EASY TRAVEL TO VAL D’ISÈRE
In a former life, the YS of YSE had to limit the travel chaos of a major ski tour operator, while the E had to answer the hundreds of complaints each week about it! So when we set up YSE, hassle-free transport was one of our main aims.
On winter Saturdays, the airports, skies and roads are gridlocked, while the pistes are practically empty. On Sundays, travel is a joy, but the slopes are at their busiest. So we chose to travel on Sundays. And with just one flight serving only Val d’Isère, we can guarantee no waiting around for other aircraft or resorts.
We constantly look for ways to make our travel arrangements even more painless. Every year we consider different airports, airlines and schedules. We’ve thought about trains, but the Eurostar is slower and more expensive than our flight, and either gets you to Val d’Isère too early to get into your chalet or too late to sort out equipment.
This year we will be flying with Norwegian and we are very excited about this change.
Our flight takes off at 10.40am from the South Terminal at Gatwick.
Gatwick is still the most convenient airport for the majority of our guests, and has made huge efforts to reduce congestion over the years. Nowadays there is surprisingly little queueing and waiting, particularly on winter Sundays.
Our move to Lyon last winter proved a great success. It is a beautiful, ultra-modern airport which almost no other ski charter flights use. At Lyon our coaches park near to both check-in and baggage retrieval, passport control is automated, security is slick, there are proper shops and restaurants, and even the loos are modern and spotless!
We never underestimate the complications of travelling in the winter, be they fog at Gatwick, ice on the wings, snow in the Alps, avalanches across the road or whatever. But Lyon has proved to be reliable and comfortable.
The transfer time is approximately 2 hours 45 minutes. Most of the transfer is on smooth and uncongested motorways and expressways, so we expect to reach Val d’Isère just five hours after take-off from Gatwick. You’d only do the journey a few minutes faster with a private jet and a taxi! Ski schools and shops are uncrowded when we arrive, and stay open until at least 7.30pm.
Meals are not provided on the YSE flights, although drinks and snacks can be purchased on board or after landing. If the passengers wish to, we can stop any coach mid-journey at a motorway services to stock up on provisions, though it is hardly necessary, since a full tea (tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cake, bread and jam) will be waiting in the chalet when you reach Val d’Isère at about 5pm French time.
Going home, our flight takes off at 2.15pm French time and lands at 2.45pm UK time. This means the first of our staggered coaches leaves Val d’Isère at around 8.30am, and the last coach leaves an hour later, so nobody has to queue at check-in for more than a few minutes.
We are rarely delayed, and do not cost into our holidays any food or drink to placate passengers, so please ensure this is covered by your travel insurance.