How to get cheap ski holiday flights for 2016/2017

If you love skiing as much as we do, you’ll already be thinking about your next ski trip. And if you’re really on it, you can start booking your 2016/2017 ski holiday right now – from your ski chalet accommodation in La Rosiere through us, to your flights and almost everything in between.

One of your considerations is going to be getting cheap ski holiday flights. If you’re looking to book your flights, you may think you’ve found a great price on a comparison website, or even direct, but add-ons to that original quoted price can make it difficult to figure out who will actually give you the best deal on air fares when you finally get to the checkout. For instance, the cost of taking your own ski equipment varies greatly; some carry it for free, others will charge as much as £139 return.

If you’re looking to get the best deal on ski holiday flights for the 2016/2017 season, we have done the hard work for you. Below is a comparison of the cost of flights with different airlines flying to the French Alps.

Flight costs 7th-14th January 2017 from London

The bold prices are for direct flights.

AIRLINE Flight to Geneva Flight to Grenoble Flight to Lyon Ski carriage Luggage carriage Seat booking Total Geneva w skis Total Geneva w/out skis Total Grenoble w skis Total Grenoble w/out skis Total Lyon w skis Total Lyon w/out skis
Swiss Air £95.32 £195.41 Free* Included Included £95.32 £95.32 £195.41 £195.41
EasyJet £57.48 £62 £50.57 £60 £30 £7 £154.48 £94.48 £159 £99 £147.57 £87.57
Lufthansa £95.32 £197.61 £78 Included Included £173.32 £95.32 £275.61 £197.61
British Airways £104.72 £129.62 £119.71 £72 Included Included £176.72 £104.72 £201.62 £129.62 £191.71 £119.71
Brussels Airlines £177.81 Free* Included Included £177.81 £177.81
My Austrian £218.41 Free* Included Included £218.41 £218.41
Monarch £171.80 £194.55 £168.40 £56 Included Included £227.80 £171.80 £250.55 £194.55 £224.40 £168.40
Air France £132.71 £136.61 £70 £38.40 Included £241.11 £171.11 £245.01 £175.01
KLM £151.41 £130.61 £78 £38.40 Included £267.81 £189.81 £247.01 £169.01
Vueling £217.64 £139 Included Included £356.64 £217.64

*Free transport of first equipment per passenger

Flight costs 17th-24th December 2017 from Manchester

The bold prices are for direct flights.

AIRLINE Flight to Geneva Flight to Lyon Ski carriage Luggage carriage Seat booking Total Geneva w skis Total Geneva w/out skis Total Lyon w skis Total Lyon w/out skis
EasyJet £63.48 £70.07 £60 £35 £7 £105.48 £165.48 £172.07 £112.07
Brussels Airlines £182.34 £201.54 Free* Included Included £182.34 £182.34 £201.54 £201.54
Jet 2/Wizz Air £124.10 £50 £54 £8 £186.10 £236.10
Air France £142.94 £191.94 £70/£54 £38.40 Included £181.34 £251.34 £245.94 £230.34
KLM £142.94 £149.14 £78 £39.20 Included £182.14 £260.14 £266.34 £188.34
British Airways £198.28 £207.18 £130 Included Included £198.28 £328.28 £337.18 £207.18
Lufthansa £299.45 £266.45 £76 Included Included £299.45 £375.45 £342.45 £266.45
Swiss Air £382.94 £411.14 Free* Included Included £382.94 £382.94 £411.14 £411.14
Flybe £277.04 £156.98 £60 £73.98 £15.00 £366.02 £426.02 £216.98 £245.96
My Austrian £466.14 £299.94 Free* Included Included £466.14 £466.14 £299.94 £299.94
Vueling £388.67 £139 Included Included £388.67 £527.67
*Free transport of first equipment per passenger

Please note: this is a comparison guide only and does not accurately reflect current air fares as they change over time. The information provided is to demonstrate the costs you can incur with different airlines.

We have noted the cost of a return flight for one person. Prices were last checked on 23rd May 2016.

Where there were different grades to choose from e.g. Economy or Economy Plus, we have calculated the total to include ski carriage, luggage and seat booking and have listed the price of the cheapest option. Where there are different prices for purchasing at the airport and online in advance, we have listed the online price where applicable. Where there were different prices for different standards of allocated seating we have chosen the cheapest seats available.

