Listening only to your heart – and your ardent desire to hit the snow-covered slopes – you had booked train tickets or a few days’ rental in an apartment at the foot of the slopes for the February holidays. As the stations remain closed until further notice, your plans collapse. Most transport companies and tourism professionals have nevertheless adapted their reimbursement conditions.
The journey: 100% refunds up to 3 days before departure
Rest assured. If you cancel your train trip up to 3 days before your scheduled departure day, you will be fully refunded. “These new rules are in effect until March 7 and concern all of our lines, even Ouigo and Prem’s tickets,” assures a spokesperson for the SNCF. Do you decide to cancel everything at the last moment? You will then lose the administrative fees, ie a sum ranging from 5 to 9 euros, depending on your reservations.
For car rentals, there is also no need to worry. Companies like Europcar or Rent A Car have adapted their cancellation conditions. The first reimburses the entire rental up to the scheduled pick-up time. Until March 31, Rent A Car offers to return the full amount of your rental if you notify up to 48 hours before departure.
Accommodation: à la carte conditions
Most of the hotel professionals are flexible. “The vast majority have entered a cancellation clause for the stay in the event of the closure of ski lifts or stations, by government decision, in the terms of sale”, underlines Patrick Labrune, president of the National Syndicate of Tourist Residences, who represent 50% of mountain accommodation. If this is not the case, two other solutions are available to the customer. Maintain your stay, with a 30% discount, or obtain a credit and defer it. This is the case, for example, at the Neige Roc hotel, located in Morzine (Haute-Savoie). “We suggest that customers keep the deposit and transfer their stay. Some refuse. In this case, we end up reimbursing everything ”, indicates Nicolas Taberlet, the manager of the hotel.
In fact, the reimbursement conditions depend on each hotel or apartment owner. As for booking platforms, such as Abritel or Airbnb, we insist on the fact that each rental company imposes its own rules. Some – a minority – could therefore keep part of the amount paid. “We encourage owners to be as flexible as possible, but in the end, it is the host who sets his conditions. When reserving, the customer should take good note of it ”, underlines Timothée de Roux, president of Abritel and the UNPLV (National Union for the promotion of vacation rentals) which brings together Le Bon coin and TripAdvisor.
No worries about equipment and ski lifts
People who have purchased their lift passes in advance will have no trouble getting reimbursed. “All the general conditions of sale of the stations indicate that the customer is reimbursed in the event of interruption of services, whatever the reason,” indicates Alexandre Maulin, president of Domaines Skiables de France (DSF), a union which represents the ski lifts. Despite the financial difficulties encountered by the stations, reimbursements will be rapid. The same goes for the rental of equipment. All the players have set up 100% reimbursement without charge, until the day before the reservation date, in the event of government measures related to Covid-19.
Like Skiset, market leader with its three brands (Skiset, Go Sport Montagne, Net Ski). “Threats have been hanging over the launch, or not, of the winter season since the start of the school year, so we have renewed our system created on March 15, 2020, after the first administrative closures,” indicates Julien Gauthier, director of development. Customers only need to contact our customer service, and they will be refunded everything. Our competitors have the same approach, with a few exceptions perhaps. “InterSpor Rent, for example, imposes the condition of having subscribed to the” Zen “insurance, at 2 euros, at the time of booking to recover the entire amount committed without proof.