North America Pre Departure Information

Thank you for booking your North American ski holiday with Skiworld

We understand how easy it is to get caught up with the exciting aspects of planning your holiday, such as purchasing the latest ski accessories and equipment or keeping a check on the snow conditions, but there are many other things you need to know about and plan for.

This section of the website will help you be prepared for all elements of your trip; from what you need to do before you go, what to expect in resort and a checklist to make sure you don't forget anything!

Please ensure you read the insurance section as you will be required to inform us of your insurance details in case of an emergency.

Should you have any queries or require further information please do not hesitate to contact us on 0330 102 8004.

If you're looking for European Pre-Departure Information you'll find it here



Ski Holiday Insurance

You must be insured to cover all important elements of your holiday. Please view our Winter Sports Insurance page for information.


Money Matters

Currency/Travellers Cheques: As you may be arriving in resort at the weekend, we strongly advise that you purchase enough foreign currency to last over the weekend. In addition to banks, exchange facilities are also available at all departure airports. If purchasing travellers cheques please ensure you buy them in the local dollar currency and not in sterling as these are difficult to change in banks and are not accepted as payment for general goods and services.

Cash Points: Most ATMs will accept UK cash point debit cards (please check with your bank) as well as credit cards. There are several in each resort. Remember to memorise your PIN number!

Credit Cards: Visa & MasterCard are widely accepted for lift passes/ski hire and ski school in all resorts.


PASSPORTS AND VISAS

Please view our Travel Advice page for information. 


GET FIT FOR SKI

Please view our Get Fit For Ski page for information.


Travelling by Scheduled Flight

Tickets

Please note that most of our tickets are now issued as electronic tickets or ‘E-tickets’. Clients issued with an E-ticket will not receive a paper ticket but will receive an itinerary with their flight locator number.

Online Check-In

All of our transatlantic scheduled services offer online check-in via their own websites.  This enables you to bypass the queues at the airport, pre-reserve your seats and print your boarding pass ready to go.  Once at the airport you can drop your bags to be tagged and proceed straight to security.  To check-in online you will need your airline locator reference number, which will be on your itinerary and names of the passengers flying.  Online check-in generally opens 24 hours before departure and closes 2 hours before. We highly recommend that you check-in online in order to confirm the details of your flights such as departure terminal and scheduled times.

British Airways Advanced Passenger Information

All British Airways clients are required to enter advance passenger information for travel to the United States. Please go to BA.com and click on ‘manage my booking’. Enter you BA locator (see you itinerary) and the surname of the lead passenger and go to the section marked ‘Advance Passenger Information’
Please note that all flight times are provisional until you receive your tickets or itinerary. The carriers may have changed flight times since you made your holiday booking. Please check your documents as soon as you receive them, in particular that passenger's titles, initials and names are correct. Please inform the office immediately if you find an error.

If flight schedules should change after your documents are issued a new itinerary will be sent. The ticket will remain valid and will be updated by the check-in staff at the airport.

Please note: most tickets are non-changeable and non-refundable. If you cancel or amend your booking once tickets are issued, the appropriate amendment fee or cancellation fee will apply.

In some instances, you can change the return date on your ticket whilst on holiday. Please check if this is possible with our London office prior to the departure. However, if your ticket has already been issued, this must be done after departure at the local airline/office. Some airlines allow a date change on the return leg for a fee paid directly to the airline in the US or Canada. Date changes to the outbound flight will be treated as a cancellation.

Hand Luggage

We strongly urge all customers to restrict hand luggage to an absolute minimum required to complete their journey. For the latest advice regarding hand baggage restrictions, please visit  www.direct.gov.uk. All other items should be safely stowed in luggage and checked-in for carriage in the aircraft hold.

In following this advice, handling staff may ask you to check-in items of hand baggage and we would therefore ask you to remove essential items so this can be done with minimum inconvenience. We would also advise that you allow extra time than usual for check-in in case of any unforeseen delays due to security measures.

