If the idea of sifting through website after website to find details of COVID-19 ski holiday refund policies doesn’t appeal to you, we’re here to help! We’ve taken the T&Cs from a large number of ski holiday operators to create a one-stop-shop where you can read and compare.
There’s no denying that the situation for skiers at the end of last season was unprecedented. However, as we approach another winter, it seems the winter travel industry are making concentrated efforts to reassure skiers that this winter, your holiday is safe, with many releasing comprehensive refund policies and enhanced safety measures in resort.
Here we are not advocating one operator above another, simply reiterating their policies to let you decide for yourselves. All information about 2019 ski holiday refund policies was correct at time of publication (1/10/20).
In addition to the below, many tour operators are also implementing a range of extended safety measures within their accommodations, such as mask wearing, sanitising stations and social distancing procedures. Some are also extending their self-catering services, for guests who might want to limit contact with resort staff. Here, we’re currently only focusing on booking T&Cs, so if it’s safety measures in resort you’re looking for, it’s worth researching on your chosen operators’ site.
Crystal Ski Holidays has introduced new COVID-19 reassurances for the upcoming ski season, so that skiers and snowboarders can have total peace of mind as they take to the slopes:
- If a customer is diagnosed with COVID-19, or is showing symptoms and needs to self-isolate before they are due to travel, they can amend their holiday free of charge
- Anyone who can’t travel because they live in an area which goes into local lockdown can also amend their holiday free of charge
- If there are local restrictions in a resort which mean you can’t ski, customers will be proactively contacted so they can amend or cancel their holiday free of charge
- If customers need to quarantine when they arrive or return from a destination, they can amend or cancel their holiday free of charge
- If the FCO advises that all but essential travel is permitted to a destination, customers can amend or cancel for free
Crystal Ski Holidays have put together a helpful and extensive list of FAQ’s regarding COVID-19 here.
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If the company has to cancel your holiday because of Coronavirus, you can move your holiday to another available date or destination. If for any reason you are not able to move your holiday, you will receive a refund.
Equally, if the company has to make a significant change your holiday, you’ll have the option to either accept the change, or make a refund.
So what are your options if you have already booked with a Hotelplan company and paid your deposit, but now don’t know if you want to travel this winter?
Well, up until the date that your final balance is due, you have the option to postpone your holiday until next year and your deposit payment will go against a future booking. Once you have paid your full balance, Hotelplan are unable to offer you a refund if you choose to cancel, instead their usual cancellation terms apply.
Important to note:
If you contract COVID-19 within 14 days of your departure date and have a medical certificate to confirm your diagnosis, you can move your holiday to the same holiday (including accommodation and airline) at a later date in the season. This applies to you and your travel companion sharing the same room, plus any dependents. If you would prefer to cancel your holiday, they ask you to first contact your travel insurance provider.
If you’ve only got a few days until you are due to travel and you are contacted by NHS Test & Trace, or the government have enforced a localised lockdown in your local area, Inghams recommend that you first contact your travel insurance provider, then contact the company (or your travel agent). They say they will try their best to help you.
You can find more detail and a range of FAQ’s here.
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Skiworld state that if they have to cancel your ski holiday due to Covid-19 reasons, you can choose another trip, or get a full refund. No further small print is provided, but you can view their Travel Safe page here.
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This winter, if Neilson cannot operate your holiday due to COVID-19 restrictions (such as FCO advice, self isolation or quarantine measures) you can choose another holiday or choose to receive a cash refund within 14 days.
If you, or a member of your party, is unable to travel due to proven contraction of COVID-19 prior to departure, you will be able to amend your booking free of charge to an alternative date in the winter 20/2021 ski season.
If you do not wish to travel on your specified dates for any other reason, you can amend your holiday free of charge up to 14 days prior to departure, to any alternative winter 20-21 holiday.
In addition, for the 20-21 season, Neilson have introduced a new low deposit of just £75pp and temporarily reduced the final balance collection date from 12 weeks before departure to 8 weeks.
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Sunweb are implementing a Flexibility Guarantee this winter, including a Cash Refund Guarantee, a Repatriation Guarantee and an Exchange Guarantee.
