Interview with Snowbound transfers
The White Storm Team met up with Snow Bound Transfers, based in Courchevel and Meribel Valleys. We wanted to find out how they run their business. They are a family oriented transfers company that have an ethos of prioritising customer care. We asked Phil and the team a few questions so we could better explain their services to our customers, and this is what they had to say…
1. Who are Snowbound Transfers? We are a local family based business in the Courchevel Valley who have been providing our transfer services for more than 18 years. Due to our history in resort we are a well established company with a really good reputation gained by proving to be reliable over this time. The majority of our customers are returning clients so this say something about who we are!
2. In which resorts do you operate? Due to our location we mainly operate in the Meribel and Courchevel Valleys. Our drivers are also all locally based which makes it easier for them to get to our clients and for us to keep in touch with them. However we do sometimes provide transfers also to Val Thorens or Les Menuires area but usually only during the quiet periods or on a week day.
3. Do you offer shared transfers? Yes, which is a very popular service for the budget conscious skier! The Snowbound Shuttle is a door to door transfer that operates daily to/from Geneva to the Meribel and Courchevel Valley. The price is 65 Euros pp each way. The minibus has seats for 8 passengers and departs resort at approx 05:45 & 09:00 and on weekends also at 16:00. From Geneva it leaves at approx 09:45, 12:00 and on weekends at 19:30. A minimum of 2 passengers are required to secure a booking and subject to availability. As it is a shared transfer customers must be prepared to be flexible with the timings, i.e. wait a little or depart earlier. See our shared page for more info on www.snowboundtransfers.co.uk.
4. What about shared transfers to or from other Airports? We do not have a scheduled service like Geneva Airport, however quite often we have empty legs going to or from another airport so we will then offer these seats at a shared rate. The information for these seats can be found on our website under Last Minute. A few are already posted on there and we try to keep it as up to date as possible but I would recommend if you don’t see what you are after to please e-mail us – firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. What other types of transfers do you offer? The majority of our bookings are for the private door to door service which if you are more than 4 passengers is the most cost effective way to travel. Alternatively we also offer Luxury Transfers which our Mercedes vehicles which is also very popular.
6. Are 8 passengers the maximum number of people you can transfer? No, not at all. What we do for larger group depends on how many passengers there are, what times the flights are at and what the budget is. For example if there are 10 we would provides 2 x vehicles – either two private transfers or for 8 to travel private and 2 shared – it depends on availability. For 11-16 passengers it is worth booking two private transfers. If the group is larger i.e. 20 – 35 passengers, we work closely with a couple of reliable coach companies.
7. How far in advance do we need to book and to which airport? It is never too early! But starting in September I would recommend booking as soon as possible for weekends, especially during the school holidays. The most popular airports is Geneva and the closest is Chambery. Unfortunately Chambery is the most at risk of having delays as due to positioning in the valley there are often fog issues. Grenoble and Lyon Airports are further, cost more in tolls, flights arriving/departing do not match up with other transfers bookings and often there are heavy traffic issues. We are seeing a lot more enquires for Lyon and Grenoble as the budget airlines expands. Unfortunately it comes as a shock when clients realise how expensive the transfers are! Some companies will not transfer from either of these airports on the weekend so please review this before booking flights.
8. What are the best days or times to book a transfer? Tricky to answer this as you never know when there will be a snow storm, a rock landslide or volcanic ashes! If it were me traveling I would try my best to avoid a Saturday as this is the busiest day on the roads. When it comes to timing please consider adding on the time for your transfer. For example if you book the 07:00 am flight out of Geneva you will need to leave resort at 03:00 and if it is snowy it may have to be earlier! With children this may not be suitable or if you like your sleep you will not be happy ! Same with arrivals – it may be more convenient to fly in later in the day and arrival at 22:00 but most transfer companies will charge an out of hours fee as it means operating after midnight.
9. How many vehicles do you have in your fleet and how old are there? We have ALL NEW 6 x long wheeled based high spec Renault Traffics – this means that have the extras like tinted windows, individual heating,, space and the luxury vehicles include 1 x Mercedes ML and 1 x Mercedes Viano.
10. Why book with Snowbound Transfers? Truthfully I think we are reliable because we care. I know that it sounds cheesy! But honestly as a small business owner customer satisfaction is important so we put a lot of focus into the organisation, being flexible and into getting it right. All the details matter to us from back office support, staff, uniform, driver’s well being, type of tyres, choices of vehicles, the right chains … etc. It is all carefully considered so that in the end we can provide the best possible service to our clients. This winter we are extremely honored to have been nominated and are now a finalist for the award of World’s Best Ski Transfer Operator 2015.