I have flown many dozens of times over the years with my skis along. I have used both the Tube and ski bags.They both work. I've had skis mis-directed on occasion but never damaged with either system. However, since 9-11 I have elected not to use the Tube.
Since you can no longer lock your Tube because of security requirments at the airport, you are relying on Airport personel to remember to correctly lock or thread your jury rigged ties through three corresponding holes that must be properly aligned for the Tube to remain secure.
Security personel handle a lot of bags and depending on your travel connections, they may not have a lot of experience with the Tube. If the Tube is not properly secured, the risk you run is that it can slide apart and out come your skis and poles.
: Mistakes happen.
SportsTube has just come out with what is supposed to be "idiot proof" fastener to replace the lock although I haven't seen it yet. Zippers and straps on bags are something you can reasonably expect security personel to understand.
Bags are easier to manouver in the close confines of an automobile and have more room to pack extra things. On the other hand, The Tube has wheels while many bags don't. The Tube will probably last longer than a bag if you fly a lot. Bags tend to develop rips and abrasions over time. Zippers can fail. Tubes can aquire dents and it can be a tight fit get your skis and poles into one.
With a bag, I strap my skis together with ski ties and wrap them in newspaper reenforced at the tips and tails with extra layers secured with masking tape. Sometimes I pack extra things in the bag, sometimes not. Never had a problem. [img]smile.gif[/img]
If SportTube's new fastener is indeed "idiot proof" then for me the choice would depend on how much room there will be in the vehicle when I arrive at my destination and whether I need extra room to pack things or not. If vehicle or packing space is not an issue I would feel fine with the Tube.[ September 25, 2003, 02:33 PM: Message edited by: Lostboy ]