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Send or carry skis?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I'm headed to Steamboat from NW Connecticut this coming January.  Lately, I've been simply flying out west with boots and renting, but this year I a) have skis I love and b) will be in CO longer than 5 days.  So renting is not such an option.  What is the latest thinking on shipping vs. paying baggage fees on airplanes?  I don't have my ticket yet, but I imagine I'll be in the economy pay-for-everything-extra seats.  

I checked UPS and it appears that shipping would be $60-70.  Flying will be $50, I'd imagine.  So is it that simple?  Or are there other ideas/thoughts/insights I'm missing?
Thanx.

post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post
 

I'm headed to Steamboat from NW Connecticut this coming January.  Lately, I've been simply flying out west with boots and renting, but this year I a) have skis I love and b) will be in CO longer than 5 days.  So renting is not such an option.  What is the latest thinking on shipping vs. paying baggage fees on airplanes?  I don't have my ticket yet, but I imagine I'll be in the economy pay-for-everything-extra seats.  

I checked UPS and it appears that shipping would be $60-70.  Flying will be $50, I'd imagine.  So is it that simple?  Or are there other ideas/thoughts/insights I'm missing?
Thanx.

 

 

Assuming those $ numbers are each way then you have to weigh the hassle of dropping off/picking up if shipped versus lugging the stuff to and through airports.

post #3 of 19

I used FedEx from SW Connecticut on a Steamboat trip in 2013 and it was under $40. Provided peace of mind in the knowledge it would get there (FedEx Ground taking about a week) and the ability to stuff the ski bag with garments that wouldn't be mauled by TSA gorillas. On the way home I let the airline have them. Check the FedEx pricing before you decide. I think I dropped them off at a FedEx office on a Friday night and they arrived at my lodge in Steamboat on Wednesday or Thursday.

post #4 of 19

One thing to consider is if shipping your skis will allow you to get away with carry on luggage only. For me the convenience of not having to check through baggage and then retrieve it is huge. Not to mention the risk of the airline sending your gear to Florida by mistake.

 

If you do check the skis through remember that most airlines consider a ski bag and boot bag to be one item only. This can really help with your weight and space allowance when packing.

 

Edited to add that a good boot bag can also take your helmet, gloves, goggles and plenty of clothing items stuffed into boots and spaces. 


Edited by MrGolfAnalogy - 9/11/14 at 8:09pm
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post

 

If you do check the skis through remember that most airlines consider a ski bag and boot bag to be one item only. This can really help with your weight and space allowance when packing.

 

Uh...can you clarify this?  I'm confused.

post #6 of 19

It's pretty much that simple (though if you can still fly Southwest, bags are free).

 

 

The only other consideration is where are you shipping them to in Colorado.  Make sure pickup will be easy.

post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post
 

Uh...can you clarify this?  I'm confused.

 

Usually an airline will charge you for each bag you check through separately. Sometime the first bag may be free, then they charge you for the next bag or bags individually. However, most airlines treat a ski bag and a boot bag as one item and not as two bags. Obviously you should check your airlines current policy on charging bags.

 

Here is the current ruling form South West;

 

  • Snow ski equipment, including skis or snowboards, ski boots, and ski poles.Effective March 1, 2012: including one pair of skis or one snowboard, one set of poles, and one pair of ski/snowboard boots encased in a container(s) acceptable to Carrier. When substituting ski equipment for a free bag, Southwest Airlines allows up to two bags (containing one set of snow skis, ski poles, and ski boots) to count as one item, even if they are packed and tagged separately.

    Note: Snow ski equipment will not be subject to excess size charges. However, excess weight charges may apply.

If I were flying SW, and checking my skis, I could also check a "boot bag" for free and pack it with all my heavy items to save space and weight in my other luggage.

post #8 of 19

things to consider

1) do you already have a ski travel bag, and versus a comparable shipping box?

 

2) related to the airline fees, really depends on your flight and carrier.  You should have some idea at least on the carriers right?

Something else to consider is you can also sign up for some  airline's credit card and get free baggage back + a whole bunch of miles-(for example United).  May cost a fee $100 on your 2nd year a but you'll make that back if you make another trip.

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post
 

 

Usually an airline will charge you for each bag you check through separately. Sometime the first bag may be free, then they charge you for the next bag or bags individually. However, most airlines treat a ski bag and a boot bag as one item and not as two bags. Obviously you should check your airlines current policy on charging bags.

