mountains sky travel

Frequently Asked Questions


You want to be certain your ski holiday will be perfect, and we want you to be confident booking through Ongosa. So, whilst we’re happy to answer any queries you have in person, here’s a list of questions we think may be helpful, or that we’ve been asked before.

Click on the category that applies to your question, or scroll down and have a browse.

Alternatively, get in touch via talktous@ongosa.com, or +44 (0) 20 3290 0643

Are you looking for a ski or snowboard instructor or guide? Click here to see FAQs


More questions about instructors and guides Click here to see FAQs


You have already booked a ski or snowboard instructor or guide, with Ongosa Click here to see FAQs


Are you a ski or snowboard instructor or guide? Click here to see FAQs


You’re an instructor or guide and have a lesson or guiding session booked through Ongosa Click here to see FAQs


ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A SKI OR SNOWBOARD INSTRUCTOR OR GUIDE?

What does Ongosa do?
We make adventure sports more accessible by connecting enthusiasts, like yourself, with expert adventure-sports professionals. We do all the searching for you – of only the most specialist, recommended professionals. You just need to tell us what you want!

Which sports does Ongosa cover?

We currently focus on skiing, snowboarding and alpine mountaineering. This includes piste and off-piste skiing and snowboarding as well as more specialist freeride, touring, splitboarding and heli skiing/snowboarding. We also work with professionals who specialise in ski mountaineering, climbing, ice climbing and alpine mountaineering. We plan to grow to include many more sports, all year round, so keep an eye on us! If you have a specific sport you would like to book, get in touch at talktous@ongosa.com

Which ski resorts does Ongosa operate in?
We currently work in key European winter destinations. Some of our most popular resorts include: Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, Morzine and Avoriaz, Tignes and Val D’Isere, Les Arcs and La Plagne, Courchevel and Meribel, Andermatt, Engelberg, Verbier, St Anton and La Grave: although through our network, we are able to reach even further! If you would like us to find you a guide or instructor elsewhere, tell us where at talktous@ongosa.com

What services does Ongosa offer?

We help you to access private guides and instructors, as well and being able to book you into group guided experiences and group lessons. If you are in doubt whether you need to hire a guide or an instructor, this article may be helpful, or get in touch at talktous@ongosa.com to let us know what you want from your trip.

How do I book a ski or snowboard guide or instructor through Ongosa?

Tell us if you need a guide or instructor, and in which resort, or call us +44 (0) 20 3290 0643. We’ll then get in touch with the relevant professionals, and endeavour to offer you a couple of great matches within 48 hours. Nope, we’re not a dating site, but we do happen to know lots of charming ski instructors! You can book their lesson(s) or guiding through our booking form, or over the phone.

How much does booking a guide or instructor cost with Ongosa?

We ask all of our instructors and guides to give us the same prices, as if you were going directly. Because we aim to deliver you up to three offers, our guides and instructors are therefore motivated to give you their very best, competitive rate. Ongosa charges an additional 3% booking fee to cover costs such as credit card, transfer and currency exchange fees.

How do I pay?

We accept all major credit and debit cards and you can pay over the phone or online, through our secure payment pathway and booking form. Full payment is taken at point of purchase. Please refer to our ‘cancellations & refunds’, or get in touch for further details.

How much can I expect to pay

The following estimates are very much dependent on the time of year (expect around a 10% increase in peak weeks, like school holidays) and where you’re going. Not only do prices vary widely within countries, prices can even vary within resort! Generally, the more expensive amenities are in a ski resort, the more expensive their instructors and guides will be, this could be up to about +30% from our estimates! However, because Ongosa deliver multiple proposals, (we aim to give you around 3 options) we’re encouraging different instructors and guides to price competitively.

France Switzerland Italy Austria
EUR CHF EUR EUR
Full Day Private Instructor 475 575 350 375
1/2 Day Private Instructor 250 320 165 240
2 Hr Private Instructor 160 235 110 200
Full Day Group Lesson 110 130 120 150
Week of Full Day Group Lessons 450 550 380 500
1/2 Day Group Lesson 90 115 110 90
Week of 1/2 Day Group Lessons 250 405 200 295
Kids Full Day Group Lesson 60 130 120 75
Kids Week of Full Day Group Lessons 400 550 295 400
Kids Week of 1/2 Day Group Lessons 300 400 220 275
Full Day Private Off-piste Guiding 450 615 400 425
Half Day Private Off-piste Guiding 280 355 220 240
Full Day Group Off-piste Guiding 120 145 150 130

What happens after I’ve enquired about a guide or instructor?

