Organising a ski trip for a school party is, in the nature of things, a complex matter: inevitably there are a whole host of unknown and/or unpredictable factors. This is an attempt to “iron out as many wrinkles” as we can as early as possible, hopefully to avoid the kind of misunderstandings or situations which can otherwise lead to avoidable problems for you and your party both before and during your trip.
Download our 'Wrinkles' document here
MEDICAL: EUROPEAN HEALTH INSURANCE CARD (EHIC)
Please note that the E111 form has been replaced by the European Health Insurance Card.Further information regarding the EHIC and the different methods available for applying are available on the Department of Health website:http://www.dh.gov.uk/PolicyAndGuidance/HealthAdviceForTravellers/fs/en or you can contact the
Department of Health
Customer Service Centre on 020 7210 4850. It is important that the Party Leader checks that each person has an EHIC before traveling. The EHIC should be carried at all times and in the event of illness or injury in resort the EHIC should be shown to the Doctor or Hospital. The EHIC should always be used in the first instance subsequently the balance will be covered by FOGG Travel Insurance. This free service for you is expensive to administer as FOGG endeavour to make all the payments and claims on your behalf. The system ensures that bills are not sent to parents or to the school or to UK insurers; doctors appreciate this because it avoids payment delays and payment transfer charges. However, for this system to work, we need co-operation from you, as Party Leader. If the EHIC is not carried FOGG will be unable to pay the bills for you, and the parents, the school and/or UK insurers will inevitably become involved.
PAYMENT OF DOCTORS’ AND HOSPITAL BILLS - FOGG TRAVEL INSURANCE
Your travel insurance cover which is included in the holiday price is arranged by FOGGTravel Insurance Services Limited.
FOGG write to all the doctors we know before each ski season to advise them or remind them of their payment guarantee. However in view of the extensive ski areas involved it is virtually impossible to know where a patient may end up. It is therefore vital that, in each and every case when someone is treated by a doctor, you present the doctor’s secretary with a copy of the patients EHIC. If you experience any problems whilst in resort, please give FOGG a call on 0044 845 658 9899. If the EHIC has not been given to the Doctor by the patient during the first visit, please ensure that the EHIC is taken the next time you visit the surgery or, if necessary, please make a special visit to hand it over. You will appreciate that if this is not done we will not be able to deal with the matter for you and the guarantee will effectively become null and void.This will inevitably lead to the consequences described above for which we can take no responsibility.
Treatment in public hospitals (please never accept treatment at a private hospital without first obtaining specific clearance from the insurers via 0044 845 658 9899) is provided, free of charge in accordance with the EU reciprocal arrangements which now also apply to Switzerland. To enjoy the benefit of this EU agreement for free treatment (the use of which is, incidentally, a condition of your insurance policy) which is paid by the public authorities of the country in which you reside, there are certain procedures that must be complied with. You must present the hospital with the patient’s
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in order to enable the hospital and the public authorities to identify the claimant’s country of residence and personal details, without which the authorities would be unable to process the inter-state payment arrangements. In certain cases there is a small excess charge payable locally. By informing the hospital that you are insured by FOGG Travel as well as providing the EHIC, any additional payment required by the hospital should simply be sent to FOGG Travel for settlement. Please ensure, therefore, that you always present the EHIC and inform the hospital administration department (if anything has gone wrong and someone does not have their EHIC, please present the patient’sUK passport as, in exceptional circumstances, these will be accepted in Austria). If, as is quite possible, you may not be present at the time the patient is admitted please take the EHIC on the next visit or make a special visit to hand it over. In the unlikely event that a parent receives an invoice from a hospital please ensure that it is not ignored, as this will lead to legal proceedings being instituted. Contact FOGG Travel Insurance immediately with details of the invoice so that they can pay on the parents’ behalf. In most cases, all the hospital and authorities need is the EHIC to enable them to process the payment for the medical services rendered.
You will be able to avoid most problems by ensuring that everyone carries their own personal EHIC at all times. For other travel insurance claims we suggest you or the parent visits FOGG Travel Insurance’s web site www.foggtravelinsurance.com where claims forms can be downloaded or completed on line or the website for a copy of the policy.
It is all a question of fair play! If doctors and hospitals are provided with the EHIC they can process the claim and ensure the appropriate treatment for all patients.
SWINE INFLUENZA – ADVICE FOR TRAVELLERS
HTS Total Ski, in association with the Federation of Tour Operators and ABTA is working with the UK Department of Health to ensure that all is done to safeguard your health. At present the UK Foreign & Commonwealth office have not imposed any travel restrictions due to the outbreak. If you have swine flu, do not travel until after your symptoms have stopped. Please make sure you have your free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to any necessary medical treatment, including for swine flu, during a visit to another European Economic Area country. It is up to individual airlines to decide if they let a person with flu-like symptoms to fly. Several airlines are refusing to let people with symptoms of flu to travel. Preventing the spread of germs is the single most effective way to slow the spread of infections such as flu. To follow are some good practices that will reduce the
spread of infections.
