Many of you are looking forward to heading to the mountains again this winter and have booked backcountry ski holidays with us. Whilst the current travel situation is infinitely better than last winter, there is still some uncertainty as we enter the winter months and many folk are looking at options for refundable airline tickets, in order to cover against the risk of losing flight costs should the travel situation change.
If the airline cancels your flight then you are entitled to a full refund, but if the flight is going ahead and you want to cancel and get a refund, then it depends on the airline and which type of ticket you have bought. Below, we’ve summarised the refundable ticket options available with the most popular airlines that serve our ski destinations. Before booking, you need to check the ticket terms carefully with each airline in order to verify that the refund terms and fare class meet your needs.
Wherever possible, we recommend booking direct flights that lead directly into your destination country, as this reduces the risk of any travel disruption to a minimum. Also, for multi leg flights we strongly recommend allowing generous transfer times between flights – ie 2hrs minimum, preferably a bit more – as a combination of covid checks, possible winter weather delays and fewer follow on flights make booking itineraries with short transfer times more risky at the moment.
Some travel insurance policies provide cover for lost flights in specific circumstances – eg personal illness/injury to yourself, a close family member or business associate etc. Some policies also provide cover if you are unable to travel due to contracting Covid just before the trip (eg Snowcard), but not all do – so check the terms carefully before choosing your travel insurance.
Flights to the Alps
Non of the popular budget airlines offer refundable tickets, but a number of the national carriers currently offer generous cancellation terms and/or flexible ticket options. British Airways offer the best refund terms if you are likely to fly with BA in the future, followed by KLM and Air France, Swiss Air, Lufthansa.
British Airways – on tickets bought for travel before 31st August 2022, you can cancel the ticket and claim a voucher to use for future travel up to 30th Sept 2023.
KLM – Economy Standard tickets for travel before 31st March 2022; you can cancel these and receive a voucher valid for future travel for 1 year. Economy Flex tickets are fully refundable (cost ~£60 more for return flight to the Alps).
Ryanair – tickets are non refundable. Flexi Plus ticket allows small changes but no refunds.
Easyjet – tickets are non refundable. Flex ticket allows small changes but no refunds.
Jet 2 – tickets are non refundable.
Wizz Air – no cash refunds, but Wizz Flex tickets can be refunded to your Wizz account and used for future travel.
Air France – on tickets bought for travel up to 31st March 2022, you can cancel the ticket and claim a voucher valid for 1 year to use for future travel.
Austrian – Economy Flex tickets refundable, subject to a fee.
Swiss Air and Lufthansa – Economy Flex tickets (cost ~£60 more for return flight to the Alps) are refundable, minus 70 Euros.
Flights to Scandinavia
SAS Airlines – SAS Plus Pro tickets are the best value refundable tickets available from the Uk to Scandinavia and our recommended option for trips to Norway and Sweden, where suitable flights are available. Plus Pro tickets cost a bit more, but they are fully refundable and you get 2x23kg bags (one of which can be designated as a ski bag at no extra cost), plus free seat selection, in flight meals, lounge access etc
Norwegian Air – Flex tickets are fully refundable, but cost nearly double. For that you get 2x23kg bags (but still have to pay extra for skis), plus free seat selection and fast track etc.
Flights to Iceland
Icelandair – Economy Flex ticket is refundable, less a booking fee.
Flights to Kyrgyzstan/Georgia/Turkey
Turkish Airlines – Semi Flexible ticket is refundable ‘subject to defined deductions’ Flexible ticket is refundable ‘subject to specific deductions’ ie need to check details with the airline! Eg for a Semi Flexible ticket this winter – refund, less £85, or can change ticket date to 2023.