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Delta vs. Continental-United: ski baggage and boots

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I am researching this, and while both of them should charge total of $25 for the boot bag and the ski bag together, it looks like for Delta the combined weight should not exceed 50lbs., while for Continental-United, it is 50lbs per bag. In this case unless you can keep the boot-bag + the ski under 50 lbs. for Delta, you'll be getting ripped-off with an overweight fee. Can anyone confirm this?

 

http://www.airlinebagfees.com/ski-and-snowboard/charts/

 

http://www.snowpak.com/news/toolkit/skiandsnowboardbagfees.html

post #2 of 18

That's a gray area with United I wouldn't push.

 

Carry on your boots!

post #3 of 18

I'd agree, carry on your boots.  Regardless of costs, if your stuff doesn't make it, the one thing you are going to want is your boots, jacket and pants.  Everything else the airline will give you vouchers for until your stuff arrives.  Unfortunately learned the hard way 2 years ago while on a vacation to Breckenridge.

post #4 of 18

Right, carry your boots on.  Anything else you can borrow, rent, or buy. 

 

BTW, the "ski bag and boot bag count as one item" is only true if the only thing in either bag is skis, poles and boots.  You can usually get away with a few extra items, but if the total weithg is over 50 pounds, you're SOL with either airline.

 

Anyway, carry your boots on.  Stuff your ski bag with whatever won't fit in your other luggage.  My experience is that unless it's over weight or you're trying to pull the two-bags-count-as-one thing the  attendants don't care what's inside.

post #5 of 18

This is what I do when flying.

 

Carry boots on the plane and store them under the seat in front of you.

Pack everything you need to ski as a carry on.    Wear your helmet if you have too or find a small spot to stash it when everyone is boarded.

 

Pack regular cloths in the ski bag with the skis up to 50 pounds.  I claim it as padding :)

 

You can always buy regular clothes and rent skis if the ski bag is lost for a day or too. (Airlines lost my ski bag twice last year on direct flights)

 

But buying all brand new ski clothes (very expensive easily pushing almost a grand)  or missing a day of skiing is not an option in my book

 

Boots dont leave my sight.

post #6 of 18

Here's United's policy on ski equipment

 

United accepts one item of ski equipment per customer as checked baggage. Ski equipment must be securely encased in a suitable container. An item of ski equipment consists of:

  • Water skis
  • Snowboard
  • Up to two pairs of snow skis and associated equipment in one bag and one ski boot bag. (Note: If ski boot bag contains otbher items in addition to or in place of boots, it will be subject to applicable checked baggage service charge or excess baggage service charge.)

If applicable, the first or second checked baggage service charge applies to ski equipment.

Ski equipment in addition to the baggage allowance will be assessed at the excess baggage charge applicable in the market for a single piece.

Ski or boot bags weighing more than 50 pounds (23kg) that contain other items in addition to or in place of appropriate ski equipment will be subject to the applicable overweight checked baggage service charge.

United is not liable for damage to water ski/snow ski/snowboard equipment.

Excess Valuation may not be purchased for water ski/snow ski/snowboard equipment.

 

And here's Delta's,

 

Ski or Snowboard Equipment

If you are hitting the slopes, you can bring your ski and snowboard equipment as checked baggage. One ski/pole bag or one snowboard bag, and one boot bag is accepted per person (and counts as one checked bag). The combined weight of the ski/snowboard bag and the boot bag may not exceed 50 lbs. (23 kg) or excess weight charges will apply. Linear dimensions may exceed 80 inches (203 cm), no excess size charges apply. All standard baggage charges apply.

 

As you see, United's policy is slightly better than Delta's but they are both good.

post #7 of 18

What so many of these other posters fail to say is that if you carry your boots with you on the plane, that is your carry on bag. So your bag that has all your clothes in it would have to be checked, which would now be your second checked bag and that usually runs $35/one way.

 

I have been flying with Delta exclusively for work and pleasure for over 10 yrs with on average of 10 trips a year, and 2 yrs where I was flying home every other weekend. And only once in all that time did my bags not arrive at the destination with me. However, that was do to a flight delay and last minute rescheduling where our connecting flight was waiting on us. Our bags arrived on the next flight.

 

the biggest risk of losing your skis or boots is that someone grabs your stuff at baggage claim

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by voelfgar View Post

What so many of these other posters fail to say is that if you carry your boots with you on the plane, that is your carry on bag. So your bag that has all your clothes in it would have to be checked, which would now be your second checked bag and that usually runs $35/one way.

 

I have been flying with Delta exclusively for work and pleasure for over 10 yrs with on average of 10 trips a year, and 2 yrs where I was flying home every other weekend. And only once in all that time did my bags not arrive at the destination with me. However, that was do to a flight delay and last minute rescheduling where our connecting flight was waiting on us. Our bags arrived on the next flight.