 

 

While it's not always enforced, most airlines still restrict both bags to the 50lbs total limit.

post #10 of 19

Every airline I've checked with--all majors--have the ski bag plus boot bag counts as one bag policy (although I don't check my boots). If you pack smart you can get by with one ski bag--with plenty of clothes in it, one carryon bag, and your boots as your under the seat carryon, or boots in the carryon and a daypack with you electronics, etc. So fee for one checked bag, or free with SW or Europe. I can't see why you'd want to go to the hassle of dropping off your skis somewhere, picking them up somewhere, not having them for a week pre and post trip, not to mention I haven't found Fedex to be that reliable--when packages are sent to out of the way rural locations like ski towns the final delivery leg can be spotty. Side note--although I've never checked my boots I have heard that clothes in the boot bag is a no-no, but I've never had trouble with clothes in the ski bag.

post #11 of 19

Airlines are fairly ski friendly since they have a good relationship with resort areas. Flying and taking your bike is a whole other matter .  

post #12 of 19
I was gonna get charged for a ski bag and I jokingly said it was "mobility equipment" and the clerk waived the fee. Worth a shot lol
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post
 

I'm headed to Steamboat from NW Connecticut this coming January.  Lately, I've been simply flying out west with boots and renting, but this year I a) have skis I love and b) will be in CO longer than 5 days.  So renting is not such an option.  What is the latest thinking on shipping vs. paying baggage fees on airplanes?  I don't have my ticket yet, but I imagine I'll be in the economy pay-for-everything-extra seats.  

I checked UPS and it appears that shipping would be $60-70.  Flying will be $50, I'd imagine.  So is it that simple?  Or are there other ideas/thoughts/insights I'm missing?
Thanx.

 

Glad to hear you are coming up!

 

1- Whatever you do, don't use UPS.  I've had some real issues with them with damage coming into Steamboat for some reason. Of course, they deny any responsibility.  Use FEDEX if you go that route.

 

2- You are rolling the dice a little for both (airline and Fedex).  Are you flying direct into Hayden or into DEN and then driving up?  If you are coming into Hayden and connecting through DEN, then you do run a bit of a risk that the plan could be overweight (turbo props) and they leave you gear behind. Its not uncommon but its not a high risk either.  The good news is they will get it up there and deliver to you  

 

3- Shipping via FedEx, you do run the risk of delays. from CT is will take 5-6 days to get here as long as the weather is good. If the weather is bad or super cold, shipments do get delayed.

 

IMHO, I would take on the airline.  Just pack them in a padded bag that can easily be opened up fully and closed easily (that means no sporttubes) and you should be fine.  


Edited by Finndog - 9/12/14 at 8:37am
post #14 of 19
+1 on not using UPS. When I moved to Colorado I shipped some of my stuff via ups.

One of the items was an ATEC Casey baseball pitching machine which I insured and shipped in a custom wooden crate. When I got it, the box was broke (you could clearly tell they dropped it on its corner) and I filed a claim and the bastards denied it.....had to pay $120 for a new speed control unit.
post #15 of 19
Quote:

Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

 

2- You are rolling the dice a little for both (airline and Fedex).  Are you flying direct into Hayden or into DEN and then driving up?  If you are coming into Hayden and connecting through DEN, then you do run a bit of a risk that the plan could be overweight (turbo props) and they leave you gear behind. Its not uncommon but its not a high risk either.  

 

I haven't flown that particular route and it sounds like Finndog has. I have flown other ski trips where one leg was on a small plane. So far I've not had my skis delayed. I have had to gate check my carryon, which is painless--you picki up your bag on the tarmac or in the jetway.  And if the plane is overweight any bag, not just skis, could be delayed. I wold imagine they would hold heaviest first.

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

I haven't flown that particular route and it sounds like Finndog has. I have flown other ski trips where one leg was on a small plane. So far I've not had my skis delayed. I have had to gate check my carryon, which is painless--you pcik up your bag on the tarmac or in the jetway.

Countless times!  ;)  Its really the bitter sweetness of winter travel. We all love a big storm but when you are trying to travel in it; not so good..  Thumbs Up   Calling @gregmerz for his sorted tales of HDN travel experiences....... 

post #17 of 19

Ah yes, just because you have a ticket that says you're going to or going to leave from Hayden at a certain point does not mean it's gonna happen.  :(  I've had the unfortunate consequence too many times.  That's just winter travel in ski country, be prepared for contingencies.

post #18 of 19

Aspen flights connecting in Denver can have the same issue. They prefer not to fuel in ASE, so they run a truck full of luggage up every night from Denver.  They'll deliver, but it's not always prompt.

I usually just go out to the airport at 7am and get it myself.  Hayden would be a different matter.

post #19 of 19

Once it gets there, they are excellent about delivering them to you.  Its still the way I would go.  

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