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Baggage allowance to S. America

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I just visited AA's web site and couldn't find anything about their allowances to S. America. I could only find info for domestic, Puerto Rico, etc. For those they indicate that you can only have one pair of skis; they don't say anything about a ski bag but they indicate as free a boot bag containing only boots and the weight limit for the boot bag is 50 lb.!! Jees, I wish I'd known that before I bought those cast iron boots with the lead liners!!! What I'm hoping is that I can get by with a large suit case, a ski bag with 2 pairs of skis, a boot bag and a carry on like the flight attendants use but with additional items in the ski bag and the boot bag. Last year, I didn't have a boot bag and, if I remember correctly, they counted my ski bag as checked luggage. I don't know what the suit case weighed but it was so heavy you could hardly lift it and they didn't charge me extra. I did get charged once by LAN Chile. Has anybody had any recent experiences with this issue?
post #2 of 15
We have always used United and never had any problems like some people here mention. We went to Tahoe in March and I had 1 ski bag (with Ski's and clothes), 1 boot bag (with some clothes in it), 1 huge duffel bag and a carry-on. The wife had the exact same thing, but with one extra medium duffel bag, which was clearly more than allowed by their website, but both going and coming back the person checking our bags told us not to worry about it. No charge. I have never had a bad experience with United.
post #3 of 15
I was never able to get a straight answer from AA re: ski baggage when we flew to Europe this past winter. Domestic, it's pretty simple - their website even has the answer (most airlines have very similar policies for domestic flights), but international flights are a whole 'nother story - I got the feeling that it would probably depend on the gate agent at the airport whether they would apply the domestic limitations, the "straight up" international reg's, or some hy-brid of the two.

What we ended up doing was just abiding by the weight and number of bags limitations for international flights (two people = 4 checked bags at <50lbs each, so a three week trip: 2 suitcases, one big boot bag (both pairs of boots), and one ski bag (both sets of skis)), and assumed that they would treat the ski bag like any other piece of luggage (in other words, that the airline would not charge for the "bulky" or odd size of the ski bag, but that they would still count both it and the boot bag as two bags (not one like domestic) and weigh the two separately bags as well) - this is exactly what ended up happening - our ski bag (with 2 sets of skis, 2 sets of poles, ski jackets & ski pants came in at 49 lbs) and our boot bag (with 2 pairs boots, socks, long johns, helmets, basically the rest of the ski necessities came in at 47 lbs) were treated just like any other bag that we could have checked.

Get a double or triple ski bag. Get a very large boot bag. If it's just you, plan on them being your only bags (plus your carry-on); if there's two of you, plan on putting all of your ski equipment in the two bags, and then you get one regular suitcase each. Pack both of them (the ski and boot bags that is) full (i.e. don't just put your skis/poles in the ski bag by themselves, but pack other stuff in them). Pay attention to the weight limits - it's tempting to think that airlines are just being bastards by enforcing strict bag weight limits, but on long-haul flights (and Dallas or Miami to Santiago (or really anywhere in SA) certainly counts as a long haul flight ), the amount of weight that they are flying around is critical, both in terms of fuel costs and, perhaps more importantly, safety (they want that plane to be able to take off, fly a circuitious route to avoid really nasty weather against a 150 mph head wind the whole way and still have enough fuel to divert to an alternate airfield with a runway large enough to handle the plane if the destination airport is closed due to weather (or other incident) just as much as you do ).

J
post #4 of 15
The information for international baggage allowance for American Airlines is here:

http://www.aa.com/content/travelInfo...horEvent=false

That being said, please note that any domestic airlines you may need to use in South America likely will have stricter regulations.
post #5 of 15
boredtoo - the problem noted with the page you linked is that they list all sorts of "specialty" situations, and in particular talk about "Sports Equipment." However, "Sports Equipment The following guidelines for sports equipment being transported on American are effective for travel within the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands." They do not, in fact tell you what the policy is regarding "sports equipment" for flights that don't fall into the US, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands - and that is the whole reason for the original question...

J
post #6 of 15
You probably need to find the lowest limit (which i suspect is US domestic), as that will apply no matter what you're doing. The Delta 50 lb limit applied to me even though I was connecting straight to an international flight where the item limit was 32kg.

On the incoming flight, the Delta person at LAX also attempted to penalise me because my ski bag was over 62 inches in length! I'm sure that had I tried to include a bootbag with the skibag, she'd have got me for having 3 pieces of luggage.

