We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Should I 'Risk' Alpybus

London, United...
Level Contributor
235 posts
89 reviews
Save Topic
Should I 'Risk' Alpybus

Hi, I will be going to Chamonix for a short ski trip late Feb / early March. I know that there has been a lot of bad reviews on Alpybus in many forums. However, they are the cheapest - the quote I had is that it's Euro17 cheaper per person, which is quite significant I think.

One thing that makes me do want to risk it is that many of the posts seems to be from posters with less than 5 posts (many are newbies with 1 posts). I would really value Tripadvisor regular posters or destination expert that can comment on whether going with Alpybus is a good idea? I'm just thinking that if they can have such a HUGE operation and offer cheaper prices they can't be that bad? Otherwise they would have been out of business by now?

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

PD

Mentioned in this post
Chamonix
Chamonix
Haute-Savoie, France
AlpyBus
AlpyBus
356 Reviews
Geneva, Switzerland
Grand Hotel des Alpes
Grand Hotel des Alpes
#1 of 73 hotels in Chamonix
Auberge du Manoir
Auberge du Manoir
#4 of 73 hotels in Chamonix
Hotel Le Faucigny
Hotel Le Faucigny
#9 of 73 hotels in Chamonix
Val-de-Marne, France
Level Contributor
9,524 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Should I 'Risk' Alpybus

I don't know Alpybus so I can't comment on whether they are good or bad but I know Altibus which is a regular bus line that is recommended by tourist offices. The Geneva airport - Chamonix one way trip is 30 € and return trip is 50 € (half price for children). I have used them several times but on a different route. I don't know if their schedule will work for you but you can check here:

http://www.altibus.com/

Edited: 20 January 2014, 02:08
Mentioned in this post
AlpyBus
AlpyBus
356 Reviews
Geneva, Switzerland
Geneva Airport
Geneva Airport
Le Grand Saconnex, Switzerland
Chamonix
Chamonix
Haute-Savoie, France
Biarritz, France
Destination Expert
for Biarritz, San Sebastian - Donostia, Basque Country
Level Contributor
5,407 posts
483 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Should I 'Risk' Alpybus

Unfortunately the Altibus has been outpriced by the various transfer companies in the valley for shared transfer services. Nearly all charge less than €30 for a one-way transfer and the biggest difference is that the service is door-to-door.

Alpybus has a seemingly large share of bad reviews but this is simply because they transport the most people.

Unfortunately one transfer operator in the Chamonix valley is known for creating false Trip Advisor accounts and then writing bad reviews of other transfer companies.

Mentioned in this post
AlpyBus
AlpyBus
356 Reviews
Geneva, Switzerland
Chamonix
Chamonix
Haute-Savoie, France
London, United...
Level Contributor
235 posts
89 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Should I 'Risk' Alpybus

Thanks both. Yes, I've narrowed mine down to 2 providers, AlpyBus & Mountain Dropoffs (Chamexpress didn't have availability). For 2 people AlpyBus is €134 vs MD €170.

I am aware of the weakness in TA which is why I always read posts from posters with less than 5 posts with a pinch of salt and ignore new posters.

What I am looking for is a personal opinion from regular posters and destination expert, (such as you Biarritz). Do you feel there is something inherently and structurally wrong with AlpyBus? I find the price difference hard to ignore, but if there is a higher probability of things going wrong with AlpyBus, I'll gladly pay the extra €36 to go with MD.

Thoughts always welcomed.

PD.

Mentioned in this post
AlpyBus
AlpyBus
356 Reviews
Geneva, Switzerland
Chamexpress
Chamexpress
198 Reviews
Chamonix, France
Biarritz
Biarritz
Basque Country, France
reading
Destination Expert
for Chamonix
Level Contributor
2,333 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Should I 'Risk' Alpybus

I agree, totally, with Biarritz there is a lot of competition for transfers to and from Chamonix.

I have never used Alpybus only Chamexpress but my and my wife's experience is that all issues we have encountered were caused by passengers who are , putting it extremely mildly, inconsiderate in the extreme. Either that or you could not trust them to tie their own shoe laces , even if they were Velcro !!

A friend uses Mountain Dropoffs , exclusively, and has never been let dow.

