Oversize baggage

Oversize baggage with skis and snowboards
Flying off on a winter vacationOversize baggage such as skis and snowboards aren’t always free to transport

What do you need to take into account when flying with skis as oversize baggage items?

More than a few vacationers who fly off on holiday late in the year have to grapple with an important question: “Should I take my skis or snowboard with me on my flight, or should I leave them at home?” After all, it’s usually pretty easy to hire these bulky items of winter sports equipment when you reach your destination. All the same, that costs money and is out of the question for committed winter sports enthusiasts anyway.

Ultimately, you’ve bought yourself an expensive bit of high-end gear and tuned it just right for you and your level of skill. Added to that, there are often only a few weeks in the year – sometimes only days – when the conditions are just right for your chosen sport. Taking all that into account, you’re clearly not going to be keen to hire something when you arrive. So what do you need to bear in mind when you get to baggage check-in?

There are airlines that have taken steps to support their customers through the winter season and allow each passenger to check in one bulky piece of equipment for skiing or snowboarding in addition to their usual luggage allowance, without having to pay extra. Other airlines will carry bulky sports equipment for free, but only if the overall weight of the passenger’s baggage does not exceed the usual allowance. However, there are more than a few airlines that add additional costs to the ticket price so that travelers can sometimes end up eating into their holiday budget by well over 100 euros for each item of equipment. Things can get unpleasantly expensive when using the low-cost airlines in particular.

What do airlines consider to be skiing equipment?

Different airlines define the term “skiing equipment” in different ways. While some include everything – skis, boots, poles and helmet – others will allow passengers to carry their helmet and/or boots in their hand luggage. Other still will insist that helmet and boots are checked in in a separate bag and will charge extra.

Different countries, different rules

Last but not least, different conditions apply in different countries. It’s particularly important to take this into account if you have to take more than one flight, flying first to a different country and then taking a domestic flight to your winter sports destination.

With terms, conditions, rules and regulations constantly changing, it’s essential to make early inquiries with your travel agent or airline, even if you’re sure you can remember what you had to do the previous year.

Always register oversize baggage

It is usually a good idea – and sometimes a requirement – to let your airline know that you will be taking oversize baggage with you in plenty of time before your departure, either online or by phone. If you do not, you may have to pay a fine.

However, if you’re properly prepared, there’s nothing to stop you enjoying a relaxed start to your active holiday.

Oversize baggage with skis and snowboards
Oversize baggage with skis and snowboards

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Baggage handling in the airport
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