With the Cash Back Guarantee, if the foreign travel advice for your destination changes 14 days before your departure, due to COVID-19, you will get a cash refund, guaranteed.
The Cash Back Guarantee applies to all new bookings made after 24 September 2020 with a departure date during winter 2020/2021. Your holiday will need to fall between 15 Dec 2020 and 15 May 2021. It applies to all destinations in France, Austria, Italy, Andorra and Switzerland.
If you book any flight package holiday, you will also automatically be covered by Sunweb’s Repatriation Guarantee. For example, if you book a holiday and during your stay, the travel advice at your destination changes from positive to negative, or if there is a local outbreak of COVID-19, Sunweb guarantee to arrange your safe return home at no extra cost.
With Sunweb’s Exchange Guarantee, you can also make changes or rebook up to 6 weeks before departure, free of charge (except for packages that include flights). This means for any reason that you might change your mind about going to a certain hotel or destination you can choose to adjust your booking, free of charge. Or if you prefer to rebook your ski holiday for a later date, that is also an option.
You can also upgrade to the extra flexible rebooking guarantee for £36 per person, which means that you can rebook your holiday up to 2 weeks before departure, as opposed to the 6 weeks of the standard exchange guarantee. Again, this only applies to self-drive holidays.
Important to note: If you use the Exchange Guarantee, then decide to cancel the new booking yourself, the regular cancellation costs will apply. If the new booking is cancelled by Sunweb, you will receive the total value as a Refund Credit Note, not a cash refund. Terms state that if you use the Exchange Guarantee, you automatically accept the receipt of the exchange Refund Credit Note, thereby voiding your right to request a refund of the relevant amount from Sunweb. Refunds will then only take place 12 months after rebooking date.
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Ski Weekends’ COVID policy states that if you are unable to travel on your holiday due to FCO advice against non-essential travel to your destination or the destination country closes its borders to arrivals from the UK, you have the choice of either:
- A credit note for the full booking value valid for 2 years which can be used against the cost of a future booking with Ski Weekends
- A refund of the amount you have paid us less an administration charge of £200 per person (this charge represents the irrecoverable costs Ski Weekends incur in arranging the services they contract to provide”)
If your resort or accommodation is closed due to COVID-19, Ski Weekends will endeavour to offer you an alternative with accommodation of similar or higher standard to that booked. If this is not possible, the above alternatives will be offered.
Important to note: If before you travel or whilst you are away, the obligation to self-isolate or quarantine on your return from your destination country is applied, Ski Weekends are unable to offer you a refund or credit. In addition, if you go home early or curtail your holiday, they are unable to offer you a refund or credit.
If Alpine Elements cannot operate your holiday due to COVID-19 restrictions, they guarantee a full cash refund within 7 to 14 days. Free amendments are also available for cases of local lockdown or COVID-19 illness. See below for more details:
If your destination resort requires you to quarantine or self isolate when you get there or return back to the UK, then Alpine Elements will allow you to change your destination for no amendment fee, or cancel for a full refund.
If you have COVID-19, have symptoms or have to self isolate within 4 weeks before departure, Alpine Elements will amend your booking for free (on receipt of a medical certificate).
If your local UK area goes into lockdown, you can also amend for free.
All early bookers (before October 15) will also have the opportunity to amend your dates or cancel your holiday for no cost – up until 28 days before departure, and get a full refund within 14 days.
FAQ’s available here.
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This winter, Ski France is offering a comprehensive COVID-19 ski holiday refund policy, with cancellation and a full refund available up to 24 hours before departure on all its own accommodation this winter season – for bookings made up to 31 October 2020.
Guests just need to pay a 10% deposit (the next instalment, will be, at the earliest, two months before departure and the full balance only four weeks before departure). If the guest needs to cancel, they will receive a full refund until 24 hours before departure.
Important to note: There seem to be no caveats to this cancellation policy – for example, it is not only possible where Foreign Office advises against travel to your destination. It appears to be simply if you want to cancel for any reason.
