With only a few months left before the ski season ends, I see many people packing for a ski vacation somewhere. At the airport, many passengers check in with one or two ski or snowboard cases. But how do you travel with skis on a plane?
Just the other day I met this young man buying ski goggles. I got curious and asked him if he was off on a skiing adventure. He mentioned that he’s Colorado-bound to ski in Vail. He said he damaged his snowboard on a previous flight. This time, he said he would pack it in a hard-case ski bag with his clothes wrapped around the ski board to shield it from external forces. His clothes served as extra padding to protect his ski board.
I should have asked him if he needed help getting the ski bag as checked baggage or if there were any specific airline rules when traveling with skis on a plane. So, let’s talk more about that here.
TSA Rules On Flying With Ski Poles And Snowboards
The TSA has clear-cut rules on sports equipment like snowboards and ski poles. According to the TSA, you can fly with your snowboards in checked and carry-on bags, but with specific instructions to check with the airline for any size or weight restrictions. Likewise, you can bring ski poles in checked bags, not carry-on bags.
So, how do you travel with skis on a plane and remain compliant with the airline rules? You know you can fly with your ski poles and snowboards, but where do you put them? Are there ski or snowboard bag size limits?
You can get all the correct information by calling the airlines or checking their website. The information you gather will likely lead you to know what type of case or bag the airlines will allow as checked baggage containing your ski equipment.
What Ski And Snowboard Bag To Take
Choose a good case or bag for your ski poles or snowboards to take on a plane. What are your choices?
Wheeled Hard-Case Ski Bag
Anyone who asks, “how do you travel with skis on a plane?” will probably look for a ski bag that will provide maximum protection to the ski equipment. Skis are expensive equipment with parts that can easily break or get damaged. So, a fully padded ski bag will protect your ski poles or snowboards from the risk of damage due to rough handling or strong impact.
How do you travel with skis on a plane and not feel uncomfortable carrying them around? A wheeled hard-case ski bag is what you need. However, with the ski pole or snowboard inside the case and other gear such as helmets, goggles, boots, and clothes, it will be heavy and difficult to carry by hand. So, a ski bag with wheels will ensure you can transport your skis across airport terminals and other snow-covered surfaces.
Double Travel Bags With Wheels
How do you travel with skis on a plane if you want to bring two pairs of skis or snowboards? Some airlines allow you to take up to two snowboards and skis in one bag. In this case, a double roller ski bag is the best way to put in more than one pair of skis or snowboards. The space allocation prevents the skis or snowboards from touching and scratching each other, which may cause some damage to the equipment.
Packing Tips ForHow Do You Travel With Skis On A Plane
After choosing the right ski bag, you are ready to pack your skis. You also know that your ski bag is compliant with the airline rules. How do you travel with skis on a plane, and how do you pack your ski equipment? Check out the steps below:
Prepare The Hard-Case Ski Bag
Your ski gear needs all the protection from rough handling from when you check it in up to when you pick it up from the baggage carousel. So how do you travel with skis on a plane using a hard-case ski bag?
A typical hard-case ski bag usually has full padding around the case to protect the ski equipment from damage while in transit. Aside from the built-in padding of the ski bag, you can also add towels or clothes as a second layer of cushion.
Protect The Ski Pole’s Tips
Prone to damage are the ski pole’s tips and bindings. Use tip covers on the ski poles’ ends to prevent damage and breakage. If you don’t have the tip covers, you can wrap a foam pipe insulation or a thick cloth around the ski tips and bindings. However, the ski pole’s sharp tips, without a cover, can warp during baggage handling and may cut through the hard case.
Pack The Ski In The Bag
Place folded or rolled clothing around the skis or snowboards to shield them from hard impact. You can also wrap the clothes or towels around the skis and hold them in place with soft ties.
Include A Luggage Tag Inside And Outside The Hard-Case Ski Bag
How do you travel with skis on a plane and ensure you keep your ski bag and do not lose it? First, you include a luggage tag with your contact details outside the ski bag. Then, put a second luggage tag inside the ski bag. If the outside label gets lost during handling, the luggage tag inside will help identify you as the owner of the ski bag.
Airline Ski And Snowboard Baggage Policy
How do you travel with skis on a plane, and what are the airline rules for ski and snowboard bags you need to consider?
Airlines have different policies and guidelines for ski and snowboard bags. Generally, most airlines consider ski or snowboard bags as regular checked bags. However, some airlines also waive oversize and overweight fees.
For some airlines, one ski bag and one boot bag are equivalent to single checked baggage. Such airlines include American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Air Canada, Air France, and Alaska Airlines.
Note that some airlines have additional rules on overweight and oversized charges, so clear that with your airline. Some airlines also have restrictions on charging ski bags that contain other stuff besides ski equipment.
Not all airlines implement the same rules, limits, and restrictions on skis and snowboards, so spend some time getting all the airline information on how do you travel with skis on a plane when booking your flight.
FAQs About How Do You Travel With Skis On A Plane
Here are some commonly asked questions about how do you travel with skis on a plane.
How do you pack skis or a snowboard on a plane?
Some airlines allow only one pair of skis or snowboards in a hard-case ski bag, while others allow up to two. Pack other ski gear like helmets, boots, poles, and ski outerwear in the same ski bag. Check if your airline counts a ski bag and a boot bag as one checked baggage, even if they are two separate bags.
Do airlines charge extra for a boot bag and a ski bag?
Most airlines consider sports equipment as checked baggage. However, the airlines will charge for oversized and overweight baggage if it exceeds the airline’s limits.
How do people travel by air with skis?
Traveling with skis requires putting the skis in an appropriate travel bag or case designed for ski gear and equipment, which complies with the airline’s checked baggage size and weight limits. You cannot travel with a loose set of skis and poles.
If you are looking for more tutorials, walkthroughs, and troubleshooting on Travel Tips, here are some additional posts about Travel Tips:
How Do You Travel With Skis On A Plane – Conclusion
Traveling with skis on a plane can be straightforward. Choose a hard-case bag or case designed for ski equipment and pack it according to the airline’s requirements. If in doubt, call the airlines to check if your ski bag complies with their requirements.
Remember, TSA allows ski poles and snowboards as long as they are in checked baggage and comply with the airline’s size and weight restrictions. Then, off you go to enjoy your ski vacation.
Happy travels, my friends.