9 tips for flying with skis and snowboards
So, you are getting ready for your winter vacation or holiday, looking forward to a few glorious days tearing down a mountain or just a beginner enjoying the smaller slopes. What do you need to do to get your ski equipment on the flight?
First off, you will need to find an airline regulation bag or if you are even allowed to take your skis along for the ride. Whether you are flying with just one airline carrier or several, check with them to find out what their regulations and requirements are ahead of time.
1. Getting The Right Bag:
Once you get the green light from your carrier, ensure you are getting the authorized size for your skis or snowboard. Most travelers prefer bags with wheels but you can opt for the cheaper, no wheels design. Even though they are cheaper, ask yourself if you really want to go through the effort of toting them around an airport! Spending a little more for a wheeled bag with extra padding will keep your equipment safe and a great deal easier to move about the airport. When shopping for the right bag, look for a model that is lighter in weight as the airlines charge by the pound!
2. The Lighter The Better:
Ski equipment falls under the same rules, regulations, and weight restrictions as other baggage. Most airlines have an extra fee for luggage that weighs over 50 lbs. Make sure you know ahead of time.
3. Pack your ski gear the right way:
Although the skis will have to be stowed in the baggage compartment of the plane, you can take the bindings on board with you. Removing the bindings will make your ski bag a good deal lighter and less expensive. If you have a boot bag as well, the airlines usually will count the ski and boot bags as one. If you have clothing stuffed in the boot bag, that's a different story. The boot bag will be charged as a separate item which will cost more. Save yourself a headache and bring your boots on board along with the bindings. When placing your skis in the bag, you should wrap the tips of your skis with something that will pad the tips so they do not tear into the bag. Use a wrapping or packing foam that is sturdy and then hold it in place with rubber bands.
4. Identify Your Bag:
It's a good idea to place a business card inside the bag with your skis that includes your name, number, and email address. Business cards make great tags but if you don't have one, take a simple index card and cut the size of a tag and make sure you have all your contact information listed on it.
5. Take Pictures:
This is important in case your bag is lost so you can help the airlines identify it or if during a flight the bag is damaged, you will be insured.
6. Get To The Airport Early:
Airlines advise everyone arrive at their departing airport a good amount of time ahead of your flight. That said, you should add even more time, approximately 15 minutes, if you are checking ski equipment.
7. Renting Your Equipment:
Many ski resorts or ski schools provide equipment including skis, poles, snowboards, boots, helmets, etc. Check with the place where you will staying and see what they suggest you do to line up your equipment ahead of time. There are several online places where you can order the equipment and they will ship it to the hotel, resort, or school where you will be staying.
Black Tie Ski Rental Delivery deliver gear to your hotel and a personal concierge custom fits the equipment at 39 different resorts around the western United States. You can also rent the exact skis you will need for a specific slope or if a slope changes. GetOutfitted also delivers skis and snowboards to the hotel or resort you are staying with and shipping is free. They will provide a prepaid package so you can get the equipment returned to the front desk of your hotel. Renting your outwear as well makes it possible for you to travel lighter. If dragging your winter coat and other threads are just not for you, there are various places that will rent you outerwear including heavy ski jackets. If you live in a warm climate like Hawaii, why would you want to carry around heavy snow gear? Chances are, you'd be better off renting these items at Mountain Threads vs buying and stashing them at home!
8. Ship Your Gear:
If you want your own gear, hire someone to ship it for you. There are several companies including Ship Skis, Luggage Forward, and Luggage Free that let travelers pack their own gear and they will send them off! In many cases, your gear will probably get to your final destination before you do. You do not have to play around with airline carousels, just head off to your mountain resort!
9. Renting A Car with a ski rack:
Getting your skis from the airport to your destination can be a real headache. If you can't get a car that has good storage or a ski rack, you will probably have to rent a vehicle. If you are staying at a ski resort, they very well might have vehicles that accommodate skis! Check ahead of time and see if they have room for skis and/or snowboards. Some car rentals provide vehicles with ski racks or ski boxes, which are a little bit more expensive but offer more protection and obviously more convenient.
