Current Practice Flying with skis

François Pugh

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Planning on flying out to Vancouver island to ski again this winter. Bringing my deep-snow skis (and maybe another pair) this time.
What is the current state of affairs, i.e. the best option?
A quick google search reveals the airlines really aren't interested in being too straight-forward on this, or they really, really, suck at web design (or both). For example Air Canada appears to be free, but only in international flights, except if skis not rented through whatever they have to be dropped off, etc. or it counts as regular baggage item, but exempt from oversize charge, except that on a different web site it is clearly defined as an oversized item that requires additional $105 to $115 fee. I would phone and ask, but cynical me is sure they would just misinform me on the phone and then deny it later, "Says right on on page so and so "All items greater than...."
Shipping skis ahead of time?
Different airlines have different policy?
What?
 

Jilly

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Been 5 years since I went West....dear WestJet charged me for the skis as an extra bag.

Also check AC...at one time "sports gear" had to be in a "hard container". That meant skis and golf clubs had to be in sport tube type containers, or they wouldn't accept any damage claims. But that was some time ago.
 

GregK

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On Westjet and Air Canada on “basic/econo” tickets, it’s around $30-40 for the first checked bag and $50 range for the second checked bag. Econo Flex tickets I think give you the first checked bag free as well as seat choice, so look at the price difference to go to that.

They usually just charge the $50 “oversized bag” for skis and as long as that bag is below 50 lbs you’re good. I have a dual bag with wheels and solid back and but all sorts of clothing, ski tuning gear along with 2 large pairs of skis and I’m under the 50 lbs.

Was shocked at the amount of skis shipped in ski sleeves with no padding whatsoever in the airports and they don’t seem to be damaged. I’ve just used padded bags with ski pants etc used as padding and never had issues.
 

anders_nor

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20 to 40 is usually where its at, and they hate you when you put 2 pairs + boots in a bag, or 3 pairs.

Having status with airline often gets me freebies.
 

graham418

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With both AC and Westjet, you pay for all your bags now. Skis and Boot bag count as 1 item. AC says the skis have to be in a hard shell case, but that is just their weasel clause if something happens. I just pack my skis with all my shirts and underwear for padding. It hasn't been a problem . (so far. touch wood) I take my boots, shell, pants, gloves, helmet etc, (i.e. everything i need for 1 day skiing) in my carry on. When you go to BC, if its a direct flight you are generally ok, but if you transfer in Calgary you have a higher chance of having your stuff left behind, as you usually get on a smaller plane. This is especially true when you are with a group of skiers and there are a s load of skis.
 

dbostedo

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except that on a different web site
Why would you trust a different site over what it says on Air Canada's site?

FWIW, every major airline I've checked skis on, including Air Canada (and American, Delta, United, Southwest, and Alaska as far as I can remember), your ski bag and boot bag together count as one check bag with no oversize charges. You may have to pay to check it, just like with any other checked luggage, but it's treated as a normal checked bag.
 

DanoT

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I take my boots, shell, pants, gloves, helmet etc, (i.e. everything i need for 1 day skiing) in my carry on. When you go to BC, if its a direct flight you are generally ok, but if you transfer in Calgary you have a higher chance of having your stuff left behind
^^^This. When I worked at Elevation Ski & Bike at Sun Peaks we had a Air Canada window on the computer for processing Air Canada Ski Rental Vouchers that they routinely issued to passengers whose skis arrived the next day or so.
 
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François Pugh

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Why would you trust a different site over what it says on Air Canada's site?

FWIW, every major airline I've checked skis on, including Air Canada (and American, Delta, United, Southwest, and Alaska as far as I can remember), your ski bag and boot bag together count as one check bag with no oversize charges. You may have to pay to check it, just like with any other checked luggage, but it's treated as a normal checked bag.
One Air Canada web page says over sized additional cost, without mentioning that skis are exempt.
The other says they are exempt.
 

dbostedo

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One Air Canada web page says over sized additional cost, without mentioning that skis are exempt.
The other says they are exempt.
Ah... my misunderstanding. I thought you meant a different site entirely. I think the sports equipment specific guidance would override anything printed anywhere else.
 
