A SNO bed bug guarantee for Brits skiing in France

As Paris authorities battle an unprecedented bed-bug outbreak which threatens to engulf the nation, British holiday operator SNO is issuing a “SNO bed bugs guarantee” to customers booking their annual ski holiday.

“We’re monitoring the situation closely,” says CEO of ski operator SNO Richard Sinclair, as concerns of the outbreak spreading beyond Paris emerged.

The Alps are more than 400 miles from France’s capital, and would take the five millimetre critters 367 days to crawl there, at a top speed of just four feet per minute.  But UK skiers have voiced concerns that the wily French mutation may have evolved ‘unnatural’ advantages, which could see them reach ski resorts before the season ends next spring.

“Skiers have noted that French bed bugs will be using the metric system, and so may not know their top speed is four feet per minute”, says Sinclair, “but the biggest concern is their alleged ability to utilise public transport”.

With video emerging of the blood-sucking Cimex Lectularius riding French trains, travellers have raised concerns that the Ski Train’s famously fast journey to the Alps could enable the most enterprising insects to reach mountain resorts ahead of UK skiers in December.

But the London based travel firm is confident the Paris epidemic will not affect British holiday makers this winter, issuing a guarantee to customers. “Our Eurostar operator SNCF has stepped up their cleaning regime across the train network, with no confirmed cases outside of the Paris metro to date”, says Sinclair. “The ski train route has one change of trains in Lille, providing a barrier to transmission, and diverting any snow-bound critters to other parts of northern Europe”, explains the former producer of BBC’s travel show Holiday.

Caught up in the story, both Paris City Hall and Emanuel Macron’s government have called for action ahead of the 2024 Olympics, due to be held in the capital.  But experts note there is a regular annual cycle of increase bed bug activity after the summer holidays. This year’s stories have been amplified more than usual due to the approaching Games and increased scare stories being shared feverishly across the internet.

The perceived scale of this ‘outbreak’ may be more due to internet-shareability and timing of the Olympics, than any real reason for concern. “No report of a traveller being bitten on a train has yet been verified”, Sinclair confirms.

SNO (020 7770 6888, www.sno.co.uk)