I will be taking my first downhill ski trip soon, and am planning to bring my own skis.

What are the tricks involved in doing this?

I will be staying in the USA, and might fly with Spirit Airlines to Denver, so Spirit specific advice would be a plus.

  • Look into a hard case called Sportube.
    – JoErNanO
    Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 21:29
  • (1) You do need a simple soft ski bag and a boot bag. (2) MOST airlines allow you take those items at no extra cost, as a special benefit to skiers to get their business.. However (3) it looks like Spirit does NOT offer that deal to skiers.
    – Fattie
    Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 7:49
  • 1
    Incidentally, the Denver airport has a special vertical baggage carousel for skis and similarly shaped items, so be sure to look there when you get to baggage claim. Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 18:38

2 Answers 2


Spirit: Can I bring my skis on my trip?

You betcha! Put them in a bag and get ready to hit the slopes, or the lake. Ski equipment (water or snow) is charged as a standard checked bag. Please be mindful overweight (over 40 pounds /18.1 kg) and oversized (over 62 inches / 157.48) baggage costs more.

A limited liability release will need to be signed when traveling with skis or snowboards.

Since many skies are 62"+ (and a ski bag adds at least a little length), your bag is likely to be oversize, which will result in a substantial extra charge on top of the regular baggage fees. Plus you'll need to pay a baggage fee for your skies, and another for your boot bag, and one for the rest of your belongings. Spirit, a low-cost-carrier, is particularly known to be strict and unyielding when it comes to their fees.

Even if the fare is more expensive, you very well may come out ahead on another airline, as carriers like United, American, and Southwest (which gives you two checked bags for free) will treat skis and a boot bag as a single item and won't charge overlength fees on standard skis.

  • The thing I wonder - separate bag for the boots? Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 23:52
  • A boot bag is typical, especially since most airlines won't charge an extra bag fee for it (they'll treat a ski bag + boot bag as a single bag, as described above). Boots are generally large and could ruin your clothes, so trying to carry them in your suitcase could be trouble, but it depends on what other luggage you're bringing. Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 0:20
  • Yes, you need a separate bag for the boots. Zach, I think they're saying it is "counted as" 1x piece of luggage. So if your ticket entitles you to 1x piece, that's OK. Does that sound right ? (Setting aside the ridiculous length limit.)
    – Fattie
    Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 7:51
  • 1
    @Fattie Spirit counts the ski bag as 1x piece of luggage and the boot bag as 1x piece of luggage, and they'll impose their length limit on the skis and charge for the excess. Most other US airlines will count a ski bag+boot bag together as 1x piece of luggage and won't charge extra for the length of the skis. I think that's what you're saying too. Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 9:24
  • 1
    Right. In short I definitely would not use Spirit, if skiiing! Very helpful answer here!
    – Fattie
    Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 10:31

I'm flying to Denver to ski too, but on United. United lets me have a ski bag with up to two pairs of skis, plus associated equipment (I guess that means poles), together with a boot bag (I'm presuming I can put helmet, gloves, balaclava, ski pants, etc. in boot bag). The ski bag and boot bag together count as one piece of checked baggage. Travel agent emphasized not putting clothes or non-ski stuff in ski bag. Have fun!

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