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Crystal Ski customer service

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
stodge wrote:
This thread suggests to me that there is little benefit booking through Crystal rather than doing it yourself. Whenever I price ski trips, do it yourself always comes out cheaper than equivalent packages. And the ABTA protection is not a factor for me, as every component of my recently cancelled Meribel trip have refunded without quibble. The only benefit I can see booking through Crystal is a small time saving (in the booking/refunding process).

Can anyone give me a compelling reason to use Crystal?


The trip to Madonna we've just booked with Crystal, including flights and transfers, was cheaper than we could have booked just the hotel if we'd gone DIY.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Sailbad the Sinner wrote:
stodge wrote:
This thread suggests to me that there is little benefit booking through Crystal rather than doing it yourself. Whenever I price ski trips, do it yourself always comes out cheaper than equivalent packages. And the ABTA protection is not a factor for me, as every component of my recently cancelled Meribel trip have refunded without quibble. The only benefit I can see booking through Crystal is a small time saving (in the booking/refunding process).

Can anyone give me a compelling reason to use Crystal?


The trip to Madonna we've just booked with Crystal, including flights and transfers, was cheaper than we could have booked just the hotel if we'd gone DIY.


For me, it is the security you get if things go wrong : My last holiday (with Crystal) - On the way home my flight was diverted to a different European airport and then to a different UK airport (same flight) : A diyer would have had to get themselves to the European airport and then get themselves back to the correct UK airport to pick up their car (or whatever) : Crystal bussed us to and from both airports
ski holidays
 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?
@albob, I agree that bit of extra security is worth having, as long as it's not costing too much and your tour operator will actually do anything useful when it matters!
We were in Madonna March 2020 when Italy went into lockdown. We'd booked through Ski World as they basically arranged the same holiday we were going to book DIY, same Jet2 flight, same transfer and same hotel for an extra £25 each. They came good in the end to get us home, but we had an unnecessarily stressful day arguing with them about whether we had to wait until the end of our weeks holiday, locked in the hotel. The Crystal guests we spoke to in resort missed out on that stress, and got a pro rata refund for ski days lost.
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albob,
Quote:

A diyer would have had to get themselves to the European airport and then get themselves back to the correct UK airport to pick up their car (or whatever)



IIRC any airline has a duty of care to return you to your original destination some how, so a DIYer wouldnt have this problem either Madeye-Smiley
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Bones wrote:
albob,
Quote:

A diyer would have had to get themselves to the European airport and then get themselves back to the correct UK airport to pick up their car (or whatever)



IIRC any airline has a duty of care to return you to your original destination some how, so a DIYer wouldnt have this problem either Madeye-Smiley

That's correct.

But maybe TO's are happy to perpetuate such stories to "encourage" booking through them? Wouldn't be the first time.
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abc wrote:
Bones wrote:
albob,
Quote:

A diyer would have had to get themselves to the European airport and then get themselves back to the correct UK airport to pick up their car (or whatever)



IIRC any airline has a duty of care to return you to your original destination some how, so a DIYer wouldnt have this problem either Madeye-Smiley

That's correct.

But maybe TO's are happy to perpetuate such stories to "encourage" booking through them? Wouldn't be the first time.


No, it can happen. We were in St Anton once and the road to Innsbruck was closed on departure day because of avalanche risk. The tour operator reorganised the flights for Friedrichshafen and took us out through the road tunnel to Vorarlberg and then Germany. Of course, many may view being snowed in in St Anton as a good thing Toofy Grin (though I doubt the lifts were going to spin)
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
DidierCouch, Not the same thing - you were provided with another flight which was good, but no doubt they had the inbound flight diverted there first wink so you had to fly out from there.

We were talking about flight diversions once you were in transit and in the care of the airline.
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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!
@Bones,
As I recall the airline (any airline) is obliged to take you from the start point on your ticket to the end point on your ticket. If you are supposed to be flying from, say, Luton to Grenoble on Ryanair and the plane is in Stansted then I believe that the airline must put you on an aircraft from somewhere (and if it's not your booked departure point take you there) to Grenoble. If because of any problem anywhere it diverts then the airline must take you from the diversion point to Grenoble. If you are with a TO which has booked you on that hypothetical flight then it might suit the TO to arrange its own transport from the diversion point to resort rather than from Grenoble (especially if the TO has pax returning on that aircraft). And the same goes for the return - if your ticket says that you should be flying back to Bristol, then the airline must take you to Bristol, even if the flight lands at Gatwick.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
It's actually quite simple.

