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Packing the ski bag when flying

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Taking the trip west soon, and wonder how in this age of baggage fees, security etc., how much can you get away with putting 2 skis in one bag or cramming it full of clothes, etc...I am flying Delta if that makes a difference...I think there is a weight limit of 50 lbs for boots and skis, but what about the 2 ski in a bag trick...or any other tips...thanks!

post #2 of 8

Just keep it under 50 and you won't have a problem.

post #3 of 8

Not Delta, but if this helps at all:  I've taken a 2-pair SportTube on American, Frontier, and Southwest.

 

American:  They took it, and charged me the same as for any other bag.

Frontier:  I bought the upgraded ticket that gives you 2 free checked bags.  They took it, no questions asked.

Southwest:  They don't charge for your first 2 checked bags.  They did take the SportTube, without calling it oversized or anything.

 

In all of the above cases, the bag had nothing in it but 2 pairs of skis.  Oh, wait - on Frontier it had 1 pair of skis and a tripod wrapped in sweatpants.  TSA looked inside, but nobody from the airline.

 

If you want to be safe, read the baggage rules on the website, and abide by them.  But if you want to shove more junk into the ski bag to get it up to 49.999lbs, if that's against the rules on your airline you'll probably be fine but be prepared to move that other stuff into a different bag on the off chance that they make you do so.

 

I would advise having your boots be your carryon.  If you've gone to the trouble of getting good boots, you'd be upset if the airline took an extra couple days to get them to you, since that would mean skiing a significant part of your trip in rental boots.

post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by chase View Post

 

 

I would advise having your boots be your carryon.  If you've gone to the trouble of getting good boots, you'd be upset if the airline took an extra couple days to get them to you, since that would mean skiing a significant part of your trip in rental boots.



I agree with this approach too.  I just flew Delta to Whistler and back last week.  I packed two pairs of skis + two sets of poles and my knee braces in my Dakine Double.  That counted as one bag.  I also checked a large duffle bag as bag #2.  My double ski bag with two pairs weighs in at 47.2 lbs.  My boots were in my carryon boot bag. 

 

You can check a ski bag + boot bag as 1 item, but the combined weight must be less than 50 lbs.  And, if the ski bag has two pairs of skis in it, you might get a hassle from the bag person IF they actually open it up and look in.  Either way, there's two risks that I didn't take:  1.  I didn't put clothes in my ski bag since it can be an issue and 2.  I didn't check my boots.  I could always ski rental boards as long as I have my boots (plus pants, goggles and gloves in my carry on bag).

post #5 of 8

For me, the Delta combo ski-and-boot-bags-as-one checked item works out pretty well - IF I'm nonstop.  If I'm on a conx, then I don't check the boots.  The rules technically say you can't put anything but your skis and boots in the bags but I've never been questioned (but only one pair skis in the bag, so I was only sneaking soft goods).

 

Fortunately for me, STLSLC is a nonstop - going again this Friday AM!

post #6 of 8

I fly Delta with my bag fairly often.

 

Normal baggage fees (about $25 now?). We always do 2 skis in one bag, along with helmets, extra clothes, etc. Never had even a question about the contents at check in. I bought one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-8120-Digital-Luggage-Scale/dp/B001FWXFP4/ and pack it too. Then just make sure you are always under 50 lbs -- everywhere will weigh it, unless you do curbside check in + tip.

 

TSA likes to rifle through ski bags, however. They also will NOT re-strap/secure your skis after inspection. I think I've had an inspection note in my ski bag every time I've flown with it. Pack with this in mind.

 

Take your boot bag as carry-on. (Don't want to risk lost luggage/boots) Pack your boots full of clothes.

post #7 of 8

 

I have flown with ski bags many times usually overpack it but here are some tricks to keeping it "under 50lbs."

 

1.  If your flying at an airport where after checkin YOU personally have to take the oversized bag to be scanned by security.  Take some heavy gear out, throw in your carry on, put in your other bag, whatever.  After it is weighed simply put the gear back in on the way to getting it scanned.  I know you can do this at PDX and some other smaller airports.

 

2.  Put your ski bag on the scale, straddle it in between your legs, make the bag under 50lbs, do not move. Be careful because the scale might fluctuate if your unsteady.

 

3.  Before weighing your ski bag take your backpack/carryon/other bag infront of the scale.  When placing the ski bag on the scale rest it on the other bag.  Make sure its not too light as they might get suspicious.  

 

4.  Some scales are not designed to weigh larger bags.  These have a frame around it that will not move, thus keeping the skis elevated.  I once did step 1, to realize my bag only weighed 20lbs.

 

Sometimes the attendants do not care and will not even weigh it.

Hope this helps.

 

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all who replied very much...Epicski is a great place.  If you think skis are tough imagine flying with surfboards, so I have learned a trick or two, once labeling them as "art supplies", but times have changed.  I am flying non-stop, but should probably still bring my boots as carry on.  I buy discount lift tickets, all gear on sale, hotel the same...so baggage fees, though small in the big picture,  just get to me.

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