By Nikki Ekstein
October 01, 2014

Now's the time to plan your ski vacation if you haven't already—but if you're not in the market for season tickets, Liftopia is launching a new approach to lift tickets. Perfect for those who are caught between unpredictable schedules and budget consciousness, the site—already an industry pioneer for aggregated online lift ticket sales—is now offering the mountain equivalent of flexible fares.

Starting today, tickets purchased on liftopia will come in three classes: value, value plus, and flexible (sound familiar?). Value tickets will be the standard, date-specific, non-refundable, non-changeable supply the site has always offered; value plus allow for a one-time date change (ideal for northeastern skiers navigating the region's unreliable conditions). The most premium tickets will allow for unlimited date changes, but are still non-refundable.

Thankfully, the site's popular discount pricing won't be impacted by the changeover, though discounts will still be best (up to 85% off of walk up window rates) for value tickets. At Killington, for example, sample value tickets for president's day weekend are currently priced at $76.99; value plus cost $81.99, and flexible tickets come to $86.99. The most expensive prices represent a small savings over rack rates (5%), but on a holiday weekend that often sees the season's prime conditions, any discount is worth taking. (Less busy weekends and mountains demonstrated more significant savings of up to 33%, even with the flexible ticket option.)

Participating mountains—an estimated 110 resorts will be on board soon—will also have the opportunity to present bundled deals that include equipment rentals or meal vouchers for deeper savings.

Nikki Ekstein is an Assistant Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.