• Follow public health guidance at your destination
• Wash hands with soap and water; use waterless alcohol-based had gels when soap and water is not available
• Avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes, to prevent the spread of germs
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and dispose of the tissue promptly
• Keep hard surfaces (e.g. door handles, countertops) clean using a normal cleaning solution
• Assure that children follow similar advice Should you suspect that a member of your group has contracted swine flu please seek medical advice before allowing them to travel. If a medical certificate is obtained confirming swine flu that individual will be covered by our insurance policy. In the event that a member of your party develops flu like symptoms, please let your representative or hotel reception know so that arrangements can be made for you to see a doctor.
SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
A SMS is a document which states how our company manages safety for our guests. If you require a copy of The Student Division Safety Management System, it can be found on our website www.htstotalski.com or please request from your tour co-ordinator.
EDUCATIONAL AIMS OR OBJECTIVES
We would like to ensure you meet the objectives or aims you have set for your trip. If you have discussed any educational aims for your trip despite your main objective to learn to ski then please advise us if there is anything we may assist you with.
Please ensure that, when you complete and return your Final Numbers Form and Names List 10 weeks prior to departure (or by 01 December at the latest for February half-term departures), you use only the HTS standard form which has been sent to you. You will appreciate that this form has to be used by a number of different organisations and people in the UK and on the Continent. It is vital that the standard form is presented to everyone and, in particular, to ski schools and ski suppliers to aid their understanding of your requirements: it has sometimes proved impossible, particularly for people whose first language is not English, to deal with ski equipment and ski class groupings when non-standard forms have been returned.
Many hotels do not provide towels for students. Although some do, in order to ensure that students are properly catered for, please ask them to pack their own towels.
Details of our evening entertainment program can be found on our website www.htstotalski.com Please contact your administrator should you wish to pre book any entertainment.
All bookings for extra services are subject to availability and confirmation from the company. We cannot take pre-bookings for evening entertainment, extra ski/snowboard instruction or any other services any later than 2 weeks prior to departure, and experience has shown that if they are not pre-booked they will not be available at the time of your arrival in resort. Please see table below for costs of available extras:
Pre-bookable extra Cost per paying passenger
Ski straps £2
UK Airport transfers £30
Extra instructor Please contact your administrator
Hot lunch Please contact your administrator
Evening entertainment Please contact your administrator
Ski carriage Please contact your administrator
In most cases, rooming lists will be sent 3 days prior to departure. However, in some circumstances, the Hotelier is not able to provide us with the rooming information. Your administrator will contact you should this affect your group. The rooming could change slightly for reasons beyond our control.
YOUR TRAVELLING INSTRUCTIONS
Your Travelling Instructions, which also act as your final confirmation of all services booked, will be dispatched to you some 7-10 days prior to departure. It will carefully list every individual service or arrangement that we have booked for you. Please read the Travelling Instructions carefully from cover to cover the moment you receive them to ensure thateverything is correctly booked. If there are any inaccuracies please contact the Hove office urgently so we can correct them straight away.
TRAVEL BY SNOWCOACH
Time of departure from school In principle, the earlier you leave school the better it is. We can book an earlier Channel crossing which creates significant advantages. You can get away before the big rush hits the Channel ports, you can often beat the heavy resort arrival trafficnext morning and thus ensure a comfortable journey and an early resort arrival with all the advantages that affords: plenty of time for settling into the resort and hotel and, critically, plenty of time for ski fitting and the issue of lift passes and the like.
We have requested your crossing time based on the information you have supplied regarding the earliest time you are able to depart school. Please bear in mind, however, that during peak periods, namely February half term and Easter, the Shuttle and ferry operators are working to maximum capacity and therefore the time allocated may not be exactly what you would have preferred. For those peak dates we are simply unable to amend times once the bookings have been made and we would be grateful for your understanding on this matter.
Journey to the UK port
Please under no circumstances take any breaks en route (other than normal, short toilet and refreshment stops) which would cause you to miss the crossing which has been booked for you. We recommend students, both for cost and convenience considerations, to take a packed meal from home. On peak travel dates everything is overloaded, and if you miss your booked crossing you may have to wait for several hours for an alternative crossing with the consequences that this can entail (see above for the benefits of an early departure: a late, delayed departure creates exactly the opposite effect, particularly as one then often runs into major traffic jams which slow down arrival in the resort even more). It is important to realise that, in the event of a missed crossing on the outward journey, you will NOT automatically be put on the next Shuttle or ferry but in most cases will have to wait for many hours. If you want to purchase hot food or have a longer break we suggest that, time permitting, you do so at the Shuttle Terminal or Ferry Port or at a service station on the French side, though even here one needs to exercise caution, as long breaks of any kind can cause delayed resort arrivals (please refer to “fuel” below).
All coach companies stop in France or Luxembourg to pick up fuel. Such a fuel stop may be suitable for a longer meal/refreshment break so we suggest you discuss this with your drivers early on or, alternatively, discuss it with the coachcompany when you contact them prior to departure to give directions to the school.
