Booking a Bansko lift pass is a subject interesting to a large audience. The process is not that difficult, but a lot of details should be taken into consideration before paying for a ski pass. The Bansko lift passes are valid for all ski facilities in the resort. By default they include mountain insurance which, in case of injury, covers the transportation from the ski slopes down to a medical center in Bansko, and a doctors check there (not valid for free-riders, skiing outside the ski runs!). Any costs for further treatment are to be paid by the customer or his insurance company. It would be a good idea to make a winter sports insurance with proper coverage before traveling.
There are two ways to buy a lift pass:
> in advance through a legitimate travel agent
> on spot in Bansko at the lower Gondola lift station
Advance booking of Bansko lift pass
This is always cheaper, compared to the on-spot rates. It also saves time, as you can normally collect the ski pass before the first skiing day. The major tour operators are allowed to sell online ski packages, which also include a lift pass. Such deals are priced considerably lower compared to the official resort rates and all in all this is the best way to get a lift pass, along with equipment and group ski school tuition.
Beware of purchasing Bansko lift passes through businesses, that are not allowed by law to offer them: blog sites, hotel sites, information platforms etc. Using the services of such illegal entities is very risky.
REAL CASE: Scandinavian tour operator, only allowed to sell lift passes to Scandinavians, sells lift passes to the clients of a blog site. The latter of course has customers from the UK, Russia, Macedonia, Romania etc. Because of the contract restrictions, the Scandinavian tour operator issues lift passes with Scandinavian names on them to all these customers of the blog site, irrespective of their real (but not Scandinavian) origin. As a result, because of the different names on the lift passes and their respective holders, many of these passes got confiscated during the checks by the ski patrols on the slopes. The otherwise included in these passes free rescue service in case of an accident was also not honored because of the name discrepancy, and a few skiers ended up paying a lot for this service.
To avoid hassle make sure you book your lift passes through licensed tour operators only and not from bloggers or other online sources, operating without a legal background.
Booking Bansko lift passes on the spot
Bansko ski passes you can buy from the ticket offices at the lower Gondola lift station. In busy periods this may take some time and by the time you wait there, the queue for the lift may have grown considerably. It would be best if you can buy the passes the previous evening instead in order to save time on the next morning. Good thing is that this is the only way to get half-day passes (valid from 12:30).
VIP ski passes
These allow access to the fast lane at the lower Gondola lift station and their price is higher compared to the on-spot rates (and ways higher compared to pre-booked online passes through a travel agent). The only way to get such pass is to be a guest of Kempinski Grand Arena Hotel, Premier and a few more high category establishments! If you are not their guest, you cannot simply go and purchase a VIP pass. There is no other way, nor an online source, that could provide this extra. So don’t believe people who are telling you otherwise. The fast lane of the Gondola is sometimes used also by people, booked on the Ulen ski school, with normal ski passes. This service cannot be guaranteed though, as it is all down to the lift operators who take care of the queue. Access to the fast lane is also granted to clients, who have booked a season lift pass.
> Ski cards are personal and cannot be given to another customer.
> In case of fraud the card will be revoked.
> During first sweeping of the card on a reader the system creates profile of the customer, including a high resolution photo. For purposes of control, this photo will be compared at the displays during every next passing at e reader in the ski center.
> Ski cards and tickets shouldn’t be carried next to a mobile device.
> The price of the ski card (or the package, incl. lift pass) won’t be reimbursed in case of not working ski lifts and drags due to:
– bad weather conditions;
– lack of electrical power;
– other force majeur circumstances;
> 5 Bulgarian levs are taken as a deposit for each pass. At the end of the skiing period you can return the card on the vending machines at the lower Gondola lift station and take the deposit back.
Traventuria Ltd. (www.SkiBansko.bg) is one of the leading providers of lift passes, ski and snowboard equipment hire, ski and snowboard school tuition and airport transfers for Bansko area. Traventuria Ltd. is fully bonded tour operator and holds tour operators license No PK-01-6434. With several thousands of satisfied customers each season we are rated #1 as “Things to do in Bansko” on TripAdvisor. Book ski deals online HERE.