I think the official limit has been 1 pair of skis for some years, as they always ask how many pairs are in the bag. It would be quite tricky to get 2 pairs of skis in and come in under the 50lb limit.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ant
It would be quite tricky to get 2 pairs of skis in and come in under the 50lb limit.
Yeah - it is quite tricky to do that - like I mentioned above, we came in at 49 lbs with 2 pairs of skis. Of course we both ski dynastars which tend to be lighter than most skis, so that helped - good luck getting 2 pairs of metrons to come in under 50 lbs ...

J
post #8 of 15
Can't say they have ever weighed or measured my bags either, but I do curbside check-in, so that may have a lot to do with it.
post #9 of 15
Flew American to Santiago a few years ago with 2 pair of skis and lots of clothes stuffed in one double ski bag with no problem. It weighed just under 50 lbs. Coming back they wanted to charged me extra for the same bag, not because of the weight but because it was a ski bag. I complained that their company advertised ski trips but never said they charged extra for skis. After hasseling with it they dropped the extra charge.

Flew to Argentina two years ago with the same set up and no problems, although my wife had stuff stolen from her luggage by baggage handlers at the BA airport both flying in and out of the country.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot
Flew to Argentina two years ago with the same set up and no problems, although my wife had stuff stolen from her luggage by baggage handlers at the BA airport both flying in and out of the country.
I've had this same problem several times flying into third world countries - use the TSA locks, it's a pain in the rear, but it can help.

J
post #11 of 15
I've flown to Santiago twice once on LAN Chile/American and on Delta. The rule (as I understand it) is 2 checked bags each weighing no more than 70 lbs. However, a ski bag and a boot bag (the small little ones you carry into the lodge not a gear bag -- I've heard and agent specify containing only boots no clothing) can count together as 1 bag -- but the combined weight still needs to be under the weight limit (70 for international). If you go the boot bag route I'd find the rule and print it and carry it with you in case you have any problem.

I think you need to get all you clothing and boots into a large gear bag and a ski bag to be certain to avoid fees. With a large gear bag you can get 70 lbs of stuff in it which should be able to including ski and casual clothing (and you can pack some around the skis too).

The other option is to take out just the boots and have a gear/clothing bag, ski bag and the little boots only bag. Somehow to me it seems risky to do the boots only thing -- like that small bag is just asking to get lost. Or, carry on your boots -- but with ipod, camera, video camera, computer, book, snacks for the flight all needing to be carried on I feel I have enough to carry!

I did travel to Santiago last year with one extra bag -- three double ski bags (with 8 pair skis and 4 pair poles -- we each had 2 pair), 4 gear bags and 2 suitcases for 4 people. Nobody called us on the extra bag -- but you'd have to be prepared to pay if needed. I think they are more likely to overlook the extra if you fly business class or have some sort of elite level frequent flier status with the airline.

For a week or less trip I usually can fit clothing in everyone's gear bag. Last year we went to Chile for two weeks so we had gear bags plus the two suitcases. Each person got half a suitcase for clothing (and a bit more layering choices in the gear bag than I'd bring for a shorter trip). The extra ski bag was the problem with each bringing 2 pair for 3 total ski bags - but we got away with it. I think I can pack lighter this time and try to get down a bag (and perhaps leaving some skis behind....).

Always Skiing
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Always Skiing
I've flown to Santiago twice once on LAN Chile/American and on Delta. The rule (as I understand it) is 2 checked bags each weighing no more than 70 lbs.

*snip*

Always Skiing
This has changed, tickets issued after December of '05 have a 50lb limit.

J
post #13 of 15
That is a big change which I am very glad to have learned about.

I just went to the Delta and AA web sites to confirm and you are correct in that it is now only 50 bls. Delta makes no mention of international at all but the chart for international on AA does say 70 lbs for tickets purchased before 10/05. I see nothing on the Delta web site about tickets purchased before any date still getting the 70 lbs.

I am flying Delta this year and the tickets were issued 9/05 . I wonder if I still get the 70 lbs? I guess I need to call Delta. I might have to re-think my packing as my husband and my large gear bags packed out (gear, boots and clothes) to about 70.

Interesting I just noticed that JetBlue lets you take 70 domestically.

Always Skiing
post #14 of 15
My Delta paper thing that htey put the e-ticket in at check in, states that their 50lb limit is for domestic AND international.
When I checked in last week to fly to LAX to connect with an international flight, the Delta lady said I'd have to re-pack my bag that was 55 lb, move 2 lb into the 48 lb bag, and the rest into my carry on. She apologised and said they were having to get really strict with this now.

Jet Blue is the only US airline I've flown that was impressive and professional. No overbooking nonsense, check in people who know the rules, clean planes.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

weight limits

There's no doubt in my mind that the airlines are going to be really tight on weight limits now because of fuel costs. Bummer.
'dog
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