Luggage space on all coaches is limited. Please bear this in mind particularly if most or all seats are occupied. Each person should bring 1 piece of medium-sized luggage (15 kg) for the hold and 1 small piece to be stored on the overhead rack or under the seat. If you wish to transport any additional items please contact the coach company direct to establish the position. We recommend party leaders to ensure that all passengers bring a soft holdall bag, rather than a suitcase, as they are easier to pack and are a more manageable size than some of the very large suitcases. Some of our party leaders build the cost of a holdall into the price of the trip, and provide each child with the piece of luggage they are to use.
AIR TOURS – IMPORTANT INFORMATION
From December 2009, the Home Office UK Border Agency, with support from the Police and HM Revenue and Customs, will roll out the e-Borders program. This program is designed to: -
• Keep a comprehensive record of everyone who crosses our border;
• Strengthen the security of those who live in and visit our country;
• Make it easier for those who are travelling and trading legitimately; and
• Maintain tight control of our border.
Therefore all airline carriers now have a legal obligation to provide Advance Passenger Information such as Passport Information. Passengers who do not provide this information are unlikely to be allowed to travel. As such, we have updated our Names List to include all relevant information that we will have to supply to the airline in order for you and your group to travel. Unfortunately failure to provide this information to us may result in delays for your group at the airport and/or refusal by the airline for passengers to travel. We thank you in advance for your co-operation and understanding.
UK Airport Transfers
All our UK airport transfers are operated by Classic Coaches Continental Ltd. They advise pick-up and drop-off times for each group according to flight times and build in a considerable amount of latitude in case of emergency/breakdown in order to ensure that you do not miss your flight. Should you wish to amend your pick up time from school to a later departure, we regret that we will not accept any responsibility if you are late for your flight.
We recommend a minimum of 2 hours check-in.
We use a range of airlines including but not limited to the following: Easyjet, Thompson, Austrian Airways, British Airways, Flybe. Confirmation of your flights and flight times has been sent. Each airline has differing baggage allowances. Please ensure you check the airlines baggage restrictions and pass the information on to parents and students. We cannot accept any responsibility for excess baggage charges.
Carriage of Skis and Boots
Most airlines charge for the carriage of skis and boots. Please contact your administrator who will be happy to provide the correct costs. We recommend students not to bring their own skis/snowboards simply because of the luggage space on the transfer coaches from the airport to resort.
Identification of Skis & Boots
We recommend you to bring something for each student to enable identification of their own skis and keep them together. You can purchase ski straps in plastic and Velcro; we are able to provide these at a cost of £2 per paying person. For Snowcoach groups, please also ensure that each child has a bag for their ski boots/trainers to load them on the coach each day and to avoid them all getting muddled up.
Ski & Snowboard Classes
Ski or snowboard instructors are provided on a ratio of 1 instructor to 13 students (persons traveling on free places and paying adults do not count in the calculation of this ratio). If your group comprises the standard minimum or more ie 40-43 paying persons with 5 free places, you will have no difficulty: you will be allocated 4 instructors which works out at a ratio of 1:13 based on the whole group including free places or 1:10 or 1:11 based on 40 – 43 students. There are, however, certain circumstances when problems can arise, namely, if your group size is below the minimum of 40 paying for coach or is a smaller group travelling by air or you have an awkward mix of ski abilities or a mix of skiers and snowboarders. It is impossible to explain all the permutations here but, if any of these situations apply to your group, you may need to consider booking an extra instructor at extra cost. Alternatively, please contact your administrator to discuss the situation.
On your journey to Resort: Prior to arrival if you are travelling by coach your resort manager will telephone either your coach driver or yourself as party leader, to check your estimated arrival time to resort, and inform your hotel and ski rental shop when they can expect your group.
Arrival in Resort
When you get to the resort, the rep will either meet you at your hotel, or at the ski rental shop to assist your group with ski fit. Back at the hotel, the resort manager will be there to answer any questions, which might arise on your arrival day. In addition, they will provide your lift pass along with information concerning meeting points for the following day. If you have pre-booked evening entertainments, they will provide you with the exact arrangements that have been organised for your group, including locations and timings.
If you have not pre-booked entertainments in resort, please ask your resort manager as soon as possible, to allow time to make the booking for you. (Please note: many venues may already be fully booked at the time of arrival.)
First Day on the Slopes in most cases the resort manager will be staying in the hotel with your group therefore after breakfast they will accompany you to the assembly point of your ski school. You will be introduced to the ski instructors to ensure your skiing experience starts off smoothly.
Last Day on the Slopes
If you require a local coach to pick up your party from the slopes on the last day, your resort manager will organise this and provide you with the details by the Thursday. These being, when and where the local coach will pick up your group and the arrangements for the return of your hired equipment to the ski hire shop, before your last evening meal at the hotel.
Your travel documents including an itinerary will be dispatched approximately 2 weeks prior to departure, subject to there being no outstanding balances on your tour. Please note that these documents may need to be signed for, so please provide us with a suitable address where indicated on your final numbers form.
YOUR FEEDBACK IS ESSENTIAL
A feedback questionnaire will be provided by e-mail or post if preferred. If by post, please do return it in the
envelope or via e-mail upon your return in order for us to evaluate and improve our services for the future and to ensure your educational aims if applicable have been met accordingly.
Bon voyage and good skiing!