All you need to know about ski holidays by train

Why flight prices are like restaurant meals

Tue 06 March, 2012

Ever perused a restaurant menu, and thought: “That looks good value.”  And then at the end of the meal scratched your head and wondered how the bill came to so much?

Flights to ski resorts can be a bit like that.

When I talk with skiers about the comparative costs of going by plane and by train to a ski resort, they sometimes say: "But it only costs £30 to fly to Geneva".

The thing is, it never does. Here’s a typical, real-life example from Easyjet’s website.

Gatwick to Geneva.   Booking in advance, you find an 8am flight (check-in 6.30am – ouch) for £30.99 and a return for £31.99.  That’s a total of £62.98.

Add on the debit card booking fee, it is now £71.98

The charge to take a suitcase is £18, and to take your skis or board adds £50.

What started out at £30 one way has become £139 return. And that's without transfers. Hmm.

Now I'm not claiming that train fares are better or worse value compared to flights. That's a different discussion.

It's just that if you want to compare like-for-like, you have to know the total price of the flight and journey.

Otherwise, like in the restaurant, you end up scratching your head and wondering what happened.