Extra safety measures: In addition, Ski France has also put together a ‘Book With Confidence’ charter, laying out the measures the company is taking to combat COVID-19; from enhanced cleaning to increased airing and further training for staff. Guests can still expect the same warm and professional welcome and stay, just with those added safety values.
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Ski Solutions have brought in new flexible booking options this year. This means that those who book a Ski Solutions tailor-made hotel holiday can do so with a reduced deposit of just £150pp (normally £250) where available.
You will also have the ability to change your travel plans – where you go and when you go (later in the season, or even the following year) – with no amendment fees up until your final payment balance is due – 12 weeks before departure.
Travel dates can be changed to any date before 30th April 2022. In the event a change within 12 weeks of departure, normal terms will apply.
Important to note: Certain holidays may be excluded from the policy and certain flights have to be paid for at the time of booking and will be non-refundable (unless the airline decides to issue a policy offering greater flexibility).This will be made clear to you at the time of booking.
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VIP Ski are offering the flexibility to change your chalet or date for whatever reason you like, and without caveat, right up until two weeks before travel. You will have to pay a 50% deposit when booking, but the full balance isn’t needed until four weeks before travel, at which point you can also choose to cancel for a full refund if you wish.
If COVID-19 circumstances (e.g. UK lockdowns, resort closures, travel restrictions in Europe etc.) mean that VIP Ski cannot provide the holiday promised, they will try to offer an alternative ski holiday. However, if this is significantly different from what you booked, then you can cancel and get your money back right up until the moment you travel.
What’s more, if your ski holiday is significantly impaired whilst you are away due to COVID-19 reasons, then you will be able to claim a refund for the part of the holiday that you were not able to enjoy.
Important to note: If VIP Ski have to buy in a scheduled flight on your behalf because our own charter flights don’t suit you or are fully booked then the airlines may not be so helpful in getting you your money back for this part of your holiday if you cancel or change your booking. VIP Ski will make clear to you at the time of booking if this caveat applies to you.
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Chalet operator Mountain Heaven has launched its new 2020-21 winter ski program with a 100% refund guarantee in the event of any cancellation due to COVID-19 related issues. This means in the event of any COVID-19 cancellations, customers will get a full refund on their holiday up to the day before departure to the resort.
Here, “COVID-19 cancellations” includes situations where:
- A chalet, resort or country has to close down due to COVID-19
- The UK Government introduces a travel ban
- The UK government advises against all but essential travel to your destination due to COVID-19
- The country you are travelling to imposes a mandatory quarantine on arrival
In these situations, Mountain Heaven will endeavour to offer a revised chalet or resort, but if not, guests will receive a 100% refund (or credit note, if requested) on all elements of their Mountain Heaven booking – including deposits, final payments and extras.
Nick Williams, MD of Mountain Heaven, said: “This year we have ensured that all holidays are financially protected both catered and self-catered which is a rare thing in the ski industry. We are members of ABTA too and believe we are now offering the most attractive booking terms on the market, meaning customers can book in total confidence that they won’t lose any money should cancellation become necessary due to COVID”.
Important to note: This guarantee is valid up to the day before travel, however there will be no full or part refund should customers decide to leave or cancel their holiday part way through the stay – if the country they are travelling to or their home/return countries advice changes part way through their stay and they decide to leave once they have arrived in the resort or they do not travel/arrive on the expected day of their arrival.
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For all bookings made up until 30th October 2020, NUCO have announced a 100% Money Back Guarantee. This means that if you decide you don’t want to go for any reason before you’ve paid your full balance, you will receive a full refund.
Once you’ve paid your full balance and your departure date is imminent, if the Foreign Office are advising against travel to your destination, you will also be eligible for a full refund.
If it seems unlikely that NUCO will be able to provide you with the package you have booked (for example, due to resort closures or local restrictions), they will look if there are any alternative suitable destinations or travel dates.
If neither an alternative destination or travel dates are suitable, you will have the option to cancel your holiday and arrange for a refund. All refunds will be processed within 14 days of cancellation date.
Important to note: Cancellation due to positive COVID-19 tests or Track and Trace requirements are not mentioned.
