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United airlines baggage tips

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

was wondering if anyone worked for them or knew first hand. Girlfriend and I are traveling to big ski in january our 1st time there. 

do they way the bags together or separate ? 

Also the way i am reading it is SKI bag + book bag equals 1st checked bag. 

then an actual checked bag would be my second checked bag right? 

 

below is their policy as of 10/6/2013

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 other items in addition to or in place of boots, it will be subject to the 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 and 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. 

post #2 of 24
Thread Starter 

ill call them and see what they say but i doubt everyone there is really familiar with their area. ill post what ever i hear on the phone here 

post #3 of 24

All the US airlines have essentially the same ski+boots=1 bag policy, but I've never used it and don't know anyone who has.  So I can't help with the mechanics of weighing.  The fanatics on EpicSki carry their boots on the plane with them.  Skis are easy to replace, boots not so much.

 

Some different strategies:  a double ski bag (with 2 pairs of skis) will come in under 50 pounds, with some leeway to pad them out with ski clothes.  Way back before 9/11 we had elaborate wrapping strategies, but now I try to make the luggage inspector's job easier so he or she can get my clothes back  inside and the zipper all the way closed in the 28 seconds allocated to inspecting each pair of skis.

 

I have one of those ski bags shaped like a short, fat duffel, with a boot compartment below and a miscellaneous compartment above.  I can get my boots, helmet, gloves and one day of ski clothes in it and still get it in the overhead.  Though sometimes I have to cheat and pull the helmet out as I put the bag away.  (Shhh... don't tell.)

 

Have fun!

post #4 of 24

Here is more than you want to know about ski boots and airplanes for domestic American flights.  I gather it's a bit different in Canada and Europe.

 

http://epicski.onthesnow.com/t/89557/ski-boots-on-plane-flights

 

I'm one of those who would never check boots (custom footbeds and liners).  I have a ski boot backpack that lets me carry boots, helmet, goggles, and enough ski clothes that I could go ski if my suitcase and/or skis didn't make it for a day.  My laptop too.  My daughter uses a rolling carry-on designed for ski boots, based ski clothes, and a laptop.  Her helmet gets clipped to the carry-on.

post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post

All the US airlines have essentially the same ski+boots=1 bag policy, but I've never used it and don't know anyone who has.  So I can't help with the mechanics of weighing.  The fanatics on EpicSki carry their boots on the plane with them.  Skis are easy to replace, boots not so much.

Some different strategies:  a double ski bag (with 2 pairs of skis) will come in under 50 pounds, with some leeway to pad them out with ski clothes.  Way back before 9/11 we had elaborate wrapping strategies, but now I try to make the luggage inspector's job easier so he or she can get my clothes back  inside and the zipper all the way closed in the 28 seconds allocated to inspecting each pair of skis.

I have one of those ski bags shaped like a short, fat duffel, with a boot compartment below and a miscellaneous compartment above.  I can get my boots, helmet, gloves and one day of ski clothes in it and still get it in the overhead.  Though sometimes I have to cheat and pull the helmet out as I put the bag away.  (Shhh... don't tell.)

Have fun!
if you pull out the helmet AND WEAR IT, you are almost assured of getting the whole row to yourself.
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by yuik View Post
 

was wondering if anyone worked for them or knew first hand. Girlfriend and I are traveling to big ski in january our 1st time there. 

do they way the bags together or separate ? 

Also the way i am reading it is SKI bag + book bag equals 1st checked bag. 

then an actual checked bag would be my second checked bag right? 

 

 

50 lbs. together

 

Ski bag and boot bag is theoretically, a single checked bag.   I seldom check my boot bag and have heard of problems with any additional items in the boot bag.

 

Yes or your girlfriends first.  

 

I would recommend both pairs of skis in a double roller bag and then share a single 50lb. duffel with your girlfriend.  Both of you should carryon your boots and important personal items.

post #7 of 24

My current boarding strategy is to take the boots out of the Transpack Sidekick since they are on the outside and stick out sideways.  When I reach my seat, I put the boots and the helmet in the overhead.  Then I have a regular size laptop backpack that fits easily under the seat in front.  For a long flight out west, I like having stuff handy.

post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post


if you pull out the helmet AND WEAR IT, you are almost assured of getting the whole row to yourself.

