Avoid nasty surprises: flexible amendment and cancellation conditions in the French mountains this winter

Can I change my dates last minute? Will I get a refund if I can’t travel? We know you’re looking for extra peace of mind when booking your ski break this season – and the good news is that both accommodation and transport providers are offering helpful conditions for amendments and cancellations, so you can kick off the winter with confidence, whatever happens.

The providers’ ski experts are also keeping in constant contact with their destination partners in resort, ensuring they are up to date on the latest from the mountains so that you, in turn, can be sure of what to expect from your holiday.

Accommodation providers

Pierre & Vacances (External link) residences are offering flexible rates, requiring a deposit of just €1 and the option to cancel free of charge. Club Med (External link) are offering full refunds for holidays cancelled 45 days before departure. Odalys (External link) has launched ‘Go skiing, you’re covered’, valid until 30 October and guaranteeing a full refund – with no less than 21 special clauses – in the event of cancellation linked to the pandemic, for any skiing holidays taking place up to 8 May 2021. The company is also offering comprehensive insurance.

In addition to the financial protection available from its ABTA and ATOL bonding, Ski Solutions (External link) has introduced a flexible booking policy, offering low deposits where available and removing amendment fees on changes to dates or destination up to 12 weeks before departure. Erna Low (External link) is allowing customers to cancel free of charge, for any reason, up to six weeks before departure and obtain a refund for accommodation, Eurotunnel tickets, ski passes, ski hire, ski lessons and transfers. A full package refund is available at any time if travel is not possible due to the pandemic. A deposit of just 10% is required to confirm your booking, with the balance payment delayed to six weeks before departure.

Peak Retreats (External link) customers who have made bookings between 11 September and 14 December are offered free cancellation up to six weeks before their arrival date, with no questions asked. Holidays can be secured with a reduced deposit of £250 per apartment or hotel room (not per person). Additionally, if the FCO advises against all but essential travel to France, you can amend your booking or cancel free of charge.

Topflight (External link) and sister company Ski Beat (External link) have created a 'Book with Confidence Guarantee', which allows customers to delay their balance payment, and postpone or amend their booking free of charge until 28 days before departure. In the event that your holiday is curtailed, you can choose to receive a refund or voucher for 120% of the unused portion of your holiday (accommodation, ski packs or excursions).

Transport providers

If you’re planning to drive to the mountains, Brittany Ferries (External link) offers a three-tier booking system with ‘Standard’ (free amendments up to two weeks before sailing) and ‘Flexi’ (free amendments up to four hours before sailing) in addition to their cheapest Economy tier. The ‘Flexi’ option only requires a deposit of 25% at the time of booking, and incurs the lowest rate of cancellation fees, also of 25%. For all the health measures in place on board, click here (External link) .

P&O Ferries (External link) has created a customer charter as a safety pledge to customers, in addition to a ‘Book with Confidence’ (External link) offer available across all routes which allows you to amend your travel dates for free (valid until 31 December). DFDS (External link) customers can enjoy extra peace of mind with the company’s Travel Guarantee, meaning you can re-book without charge for any travel taken before 31 December 2021.

Heading out by train? No problem. Although Eurostar (External link) isn’t running its direct ski trains this season, you can still connect in Paris for your onward journey to the mountains. All tickets are flexible and you can amend your booking for free as many times as needed, up to 14 days before departure (terms and conditions apply). If you’ve already booked travel up to 15 November, you can request an eVoucher should you not wish to travel, which is valid for rebooking until 1 June 2021.

In resort

There are also useful policies in place in some individual resorts, meaning you’re covered at the other end too. The booking centre in Les Menuires (External link) is guaranteeing a full refund free of charge up to eight days before the start of your stay, in the event of illness related to Covid or travel restrictions put in place by the State. In Les 2 Alpes (External link) , accommodation providers have committed to reimbursing guests in full up to their day of arrival in the event of travel restriction by the State, and offering free cancellation up to 15 days before arrival for other Covid-related reasons. In Bonneval-sur-Arc (External link) , hosts are reimbursing stays in the event of State-imposed travel restrictions.

Ski lessons with ESF

No need to panic if you’ve got as far as making bookings for tuition on the slopes. If you need to cancel due to Covid, provide the necessary medical evidence and lessons can be either be postponed if possible, or cancelled and refunded. In the event that tuition itself is interrupted due to the pandemic, the fees paid will either be transferred to cover future lessons once they can be resumed, or refunded on a pro-rata basis.

Lift passes

Other refund opportunities are available in certain ski areas. In Morzine (External link) and Les Gets (External link) , for example, any unused ski passes (excluding promotions, flash sales and season passes) will be refunded free of charge. In Courchevel (External link) , ski passes will be refunded on request up to one day before their start date.

Your safety and wellbeing are our top priorities

All staff in the French mountains are doing their utmost to ensure you experience an unrestricted and hassle-free holiday, and are at your disposal from the very first steps of your booking.

Specific measures will be applied to ski lifts this winter including social distancing, single-directional movement and flow management in lift queues, obligatory mask wearing, and regular disinfection of equipment.

For more details on the measures in place in French ski resorts, click here.