24/03/2011 12:52 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Family Takes £1,000 Taxi To The Alps To Beat Heathrow Chaos

£1000 taxi, skiing holiday A family of seven whose ski holiday was nearly ruined by flight cancellations at Heathrow this week paid £1,000 for a taxi all the way to the Alps.

Peter Lelliott, his partner Rebecca Butler and their five children had been told by British Airways that their flight from Heathrow had been cancelled because of the snow.

Determined to get away, Mr Lelliott phoned Stuart's Airport Transfers in Southampton and asked if they had a driver willing to take them to Val d'Isère for £1,000.

Taxi driver Bob Ransley scooped his biggest ever fare of £1,000 after driving the family of seven 800 miles from their home in Hampshire to the French Alps for a skiing holiday.

The drive, with snow blizzards on slippery mountain roads with tight hair-pin corners, took 15 hours.

Miss Butler, 47, a barrister, said: "We hit a blizzard outside Reims and for a while it didn't look like we'd make it."

Despite the gruelling journey, they arrived at the ski resort only six hours later than they would have done if they had taken their BA flight.

They hope to return to Britain on Boxing Day using a more conventional method. Mr Lelliott, a software consultant, and Miss Butler had paid £7,000 for their one-week holiday, but had booked their flights separately.
Val d'Isere, Alps, family took £1000 taxi
Mr Lelliott, also 47, added: "There were no flights and no space on the Eurostar. I tried to rent a people carrier but the only one I could find was not big enough.

"I offered the taxi driver the same money as the hire car would have cost and he was happy to drive us in his VW Transporter minibus."

Mr Ransley, 51, spent one night in a spare bed at the chalet before returning to Southampton.

He said yesterday: "I've never been to France before so it was a bit strange driving on the other side of the road. The French seem lovely people but I'm not so sure about their driving."

What do you think? Bonkers or to be applauded?