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Traveling on an airplane with my board question


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Ok so i have a slight problem. I am taking a trip to Utah at the end of this month, using United and Continental. I have traveled in the past with multiple boots and boards in a nice larger padded burton bag all at the same time. This year I was told that the snowboard or skis that are checked must have boots in seperate boot bags not with the board itself. This will be my 4th trip out west and every year I just lay the board in the bag and put my boots right flat on top of it without a problem. This rule by my airline may or may not be new and I was just getting away with it.

Has anyone traveled with their equipment the same as me this year? I really see no need to buy a boot bag which may get lost or seperated and i will never use again.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Here it is...

Other information

Boot bag must be separate from the snowboard bag.

Snowboard acceptable length range = 53-72 inches (135-183 cm).


Obviously things will depend on whether the person you get follows the rules carefully or not.

I just travelled from RDU to Aspen, checking my bags with American on the way there and United on the way back. It seems like the company that takes your baggage are the folks who will enforce the rules. I followed the wisdom I found here and checked a sub-50 lb Da Kine Concours bag with 2 boards and a set of boots in it (and 3 boards and one boot on the return leg - to stay under 50 lbs). When I was asked, I agreed that it was ski equipment. I did carry a set of boots as a carryon, and did not try to check them as combined ski equipment.


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United's ski policy is interesting also :-



1 ski bag, containing 1 pair of skis and poles, plus 1 boot bag, containing boots and bindings only, are allowed in place of one checked bag."

I mean, how many times have you seen skiers remove their bindings and put them in their boot bag.

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See thats my issue I have done this in the past and dont see why its an issue now. Its saving them less bags and it helps to protect my board.

I'm not going to try to determine the intent of airline baggage policy, but I can only assume that they have a grand unified plan to store lots of ski's and boards in the minimum area on the plane. Or at least that was the intent of the policy. Possibly also, they are trying to reduce their personnel injury stats from hauling heavy bags around.

Have anyone traveled this year with the same setup?

I travelled with that setup I decribed above and got back home yesterday.

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Someone here at BOL posted a tactic that seems to make a lot of sense. If you have the opportunity to do curbside baggage check-in... do so, 'accidentally' letting them see some tip money being readied. And tip the guy comfortably. Often they are less "letter of the law" than the people at the counter.

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Funny, two years ago we were told that you could have a snowboard bag OR a ski bag + ski boot bag. Snowboard boots had to go in the snowboard bag; ski boots had to be in not just any boot bag, but one shaped like a boot. That year the airline also had a different policy on their website: $200 for snowboards! I guess they were still working the kinks out.

I second the curbside check-in suggestion. They're much more reasonable.

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  • Ship the boards ahead of you to your hotel.
  • Put your bindings on your boots
  • Carry your boots on as your personal item
  • Pack 1 day of ski clothes into your carry on.

No longer dependant on the airline being competent

I have seen people get to the airrport and be charged 100's of dollars, especially if boards are longer then 180cm

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flew to WTF with 3 boards in a Dakine 200cm bag.. two sets of TD2's in my back pack( with all other stuff 60lbs). and boots in the other checked bag.. both maxed out at 50+..

Curbside you bet.. that 20 bucks went a long way with Continental..

The odd thing on the way back I had United,.. NO bag fee.. I was told if they change your schedule for any reason.. they drop bag fees... I did check in on line to get this deal.. but I asked the question why,, when I got to the airport..

Funny.. I can carry 80lbs of gear on my back.. but my luggage has to be under 50 pounds.. I just put the heaviest schitt in my back pack.. been doing this forever...

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LOL, I went to SES with a board, skis, poles, and a single boot in my snowboard bag 49#'s :)

And I third the curbside check-in, it's worth a try. My buddy got a whole huge duffle bag on as "skis and boots" with that outbound from Chicago (you know, we're pay-to-play here...) but it didn't work so well in Aspen, they we're like "yeah a boot bag OK but not a big duffle full of stuff"

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Just remember these are CYA's for the airlines.

If you able to get you board through with the boots in the bag and something happens to your board. You are SOL. They will site their rule for you to have your boots and board separate and you will be done.

UPS does it whit the shipment of bikes. You are supposed to ship the front wheel separate. If not, you cannot claim any damage done during shipping due to you not following their rules.

Just keep it in mind.

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Feb 2011 - shipped two SporTubes from MI to CO

1) Two coilers with both sets of bindings on the top board 38.9 lbs $43.25

2) Two sets of skis with bindings 38.30 lbs $43.95

No airport of transport hassle and no tipping required; traceable and insureable. Insured value over $499 will require a direct signature and the cost of insurance over $500 is $0.75/$100 value.

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We go out west very year and put 2 snowboards, ( 150cm and 192cm ) and 2 pairs of kids skis, all without bindings in a wheeled dakine 185cm ski bag and then 2 pairs of skiboots and 2 helmets in a dakine "boot-locker" boot bag. We just call it a "ski" bag and "boot bag"

and never got hassled.

We put the other 2 sets of snowboard boots and 2 more helmets in 2 suitcases with our other stuff. That way no extra charge, 1 bag per person.

Yes, always have a backpack for carryon.

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All my stuff is international. Basically there's no real issue here at all, but you need to know what the specific rules are, and they're different from how they were a few years ago. All the rules are available from the airline websites.

Scheduled, low cost, and charter flights may be different. I'm assuming cattle class: if you're paying more than that then some of the rules are different.

This year with BA (nasty, horrible, but have some good routes) you can take a carry-on which is is regulation size, but not weight restricted. So long as you can pick it up and stick it in the overhead you'll have no trouble with the carry-on. The same's true for at least some low cost airlines.

With some low cost airlines you're paying for anything at all in the hold. They charge a lot (often more than the flight), but the limit is then likely to be 23kgs - a baggage handler limit in the UK. With a scheduled flight then your hold allowance is typically precisely the same, 23kgs.

At 23kgs you can fit a couple of boards, bindings, and your board clothing and bits. They don't look inside the bags; at most they'll weigh them but not always. I weigh my stuff so I know it's ok.

If you need more than two bags you may have lots of dancing clothing or not be familiar with washing machines. Otherwise you don't need to do any curbside stuff. I find it helps if you're polite with the check-in people. UK staff will be more prissy and may give you hassle if you're obviously trying to break the rules.

If you're flying "charter" then sometimes they have specific rules about snowboards and stuff - those rules are generally intended to allow people to take the sports gear in addition to their ordinary baggage allowance. In that case you need to read the specific rules. If you're expecting trouble then I'd take a copy of the rules with you (particularly if they're not standard), just in case the check-in staff aren't aware of them.

Note that the gate staff can take your carry-on away from you if they don't like the look of it, so if you sneak it past the main check-in, you're not necessary clear. With some smaller 'planes there won't be enough room in the cabin for large hand bags - then you can usually check your hand-baggage at the staircase and get it back there.

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