Tomorrow I am flying from Gatwick to Basel with Easyjet, then taking the train to Interlaken for the Jodlerfest (yodel festival) that I mentioned in my post of 10 June. As it’s usually winter when I’m flying this sort of route, my impending trip made me want to glance at Easyjet’s flights for the 2011/12 ski season, which have been on sale now for a couple of months.
You can book flights up to 24 March 2012 and the good news is that for people who can be organised enough to do so now, there are still bargains, especially to Geneva. Even Saturday to Saturday fares during the school holidays are reasonable. There’s a twice-weekly new route from Luton to Salzburg, starting 17 December, and daily Innsbruck flights begin on 10 December.
A quick look shows that a return from Luton to Geneva, at civilised times of day, departing 24 December and returning 31 December, costs £114.98 including a 20kg case at £9 each way and a £8 debit card fee. Similar fares are available over New Year, though the price climbs if you want to return on Monday 2 January.
Not bound by weekends or school holidays? Even better. For a long weekend in December you’ll pay £73.98, including luggage and debit card fee, to fly from Luton to Geneva first thing on Thursday 8 December, returning last thing on Monday 12 December. It’s similar in January: my probable flights to Zurich for the Inferno are £83.98.
So that’s the good news.
However, there is very bad news for Easyjet passengers who take their own skis or snowboards on holiday next winter. The carrier’s price for ski carriage has risen by almost 40 per cent. Last season the cost was £18.50 each way for a ski bag; this year it is £25 each way.
It may therefore be time to pack cleverly to save a few pounds. According to Easyjet’s own baggage statement (http://www.easyjet.com/EN/Planning/baggage.html), a ski bag (sports equipment) can weigh up to 32kg. Therefore instead of booking a normal bag (£18 return) and a ski bag (£50 return), there seems no reason not to book solely a ski bag. As long as it’s not too slim, you should be able to stash within it pretty much everything you need in terms of ‘sports equipment’ – jacket, salopettes, socks, gloves, shovel, probe, transceiver, suncream and so on. Maybe you can even double up and put in a second pair of skis for your travel buddy.
Your boots you can take in your hand-luggage, which can be up to 56 x 45 x 25cm – my wheelie case is just big enough for a pair of boots – and your snow boots and evening clothes, if there is no more room, you can wear.
This is my advice, and I have clarified by phone with the Easyjet press office that the baggage situation is as explained above, but I take no responsibility for anyone’s excess baggage charges should it be off the mark…
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