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For holidays to Livigno booked with livignoskiholidays.com, any bookings made after the 01/04/20 will be fully refundable, up to the evening before arrival, should the Italian government restrict travel due to COVID – 19.
This includes all services booked, such as: Accommodation, Airport Transfers, Ski Passes, Ski & Snowboard equipment, Ski & Snowboard School. This policy applies up to 6pm the day before arrival. All refunds will be made within 72 hours
In the case where Livigno is open, but your own Government advise you against non essential travel due to COVID-19, the above services are 100% refundable up to 48 hours before arrival. You may also choose to change the dates of your stay if you prefer.
Should the Andorran government close the borders due to COVID-19, if your accommodation or the resort is closed, or if your own country advise against non-essential travel to Andorra, all bookings are fully refundable up to 6pm on the day before your arrival date.
This includes all services booked, such as: Accommodation, Airport Transfers, Ski Passes, Ski & Snowboard equipment, Ski & Snowboard School. All refunds will be made within 7 days.
Moreover, accommodation bookings made before 31/10/20 come with free cancellation up to 30 days before arrival for non COVID-19 reasons. This will be stated on your booking.
Ski extras (lift pass. equipment, ski school, airport transfers) are fully refundable up to 7 days before arrival for both COVID-19 and non COVID-19 reasons. As above, you will receive a refund if Andorran restrictions mean
Important to note: No refund is due if Government advice changes during your stay.
Peak Retreats have introduced a new Flexibility Pledge for 2020/21 ski holiday bookings made between 11/09/20 and 14/12/20.
- Free cancellation for any reason up to six weeks before your arrival date. In this case, that means no cancellation fees, a fully refundable deposit and no questions asked!
- A new low deposit – a reduced £250 deposit per apartment or hotel room (not per person).
Additionally, for these bookings, you can also benefit from the below:
- If the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel to France, you can amend your holiday or cancel free of charge.
- If French government restrictions mean that you’d have to quarantine on arrival in France, then you can amend your holiday or cancel free of charge.
- If local restrictions in a resort mean you can’t ski, you can amend your holiday free of charge right up to the day before you are due to start your stay.
- If there is a local lockdown where you live in the UK, then you can amend your holiday free of charge up to seven days before you are due to start your stay.
Important to note: No amendment fees apply, but if the cost of your holiday changes as a result of a change (e.g. to more expensive accommodation) then you will be invoiced for the new holiday cost.
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For existing and new bookings this winter, Andorra Resorts are offering free cancellation for any reason up to seven days before you are due to travel.
Even within seven days, if you cannot travel due to COVID-19, (eg. due to a positive test or a local lockdown) you will be able to cancel free of charge (though medical certificate or official confirmation will be required).
If the resort you are visiting is closed due to COVID-19, you will receive a full refund within 14 days.
In the case of major changes or the removal of a service, you will have the option to cancel and have a refund.
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- The FCO advise against all but essential travel to France, including if there is a quarantine in place relating to travel to/from France on arrival in France or return to the UK. This advice must be in place at the date of your departure.
- Local restrictions in France which mean that Ski Amis are unable to provide you with your accommodation (catered or self-catered) on the date of your departure.
Important to note: Ski Amis reserve the right to request that you first attempt to claim through your insurance however, if this claim is refused then they will issue this refund accordingly. They will however, request you provide a confirmation from your insurance company detailing their reasons for rejecting your claim.
They also do not accept liability for the cost of elements of your holiday that are not booked through them or with suppliers where they are acting as an agent (for example transfers, ski schools, equipment rental or lift passes). Where Ski Amis are acting as an agent, they will provide a refund where the costs have been recovered successfully from the individual supplier and according to the individual supplier’s terms and conditions.
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Customers pay a deposit of £100 on booking with Action Outdoors, with the full amount due by 30 days of the holiday. During the 2019-20 season where holidays were cancelled due to Covid-ac19, all customers were given a full refund for any holiday or part of the holiday that did not take place within two weeks. In many cases, customers were also assisted in repatriation to the UK following the shutdown of resorts in March 2020.
Important to note: There is no other mention of COVID specific refund policies with Action Outdoors.
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