Airline will get you from point A to point B and back as on the ticket. If the plane got diverted, they'll fly you back to where you should be going. Once you're on the plane, the airline is your "TO" till you get to your destination airport. You're in good company with the rest of the passenger on that plane. Having Crystal or other TO on top of that is useless.

On the other hand, if you have a hiccup between your lodging and the airport, that's where the help of TO like Crystal may save you the hassle of having to organize your own alternative.

On the other hand, if your hotel's toilet blocks, the hotelier will fix it faster than you can call your TO rep. You're no better off than the DIY'ers.

Basically, "package" TO handles your "interface" between the various components of the package. Within each "component" of the package, you're in the same boat as the DIY'ers.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Nemisis, Yep, as I said above Madeye-Smiley
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Crystal have now amended my booking. I never did get through on the phone, in spite of spending around 12 hrs on hold, but managed to get it sorted through correspondence.

If you're looking to amend a holiday, you can get a good idea of options by using the online search function on the Crystal Ski website. I'm pretty sure that's the Crystal staff on the phoneline won't be able to see much (if anything) more than that. As @maggi found, the phone call can then be pretty quick. This should make things quicker for everyone, as the time on the phone is then just taken up with Crystal staff doing the bit only they can do. I could see the availability, so could tell the person I was emailing exactly what we wanted, and could have done the same over the phone.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Duplicate post


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Tue 11-01-22 7:49; edited 1 time in total
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
And I have now learnt to edit !!


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Tue 11-01-22 7:50; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
There are limitations to what you can expect from an airline. With a TO, If you fly to Birmingham, to visit say, the lake district, and get stuck in Manchester, but the return is diverted to Stanstead, they are obliged to make sure you get there for your flight.

If you are independent, and are stuck in Manchester, the airline have no such obligation. They are only obliged to get you from Birmingham to Stanstead. Getting to Birmingham is your responsiblilty.

Swings and roundabouts...
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Whilst the TO is obliged and often does take on some of the responsibility they can't be totally relied on as a number of stories on here over the years can testify.

Generally DIYers know what they are letting themselves in for and take having to get themselves out of the brown stuff on the chin.

It is a factor in how you book your skiing holiday but actually as most holidays pass without major incident sometimes an overstated one. And there are many other factors at play.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Nemisis wrote:
sorry folks - I don't know what happened, but I think that the system has duplicated my post, it might have been me. . . . . .

You can just edit the second post.

Wipe the words clean. Replace with "double post".
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Crystal app seams to be working made changes to an original booking and final payment was corrected without having to ring in
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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?
Done DIY twice...after the second time...never again, especially when travelling with kids ... diverted flight cost us dearly as regards to transfer to resort, and exchange rate at the time made a mess of hotel cost..
After a leg break in italy Crystal rep was great in sorting me out in resort and getting back to uk.
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My 2c. We’d booked Tignes for Xmas/NY, back in Sept. Got a good deal on the price, and BOGOF lift pass - a good deal for a two week area pass!
Rules changed 2 days before departure…. Whilst we were on hold on the phone to Crystal to see if we could rebook for Austria, our cancel email came thro, offering full refund, or 10% off an alternate holiday.
Stayed on hold, got thro’ to a staffer, and got the holiday moved to Ischgl, _and_ they honoured the BOGOF lift pass.
We’d decided to use a TO precisely to reduce the stress, expecting Covid disruption.
Reps in resort were ok, couple of snafu’s (wrong lift pass provided initially) were sorted out.
Return flight more entertaining - as TUI canned our Innsbruck STN, we were put on easyJet to LGW…. Which would have been ok but our car was in STN. Crystal were supposed to have sorted transport…. But this took an hour at LGW to resolve. A late return home, but costs all covered.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I think its swings and roundabouts. DIY can be great and often save some money but then also a TO can have advantages, I've seen people suffer and also gain from both configurations. I don't think anyone can genuinely say X is always better than Y. (Well unless your maybe doing something really really simple which is never the case with snow holidays)
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Nicely summed up @Rob_Quads,
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

your maybe doing something really really simple which is never the case with snow holidays)

Why can't snow holidays be really simple? Flight, ground transfer, roof overhead. Is that any different than a beach holiday?