You will receive a confirmation email. You can put your feet up and start day-dreaming about your holiday, because now Team Ongosa do all the hard work! We search through our extensive network of qualified guides and instructors, to find a few who really match the sort of lesson or guiding you’re after. If we need any more specific information from you in the meantime, we’ll give you a shout.

 


MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT INSTRUCTORS AND GUIDES

What level skier or snowboarder am I?

If you’re deciding between learning to ski or snowboard, this article may help to make your mind up! We’ve put together an easy-to-use guide, to define your level on or off the piste. Remember, groups will always run at the pace of the slowest person and some activities require minimum levels of skill or fitness to ensure safety and reasonable comfort. If you’re still in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask us directly on +44 (0) 20 3290 0643 and, so long as you’re not too modest (or too much of a show off!), we’ll be able to advise on your level.

Should I have private lessons or join a group?

This depends on what you want from your ski holiday and how you like to learn. You can read more about the difference here.

  • We think the benefits of private ski (or snowboard) lessons are being within an intense, focused learning environment; private lessons are often flexible to your requirements in terms of itinerary, duration, meeting points etc. They tend to elicit rapid improvement and are therefore the more expensive option.
  • We think the benefits of group ski (or snowboard) lessons include a learning environment tailored specifically to your level. Learning in a group is more social and often encouraging, especially for beginners.

Is it a guide or an instructor that I need?

In general, you have three options: guiding, instruction, or instructor-led guiding. You can read more about the differences here.

  • Hire a guide if you want to: use your strong-level skiing to explore off-piste safely.
  • Hire an instructor if you want to: improve your skiing or snowboarding, at any level.
  • Go for instructor-led guiding if you want to: orientate yourselves, and make the most of, a resort’s pistes (with the odd tip here and there).

What is included in the price?

Ongosa do not provide any equipment for your ski or snowboard lessons, or guiding. Your instructor or guide may provide some items such as avalanche safety equipment, but there may be a surcharge and it is up to you to check in good time. You will always need to have the correct lift pass, insurance and appropriate clothing, skis/snowboard and boots. (When we say ‘appropriate’ we mean warm and functional as much as trendy, just like mum used to say…) We will always be able to give recommendations of where to buy or hire good equipment. If additional transport is included, or other expenses will occur, you will be informed before your booking.

Why shouldn’t I just book an instructor with my tour operator?

Tour operators often work with the biggest, busiest ski schools in resort; you will be assigned a guide or instructor by whoever’s free on the day. The nature of this arrangement means ski schools often have a higher ratio of newly qualified instructors, so you’re less likely to ski with the lifetime-experienced instructors that Ongosa aims to work with – not that we only work with those ancient sun-leathered locals! We have such a range of instructors and guides that we aim to match you to a professional personally, who will suit your needs and interests on the mountain.

Can’t I just wait, to book a guide or instructor when I get to resort?

You could try! Inevitably, the best instructors and guides get booked up in advance. Leaving your booking until you arrive in resort is risky! If you tell us what you need before your trip, we aim to come back with three great options, within 48 hours. That’s still pretty speedy we think.

My friends are good skiers/snowboarders, could they just teach me?

Again, you could try! However, ski and snowboard instructors have undergone years of training and qualification for a reason; they will inevitably have a much deeper level of understanding of the sport and its mechanics, and more experience in the drills and tactics to improve your skills faster. If it’s budget that worries you, how about morning lessons? Shorter sessions are less expensive and you won’t be missing out as you beat your mates down a black run in the afternoon! Read more of our thoughts (and experiences!) on learning from your friends, in this article.

My friend knows the area, why can’t they just show me around?