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François Pugh

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With both AC and Westjet, you pay for all your bags now. Skis and Boot bag count as 1 item. AC says the skis have to be in a hard shell case, but that is just their weasel clause if something happens. I just pack my skis with all my shirts and underwear for padding. It hasn't been a problem . (so far. touch wood) I take my boots, shell, pants, gloves, helmet etc, (i.e. everything i need for 1 day skiing) in my carry on. When you go to BC, if its a direct flight you are generally ok, but if you transfer in Calgary you have a higher chance of having your stuff left behind, as you usually get on a smaller plane. This is especially true when you are with a group of skiers and there are a s load of skis.
Boots are carry-on for sure!
 

Pequenita

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When you go to BC, if its a direct flight you are generally ok, but if you transfer in Calgary you have a higher chance of having your stuff left behind, as you usually get on a smaller plane.
My skis didn't even make it to Calgary on time. :(
 

Errand Wolfe

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Check everything, don't be the dweeb holding up takeoff while you struggle with an oversized carryon bag. Or ship ahead of time to destination.
 

dbostedo

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Check everything, don't be the dweeb holding up takeoff while you struggle with an oversized carryon bag. Or ship ahead of time to destination.
The usual advice is not to check your boots (especially if you have a connection) as they are custom, and rentals are a non-starter for some folks. I have followed that several times in the past, and not had a problem getting my boot bag in the overhead on larger planes. On the small regional jets, I've generally just asked to gate check it before, or as I'm, boarding. That works OK. (I have this boot bag, which is relatively compact: https://www.evo.com/boot-bags/dakine-pack-50l )

But lately, I don't follow that advice. I've wanted to bring a different carry-on backpack, and carrying on boots is a bit of a pain, so the boots get checked. I figure the odds that they don't make it are pretty low... and even if they don't, I'm likely to get them by the next day, so won't miss too much. (I skied rental boots for a long time too, so I don't feel like that would be the end of the world.)
 

KingGrump

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But lately, I don't follow that advice. I've wanted to bring a different carry-on backpack, and carrying on boots is a bit of a pain, so the boots get checked. I figure the odds that they don't make it are pretty low... and even if they don't, I'm likely to get them by the next day, so won't miss too much. (I skied rental boots for a long time too, so I don't feel like that would be the end of the world.)

Living dangerously in your old age. :golfclap:

You should talk to @Lady_Salina about her lost ski boot experience on her Taos trip last season.
 

dbostedo

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Living dangerously in your old age. :golfclap:

1633378472706.png


You should talk to @Lady_Salina about her lost ski boot experience on her Taos trip last season.

No, I shouldn't. That might make me paranoid about carrying them on again. :P
 

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Last time I did I flew with skis, it was AA. It was considered oversized and extra. Paid the extra $ and had no issues.
 

Saintsman

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Been 5 years since I went West....dear WestJet charged me for the skis as an extra bag.

Also check AC...at one time "sports gear" had to be in a "hard container". That meant skis and golf clubs had to be in sport tube type containers, or they wouldn't accept any damage claims. But that was some time ago.

AC will take anything, hard or soft container. The hard container bit is just a way of weaseling out of compensation if something does go wrong, but the reality is that over 90% of the skis they carry are in soft (and often unpadded) bags.
 

KingGrump

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No, I shouldn't. That might make me paranoid about carrying them on again. :P

She arrived at Taos sans boots & skis. Told her to see Alain on the walk down.
She lucked out. Alain had a pair of custom ordered Lange race boot in her size that was returned. He had hopes she would take a liking to them.
She also demo the Stöckli SC & AX prior to the delivery of her ski and boots. Things worked out well.
 

dbostedo

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She arrived at Taos sans boots & skis. Told her to see Alain on the walk down.
She lucked out. Alain had a pair of custom ordered Lange race boot in her size that was returned. He had hopes she would take a liking to them.
She also demo the Stöckli SC & AX prior to the delivery of her ski and boots. Things worked out well.
Oh! Not what I expected... but sort of what I was thinking if my stuff didn't make it on a trip. Opportunity to demo! Skis AND boots.
 

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