Put a surgical mask on along with the helmet, and you'll be SET! Might have to try that for my January trip to Utah.

 

In all seriousness, don't check your boots. Carry them on. I'm reading the rest with interest since I haven't flown with skis in about 15 years.

post #9 of 24

another vote for not checking your boot bag.  You can always rent skis incase yours don't show up.  But you really don't want to be without your boots.    I carried on my boot bag on before and also packed them in my regular suitcase.   I have seen people just strap their boots together and carried on the plane that way.

post #10 of 24

I just wear my boots on the plane.  Saves a lot of space.

post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

I just wear my boots on the plane.  Saves a lot of space.

wow i could never do this. i fucking hate the feel of ski boots. 

 

 

thanks all for the tips! 

post #12 of 24
How can you stand skiing? They're your most important equipment.

Plus, pretty sure that was a joke about wearing your boots on the plane...
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
I always wore a borderline race boot for Rec skiing . Plus I always hated ski boots the moment I wasn't skiing . I would always put cat tracks on and fully unbuckle all the straps . Also was never a fan of stairs in ski boots .

Wearing ski boots anywhere other than on the mountain always made me angry. I could never be one of these people who dresses before they get in the car . I always got dressed in the parking lot . Ill take the second run
post #14 of 24

Two of us took a chance last winter on coast to coast flights on American Airlines.  We packed our skis in crummy old cloth ski bags.  Put two pairs of skis and poles in one bag and one heavy set of old metal Volant Chubbs skis with poles in the other.  Checked these along with two boot bags, so this all counted as only one checked bag for each of us (meaning we got hit with only one $45 roundtrip baggage fee each) .  Had to make a connecting flight too, both directions.  Held breath at final outbound destination baggage claim carousel (SFO) waiting for boot bags to show up.  In theory, most of the time when you check bags you should get all your stuff upon arrival at your destination, but seems like there is about a 25% fail rate.  Our checked bags contained boots and a lot of ski clothing in them.  We each took one carry-on piece of luggage and a backpack on to plane for free that contained helmet, goggles, gloves, jacket, ski pants, enough stuff to ski for a few days with rental skis and boots if ours missed connections.  But everything made it and all went well.  For our flights we just had to make sure combined weight of each pair of ski and boot bags did not exceed 50 lbs. Truth be told, we are not super strongly attached to the gear we took on that trip and while we were glad to see our boots show up in baggage claim, we joked that if skis got lost the airline would compensate us for renting wider skis for a few days.

Here’s another old relevant thread FYI:  http://epicski.onthesnow.com/t/66498/how-to-pack-skis-for-airline-travel

post #15 of 24
My uncle is a retired United pilot. He always advised don't be on the of fringe when checking bags. Don't be the guy checking your bag 4 hrs before a flight and don't be checking your bag 20 mins before it leaves. Too early and bag gets "set aside" 'til system is ready for it or too late and bag can't get thru system fast enough. 1-2 hrs before departure is the sweet spot.
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post #16 of 24
If you arrive at Kalispell two hours before your flight there won't even be a ticket counter open... :-). But, you'll definitely be first in line..
post #17 of 24

I use a Transpack bag and carry on my boots.  I check my skis and then bring onboard one additional carry on rolling bag with the Transpack.  My skis did not show up only one time...last year's Tahoe trip flying United from EWR-LAX and then LAX-RNO.  Our flight arrived at LAX very late and we had to sprint to another terminal for the RNO flight.  My skis did not make it to RNO.  I filed a claim right away at the airport and in a few hours was notified my bags were still at LAX.  They delivered the skis to my hotel (Harvey's) at 4:00AM the next morning so I didn't miss any ski time.  Bad situation ended well.