The main difference between the operators seems to be some run scheduled services (Ie. Chamexpress) and others fill scheduled buses but may not really fit into your schedule.

Alpybus, a Swiss company, do seem to be slightly different in that they take payment at the airport, I think the only one who does, while the rest take payment upfront. Nothing wrong with either system in my view.

In the end you pay your money and take your choice

Mentioned in this post
Biarritz
Biarritz
Basque Country, France
Chamonix
Chamonix
Haute-Savoie, France
AlpyBus
AlpyBus
356 Reviews
Geneva, Switzerland
Chamexpress
Chamexpress
198 Reviews
Chamonix, France
Marlow, United...
Level Contributor
6 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Should I 'Risk' Alpybus

Hi I just wanted to know if you "risked" Alpybus? if so how was it?

Thanks

Mentioned in this post
AlpyBus
AlpyBus
356 Reviews
Geneva, Switzerland
London, United...
Level Contributor
235 posts
89 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Should I 'Risk' Alpybus

In the end I decided to stick with Mountain Dropoff. They are a bit more expensive but I don't have to wait at the airport until the next scheduled Alpybus, which was nearly 1 hr wait. There seem to be lots of people waiting for Alpybus at the airport when we were there, which indicates that it was probably ok.

Mentioned in this post
AlpyBus
AlpyBus
356 Reviews
Geneva, Switzerland
Marlow, United...
Level Contributor
6 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Should I 'Risk' Alpybus

Thanks for the info

London
Level Contributor
601 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Should I 'Risk' Alpybus

I usually use Mountain Dropoffs and they would be my first choice, but I've used almost all of them over the years. Alpybus are cheaper, but for around 30 euros you are being taken 100km to your door, it is already a very good deal. Personally I think that Alpybus have (reasonably enough) got to cut corners here and there to make it work for even less than that. There's not much slack in the system. If I was really keen to save money I would use them no problem provided that the transfer wasn't time sensitive (e.g. the last one out from the airport, or if it was vital to arrive in Chamonix before a certain time.)

Mentioned in this post
AlpyBus
AlpyBus
356 Reviews
Geneva, Switzerland
Chamonix
Chamonix
Haute-Savoie, France
Montreal
Level Contributor
1,802 posts
148 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Should I 'Risk' Alpybus

For what it's worth, we used Mountain Dropoffs earlier this month, and we had no problem at all. At the airport we didn't have to wait at all since most of the passengers happened to be from our flight. For the return trip they text and email you the pick up time the afternoon before pick-up, and our driver showed up within 5 minutes of that time.

Level Contributor
1 post
13 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Should I 'Risk' Alpybus

I was in Chamonix last week and went with Alpybus from GVA to the Hotel. My experience is the following: you get what you pay for yes they are the cheapest and to be the cheapest they run things to minimize cost. So for example, it was a 13 person van that was full, very little leg room as you had skiis in the middle of the floor and the space between seats is very tight. The drivers were young people very friendly very talkative. Did they respect the trafic rules yes. Did the trip take 1.15 or 1.20 minutes? no not even close. Consider that no trafic from the exist of Chamonix to the airport is that time, plus you have to add the time if there is traffic (friday afternoon/nights are complicated) plus you also have to consider if you are the first one off/on or the last one. I was the last one so add about 1 hour more. I was dropped off in the wrong hotel, I think this was an honest mistake (combination of me not knowing where I was going and the driver not being to cautios), never the less I was stranded in a town which was a 20-30 min walk from where I was actually going.. good think is that I found another Alpybus, explained to the driver what happened and he was very helpful in taking me to the right hotel so I only lost about 15 min but was really angry about the mix up..

Do I recommend them? well if you are willing to spend +2 hours on the bus, uncomfortable and wait while the drop a whole bunch of people of to save you about 5-10 EUR each way.. then yes. I fyou are only going for a couple of days and time is money then now I would not recommend them.

Hope this is useful.

By the way when I asked people in the Hotel all of them mentioned Alpybus reputation as not being 100% reliable and where not surprised I was dropped off at the wrong hotel..

Mentioned in this post
Chamonix
Chamonix
Haute-Savoie, France
AlpyBus
AlpyBus
356 Reviews
Geneva, Switzerland
Get answers to your questions about Chamonix