Checked luggage allowances

As the rates for excess baggage are liable to change frequently, please use the links below to navigate to your airline's baggage policy on their website. if you have any questions, please give us a call.

British Airways

Air Canada

United Airlines

US Airways

American Airlines

If you take more than the allowance stated, the airline may charge you an excess luggage charge. Skis, boots and other sports equipment will be carried in the hold along with children’s pushchairs.


Checking in and Boarding

Security

Following the tragic events on 11th of September 2001, the British government has required all UK airlines and airports to operate in accordance with the highest possible security requirements.  All our flights will operate under the heightened procedures and passengers are urged to take the following action in order to minimise the effect such measures will have on the normal operations of services. Non-observance of this advice will increase risk of these procedures causing boarding and flight delays, and therefore unnecessary inconvenience to customers.  Security controls at UK airports for transatlantic flights can be time consuming, particularly at peak times. Passengers should check in at least 2 and a half hours prior to departure.

The travel services we use are non transferable so you should make sure you have ample time to get to the airport for your journey. Please remember to leave time for traffic delays and parking or reaching the terminal from the rail station. Your itinerary will advise which terminal your flight departs from.  Should you miss the outbound flight, you are responsible for making your own way to your destination and onward to your booked accommodation. If this happens, please notify your airport representative in the USA or our London office immediately as our staff will be expecting you at your original arrival time. Most airlines will cancel all onward and return flights if the outbound flight is not flown.

Flight Reconfirmation

Your outbound flight (and any onward same day connecting service) is automatically reconfirmed for you. Although most airlines now have a policy that states that reconfirmation of return flights is no longer necessary, we recommend that you call and check if there have been any schedule changes to your service. Skiworld cannot be held responsible for any missed departures on a return journey due to flight schedule changes when clients are on a self-drive holiday.

Transfers

Your itinerary will give full details of your transfer arrangements. Due to the flexible nature of holidays to North America with multiple arrival days we cannot always have a Resort Representative or Manager at the airport for your arrival. Some transfers are organised from resort with local scheduled taxi and private coach companies who will have been given your flight arrival details. They will be expecting you. Although scheduled airlines have guaranteed departure and arrival slots, delays can occur due to bad weather conditions or technical faults. In the case of substantial delays, most airlines will make provision for your wellbeing.  In all instances, airline staff on the ground are best places to address any problems and they therefore should be your first point of call. If you need advice or assistance please call our overseas office (details on your itinerary and page 8).

In the event of a delay to any leg of your journey to North America, if you are able to call your resort or airport representative from your connecting airport to advise us, we will be able to re-arrange your transfer to match your revised arrival time in North America and therefore keep your waiting to an absolute minimum.

Smoking

All scheduled airlines now operate a no smoking policy on flights. There is also a no smoking policy on all our transfers for the maximum comfort of our guests.

Pregnancy

Airlines have different regulations regarding travellers in the advanced stages of pregnancy and may refuse to carry passengers who will be more than 28 weeks pregnant on their return journey. A general guideline is to carry a doctor’s note signed within 7 days before your departure confirming that you are fit to travel.

Airport Terminals

Your itinerary will show which terminal your flight departs from. However, please ensure you double check that this has not changed by checking-in online prior to departure.


Car Rental    

Upgrades

If you have not taken advantage of our preferential pre-paid rates to secure an upgraded vehicle size, you will be offered the opportunity to do so locally (subject to availability). Please note that any upgrades or changes to car hire packages negotiated locally will be subject to additional sales taxes, (approx. 30%) all of which must be paid for locally. Skiworld are not responsible for any extra charges incurred.

