Flying With Skis
You’ve booked a great deal on your skiing holiday, then you go to book your skis in and, if not careful, you can get stung for an additional £400 for a family of 4. Some of the cheaper airlines can be the worse offenders here so it is absolutely essential that you check ski charges when you book your air tickets.
No Frills Airlines
EasyJet defines small sports equipment as being items up to 20kg, this will normally include skis with boots and poles and snowboards. Large is classified as 32kg max. If you book online then the cost of small sports equipment is £35, if you pay at the airport it jumps up to £45.Large sports equipment would cost £40 online and £50 at the airport.
Ryanair set a maximum weight for ski equipment of 20kg and charge £40 per item per one way flight. This rises to £45 if you pay at the airport. So you can see that whilst owning your own skis and boots can save you ski hire costs in resort if you aren’t careful in reading the small print then your travel costs can soar.
British Airways euro traveller economy regard ski equipment as a second bag. This has a max weight of 23kg, they charge £6o online and £65 at the airport. These charges are each way. Something that also often catches people out is that a boot bag would be seen as a third bag and you would pay all the charges listed above again. The same charges apply for economy flights to North America.
So what can you do to try and limit your costs when travelling with ski equipment?
Fly Swiss Airlines
Swiss International Airlines are the only airline that offers free ski allowance on flights from the UK to the Alps. They say that they don’t see this changing. The only problem is you may find them more expensive on the price of the ticket itself. But well worth keeping an eye out particularly if you are travelling low season or last minute.
Be Canny When You Pack
On the easyJet and Ryanair websites they don’t make any mention of ski boots. So we can infer from that as long as the bag you are checking in doesn’t go over the weight restriction you can pack whatever you like in it. So one bag doesn’t just have to have 1 set of skis in it, it could have 1 set of skis and a snowboard for example. Just weigh everything at home to ensure you get the weight right.
Another idea is to take the higher sports bag allowance with easyJet and pack everything in it, all of your holiday clothes. That way you won’t have to book any other bags in, it may work out cheaper than booking in one check in bag and a small sports bag.
Read The Small Print And Weigh Everything At Home
Do be aware of what the charges are, print out the relevant web page and take it with you to check in. we’ve had some heated conversations with book in staff before and the printed page has helped. Also get the bathroom scales out to weigh your bags before you leave home, it will save you rummaging about at the airport trying to lose a few precious kg out of your ski bag.
Rent Skis In Resort
These charges are causing some skiers to simply ditch the skis and hire in resort. With pre ordering of skis, boots and boards now very easy and very well priced then this is a real option. If you pre order online then you simply turn up in resort to collect your skis. This is a great option for beginners and of course children but may not be as attractive to more experienced skiers who like their own skis and boards.