering supplies

Whilst you would be better stopping at a large supermarket enroute, there is a really nice fruit & veg shop and a cheese shop on the main drag. Up at the Planibel there is a good butcher where you can also pre-order hot cooked chicken, lasagne and the like, just tell them what time you want to collect and it'll be ready. There is also a small supermarket at the Planibel with a good range of stuff and a rather nifty out-of-hours vending machine on the outside wall, full of Italian essentials (like olive oil and coffee Smile )
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I have taken that exact BA flight landing on Friday evening in Turin several times, and have never experienced any traffic, unbelievably. The route from Turin to the Aosta Valley is straightforward, you don't have to go through the city (you pretty much get on the motorway at the airport), and the tolls aren't as expensive as France (esp. when you include the tunnel tolls), although they're not nothing either. The drive from Malpensa is longer, and feels much longer, so if you fly there you'd want to make sure that you get there early enough to make it worth it.

Supermarket-wise, you could come off the motorway at Aosta (whether you come from Milan or Turin) and go to the Gros Cidac which is massive and has everything, once you get your head round the deeply strange layout. Then go on to La Thuile on the A road, thus saving on tolls. It doesn't take much longer, and is an easy road as long as it's not snowing (if it is, take the motorway).
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FWIW I have driven the Torino ring road several times and at different times of dayand between the airport and the city and had no problems driving. And I'm a careful old age pensioner in a Zafira, not an aspiring racing driver. No need to be scared of it.
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BlueSky wrote:
Supermarket-wise, you could come off the motorway at Aosta (whether you come from Milan or Turin) and go to the Gros Cidac which is massive and has everything, once you get your head round the deeply strange layout. Then go on to La Thuile on the A road, thus saving on tolls. It doesn't take much longer, and is an easy road as long as it's not snowing (if it is, take the motorway).

There is also the Carrefour in Aosta right next to the motorway exit, it stays open a lot later than the Gros Cidac.
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BA have now cancelled both the Friday flights. Trying to switch to LHR - MXP with same dates but as we are flightpass customers the system will not let BA call centre staff do this.

Tried phone Optiontown (by number BA gave me) who won’t talk to me on the phone and I have to forward the BA email for them to “confirm status of flight”. Not a happy bunny at the moment. Waiting for a response from Optiontown.
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@NickyJ, it's the cost of the Tunnel du Mont-Blanc which was a bit of an eye opener when driving from Geneva ! Think it's 57 euro return !
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@kitenski, it is indeed. Especially as we are doing 8nights not 7!
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@NickyJ, after 7 days its approx 90 euro total for the tunnel. I would second getting off at the aosta south and shopping at gros cidac which is at the bottom of the pila gondola. Then use the main road. Which is an easy drive. Hope you get the flights sorted. A plus with a car is you could have some away days to courmayeur and pila plus an evening out in aosta. If you do go via gva drop me a line I might be able to help with a tunnel pass.
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@jbob, thanks. That was my other attraction to hiring a car. I am still working on trying to get flights changed to MXP.
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@NickyJ, we have used MXP for the last 4 years for Courmayuer, tolls were €26 each way this year, really easy drive, motorway all the way from Airport to Morgex, about 1.5-1.45 hrs without traffic, we land about 12.30 and haven’t had any issues much more relaxed than UK motorways. Turning off in Morgex stop at the Familia supermarket for supplies it’s just on the left about 1km in Morgex as you take the road to Pre St Didier where you then turn up the mountain to La Thuile.
If you haven’t booked car hire yet, look at booking with Hertz directly, I’ve just booked an Audi 4wd with winter tyres for less than £160 for 8 days.
We’re looking forward to doing a few days in La Thuile again this year, plus a day at Pila, the Aosta Valley pass is about €20 more than a std pass and gives access to the all Aosta valley resorts, no good if your tied to lessons of course. Both passes include a free ride up the skyway express cable car up Monte Bianco, it rotates as it goes up and is a good trip to do, if you get there about 3pm it gives you plenty of time to do the two stage trip up and see the fantastic views.
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@geoffknight, thanks, very useful.

