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Shipping skis VS Checking on Plane?

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posts: 49
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Shipping skis VS Checking on Plane?

We are traveling to PC on United Airlines over holidays. Anyone have any recommendations on taking skis on plane VS shipping to resort? It seems that some airlines costs for checking these larger items have gotten very expensive. It also seemed more convenient to not have to transport skis for a family.

12 replies to this topic
Baltimore, Maryland
Destination Expert
for North Conway
posts: 10,548
reviews: 36
1. Re: Shipping skis VS Checking on Plane?

I typically fly SW, where skis/boots are considered one item and are free. There is no reason not to ship separately if the resort will hold for you if seems more convenient and less expensive. I am guessing that most families just put on plane and don't worry about it. As an aside, I never ship boots but always carry on plane.

Park City, Utah
posts: 68
reviews: 1
2. Re: Shipping skis VS Checking on Plane?

Last I checked United considers 1 ski bag + 1 boot bag as the same as one suitcase for checked bag purposes, so yes if you are not elite or don't have the United credit card, you will need to pay a checked bag fee, but no more expensive than a suitcase and they actually consider the two ski pieces as one from a fee perspective. And if you want to save that fee may want to consider the United Visa card, as that gets you one free bag (ie free ski bag + boot bag) per passenger, plus some sign up frequent flyer bonus miles.

posts: 49
reviews: 1
3. Re: Shipping skis VS Checking on Plane?

Thanks for that info. We are United credit card holders and my husband is elite so that will definitely help us out. I am actually thinking about renting skis and just bringing the boots for my husband, myself and 1 teenager just based on the sheer amount of bags we have to bring for a family of 6. I managed to fit a snowboard and 2 smaller sets of skis in 1 ski bag. The 6 helmets are an entire suitcase in themselves. Now we need to hope for good conditions!!

Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Travel Gadgets and Gear
posts: 9,830
reviews: 195
4. Re: Shipping skis VS Checking on Plane?

Most major carriers do consider skis/boots as one item and do not surcharge. The trending idea, though, is renting. Far less hassle and you also have options to change gear, try out new demos, etc. Another interesting trick at the resorts is to utilize the free demo tents/yurts on many of the mountains to test out the latest gear.

I'm not 100% certain of this on UA, but suspect that if your husband is elite and your tickets are on the same record that you may get his free baggage to carry over to the others. Check with UA on this. I know it works when my wife flies with me on DL (I'm Gold).

You should have great skiing. Best early season conditions I can recall in my 25 years here.

Brighton, Michigan
posts: 148
reviews: 37
5. Re: Shipping skis VS Checking on Plane?

The best option is to bring your own boots and rent your skis there. That way you don't have the hassle of lugging your skis around the airport and to the resort, and your own boots are almost always the best fit/most comfortable. Plus, if you rent, you can often change which skis you have depending on the day / conditions. Say you get 12 - 18 inches of powder one day - rent some wide boards /fattys to stay on top and glide the powder. Say it is all hard pack - rent something shorter/thinner. If you want to demo a ski that you have been thinking about purchasing, this is a good way to do it because you will have a variety of runs / conditions to test it out in.

Northville, Michigan
posts: 1
6. Re: Shipping skis VS Checking on Plane?

I fly Delta and have a delta amex gold card. So one ski/board bag and one boot bag counts as one bag when going to a ski destination. Thus the first bag as such is free if you have a Delta gold amex card. I board and usually put most of my stuff in my boarding bag. Be careful because there is still a 50lb limit for both bags. But you could do one carry on and check the board/ski and boot bags.

Houston, Texas
posts: 6
reviews: 24
7. Re: Shipping skis VS Checking on Plane?

We used Delta this year. The ski "bag" cost $35 each why which is way, way, way less than what we paid to ship them back and forth two years ago. We bought a hard plastic "bag", which holds two pair of skis and poles. Worked great!! We also have boot back packs that we use to carry our boots and a few miscellaneous items on the plane. I love my boots and my skis and can't see renting them to reduce the hassle.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
posts: 3,565
reviews: 52
8. Re: Shipping skis VS Checking on Plane?

We always carry on our boots--they've been customized and couldn't be replaced by renting.

We prefer using our own skis--after narrowing our choices thru research, we demo tested several pair before selecting the ones we have. We have a ski tube that holds both pair of skis as well as 3 sets of poles (we bring an older spare set just in case).

Huntington, New York
posts: 35
9. Re: Shipping skis VS Checking on Plane?

We shipped all of our gear (skis, poles, boots, helmets) via fedex ground to Deer Valley a few years ago. They will hold it for you right at the base of either Snow Park or Silver Lake. The total shipping cost for 4 people was $90 one way, and this way we only had to bring 2 suitcases on the plane with us. Since we were traveling with small kids, it saved a lot of hassle at the airport. Now that my kids are bigger and can carry all of their own gear, it's not such an issue.

Los Angeles...
posts: 1
reviews: 3
10. Re: Shipping skis VS Checking on Plane?

On Dec 23, 2013, we shipped 2 sets of skis and poles inside a ski bag with UPS 2 day ground from Los Angeles to Deer Valley, and it cost $59 including insurance with a declared value of $1500. (The price can be estimated by knowing the dimensions and weight an going on the UPS site) The skis were and waiting for us in our room on arrival to the resort. To send them back we repacked them in the ski bag and the resort shipped them back to our home for us. Using UPS you can stuff bulky ski gear inside the bag. United airlines will let you travel with a boot bag for free but it cannot be filled with stuff as this would be a loophole in their extra bag revenue.

Shipping avoids the trouble of carrying the skis to and from the airport and hotel. Also you are limited in the kind of car you rent because you need one that will be big enough to handle the skis and your luggage, especially if you use a hard case. Or have to rent a car with a ski rack and then unpack the skis at the airport then put them on a rack etc.

It might be a little cheaper to take the skis yourself and check them as luggage, depending on the airline and your flyer status, but we ship because it is easier on the day of travel. You do need someplace that will receive and then ship your skis though. (Most resorts and hotels can do this.) We called the resort ahead of time to make sure.

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