Lift strike in Les Deux Alpes
Getting all the family to the Alps for half-term is no mean feat. It usually requires lots of pre-planning, ski kit purchasing (if your kids grow half as fast as mine) and possibly even a few lessons on a local dry ski slope before departure, before you’ve even bundled your toddlers onto the aircraft or the transfer bus.
Imagine then arriving in resort to find the lifts closed. Grrr!…
That’s exactly what happened in Les Deux Alpes this half-term, when thousands of skiers found themselves unable to access the slopes at this popular French resort due to a strike among ski staff.
The Times reported “chaos on the slopes” as skiers and boarders were confronted by pickets at the resort’s main gondola. The lift operators at Les Deux Alpes are demanding a pay rise of 17% and there are fears that the dispute might spread to other resorts in the area.
Needless to say, holidaymakers were not amused. As Mark Stephens, of Bedfordshire, one of 2,000 Brits said to be in Les Alpes for half term told The Times newspaper: “We are here for a week’s skiing, the weather is great and we are losing 20 per cent of our time because of a wildcat strike. We are fed up.”
Thankfully, the walkout was short-lived, affecting just one day of skiing, after the unions accepted a proposal on pay.
It did, however, highlight the advantage of travelling with a ski tour operator. Most British companies laid on free transport, shipping guests to neighbouring resorts so that their skiing wasn’t too badly affected. Neilson, for example, transported its guests to the nearby resort of Alpe d’Huez.
Meantime, the tourist office at Les Deux Alpes said it would offer refunds on lift passes for the lost day.