Alamo Gold

Certain costs apply to all car rentals which are usually paid on arrival. These include state taxes, extra driver fees, ski racks and Extended Protection. We strongly recommend Extended Protection as it provides you with up to $1,000,000 third partly liability coverage and up to $100,000 for accidental death or injury to you or your passengers should you be hit by a negligent, uninsured, under insured or hit and run motorist. We have negotiated a special package with Alamo which covers all of these items and includes a tank of fuel, unlimited additional extra drivers (over 25) and a ski rack. Purchasing Alamo Gold before you leave also saves you the hassle of sorting out these items when you arrive after your transatlantic flight. For more information please call our office on 0330 102 8004.

Your Licence

You must be over 21 years of age to drive a hire car in North America. Drivers under 25 years of age will be charged a supplement locally. For driving in Canada or the States you do not need an International Driving Permit (IDP), as a full British Licence is accepted.

Driving

Familiarise yourself with the route and any unusual elements of their highway code, e.g. right turns on a red light. All Alamo cars are automatic unless otherwise specified. Alamo offers a 24-hour roadside assistance on all of their rentals. Make sure you have been provided with all the relevant contact numbers and information from them before starting your journey.

Please find driving directions and car hire vouchers enclosed with your travel documents. All car size upgrades and insurance packages must be pre-booked with Skiworld to secure the best rates.  You will be required to leave a credit card imprint as a deposit when you collect your vehicle.


Pre-book Ski Hire with Skiworld


Price Match Guarantee

Skiworld now offer a Price Promise guarantee on ski hire - we promise ours is the best value around. So if you find the same equipment for less elsewhere we will endeavour to match the price. Please see here for terms and conditions for Price Promise - Lift Passes and Ski Hire.


Chalet Information

Please read the important information section on the website or in our brochure as it contains very important information on your chalet holiday.  Please also check the details of your chalet on our website. In the rare instances where we have been advised of changes since the publication of the brochure, we will have posted this on the website description.

Chalet holidays are home from home skiing. Enjoy a relaxing stay being looked after by our chalet staff who will cook, clean and keep house in an informal atmosphere. With their wealth of knowledge, they will be able to provide you with information on the resort, any social skiing (ski hosting) that may be available and special events or après-ski on offer. For your comfort, bed linen, bath and hand towels are provided in all of our chalets. Each has its own idiosyncrasies (as do our own homes!) and the plumbing or electricity may not be as modern or powerful as a hotel. Therefore do not be surprised if not everyone can have a hot shower simultaneously or if a fuse blows if too many appliances are switched on at once.  Please leave your valuables at home as very few chalets have individual locks on the bedroom doors. Where it is possible to provide a front door key, a small deposit may be required. Finally, don’t forget your slippers or indoor shoes for the chalet. Please bear in mind that the chalets are often people’s mountain homes.

In many of our chalets you can enjoy the use of hot tubs and saunas. It is imperative that you follow the rules and advice on health and safety as indicated by our staff and on dedicated signs in your chalet/ facility. Children must not use any of these facilities unsupervised.

For those on 7 and 10 day holidays to North American chalets, our staff have one day off (breakfast and afternoon tea are still laid out). For those on 11 or 14 day holidays, staff have 2 days off.


Hotels and Condominiums

All of our hotels and condominiums have been chosen due to their excellent standard and service, and you will find their staff will always be on hand to help you whenever needed.


Smoking

All our North American chalets are designated as non smoking.

Some hotels will have smoking and non smoking rooms. Please make sure these have been requested at the time of booking.


Electricity

In the USA and Canada the electricity supply is 110V. A flat two-pin adaptor, which is obtainable in the UK, is required for all electrical appliances. Some appliances may not work, due to the decreased voltage.


Laundromats

Most catered chalets have a washing machine and tumble dryer. (These may be used for a small charge and at the chalet staff’s’ discretion.) Condominiums will have a private or shared laundry facility, which are usually coin-operated. Most hotels will provide a laundry service or have a coin-operated facility.