My first snowhead bash, flight was canceled. But all it took was to take the same flight next day, same ground transfer option the next day. Arrived in hotel with my lift pass waiting at the front desk.

On the flight, sat next to a fellow who's on a Club Med trip and was scheduled for the flight the previous day. He was a bit dazed by the lack of "TO support". Until he realized we were both going to the same resort, and what worked for me would worked for him just as nicely. TO support or not.
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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!
Quote:

Flight, ground transfer, roof overhead. Is that any different than a beach holiday?

Lots of people also need equipment hire, lift pass, lessons - usually all sourced from different providers.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
When we were young and poor we always did last minute TO package deals (one was £99 for 2 to Andorra!).

For the last 20 years we have gone DIY, and would never choose to do it any other way. Problems happen, and we have had out share of delays and diversions. Never had a problem sorting them out. I have to say, though, that those I have observed getting stressed when things go wrong seem to be so because of the cost of making alternative arrangements. If you can afford to hire a car/get hotel rooms/book alternative flights/get a taxi at short notice there are very few issues you can't get solved quicker and better than a TO would be able to. In fact that has been the case on several trips where we were sorted and on our way while TO customers had a terrible time. That said I am a very experienced traveller and used to making last minute decisions and changes.

So - if means are limited and extra costs (which can be substantial) would be a problem for you go with a TO.
If you have the means to get yourself out of a jam them DIY will be better pretty much every time/
And get good insurance

And be willing to take on the low cost carriers when they refuse to rebook you on an alternative airline. You will get your money back every time. Last time I had an EasyJet cancelled from Geneva returning with my daughter from summer race camp in Switzerland, for example, we were offered alternative flights 2 days later on the app. I skipped the queue at the airport entirely by booking a hotel directly for us, and booked flights the next morning via Brussels (c£400 each). Full cost recovered from EasyJet although my insurance would also have covered it.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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Rob_Quads wrote:
I think its swings and roundabouts. DIY can be great and often save some money but then also a TO can have advantages, I've seen people suffer and also gain from both configurations. I don't think anyone can genuinely say X is always better than Y. (Well unless your maybe doing something really really simple which is never the case with snow holidays)


This. There are times when being DIY can be a benefit, you can be agile and take a taxi or train or earlier transfer and dodge disruption. Other times it might be less stressful to know that a TO will take care of stuff for you and that you are highly unlikely to be left without a bed or shelter.
ski holidays
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
We’ve travelled independently for years now, probably due to; picking lovely hotels that fall outside the TO’s radar, we travel for stints such as 9 or 10 tens getting in far more skiing (or Med sunshine), also getting far more civil flight times by going charter.

But we got lucky in January 2019, the one time we went with a TO, Inghams to St.Christoph. On our due return day, a snowmageddon closed Innsbruck Airport for the day, so we were stuck at the airport with many thousands of others. Whilst independent travellers frantically tried to book trains or Munich flights back to UK, Inghams calmly put us all up in a lovely 4* with a spa in Innsbruck City Centre for the night and we flew out the next day. Probably just a couple of hours sitting on the airport floor whilst Inghams got the hotel arranged.

Great customer service, much appreciated.

Far better than Easyjet who one recent summer, dumped 150 of us at Montpellier Airport at midnight, when all flights were cancelled due to severe electric storms and French industrial action. The letter handed out in a nutshell said “Make your own way back to the UK, then claim from us”.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I’ve booked with Crystal the last couple of times mainly because I can’t be bothered to organise all the individual bits myself. Used them a few times and they’ve always been good. Yes I could have more choice of hotels and resorts doing it DIY but I’m indecisive enough with their limited options, I’d be overwhelmed with the whole world to look at! And I’m lazy.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
The advantages and disadvantages of DIY vs TO is quite often down to the mentality of the traveler.
Quote:

Yes I could have more choice of hotels and resorts doing it DIY but I’m indecisive enough with their limited options, I’d be overwhelmed with the whole world to look at!

That's one good point that can be an advantage to one type of traveler and a disadvantage to another.

Quote:

We’ve travelled independently for years now, probably due to; picking lovely hotels that fall outside the TO’s radar, we travel for stints such as 9 or 10 tens getting in far more skiing (or Med sunshine), also getting far more civil flight times by going charter.


