We love ferrying excited holidaymakers into the Alps. It marks the beginning of your annual snow break, whether you are beginner skiers and have never been to the mountains before, or well seasoned returners looking to feed your addiction!
Very few ski resorts are ‘close’ to airports: as no mountains have commercial runways on their slopes! So, to get to the best skiing we all have to travel a bit.
Geneva to Sainte Foy, for example, is about 2 hours and 30 minutes travel time. The first two hours are main road or motorway, after which we start the climb up winding mountain roads to the resort.
So, for a transfer from Geneva to Sainte Foy and back again, you pay approximately €0.45 per kilometre, which doesn’t sound too unreasonable.
What are you getting for your money?
Both the French and Swiss authorities levy fees on transfer operators. Geneva is in Switzerland but is a very popular international airport for visitors to France. So transfers companies must pay both.
Tolls are then also paid on the French motorways to make your journey super fast and as simple as possible.
Increasing fuel prices also push the price of airport transfers up, and unfortunately in Europe they are rising all the time.
Professional airport transfer drivers
Here at Mountain Rescue Transfers it is important to us to pay a fair wage. As well as bonuses for good work or unsocial hours – which happens a lot because flights often arrive or depart in very early hours of the morning, or very late at night.
We never under pay,and will never let any of our drivers over work. This is for their health and safety as well as yours. We want you and your group to have an enjoyable journey with us and more than anything, arrive safely at your destination.
Phones are another driver-related expense. Each must be supplied with a smartphone for business use, so they can operate our driver app, stay in touch with you and our office staff.
Also, unfortunately, taxes mean that the company pays almost double the amount that the driver actually receives, so tips are never turned away!
Quality and well maintained vehicles
Mountain Rescue operate under French law and transport licences (which are per vehicle) are only issued if we prove we can operate and maintain each vehicle. Which you’ll be pleased to know we do very well!
We only purchase superior quality vehicles and only ever run each minibus for three winters maximum.
What also adds up is the running costs of vehicles. We provide snow tyres as well as normal tyres, brakes (which are well used coming down mountain roads) and pay for the general cleaning and upkeep of vehicles. Did you know our screen wash has to withstand -30℃ without freezing?
We also like all our vans to be perfectly clean and tidy for every journey.
Making your airport transfer safe and comfortable
Most importantly we want your airport transfer to be both safe and comfortable. So as well as maintaining each vehicle to a very high standard, we also make sure we provide heating, air conditioning and bottled water.
Age-appropriate car seats are provided in the price of the transfer. Passengers simply let us know the height, ages and weight of the children joining and we bring the seats along.
Getting through the bad weather
A big reason that transfer companies must have competent, well paid drivers is of course the bad weather. Not everyone is cut out to keep a vehicle of passengers feeling safe whilst driving on mountain roads.
Have you ever seen one of our drivers hop out in the biting cold snow to put on snow chains?
There are frequent delays and diversions between Alpine resorts and the airports, not to mention flight delays. We offer 90 minutes of free waiting time if flights are delayed,which is the very best we can do because often drivers are off collecting other passengers.
In case of roadblocks, Mountain Rescue have GPS tracking on all the vehicles. That way the office always knows the drivers location, and can therefore help them avoid traffic delays and help you get to your destination as efficiently as possible.
Our on-hands office
Our experienced office staff are based in the Alps, so we have the latest travel updates and we know how to handle any situation that is presented to us.
We send text reminders to you with friendly updates like the driver’s name and number the day before you travel.
Our booking system is one of the best on the internet (we think so anyway). With help from its operators it easily schedules airport transfers without human error. Gone are the days of multiple excel spreadsheets. We are very proud of the way our team manage some logistically complicated bookings.
We hope our post gives you an insight as to why we charge what we do for airport transfers in the Alps. Please contact us at Mountain Rescue if you have any questions or would like to make an airport transfer booking.