Tips for getting the best deal on ski season flights

In an ideal world you will head off on your ski holiday with a piece of hand luggage, a large suitcase for all the clothing you will inevitably need, and a bag with all your ski gear – skis, poles, ski boots and helmet. This means having three bags, with two in the hold, which can push up the cost of your flights significantly. You have a couple of options here:

  1. 1.      Hire ski gear in your destination. It doesn’t take long to get fitted, you don’t have to faff about with cleaning and tuning your equipment, and prices are very reasonable. On top of this, you will get great value for money when you hire ski gear as you usually get the most up-to-date equipment, so you don’t constantly have to buy new skis, and in addition they are serviced by the ski hire shop as well, another cost saving. You can find out prices from our recommended ski equipment providers, and we also have a few exclusive discount codes that will save you money. See our ski equipment hire page for more details.

2.      Pack as much as you can in a suitcase that is the right size for storing in the overhead lockers – check the airline’s hand baggage rules. Have your ski gear only in the hold, which will either be part of your inclusive baggage allowance or you will have to pay for one bag to go in the hold. It’s important to pack everything you need to stay safe and warm whilst skiing or snowboarding, so really think about whether this will work for you.

  1. 3.      If you choose to bring your own ski gear, check the airline’s policy on ski equipment. Some airlines allow you to bring multiple sets of ski gear in one bag as long as it doesn’t take it over the weight limit.

Other tips for getting the cheapest flights possible include:

  1. 4.      Consider flying from London instead of a regional airport. It may be more convenient to drive to your local regional airport and fly from there, but the price can go up significantly. Some airlines will require you to take a connecting flight, and if you need to pay for excess baggage and ski carriage on multiple flights it can far outweigh the cost of getting to and parking at a London airport.
  1. 5.      Don’t automatically assume that the cheapest type of ticket is the best value. Once you add on all your baggage you will likely find that it is cheaper to go for the grade above e.g. Economy Standard over Economy Basic.
  1. 6.      If you book with EasyJet, it is worth bearing in mind that they automatically allocate seats for you if you don’t pay to choose specific seats. As they group all the passengers in one booking together, if you don’t mind where you sit as long as you’re together then it probably isn’t worth paying for specific seats.
  1. 7.      Ben from Ben’s Bus gave us this great tip: “Remember when looking for cheap flights that there are a host of airports that you could consider. For the French resorts, for instance, you can choose from Grenoble, Lyon, Chambery and Geneva airports, all of which have good transport links to most of the big French resorts. Skyscanner has a great feature now whereby you can tick a box to ask for it to search for flights to nearby airports.”

Other considerations when booking your flights

Don’t forget your transfers from the airport to your ski resort. With our catered holidays we include a transfer from the airport to your chalet. This can be quite expensive if you book with a ski holiday company that does not include free transfers in the price, so not only do we save you hassle, but we will also save you money.

Find out more about transfers.

If transfers aren’t included in the ski holiday you choose, Ben’s Bus advises: “Before you pay for your flights, check on your transport options from that airport to your resort. The price and/or timings for your transport may not work for that particular flight and you may end up either waiting around for your cheap shared transfer or even worse, having to pay a small fortune for a private transfer.”

Image Credit: ERIC SALARD (flickr.com)

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One Comment

Peter Merson

Dear Nick, Vicky and the team,

Well done producing all this research on airline flights to ski resorts in an effort to provide the best value for money for your customers.
To me it is a pity that you didn’t mention the alternatives such as travelling by train, which I have done now for many years. My preference is to break my outward journey from Somerset in Paris and then take the TGV to the nearest staion to the resort. That way I can leave home at a sensible time on the Friday and arrive relaxed and ready to go at the resort in the early Saturday evening. Last year I paid £31 each way for 1st Class on the TGV from Paris to Aime, en route to Chalet Perle at La Plagne. On the return trip it is easy to manage it in one day because of the time difference, and on occasion I have got home sooner than other family members who were flying – a great excuse for smug texts – but I haven’t managed to convert them yet!

The train option is also considerably kinder to the environment, and if more people took it the snow might just last longer in the Alps!

Kind regards – Peter

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