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I'm taking my skis with me on a plane for the first time, and so I'm a little unsure of the best practices to make sure everything arrives safely.

Equipment: How can I make sure my skis arrive in two pieces and not more? Is there anything possible to protect the ski bindings (they stick out from the skis) or the poles? What about the boots, how banged up will they get? I have a ski and boot bag, but they're not really padded.

Luggage policies: Most airlines seem to allow an additional boot bag for free, as long as it only contains boots. Can I stuff additional gear in my ski bag, provided it's under the 50 lb limit? Does the weight limit count the combined ski/boot bags, or just the skis?

Airport: Do most airports have a separate check in and pickup counter for oversize equipment like skis?

  • I am sure this was asked before... can't find it now – Nean Der Thal Mar 27 '15 at 18:33
  • I think instead of two pieces, you want two skis to arrive in one piece each. – Michael Hampton Mar 27 '15 at 21:04
  • Are they separate bags ? check the ski bag and carry-on the boots with you. – Max Dec 21 '16 at 19:00
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Skiis are pretty darn durable afterall they are built to carry 150 kilos of flailing human through meter tall moguls. And how many times have you stomped them with your ski booted foot to release the bindings. They will travel just fine.

Poles can get bent, but you can always strap them together for more strength or to your skiis. Or if you are really paranoid, you could wrap the shafts with some cardboard.

Boots again are built to be abused. But always good idea to buckle them up, so there are no loose hanging bits to be caught and broken off. Some folks put each boot in a plastic bag to further protect buckles from being caught by ski poles or bindings.

Airports that serve ski areas often have a separate baggage claim for oversized items.

Check in however is usually at the same counter with every one else. Some airports will have an oversized baggage drop point where you will take your skiis after check in. Some will just set your skiis to the side and a baggage handler will come pick them up.

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Strap your ski together (and poles if possible) before putting them in your ski bag, you can even wrap them up in a blanket if there is enough space in the bag.

I've known people that put extra clothing in their ski bags.

Put your boots in the boot bag and keep it with you as a carry on; check that you can do so with your airline.

I Usually buckle my boots and put an extra pair of socks in them.

Airlines have specific drop in and pickup areas for larger luggage like ski bags; as Tom wrote, airports near ski areas will have them marked.

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