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Bring Skis to Europe?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Staying at St. Anton in Austria for a week during mid January. Should I bring my RX-8's or rent?
post #2 of 28
I wouldn't personally, we went to Europe in February, and had a biatch of a time with airlines and skis. In a major resort like St Anton you will have no trouble finding good rentals, plus you might even get a rental place that will let you swap skis according to the conditions.

Next Euro trip - 2009 - skis will be staying at home. :
post #3 of 28
Plus you might have to pay extra to take them. Varies with your airline, and within your airline, on whether or not you have elite status with them. Lufthansa is starting to charge for skis on all flights, whilst their wholly-owned partner Swiss always takes skis free.

US-based airlines mostly still will consider "one set of ski equipment" (ski bag plus boot bag) as the equivalent of 1 of your 2 (or sometimes 3, if elite) checked bags.

Of course there's the hassle factor of schlepping your skis through the airport connections.

I stopped taking skis to Europe after having to argue in Milan with Alitalia about why they wanted to charge me for my skis Milan-Boston, when Alitalia in Boston didn't charge me a week earlier for Boston-Milan. I take my boots in carry-on (never check your boots!) and then rent skis at the destination. Just took my boots to Davos and was happy with the rentals I got at a shop right at the rail station and tramway. I wouldn't have wanted to drag the skis though tight train connections getting to Davos from Zurich, or to Kitz from Munich, for example. I think you've got similar connections to get to St. Anton from any gateway airport in Germany or Austria, so make it easy on yourself and don't bring them.
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the quick replies, I won't be bringing them now. I will be bringing my boots of course!
post #5 of 28
Took our skis two pair in one bag to Milan from N ID ,no extra charges and the skis made it fine the, clothes took three days to catch up, but I had the skis. Being telemark skiiers it made it neccesary to bring the skis.
post #6 of 28
I usually bring skis whenever I fly, but I'm not sure I would at St Anton, as there are exceptionally good rental opportunities there. I'd decide based on what the airline tells you vis. charges. If they tell you no charge, get it in writing, with someone's name on it, and print it out. Take it with you when you check in. Schlepping is a hassle, but rentals are not cheap. I always wonder a bit about the bindings, too. But at St Anton, shops usually let you boot up there, so you can walk the village in shoes; they store your rental gear, so you never have to carry (they also hold onto your own boots if you want, and dry on a machine at night too). Plus they'll do the edges a couple times a week free if you ask.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
I know Lufthansa charges, it even has the rates on their website.

http://www.lufthansa.com/online/port...nodeid=1769640
post #8 of 28
Yeah, I had a nasty surprise with them last season. Only paid going West, though. No one asked me for cash on the way back here (from Spokane).
post #9 of 28
Im in Europe & I dont bother with my own skis anymore. Nearly all the airlines charge now & hey you can ski on new models every year !

Plenty of places in St Anton to rent skis . Everywhere will let you swap out,change etc.

Most Hotels have deals with shops which get you a percentage off.

This is one of the cheapest places to rent (keep it quiet) a small shop up town, you can normally ask for a cheaper deal.

http://www.skiwest.at/rent.html

These are the main rental places all over town

http://www.intersport-arlberg.com/wi...x.html?lang=en

http://www.sport-jennewein.com/start.htm

http://www.sport-alber.com/en/rent_preise.php
post #10 of 28
I've schlepped skis to Europe three times. Never had problems and it's always good to be there on your own planks, unless your own skis are lousy. That said, it's no fun to carry your bag (with two pairs of skis inside), plus your wife's through an airport and a village in both directions.

150 Euros/$223 US to rent for a week.
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
It's cheaper to bring my own skis... hell I usually pack one suit case when I go to Europe for a ~month so they wouldn't even charge for the skis.

I'm just worried if the RX8's aren't going to cut it...
post #12 of 28
I took my own, but I have status on United so don't have to face the fees. They were a pain coming through customs (leave extra time if you have to transfer after customs!). I like having my own skis to know that I'll have a pair that I'll enjoy. Good rentals/demos are often difficult to find if you actually have a preference for well-tuned skis!
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Good rentals/demos are often difficult to find if you actually have a preference for well-tuned skis!
This does not apply for the major resorts, at least off the holidays.
post #14 of 28
When I went to Austria this past February, I rented from Intersport. The skis I ended up with were quite good (Dynastar Contact 9 and Atomic SL:12), in practically new condition, and the price was right. They also touched up the edges after every day, and traded up (the Dynastar to the Atomic) when I wanted something with more "oomph."

Not bringing skis meant being able to travel solely with carry-on bags for the trip - a big plus.
post #15 of 28
I always brought my skis on 2 different occasions. Renting skis for a week is just a little less than the cost as lift tickets or meals for a week - why wouldn't you BYOS?

I slugged them around for business, and then rental car/train/bus combos. Trains were the most difficult (those without storage areas) - but a few people are usually doing it. Heck, I still had a lighter/less bulky load than some fellow Americans without skis.

I never got charged for equipment on United/Lufthansa - one business and one economy flight. US airlines/locations are used to Americans taking too much stuff, so they do not charge. It's Europe to know policies.

