SKI OPERATORS ADVICE ON HOLIDAY IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS
8th March 2020
Last modified on March 25th, 2020
We are updating this rolling blog with news from the UK ski tour operators and agents. See here for the latest.
Many British skiers are in the affected resorts or have holidays planned.
CRYSTAL SKI UPDATE – Saturday morning 14th March
“Customers due to travel to Canada, Switzerland, Austria, Andorra, Norway & Germany in March and April 2020. Your bookings will be cancelled and you’ll be refunded in full automatically.
“If you’ve booked with an agent please speak to them. We’re experiencing high call volumes. Thanks for your understanding.
“Before contacting us, please visit our travel information page for all the latest Covid 19 (Coronavirus) related travel information.
Holidays to all other areas are currently going ahead as planned.
CRYSTAL SKI UPDATE – Friday morning 13th March
“Due to the number of Austrian resorts that have confirmed they are closing from this weekend, we’ve sadly had to cancel our ski holiday programme to Austria and Germany for the rest of this season. We’re proactively contacting all affected customers.
“Due to Norwegian resorts confirming that they are closing early we are no longer able to operate our holidays to Norway for the rest of this season. We are proactively contacting all affected customers.”
Crystal had earlier cancelled all holidays to Italy after the country closed all ski resorts, as well as those to the French resorts of Les Orres, Montgenèvre and Serre Chevalier (which involved flying into Turin)
INGHAMS SKI UPDATE – Thursday evening 12th March
Please note we are experiencing a high volume of calls at the moment. We ask you to be patient and we will contact customers affected by this update who are departing this weekend as a priority.
“On the evening of 12 March, many authorities across Austria confirmed their decision to close all the ski lifts from 15 March.
“Even though the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice has not changed, as a responsible tour operator, we will not be operating Inghams ski holidays to these resorts for the rest of the 2019/2020 winter season:
St Christoph, St Anton, Ischgl, Galtür, Obergurgl/Hochgurgl, Sölden, Seefeld, Kühtai, Igls, Mayrhofen, Alpbach, Niederau/Oberau, Westendorf, Kitzbühel, Söll, Ellmau, St Johann, Zell am See, Saalbach/Hinterglemmm, Filzmoos, Obertauern, Lech, Zürs, and Bad Kleinkirchheim.
“”If you are currently staying in one of the affected resorts, your departure back to the UK will go ahead as planned this weekend. Your Inghams Representative can also provide support and can be contacted via the number in your Welcome Pack.
“If you are due to travel to these resorts in the next few weeks we will contact you in due course with further information regarding your holiday. We will contact those due to depart soonest first and we kindly ask for your patience and to only contact us if urgent. If you have booked via a travel agent, they will be your point of contact.”
Here is an update from Crystal Ski Holidays on Tuesday 10th March:
“We are experiencing significant disruption across our Italy programme due to changes in advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and local restrictions imposed by the Italian Government.
“As a result, we are no longer able to operate any of our holidays to Italy, or the French resorts of Les Orres, Montgenèvre and Serre Chevalier for the remainder of this ski season.
“All of our holidays to other destinations are operating as normal so our usual terms and conditions for amendments and cancellations apply.
“However, should the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice change to advise against travel to the country you are visiting or due to visit, we will contact you to discuss your options.
“We will look to offer an alternative holiday arrangement or if a significant change is involved a full refund will be offered.”
“Iglu Ski remains committed to providing our customers with quality ski packages.
“We are working closely with our suppliers, who are continually assessing the situation to ensure that they are operating in accordance with the latest advice from the relevant authorities.
“Customers who have booked should assume that their holiday will operate as normal unless we contact you to advise otherwise.”
Iglu Ski has a page on its web site with an overview of what the main tour operators are doing.
CLUB MED UK
“To all customers due to travel to Italy with us before the end of April 2020, we will contact you asap by phone or email with regards to your upcoming travel.
“Please avoid ringing our call centre as we are experiencing very high call volumes.
“We will be in touch very soon.”
“The safety and welfare of our guests and staff is our highest priority. We are working closely with the Italian authorities and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to keep informed of the situation, and will provide updates if there are any changes,” said the UK operator, Inghams.
It has posted advice for its clients and we re-produce it below.
It will likely be similar for all the UK tour operators
Is my holiday going to take place as planned?
We’re currently operating all of our holidays normally, with the exception of destinations in the Lombardy region in Northern Italy – Livigno and Venice.
We will continue to operate the rest of our programme of holidays as planned, but we recognise that there may be some localised disruptions due to the spread of the Coronavirus in Europe.
How will I know if my travel plans are going to be affected?
We pay constant attention to the guidance from the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), ABTA, Public Health England and local health authorities in our destinations.
We will respond to any advice by the FCO (or overseas government agencies) against non-essential travel to your destination, and will contact you as soon as it is clear we won’t be able to provide your holiday.
However, the unpredictable impacts of the Coronavirus mean that decisions about cancelling or changing your holiday may be no more than a few days before you are due to depart.
Will I be entitled to a full refund if Inghams has to cancel or make a significant change to my holiday due to the Coronavirus outbreak?
If we are forced to cancel your holiday, or make a significant change, then we will offer you a choice of a full refund of all monies paid or, if possible, accepting the significant change or making alternative holiday arrangements with us.
Can I cancel my holiday even though you are still planning for it to go ahead?
We will only be able to provide you with a full refund if we have to cancel your holiday.
If in the meantime you decide not to travel and choose to cancel your holiday then our usual cancellation terms apply – please see our booking conditions for full details.
Will I be covered by my travel insurance if I decide to cancel?
This will depend on the terms of your policy.
Depending on the reason for your cancellation (for example if you are concerned about a serious underlying medical condition), you should contact your travel insurance provider to check if you can make a claim.
I haven’t yet paid the balance for my holiday. Can I pay later while I wait and see what happens?
We ask you to make the balance payment for your holiday at least 10 weeks before your holiday start date.
You can do this safe in the knowledge that we will provide you with a full refund if we have to cancel your holiday for any reason.
Our usual cancellation charges apply (including the full cost of any flights we have booked on your behalf).
Where can I check for up-to-date travel and health information for my destination?
• UK health authorities are providing detailed advice for specific destinations and locations which is available at www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public
• Travellers are advised to read the FCO travel advice for the country they are travelling to. Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
• The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) TravelHealthPro website travelhealthpro.org.uk/countriesprovides specific country-by-country travel health advice
• The NHS website has useful information about how to take preventative measures against Coronavirus at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19
• ABTA also has updated advice and FAQs for travellers at www.abta.com/coronavirus
What’s happening at the airports when I arrive or leave?
Airports have introduced various measures across destinations and airports.
Please visit your arrival/departure airport website for the specific measures that have been introduced.
What happens if travel advice changes while I am on holiday?
We will respond accordingly to any advice by the FCO (or overseas government agencies) and we will communicate any changes to you.
Please ensure you have updated My Booking with your contact details before you travel.