Current Practice Flying with skis

Crank

Out on the slopes
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Last time I was in Taos my boots were misplaced for the entire week. They were returned on our last day. The Snakedance arranged for decent gear from a shop just across the way. They actually felt ok.

I always fly with my boots in a standard sized roll on bag. That way I know they'll fit in the overhead and I can roll them rather than carry them everywhere. If I'm staying slope-side I don't bother with a boot bag. If not I pack my boot bag in my checked bag.
 

Seldomski

Paralysis by analysis
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'mericuh
Baggage fees and even what the maximum acceptable size is for a carry-on bag gets confusing when partner airlines are added to the mix. If a partner airline is handling a leg of the journey, you will have to pay to make the weakest link in the chain happy.
 

geepers

Making fresh tracks
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Been flying Australia to Canada last 5 years, nearly always with AC (and typically WestJet for the VAN-KWL leg).

Ski bag included for no extra charge as one of check-in items. Have carried up to 3 pairs of skis in one bag. Take off the removable part of the binding - both parts for a track mounted ski and the back part for direct mounts - and wrap them in cardboard for protection.

So far no issues with lost or damage. :crossfingers:
 

Henry

Getting off the lift
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Every airline, seemingly every year, does things differently. A couple of years ago Air Canada would accept skis only inside a hard case. Often airlines list sporting equipment that includes skis as a non-oversize item, but you gott'a check. They may say that one ski bag and one boot bag, only containing skis, poles, boots, & helmet, count as one standard item of baggage if under something like 50#. Then, they accept all the protective padding...parka, pants, etc... after claiming that they don't. And some airlines such as Lufthansa are punitive in their ski baggage pricing. You gott'a check each airline you'll fly each year.

I have a couple of boot bags where the boots nest flat, and they fit the carry-on luggage size limit. Then, there's Lufthansa again, with the gate agent walking through the waiting area with a hand scale looking for carry-ons that exceed the 17# weight limit.

One trip I slid the bindings off their rails and put those into the carry-on, 'cuz the other bags were close to the weight limits. Those carry-ons got a good look-at in the security line. I guess the security agents never saw bindings before, but they didn't look explosive, so all was OK.
 

Henry

Getting off the lift
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And...if a leg of your trip is on a smaller plane, even a Bombardier or Embraer small jet, be very cautious of limits of volume or weight for baggage. Sometimes not all the baggage will fit into the plane, or it may total too much weight, and you won't know it until you land. In that case expect some bags to fly later that day or the next day. Hand carry those boots!
 

David Chaus

<insert clever custom title>
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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.
Also, be aware of weight. I’ve got a double ski bag, and when I checked my ski bag and boot bag together it weighed more than 50lbs. I wasn’t charged for a second checked bag in Seattle with Alaska but in Hayden (Steamboat) the Alaska ticketing agent charge me. Yes, I checked my boot bag. It was non-stop flight on a regional jet so I was less concerned about baggage getting lost.

That said, for the Aspen Gathering I will have to catch a connecting flight from SEA to ASE, so I’m wondering how people handle a Kulkea heated boot bag. I was wondering about checking the Kulkea bag with my double ski bag, only keeping my ski boots in my carry-on bag. That should save on overweight charges as well as keeping my boots with me.

The other option is to carry on the Kulkea bag with boots, only to leave the middle compartment empty to compress the bag (otherwise it wouldn’t fit current carry-on dimensions, especially for smaller regional planes). If I do that, I’d need to check in my double ski bag along with another piece of luggage.
 

mdf

entering the Big Couloir
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David, I always "carry" on my boots.
Even on smaller regional jets where essentially nothing fits in the overhead. I feel better gate checking them than thru-checking them -- I can see the bag waiting on the cart.

That said, I'm not sure how rational all this is. The few times my stuff has been delayed beyond that same evening, I was in a condo with no front desk, so had to hang around to receive them and couldn't go skiing with my cleverly hand-carried boots and starter-day-worth of clothes. Fortunately I've never had a multi-day delay getting my bags and never permanently lost anything.

I'm still carrying them.

I quit traveling with powder skis because I hate dragging two pairs of skis through airports. And I figure if there is an overweight problem, someone else's giant 49.5 pound bag is more likely to be left behind than my trim 28 pound ski bag. (I do still overpack, filling my suitcase right up to the limit, though....)
 

East Coast Scott

Putting on skis
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David, I always "carry" on my boots.
Even on smaller regional jets where essentially nothing fits in the overhead. I feel better gate checking them than thru-checking them -- I can see the bag waiting on the cart.

That said, I'm not sure how rational all this is. The few times my stuff has been delayed beyond that same evening, I was in a condo with no front desk, so had to hang around to receive them and couldn't go skiing with my cleverly hand-carried boots and starter-day-worth of clothes. Fortunately I've never had a multi-day delay getting my bags and never permanently lost anything.

I'm still carrying them.

I quit traveling with powder skis because I hate dragging two pairs of skis through airports. And I figure if there is an overweight problem, someone else's giant 49.5 pound bag is more likely to be left behind than my trim 28 pound ski bag. (I do still overpack, filling my suitcase right up to the limit, though....)
I want to buy powder skis just for that one trip out West and 10% chance of tons of POW :) Maybe now I won't. Just curious when you travel what size waist skis do you bring?
 

David Chaus

<insert clever custom title>
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Last March I brought my Renoun Z90's and ON3P Billy Goats (116) to Steamboat and Winter Park. Luckily there were three powder days, so I actually used the Billy Goats half the time.

For Aspen I'm thinking my new Blossom AM 77's and my ON3P Woodsman 102.
 

mdf

entering the Big Couloir
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I want to buy powder skis just for that one trip out West and 10% chance of tons of POW :) Maybe now I won't. Just curious when you travel what size waist skis do you bring?
85 mm. But they are longer than most people my height would use.
I enjoy them in powder.... but they would probably be tough to learn powder on.
 

eric100

Booting up
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I have had good success putting my ski boots inside my small roll aboard carry on suitcase that meets the airlines specs for carry on bags. They fit in there is a similar way to the way the boots come in the manufactures box. It leaves enough room to add in ski socks, gloves, ski pants, thermals etc. Helmet goes on the outside of the small backpack I carry on. This way even if my suitcase does not arrive, I wont miss the first day skiing.
 
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