While this is a really handy asset on piste, and of course navigating the après bars, it’s a much larger risk when heading off piste. If your knowledge and experience of avalanche safety and equipment isn’t up to scratch – you’re putting your buddies in danger as well as yourself. IFMGA guides (all the guide Ongosa works with have the highest guiding qualification) are trained in taking out clients who are inexperienced off piste. On the other hand, if you do have plenty of off-piste experience, a guide who knows the area and current conditions inside-out will always turn your trip into an epic adventure!

Which days of my holiday are best for lessons or guiding?

Clients often ask us which days of their trip should they hire an instructor or guide.

  • We recommend a couple of lessons at the beginning of the week – to find your feet. (Ideally day 2 when you’ve found your ski-legs!) Maybe even a session at the end of the week to track your progress. A top tip is to book lessons when the weather isn’t perfect – you’ll get much more out of the day than if you were skiing or boarding on your own.
  • Guiding depends heavily on the weather conditions so, weather permitting, our advice is to book mid-week to allow you a few days to get ‘ski-fit’.

However, every week is different, as is everybody’s holiday. So get in touch and we can chat about what you need.

Can Ongosa help with kids’ lessons?

Yes! We encourage you to book your kids into ski lessons. Some of Team Ongosa’s fondest (and foulest!) memories on skis come from our childhoods, and you’re never too young to fall in love with snow (or you tanned, blonde instructor). Avoid tantrums by ensuring your kids are booked into lessons of exactly the right level, and appropriate instructor, for them. We’re happy to talk you through our options for kids and families, email your requirements to talktous@ongosa.com or call +44 (0) 20 3290 0643.

Hopefully your question was answered – if not, just send it straight over to talktous@ongosa.com or call +44 (0) 20 3290 0643 to pick our brains!


YOU’VE ALREADY BOOKED A SKI OR SNOWBOARD INSTRUCTOR OR GUIDE, WITH ONGOSA

How do I know if my booking is confirmed and paid for?

Immediately after a successful booking is processed, you will receive a confirmation email, including a reference number and details of your confirmed payment and guiding or instruction. If you’re concerned about your booking or payment, please get in touch with Team Ongosa as soon as possible via talktous@ongosa.com or on +44 (0) 20 3290 0643 where we’ll put your mind at ease!

What happens if I need to cancel a lesson or guiding session?  

A big shame! But if you do need to cancel, write to us at talktous@ongosa.com outlining the reason for your cancellation and the details of your booking. Please note, refunds on cancellations are subject to the specific cancellation policy of your booking. You can view our cancellation policies here.

How do I get in touch with my instructor or guide?

Contact details of your booked professional should be in your confirmation email. If this isn’t the case (then oops!) we’re happy to put you back in touch, just drop us an email talktous@ongosa.com with details of your booking and we’ll pass on a phone number and email address for your instructor/guide.

I’ve forgotten my password (or am having trouble logging in)…

No problem – just email us at talktous@ongosa.com from the same address you signed up with.

What do I need to do before my lesson or guiding?
Make sure you are familiar with your agreed meeting point, and that you have their phone number (and the phone you have on you is the number you’ve given to them)! Ensure you have the relevant lift pass to cover the area your lesson or guiding will take you through. Sounds silly but trust us..! You will need to confirm with your guide or instructor, if you need to hire additional equipment like avalanche kit, split boards, skins etc. or if they can provide it.

What do I need to bring?

You will need to provide your own lift pass and suitable clothing, boots, skis or snowboard. Bring spare layers, water, snacks, selfie-sticks etc. or ask your instructor/guide what they advise (they probably won’t advise selfie-sticks). Any additional equipment required is up to you to organise.

What happens if my instructor or guide doesn’t show up?

In the unlikely event that a booked professional doesn’t turn up to your session, we recommend you make all attempts to contact them. Don’t be afraid to ask around – other instructors and guides who work in the resort may know the whereabouts of yours! Ensure you are located in the agreed place and have the phone, of the number you provided, on you. After 30 minutes, if you are still unable to locate your instructor or guide, you should contact Team Ongosa on +44 (0) 20 3290 0643. (If you do not follow the above process it will make it difficult to prove a ‘No Show’ scenario and subsequently make a refund claim.)

What do I do if I’m not happy with the service I’m receiving?

