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Ski safe airlines. Do they exist?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well, I just got the email from my club and its back to Jackson this year. Nice!! But after getting my skis after a sick powderday on rentals, I want to know who has the best running record with your gear.
Damages?
Hand delivery?
Showing up on time at the right airport, let alone country?

Lets have em.



my experience with NWA was sending my skis and clothes to Cancun. No lie. Got them at 3 in the morning day 2 of my trip. That and they gave me crap for bringing my weaponized boots on the plane
post #2 of 17
First suggestion; get a hard case. After seeing the dings and scratches in my SkiTube, I wouldn't travel with skis without it.

I've had United trash 2 pairs of skis (in a soft double bag) about 12 years ago, but since then, and about 20-30 trips with skis, I haven't had any issues with them being lost or damaged. I did have Northwest/Alaska lose all my stuff (not just my skis) for the first 2 days of a trip to Whistler. But I really think that was an issue with the transfer from NW to Alaska at Seattle, because we had flight issues. Somewhow the tickets for the last leg of the flight didn't get confirmed/released.
post #3 of 17
Many years ago, I had my ski gear stolen while making the inter-airline switch in Seattle. My experience with United was such that I have never flown on a single United flight since, even under situations where I was told that United was the ONLY option available. In all my years of flying I have never encountered anything close to such a level of incompetence combined with condescension. I fly American whenever possible because they treat me right every time.
post #4 of 17
Ski damage does not have much to do with a particular Air Line, Its about Air Ports The TSA and individual baggage handlers. Its all hit and miss.

I have noticed this past year that no matter how well you pack and protect your skis some TSA weenie might tear it all apart and then hand the lose unprotected ski bag over to a baggage handler that might play log toss with your ski bag, good thing skis are tough cuz an Air Plane ride can be brutal for skis.

WorstAirport I have seen for Ski Handling is Atlanta./ LAX.
Resort area Airports are usually pretty good with Ski's, Golf Clubs.
post #5 of 17
A couple of years ago, I flew NorthWest to Denver for a trip to Breckenridge. NW lost my skis somewhere on the way, so they offered to pay for any rentals that I may need until they were able to deliver my equipment to me. I only had to rent skis because I ALWAYS carry on my boots (just in case something like that happened). NW drove my skis to me the next day and dropped them off at the hotel. All in all, not too bad of an experience.
post #6 of 17
I guess I've been lucky so far. Never had problems yet on skis with United, American, Northwest, Air Canada, and even Alitalia (other than them trying to charge me in Milan for skis that went free from the States).

Amtrak's a whole other story. Spent the 1st 2 days of ESA 2004 on horrible demos (sorry I just hate Rossis) and frantically-purchased clothing.

re: (the)Rusty never flying UA again. I know where you're coming from, but in 12 years essentially every airline in the US has gone around the cycle from crummy to bankrupt to good to crummy... as well as having changes in ownership. 12 years ago I gave up on Continental for crappy service, and now they are rated as one of the best for domestic service. United has gotten a lot better since coming out of Chapter 11. Really, any airline could screw up amazingly on any given day. If they do it consistently, that's a reason not to fly them. But if they did it years ago and now have totally different ownership and management (12 years ago I think UA was still "employee owned"?) it may be worth a try - especially if you're otherwise just spiting yourself by taking long indirect routings because "I won't fly XYZ ever again."
post #7 of 17
I made a bad decision last year and chose Delta. In 2005 Southwest had the best record of least traveler complaints and the most reliability. As long as you are traveling within the continental US I would highly recommend them. They are usually cheaper than many of the other carriers too(as long as you don't mind riding coach).

After my ordeal last year I would rather sacrifice a little comfort in order to be reunited with my skis intact at the baggage claim!