Time Differences

Canada

Banff, Lake Louise & Jasper

7 hours behind  

Whistler, Big White, Silver Star, Fernie, Kicking Horse, Sun Peaks

8 hours behind  

USA

Heavenly, Squaw Valley & Mammoth

8 hours behind

Breckenridge, Aspen, Steamboat, Vail, Snowbird, Park City, Copper, Winter Park & Jackson Hole

7 hours behind  

Killington & Stowe (USA) Mt Tremblant (Canada)

5 hours behind  


Telephones

To dial direct to the UK, dial 011 44 then the number you require dropping the first ‘0’ of the area code. To call Skiworld from the USA or Canada you would dial 011 44 330 102 8004.


Receiving Post

Please note that in most cases the North American properties have a physical address that does not receive mail by street delivery. Hotels, condos and chalets will have a Post Office Box address where mail can be received. Please do not send anything by post unless you have checked if it will be delivered to the address supplied on your itinerary.


Lost Property

If your luggage is lost or damaged in transit on flights it is essential that you obtain a PIR (Property Irregularity Report) form from the handling agent/representative at the airport. The PIR form must be obtained and completed before leaving the airport as without this any claim you make may be invalidated.

If you think you may have left any belongings behind. Please contact us at customer@skiworld.co.uk or call us on 0330 102 8004.


Useful Numbers

Skiworld UK Office

+44 (0) 330 102 8004

Skiworld North American Office (GMT - 7 hours)

+1 540 336 9601 


Final Checklist

  • Passport
  • Visa (if required)
  • Air tickets/ E-ticket itinerary (checked your flight details?)
  • Your holiday invoice
  • Your insurance certificates and emergency contacts
  • Driving licence, car hire vouchers and directions (if driving)
  • Travellers cheques or local currency
  • Credit cards
  • Have you booked your skis/snowboard on your flight?
  • Camera & film
  • Alarm clock
  • Electric plug adaptor
  • Sun cream/sun glasses/goggles
  • Regular medication
  • Swimming costume
  • Slippers
  • Food for children under 2 yrs

Après Ski

General

Après-ski clothing is usually casual. As chalets are quite warm, take some lighter clothing for the evening. Please note: The age limit for drinking in the USA is 21 years, 19 years in Whistler and 18 in Banff & Fernie. Most establishments will check your ID at the door. Entry will be refused if you cannot prove your age. Please make sure you always carry your passport or other picture ID showing your date of birth.

Footwear

Ideally you should have a pair of warm, flat boots for après-ski. Make sure the soles are going to be safe in the snow. We also suggest that you bring a pair of slippers to wear in the chalet.

Swimming

If you intend to swim/sauna or use the hot tub, don’t forget your costume!


Ski Leading

Unique in North American resorts are ‘Ski Ambassadors’. These are people employed by the resort to show visitors around the mountain. These services are usually offered daily and are free. They are an ideal way to meet like minded skiers and of getting to know the ski areas.

Many resorts organise a ‘Meet the Mountain' tour, which, similarly aims to show you the resort. We offer a minimum of one day’s ski leading and our Representatives will be able to let you know of the Ski Ambassador services on offer in your resort.


Emergency Contact Details

Should you need to give friends or relatives a contact number whilst you are away, please use either the number of your chalet and/or Representative (details on your itinerary) and/or our London office number: 0330 102 8004. In case of emergency, please call the above office number or the duty office (out of hours) on +44 (0)7977 935 523 or the North American Operations Manager (details on your itinerary).

Special Offers


Short Chalet Breaks

Take a Short Chalet Break this winter to get your bitesized taste of the mountains.


Find out more

Save on your chalet with our extra bed discounts

For our chalets rooms that have room for extra beds, we offer a discount including half price for kids or a discount for adults.


Find out more

Price Promise Guarantee

Get all the flexibility and benefits of a self-catered apartment or hotel for the best possible value! If you find the same holiday package somewhere else, we'll match the price... promise.


Find out more