Quote:

I can’t be bothered to organise all the individual bits myself.

That's clearly an advantage of going with a TO.

As for cost, it get go either way. Last minute deals from TO can be quite good, unmatchable by DIY'ers. Or the opposite, last minute hotel vacancy can also make a DIY'er smiling ear to ear.

Handling unexpected is often totted by TO as the focus of their "service". It's true TO has the clout of number and resources. But they need to cater to a large group. So the solution may or may not be the best option for each individual within that group. Whilst a couple or family can easily "sneak" through with a taxi or a hired car, reimbursed later by insurance, and be home while the large group still waiting for their bus.

So, know yourself. And know what you're getting into.
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@RiffC, I have switched from France to lech , may switch back to France if Marcon let’s us in for 22nd of jan . Waited 3hrs to change booking . Lovely hotel omesberg
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
We have had three winter holidays with Crystal - the first one in 2009 saw Mrs agw tear her calf muscle leaving her in a bit of a state with bruising from ankle to above the knee. The rep in resort (St Sorlin D'Arves) was excellent, she couldn't have done more. We had in effect a private taxi to the airport at the end of the week where the Crystal reps were ready with a wheelchair and to get us to the front of the security queue. The other two holidays were uneventful but the reps seemed efficient enough.
In 2016 we went to the Hotel Österreichischerhof in Bad Hofgastein which was very good value - at the end we were offered a guided walking tour of Salzburg before catching our plane home for an extra €30 or so. The timings were a bit tight but as it was a TUI flight we could be quite relaxed about it. Very Happy


abc wrote:

So, know yourself. And know what you're getting into.


Words to live by snowHead
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Been with crystal a few times and always found them ok, however I need to make an amendment to my booking for early Feb and currently coming upto my 4th hour on hold!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Trw144, You can do some stuff on their 'manage my booking page'

https://www.crystalski.co.uk/ski-holidays/your-account/managemybooking/login
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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?
albob wrote:
@Trw144, You can do some stuff on their 'manage my booking page'

https://www.crystalski.co.uk/ski-holidays/your-account/managemybooking/login


Thanks - unfortunately you can't change room type online, but not long after my post they answered the phone (4hrs 8 mins!).
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DIY lets you go to resorts that are not covered by tour operators.
Always an advantage!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I'm normally a diyer, but for trips never at peak times, like to drive hence always manage to get a better deal.

Apart from Black Friday sale in 2016 where we got a week for 4 in Mayrhofen, B&B in decent hotel for £189 pp from Crystal, and they were excellent that week. It was such a good deal when I rang to book it (because I was SCGB member I got that discount on top!!) the girl I spoke on the phone booked it herself as well and was on our trip!!

As a lot say, horses for courses and if I were booking for a week at the moment, I think I'd be leaning towards TO with the uncertainty, but the one trip I have booked in March is a long, long weekend Wed-Mon and that had to be DIY!
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I’m going to give Crystal credit here, they gave me the option via email to cancel my Whistler trip, which due my COVID situation I’m not able to travel to now, by the 14th which I have done.

They answered the email promptly this morning after I sent my email to them last night with full refund confirmed.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
the last time i went with crystal was to les arcs a few years a go, on departure day there was absolute gridlock as it coincided with the x games, we arrived at geneva airport 5 hours later than our departure time, but crystal had held the flight until everyone arrived, that was great for us, but not for the passengers who had been sat on the plane for 5 hours, and we were not the last to arrive.
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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!
@compostcorner76, Bonkers. I'd have been well annoyed. Why didn't they advise everybody and keep them in the departure lounge, until at least the last coach arrived? Surely they were aware of the situation long before boarding time?
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I don't know but I would guess there are some odd rules about departure slots etc and in doing that they may have forfeited it in some way.... just a guess but after reading Lufthansa flew 18000 empty planes to keep their slots nothing would surprise me!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Just tried to book a holiday with Crystal - submitted my payment details but at the last moment got an error message. Checked my credit card account and the payment is "pending" but I have received no booking confirmation number or email.

Have just spent over TWO HOURS on hold with their customer helpline to no avail- and got no response from their Twitter. Have to give up now as it's Saturday and they finish up at 1730.

I'm pretty certain that although the payment is being taken, my booking has not gone through, but can't book anything else until I somehow manage to get in touch with them! Mad
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