 

the biggest risk of losing your skis or boots is that someone grabs your stuff at baggage claim

Wrong.  If your boots fit under the seat it does not count as a carry on.  It counts as your personal item.  You are allowed one carry on bag and one personal item when boarding the plane.  A personal item can be a small backpack, purse, laptop etc.  In my case it is my ski boots in a cheap back pack.

post #9 of 18

I have never had a problem on United or any other airline for that matter. I have a transpack, I carry on the transpack with my boots and helmet (also fits my Mac book) , If they don't fit in the overhead, I put the boots under the seat or just put in the overhead separately. Never once had an issue in many years.  I do the same on CRJ's as well.

post #10 of 18

I use a Transpack Pro, which puts the boots on the outside and has a padded laptop section.  When I board, I have the boots over my shoulder and the pack on my back.  At the seat, I take out the helmet and put it in the overhead with the boots.  I keep the Transpack under the seat in front since then it's the same as any other laptop backpack.  Also have a fanny pack.  That way I can have stuff with me during the flight.  Never had any problem.

post #11 of 18
Regardless of how reliable an airline is with baggage, I would never check my boots! For me, paying for 2 checked bags r/t is now a way of life. Here's what I always carry on: My F-Stop Loka heavy duty camera backpack. I can cram my boots in there, flat. I usually put medication and sometimes a camera lens or two into the boot cuffs and clamp 'em shut. Then I put in my 13" Dell laptop, a book, Arcteryx shell pants, goggles, gloves, a pair of socks, a hat, my avy beacon, or maybe two, phone charger, camera battery charger, laptop charger, and all other hard to replace wires/electronics.

Then I clip my helmet to the outside of the pack. This thing does weigh a ton when I get it filled up and kills my back if I have to walk around a lot, but once on the plane, I unclip the helmet and the pack and helmet easily fit in the overhead. For my "personal item" I carry on the ICU (padded & removeable Internal Camera Unit) which will later slip back into my Loka camera backpack. Inside the ICU, which easily goes under my seat, I have my DSLR, and a lens or two, a flash unit and ipod, etc for in-flight fun! Obviously, I wear my ski shell jacket onto the plane and a pair of Timberland winter boots (which is probably the worst part, even though they're thinly insulated.

My double ski bag usually has 2 pairs of fairly wide skis, length adjustable Leki poles and whatever clothing gets me just under 50 lbs. I always weigh that bad boy at home to make sure. Same with my big clothing/extra gear bag which has the usual clothing and possibly another backpack - either my Avalung pack, or small BC Stash, along with remaining gear tchotchkes - shovel, probe, more goggles, etc.

It's a bit of a schlepp! But usually I go away for a week or more. If I did just a few days, I would have to learn to cut down on things. It takes me a good day to lay all this junk and pack it efficiently, but I don't think I've ever forgotten or lost anything in the past 20 years either. (well except for a few things in a drawer at the Whitefish Best Western, and they were good enough to send them back pronto icon14.gif)

Oh yeah, boots...carry 'em on! And whatever you do, Don't fly SCAMBAG Spirit Airlines! icon13.gif United and Delta both get icon14.gificon14.gif from me. Southwest is OK, but IMO, usually more expensive (even with "free" checked bags) and they don't fly to many ski destinations without a crappy connection.
Edited by carvemeister - 11/22/12 at 10:27am
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by voriand View Post

Wrong.  If your boots fit under the seat it does not count as a carry on.  It counts as your personal item.  You are allowed one carry on bag and one personal item when boarding the plane.  A personal item can be a small backpack, purse, laptop etc.  In my case it is my ski boots in a cheap back pack.

 

Yep.  I typically have a backpack with my laptop in it and helmet clipped to the back as my "carry on", and the boots as my "personal item".

 

I do have a bit of a dilemma now if I want to also bring my camera bag... no way I'm checking either that OR the boots, and I wouldn't be crazy about checking the laptop either.

post #13 of 18
Sounds like you need a bigger backpack, or even better, an F-stop Loka or the larger Tilopa BC, then just do what I do ^^^
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

...I do have a bit of a dilemma now if I want to also bring my camera bag... no way I'm checking either that OR the boots, and I wouldn't be crazy about checking the laptop either.
post #14 of 18

A standard overhead carry-on will take a pair of boots and (at least) one days change worth of ski clothes. A backpack reasonably well packed will take a helmet, goggles, computer and necessary toys. Everything you need for a few days on the hill can be carried on. A ski bag can then take the rest of the week, and if if it gets delayed, you're still OK until the bag arrives.

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by carvemeister View Post

Sounds like you need a bigger backpack, or even better, an F-stop Loka or the larger Tilopa BC, then just do what I do ^^^

 

I could certainly put the body, charger, and a few lenses in my current backpack.  I normally ski with a much smaller pack than either of those!

post #16 of 18

I have not flown Delta but I would NOT say that United's policy is better.  For two years straight now I get hassled by the United gate agent in numerous cities about what is classified as a "boot bag".  My contention to them is always that their website does not define a boot bag in terms of a description or dimensions.  I tell them that my boot bag IS a boot bag because I bought it at a ski shop, it has compartments for boots, and I only have boots in it.  They argue with me and even acknowledge that their website does not make it clear but that doesn't exempt me from their tirade.  Ultimately they either say they'll let it go this one time (they've said that for two years in row now) or they continue to grumble at me and just check the bag anyway, saying they're going to get in trouble.  

 

It's a real issue and I don't understand why they can't define "boot bag".  I'll reluctantly pay their extra fees only if they correct their website.  Next winter I am not flying United.  Stay tuned....

post #17 of 18

I'm glad I fly Southwest with a laptop, boot bag as carry-on, and (until I started leaving my gear at Tahoe Donner) with a ski bag and a suitcase as checked-in luggage.

post #18 of 18

FWIW, my brother has had his skis destroyed by the baggage handling equipment at Atlanta TWICE in the last 3 years.  They do pay for replacements IF you check them before leaving the baggage area.  I note United's disclaimer they don't pay for damage!

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