If you value your skis...get a hard case, its worth the money.
post #8 of 17
I had good luck with Northwest on a trip from Providence to Salt Lake City, with one plane change.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTT View Post
I have noticed this past year that no matter how well you pack and protect your skis some TSA weenie might tear it all apart and then hand the lose unprotected ski bag over to a baggage handler that might play log toss with your ski bag,
Yep. This has been getting worse the past few years. You carefully pack and pad and wedge everything, then get to your destination and find the TSA has unwrapped EVERYTHING and jumbled it all in anyhow. I've had so much stuff broken the last 2 trips, even lipsticks in my "big" bag were cracked this trip!
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
its a shame that they open every bag now. I had my skis packed so tightly with clothes that i had to sit on the bag to close it. Probsbly bad for the zipper, but good for the skis. Now rambo goes through my stuff and cant repack it correctly
you know what really grinds my gears...
post #11 of 17
Just as an FYI on using a SkiTube, should you get one. I have a double tube, but only pack one pair of skis in it. It's true, that with the lifters under modens skis, it's easy for them to get too thick to fit well in the SkiTube when you pack them as they suggest. Also, just packing them that way is a PITA. I put my skis together, base to base, as yu normally would, put ski straps at the tips and tails, and put them in the double case that way. They fit very well. I use the straps that are riveted to the inside of the case to hold (suspend) the skis in the middle of the case. That way the bindings aren't right up against the side. You can fir one or two pairs of poles in there pretty easily with only one pair of skis. No need to put other stuff like towels or clothes in there with the skis and risk getting the clothes lost, stolen or torn up by moronic TSA dweebs.

For keeping the case closed, since you can't use a lock any more, I took an old, long screw, drilled a hole in the end, and put a ring (key ring) through it. You can buy a pin with a ring at Home Depot or Lowes. It's a lot cheaper than the $10 that the manufacturer wants for a pin with a ring.

This way, it's easy for them to open and properly close it, and when they do open it, it's obvious what is in there. Plus there's enough free space, that if you look inside with a flashlight, you can also see that there is nothing else in there, so they don't have to disassemble the whole thing (where they would not be willing/able to put back together)
post #12 of 17
Flying private is definitely the best way to travel, but it's expensive. Hopefully the new generation of very light jets just coming on line will spawn a competitive air taxi industry.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
Flying private is definitely the best way to travel, but it's expensive. Hopefully the new generation of very light jets just coming on line will spawn a competitive air taxi industry.

while were at it i should ask for constant dry west coast podwer dumps at stowe. also my own heli would be nice
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH View Post
No need to put other stuff like towels or clothes in there with the skis and risk getting the clothes lost, stolen or torn up by moronic TSA dweebs.
First off, let's remember 9/11 and why there are "moronic TSA dweebs" at our airports. For the most part, they have done a pretty good job at keeping our skies safe. You wouldn't believe how many loaded guns they intercept in carry-on bags.

Fact is, at National and Dulles, they have cameras on the baggage screeners, so if you've got an issue with damage or loss, make a claim and if you're not "embellishing the truth", you'll probably get reimbursed.

Another amazing fact: TSA probaly has your gear for 2-3 minutes. Your airline has it for hours. You figure it out....I wouldn't put a digital camera or video camera in my checked baggage if I was flying NW via Detroit...just an observation.

True, the TSA has to remove all the stuff out of ski bags because they are too long to fit through the X-ray baggage screening machines. And truer still, the screeners are not going to re-pack your stuff with the same care you originally packed it with - they have minutes while it may have taken you an hour...I know it takes me that long. It's a fact of life you can thank Osama Bin Laden for...or George Bush if you believe the conspiracy theorists: .

Has anybody checked to see if you can ship from one UPS store to another? It may cost a bit, but it's probably cheaper than vacation insurance and would add a whole lot of peace of mind. This should work especially well to Denver, SLC, Reno/Tahoe, Vancouver, etc. May be a little tougher if you're flying directly to Eagle, Jackson, Hardin, or Aspen. I've thought about it, but never followed through with the research. Anybody? Bueller?
post #15 of 17
spend the money and ship your equiptment to the hotel a few days before your arrival. Fedex is the best
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
does anyone think due to the latest attempted attack they will give us crap for bringing our boots on the plane? granted we can take out the liner and show them its not a bomb, but will they let us, or just tell us to check them?
post #17 of 17
I've flown Delta 3 times now and have yet to have a problem. I have a soft bag, and pack it to the hilt with clothes to protect the skiis.
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