The professionals that Ongosa work with have been chosen for their reputations, commitment to customer service, experience, qualifications and local knowledge. In the very unlikely event that you are not happy with the service you are receiving, we recommend that you voice your concerns directly to your guide or instructor as soon as possible, to see if there is a mutually agreeable solution. If no solution is met, then please write to us at talktous@ongosa.com outlining the nature of your complaint. (Only material breaches in the agreement will be investigated.) We’ll do our best to patch things up.

Hopefully your question was answered – if not, just send it straight over to talktous@ongosa.com or call +44 (0) 20 3290 0643 to pick our brains!


ARE YOU A SKI OR SNOWBOARD INSTRUCTOR OR GUIDE?

What kind of instructors and guides does Ongosa work with?

Ongosa seeks to work with dedicated, qualified adventure sports professionals, who have fantastic reputations. We find clients for the most enthusiastic, responsive instructors and guides, in resorts across France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria or Germany.

What does Ongosa do for me?

We help guides and instructors market their services, find new clients, then safely and securely receive bookings from them. We provide a free marketing and promotion platform.

What does Ongosa cost me?
It is currently free to be listed on Ongosa! We only take a pre-agreed commission on successful bookings.

How do I become a recommended professional, or ski school, listed on Ongosa.com?

If you’re a winter sports instructor or guide, or you represent a ski school, working in France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria or Germany – we’d love to have you on board. Get in touch via talktous@ongosa.com and tell us where you work, what you specialise in and your qualifications, or send us a link to your website. If you have online reviews you can also share with us, we’d love to read them whilst reviewing your application.

Hopefully your question was answered – if not, just send it straight over to talktous@ongosa.com or call +44 (0) 20 3290 0643 to pick our brains!

 


YOU ALREADY HAVE A LESSON OR GUIDING SESSION BOOKED THROUGH ONGOSA

How do I get in contact with the client before the lesson or guiding?

We encourage you to use the Ongosa Messaging System to organise your lesson or guiding. (This ensures that if there is a dispute over the booking we can mediate. If you talk to your client outside of the website, we may not be able to substantiate your claim.) To do this, you need to apply to be a professional and create a profile.

What happens if there is a dispute with a client?

Try to reach a mutually agreeable solution with the client. However, please get in touch via talktous@ongosa.com as soon as possible and let us know, in detail, what’s happened.

What if I need to cancel a lesson or guiding?

If your need to cancel a booked lesson or guiding, and cannot provide an alternative session for the client, write to us at talktous@ongosa.com outlining the reason for your cancellation and the details of the booking. Please note, client refunds on cancellations are subject to the specific cancellation policies which you can view here.

How will I be paid?

You will be paid in your preferred currency, into your preferred bank account (that you specified on the Quote Submission form). Easy! Total payments will be processed on the second and last Friday of every month. You can see our terms and conditions for more information, but don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Hopefully your question was answered – if not, just send it straight over to talktous@ongosa.com or call +44 (0) 20 3290 0643 to pick our brains!

Finding a ski instructor you get on with can transform your holiday

snowboarder sitting

Let us know if you’re a nervous snowboarder and we’ll find the right instructor

ski tent snow

We want to help make the most of any kind of ski holiday or adventure!

Climbing mountain in snow

Hire a ski guide and you can reach new levels in the backcountry

Extreme snowboarding man

We can’t guarantee blue skies, but we’ll take the hassle out of booking an instructor

Top of Weissmies Mountain in snow

We represent ski and snowboard instructors and guides throughout the most popular (and the less well-know) ski resorts in Europe

Talk to us about skiing in a group, or choosing private instruction

Ski touring up a mountain

A local guide will put together itineraries that venture to spots you’d never have found yourself

looking into the off piste distance

Explore resorts like Avoriaz, Morzine and the rest of Portes du Soleil with an Ongosa guide

Try things you’ve never been brave enough to do, with a perfectly matched mountaineering instructor

Off Piste Backcountry 2

Some of our instructors and guides are ex-freeride champions, on skis and snowboards – learn from the best!

Culture factor

Ongosa do all the searching for you, and propose only the best-matched instructors or guides