Various Airlines & How To Carry Your Ski Equipment On Flights:
Your ski equipment is considered one piece of luggage toward you allowance. One boot bag is allowed for each passenger and is not considered a checked bag if it's carried with skis or snowboard and the bag only includes your boots. Also, there are no extra charges for checking skis or your snowboard when traveling from Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa between Nov. 1st and April 30th. Baggage fees may apply when traveling between Canada and the United States. Check ahead of time for other destinations that a fee might apply. More sets of skis that are carried together will be considered one checked baggage. One stipulation, the poles, and skis must be in a hard shell case that is designed for shipping. If carried separately, they count as one piece as well. There are no overweight charges for skis.
Ski equipment is a standard checked baggage and does not have an extra charge in baggage allowance. This also applies if you only want one bag checked or if you have two bags that are allowed for Business and La Première cabins. Unfortunately, this does not apply if you are traveling on what they call a light or basic fare ticket. Charges for checking extra baggage can vary from destination to destination but will still be 20% less if purchased online.
Your ski equipment is considered one piece of luggage for free checked baggage allowance. However, if you have a basic fare and one hand baggage or a checked bag allowance that includes one bag only, you will have to pay extra for your ski equipment. An item weighing over 23 kilograms could also be an extra fee. You may check your skis or snowboard up to 190 centimeters or 75 inches in length when packed in a ski or snowboard bag. Your poles are packed with the skis and your boots are packed separately from the skis or snowboard will also be allowed.
Fees are applied if your combined weight goes over 50 lbs. If linear inches exceed 80 inches or 203 centimeters you will be charged for excess size. Ski equipment is considered one piece of luggage toward your allowance which also includes a bag with one set of skis, a set of poles, and one pair of boots.
Your equipment will count as one bag toward your allowance. If your baggage weighs over 50 lbs or 115 linear inches, there will be a charge. One bag includes a pair of skis with poles, or one snowboard plus one set of boots and one helmet bag. That said, if your boots or helmet are in a bag that also contains clothing and other items, there will be standard fees. Skis or a snowboard can be more than 62 linear inches but no more than 115 without having an oversized fee. 566
Ski equipment is acceptable as one checked bag. If the equipment is over 50 lbs, excess weight charges will apply. One baggage of ski equipment may include a pair of skis, a set of poles, and one pair of boots. The same applies to a snowboard bag including one pair of boots. These items can be in two allowed containers if they are packaged and tagged separately.
There are no extra charges for ski or snowboard equipment but one item is counted as one checked bag. Skis and snowboards do not fall under their standard size of 62 inches. That said, the weight must follow the required guidelines. Skis and snowboards are not allowed on flights to and from the Dominican Republic. One checked bag of ski equipment may include a pair of skis, a set of poles, and a pair of boots. A snowboard may include one pair of snowboard boots. Ski or snowboard boots, if packed separately, must be in a ski boot bag to be included in one checked baggage.
Ski equipment is charged as a standard checked bag. It the equipment weights more than 40 lbs or 18.1 kilograms, it is overweight and you will be charged for the excess weight. You must have a limited liability release form that is signed when traveling with skis or snowboards. One checked bag may include skis (or snowboard), one set of poles, and one pair of boots.
Ski equipment counts as one checked bag. If the ski bag and boot bag is more than 50 lbs, an overweight charge will be applied. A boot bag not accompanied by a ski bag is considered one bag and additional fees will apply. Ski and boot bags that have other items, in addition to the appropriate ski equipment, are subject to overweight checked baggage service charges. You may check one ski or snowboard bag. Ski equipment may include up to two pairs of skis or 2 snowboards and other associated equipment in one bag.
Ski equipment counts as one checked bag as long as the skis, poles, and boots or snowboard and boots, are in a single container or travel bag. Checked bags may not go over 62 inches which are calculated by adding the length, width, and height. An excess size bag cannot go over 80 linear inches or weigh more than 45 kilograms or 100 lbs.
+1 Use Your Sky Miles:
If you ski a lot and fly with the same airline, rack up sky miles each time you take off to your mountain resort. Over the year, you will accumulate frequent flier miles that could possibly give you a free flight or at least passage for your skis. Ready to hit the slopes? Choose your destination and let us help you find cheap flights.