I would at least have a mid-fat to ski off-piste. It's all open terrain. No idea how the Rx8 measure up.
post #16 of 28
I always take my skis to Europe (25+ years). Yes, there's often some schlepping between trains, but you get to use your own gear and the hundred of $'s you don't spend on renting can be turned into skiing, eating, drinking perks along the way. Also, I don't trust the tune jobs on rental skis. Your RX-8's should be fine in St. Anton. If you get a big dump you can always go and rent fat skis for the day(s) that you need them.
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by PowHog View Post
This does not apply for the major resorts, at least off the holidays.
It certainly depends on both when and where. At Val Thorens, Deux Alpes, and La Grave late last season when I was there, I was very grateful to have my own skis.
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkXS View Post
I stopped taking skis to Europe after having to argue in Milan with Alitalia about why they wanted to charge me for my skis Milan-Boston, when Alitalia in Boston didn't charge me a week earlier for Boston-Milan.
Well that makes sense, because of the prevailing winds (west->east) flying the skis back means they create more drag, though I guess that would depend if you had fat powder skis or thin racing skis. If they were fat powder skis I can totally understand the airlines position since they would create a lot of drag on the plane, or a snowboard for that matter. Also how shaped the edges were and if you'd waxed recently...

Personally I'd bring my own, just pack the boots in a hiking backpack and make sure the total weight doesn't go over 70LBS. The Skis just go in a hard plastic sport-tube with rollers on the bottom and its a breeze. The backpack goes on your back and click the waist strap in so you don't strain your back. Super easy, even on trains in Germany/Switzerland, and I speak from experience. Trains in Switzerland sometimes even have special places to put your skis. You can also pack socks and things inside the boot if you need space.

Also lots of trains have long luggage racks - think metal platforms that you slide a plate down in a cafeteria. This allows you to just put the skis overhead (possibly strap them in so they don't slide around). ICE (highspeed train) might be a bit more of a pain, though I'm sure if you just ask the Shaffner (conductor) he'd help you find a secure place to store them.
post #19 of 28
Getting back to the topic - St. Anton's sport shops have excellent rental gear so don't worry.
post #20 of 28
PowHog, do you need to reserve them ahead of time?
post #21 of 28
When I go home to Switzerland I most always take my skis and boots. I always fly Swiss so skis and boots fly at no extra charge.

Swiss Miss
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
PowHog, do you need to reserve them ahead of time?
Nope, you don't. They run it on a first-come-first-served base.

That said you can call them ahead of time in case you are looking for some specific equipment and whether they store it and/or put it aside for you.
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by alex4412 View Post
I know Lufthansa charges, it even has the rates on their website.

http://www.lufthansa.com/online/port...nodeid=1769640
Where it reads: "one ski bag is allowed free of charge". The catch is weight. Bring boots and a reasonable amount of clothes and equipment and you're running the risk of passing the 20kg/piece limit. Not that it's any different in North America.
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpfeiffer View Post
Where it reads: "one ski bag is allowed free of charge". The catch is weight. Bring boots and a reasonable amount of clothes and equipment and you're running the risk of passing the 20kg/piece limit. Not that it's any different in North America.
That's what Austrian Airlines says on their website too, no worries leaving Australia, but on the way back both Air France and Austrian denied all knowledge of that policy. We should have printed it out to show them, but that probably wouldn't have helped anyway. They tried to charge us excess baggage on all our ski gear (close to $1000), and eventually backed down after a couple of hours of argument with the entire heirarchy, and a couple of missed flights. Didn't spoil the whole trip but it was an ugly traumatic experience.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by crystal View Post
That's what Austrian Airlines says on their website too, no worries leaving Australia, but on the way back both Air France and Austrian denied all knowledge of that policy. We should have printed it out to show them, but that probably wouldn't have helped anyway. They tried to charge us excess baggage on all our ski gear (close to $1000), and eventually backed down after a couple of hours of argument with the entire heirarchy, and a couple of missed flights. Didn't spoil the whole trip but it was an ugly traumatic experience.
Outch, how recent was that? I've never had a problem of that magnitude. Everything fine in the last few years other than shifting stuff to stay under 20kg each piece... i've got it down to the point where I already know what can go inside which bag and case to stay in the limit. This is: US Airways, Delta, Continental. Northwest maybe KLM I'm not sure... I'm around too often so I forget... Great idea to print out the posted regulations AND to make sure you check top to bottom; changes are announced ahead of time and they might apply between booking the flight and departure of any of the legs. (Had that happen before and that almost bit).

British Airways rant: They just recently stopped accepting windsurfing equipment. Poor sailors back in grim and cold Europe. No way out on BA any more...
post #26 of 28
I would just always be concerned that I wouldn't get the right skis, or that they'd not be tuned well. So, if you're concerned about those kinds of things, think about taking your own... if you're willing to chance it... YMMV...
post #27 of 28
Intersport (at least the one in Alpendorf) allows you to pick the model and size of ski you wish to rent - very handy. And it's worth it to reserve ahead of time, online, if you can.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by alex4412 View Post
Staying at St. Anton in Austria for a week during mid January. Should I bring my RX-8's or rent?
Rent. In St Anton you'll find everything. Any brand, any category, any size.
RX 8s for instance...
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