I have cancelled the car hire we had paid for Turin for the 3rd April as we can no longer get there for that date. STILL waiting to here if we can get our flight booking switched to Malpensa otherwise despite having accommodation booked from 3rd the next available flight doesn’t get us into Turin until 18:20 on the 4th!
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@NickyJ, Malpensa is a really lovely new airport. Just don't get confused with the signs to the car hire section. Also be aware that the nearest petrol station is just off the direct motorway into the airport, so check your petrol way before the airport on your return.
I found in terms of driving time that MXP was about an hour longer to Aosta Valley than TRN.
Otherwise getting to Aosta Valley is fairly straight forward!
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geoffknight wrote:
@NickyJ, we have used MXP for the last 4 years for Courmayuer, tolls were €26 each way this year, really easy drive, motorway all the way from Airport to Morgex, about 1.5-1.45 hrs without traffic, we land about 12.30 and haven’t had any issues much more relaxed than UK motorways. Turning off in Morgex stop at the Familia supermarket for supplies it’s just on the left about 1km in Morgex as you take the road to Pre St Didier where you then turn up the mountain to La Thuile.
If you haven’t booked car hire yet, look at booking with Hertz directly, I’ve just booked an Audi 4wd with winter tyres for less than £160 for 8 days.
We’re looking forward to doing a few days in La Thuile again this year, plus a day at Pila, the Aosta Valley pass is about €20 more than a std pass and gives access to the all Aosta valley resorts, no good if your tied to lessons of course. Both passes include a free ride up the skyway express cable car up Monte Bianco, it rotates as it goes up and is a good trip to do, if you get there about 3pm it gives you plenty of time to do the two stage trip up and see the fantastic views.


As Geoff says, there Famila in Morgex is where i choose to shop too. Smaller than the Carrefour but better priced.

As suggested the tolls are not horrendous at 27 or so euros from Turin. If you come off at Aosta Est and drive the last 30kms or so to Morgex (the last peage point) before the Monte Bianco entrance you save 11 of those 27 euros.

No locals use this stretch of motorway between Aosta and Morgex as its 11 euros for for a 20minute motorway ride. My friend a local told me its the most expensive unused toll they have in Italy!

https://www.autostrade.it/en/home
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Thanks all. Just had a thought when it came to hire cars is Norway, they came with a device for the tolls so a few weeks after rental what we owed on tolls was deducted.

In Italy in 2005 ( last time we hired and drove in Italy) We paid at toll booths. Is it all manual pay or have they moved to more automated systems in the last 14yrs?
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It's still manual, though you can pay with card these days. Totally straightforward. There's some kind of automatic pass available, but I don't think it's worth it for a week, or even know if you can get one if you're not a local.
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@BlueSky, thank you
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@NickyJ, BA do 4 flights a day to Turin our of Gatwick. Is that not any good for you ?

We go to Pila every year (next door down the valley)
We used to travel to Geneva and it too 2.5 hrs and the tolls cost for the Tunnel.

It would only be 1.5 hrs from Turin.

Milan is much further away but doable guess nearer the 2.5hrs.
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@Jake43, take a look at 3rd April. Last weekend it was showing two flights out....

My booking was for the 7:15 flight... it is no more Sad
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NickyJ wrote:
@Jake43, take a look at 3rd April. Last weekend it was showing two flights out....

My booking was for the 7:15 flight... it is no more Sad

Sorry I thought you said Heathrow. Hope they have not cancelled ours then ! We have one go from Gatwick 7:15 and it gets in 10 mins before us from Manchester so it is an easy meet up. We are off in March though.

Oh flipping heck - mind 4 flights a day is a bit extreme so I am not surprised.
Scrabbling to check March flight now....
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@Jake43, Gatwick suits us better as we get free parking and lifts courtesy of my parents. However to get us into the right area going out on the Friday morning I am content to fly out of Heathrow. I didn’t find any options going from Gatwick on the morning of the 3rd. Suspect we are caught up with changing from winter to summer timetable and March should be fine.
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Yuk Ryanair out of Stanstead Mad
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@NickyJ,Flipping heck any day but that Friday it seems..... very strange. 5 flights a day when we are going and they still look ok.
Not much options for the Friday.

At least ours has not disappeared. Phew worried there. BA is just in front of Ryanair in our list of people we would fly with but needs must when they go where you want and at the right time.
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@Jake43, look at following Friday as well
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@NickyJ, So RyanAir.....and they must know the BA flight has gone as the prices are crazy.
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We take our own skis so really prefer BA plus we have the added complication that these flights are done via BA flight pass, our first set being used at half term, so we can’t just get a refund.

Further research has found the LGW to BGY route on 3rd. Mises originally as I limite our transfer times to 2.5hrs. But this has certainly advantages of being able to use our existing return flights from Turin as we can still go out from Gatwick which gives free parking due to where my parents live.

It will costs us and additional £40 in car hire as we will be returning to different location, additional £10 in tolls and hire fuel costs BUT safes is Heathrow parking costs, and we have less fuel and tolls used on return as we can at least go home via Turin.

I have emailed the customer care team team this suggestion, who I am still waiting to here from despite initiating contact on Thursday at 13:00.
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