post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gores95 View Post
 

I use a Transpack bag and carry on my boots.  I check my skis and then bring onboard one additional carry on rolling bag with the Transpack.  My skis did not show up only one time...last year's Tahoe trip flying United from EWR-LAX and then LAX-RNO.  Our flight arrived at LAX very late and we had to sprint to another terminal for the RNO flight.  My skis did not make it to RNO.  I filed a claim right away at the airport and in a few hours was notified my bags were still at LAX.  They delivered the skis to my hotel (Harvey's) at 4:00AM the next morning so I didn't miss any ski time.  Bad situation ended well.

awesome ewr is my home airport too. 


i wont get any shit for the transpack not being of traditional carry on sizewith ski boots? im flying united too. 

post #19 of 24
Just learned today @ check-in in DEN - Star Alliance Gold status only gets you ONE free bag now on UAL
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitt42 View Post

My uncle is a retired United pilot. He always advised don't be on the of fringe when checking bags. Don't be the guy checking your bag 4 hrs before a flight and don't be checking your bag 20 mins before it leaves. Too early and bag gets "set aside" 'til system is ready for it or too late and bag can't get thru system fast enough. 1-2 hrs before departure is the sweet spot.
-

 

Totally agree.  Was just on a United flight from Newark to Bozeman on Dec 21st, had to deal with the Christmas rush and we didn't get to the ticket counter until about 45 mins before the flight.  6 of our 8 bags were missing, as were many others from our flight.  Ironically, the two bags that made it were the skis.  Luckily brought my boots and some clothing on the plane with me to hold us over until the rest of the stuff arrived.  Spent literally hours dealing with United through all the frustration, will try much harder next time to hit that "sweet spot"

post #21 of 24

I travel on business quite a bit and have to say that the level of service from airlines has generally declined quite a bit in recent years and lost bags have also become much more common. I always assume that my bag has at best, 50:50 chance of arriving with me, and make sure that my carry-on has what I need for a day or two (a change of underwear, socks, clean shirt, etc). When on a ski trip, carrying your boots and other ski essentials (gloves, goggles, long underwear and the like) on with you seems prudent. You can ski if you have that stuff and I'd much rather have my own boots if I need to rent skis for a day or two until my checked equipment shows up. It's rare for the airlines to loose your stuff outright - it almost always shows up within 48 hours - but ironically, the one piece of luggage that the airlines did loose for good was a pair of my skis.

 

While there may be some connection with a too early or too late check-in and lost bags, there is absolutely a positive correlation between the amount of time you have have for your connecting flight and the likelihood that your bag won't make it (short time to connecting flight = high probability of no bag at your final destination).

post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by yuik View Post
 

awesome ewr is my home airport too. 


i wont get any shit for the transpack not being of traditional carry on sizewith ski boots? im flying united too. 


The I'd be surprised if a boot bag ran afoul of the size limits for carry-ons. Each airline has slightly different rules for the size of a carry on, but the range is something like 45 to 51 inches total (maybe 19x15x11 to 26x14x11). Check the United web site.

post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieRN View Post


The I'd be surprised if a boot bag ran afoul of the size limits for carry-ons. Each airline has slightly different rules for the size of a carry on, but the range is something like 45 to 51 inches total (maybe 19x15x11 to 26x14x11). Check the United web site.

Just flew united and I got no problems with my transpack and helmet flying out of Newark nj and into Bozeman mt
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mook View Post
 

 

Totally agree.  Was just on a United flight from Newark to Bozeman on Dec 21st, had to deal with the Christmas rush and we didn't get to the ticket counter until about 45 mins before the flight.  6 of our 8 bags were missing, as were many others from our flight.  Ironically, the two bags that made it were the skis.  Luckily brought my boots and some clothing on the plane with me to hold us over until the rest of the stuff arrived.  Spent literally hours dealing with United through all the frustration, will try much harder next time to hit that "sweet spot"


Sad to say I was on the same flight. Didn't matter what time you arrived at the counter. 70 people on that flight didn't get their bags, my Wife being one of them.  After dealing with United I believe that "sweet spot" is located on some other airline's plane.

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