skiing trips getting a little more expensive?
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Roger Z
April 1, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Anyone been following the news about new baggage policies? Apparently starting May 1 USAir is only allowing ONE free bag onto their flights, and bags over 62 inches in length will automatically be feed $25. A friend reports Northwest might be picking up the same policy, but I haven't seen it on Continental or Southwest... yet.

I wouldn't mind if they were changing how they charged us- that is, our ticket price was going down in exchange for a direct charge on bags- but I don't think that's what's happening. Anyway, just a very early warning "heads up" for those thinking about travelling around next winter to ski. Also- airlines are imposing "embargo periods" on additional bags when travelling abroad, so if you're thinking of going to South America this summer or Europe next winter please be sure to check if your planned trip falls in an embargo period, or if your destination has one. It could be a real show stopper if your "trip of a lifetime" to Las Lenas starts off with no skis or boots!

And, of course, there may be different policies for skiers/vacationers (not sure about that yet)...
JohnL
April 1, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
David
April 1, 2008
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
I know the perfect solution to transport all of your gear by air and not get charged anything extra for having large bags. Here is a quick and easy Solution.
JohnL
April 1, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
If you are going to spend all your time on the slopes on Snow Blades, why bother flying at all? Just drive to Whitetail.
David
April 1, 2008
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
 Originally Posted By: JohnL
If you are going to spend all your time on the slopes on Snow Blades, why bother flying at all? Just drive to Whitetail.


If you are going to spend all of your time on the slopes on Snow Blades you might as well just stay at home and watch TV, cuz you are a loser. Ok, maybe not a loser. But you get my point.

Next time I will be sure to add a [sarcasm] [/sarcasm] code...
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 1, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
For Stateside locations, I've used UPS to make sure my skis and boots were there on time and safe. I made this arrangement for trips to Big Sky MT, Red Lodge MT, and Aspen CO, where I shipped my skis on a Skitube. Several reasons:

1. Baggage can be lost quite easy, especially today. And the airlines are in no hurry to get it to you. With UPS or FedEx, they will turn over the earth to get a package to its owner. In all three cases, the stuff was there two days before I arrived at the hotel.

2. The baggage damage indemnification limits doesn't even begin covering the price of skis and boots. With UPS and others, you can insure it to its full price. Additionally, many airlines nowadays make you sign a waiver of liability release on skis (except on skitubes)

3. Provided you have some time to spare, the prices are competitive. A 40 lb package on a 7-day notice for $50.00 gets your skis and boots there. Or just your skis and you can get your boots as baggage.

4. While your soap and lotion on the cabin get confiscated if it measures 4.0000001 ounces, the stuff in the belly of the airplane gets no inspection so you can lock your ski tube.

GRK
April 2, 2008
Member since 12/19/2007 🔗
404 posts
Ibotta

Thanks for the pricing information on shipping...was wondering what that might cost. On our recent trip to SLC our Ski Tube was delayed (the airline blamed it on TSA though I saw no sign of its having been inspected). Fortunately it arrived a few hours later but it was a close call. I cannot think of too many other businesses where you can stiff the customer a few extra bucks for an add-on that is completely unreliable. Next time I will be using UPS.

As for baggage policies...in my experience if you are looking to "stretch" the baggage policy the place to do it as at curbside checkin. They can't give you an extra piece but weight or size might get overlooked with the unspoken rule that you are going to pony up a bigger tip.

GRK
SCWVA
April 2, 2008
Member since 07/13/2004 🔗
1,051 posts
 Originally Posted By: lbotta
...... With UPS or FedEx, they will turn over the earth to get a package to its owner. In all three cases, the stuff was there two days before I arrived at the hotel.

.....the stuff in the belly of the airplane gets no inspection so you can lock your ski tube.


UPS will actually store your stuff for you until you call them and tell them to deliver it. It's not a bad option if you're not skiing the first day you get to your destination.

Unless you have a TSA lock, TSA will pry open or cut your lock off. Plus they'll leave a nasty gram inside your luggage.
skier219
April 2, 2008
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
Lou might have been referring to freight items, but I think those can only fly on cargo planes now (ie, the ones owned by fed-ex and ups, etc). TSA definitely picks through checked luggage on passenger flights. We got one of their love letters in my wife's (unlocked) ski bag on our March trip. Oftentimes, they cannot fit ski bags in their scanners, so they will inspect them by hand.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 2, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
219, you're correct. If you check your bags, they will inspect. The freight airplanes are rarely checked, and also rarely is the freight that travels on passenger planes.

As far as foreign destinations, my neighbors shipped their skis on tubes to Banff through Calgary, but since their hotel didn't have an import certificate, the skis were received by Canadian customs and kept for them at Calgary. The problem was that FedEx told them that their skis would be sent and delivered to their hotel and they only found out that the skis were at the airport when they checked into the hotel. If they would have known, they could have intercepted their skis at the airport. No fees or taxes, other than the fact that Canadian Customs kept the skis to be claimed by the customers themselves. I guess something to check...
JohnL
April 2, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
 Quote:
and also rarely is the freight that travels on passenger planes.


Per Skier219's post, can freight still be loaded on passenger flights? I knew it was possible a couple of years ago; it was criticized then as a pretty obvious security hole.
Yankeehiker
April 2, 2008
Member since 04/2/2008 🔗
1 posts
 Originally Posted By: JohnL
 Quote:
and also rarely is the freight that travels on passenger planes.


Per Skier219's post, can freight still be loaded on passenger flights? I knew it was possible a couple of years ago; it was criticized then as a pretty obvious security hole.


Oh yes it does. The US Post Office leases space on close to 70 percent of the US passenger traffic flights. And up to 10 percent of the passenger airliner profits are from freight carried on passenger planes.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
April 2, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Check with the hotel you are staying at to see if they will accept UPS or FEDEX shipped skis? Many now do. Also check and see how many days in advance of your arrival they will accept your shipment.
I remain curious how the airline charges for more than one bag will eventually pan out. If you are going out west to ski for a week you probably need a large bag with clothes and other gear, a boot bag, a ski bag and maybe a computer. The computer and one smaller bag can be carry ons, beware that some of the new "triangular" boot bags will not fit in the overheads. Previously the airlines treated a boot bag and an accompanying ski bag as a single bag, counting as one of the two you could check. With a one bag limit, will the two bags still count as one, or if you check a suitcase and a boot bag and a ski bag will they hit you up for carrying two bags over the 1 bag limit? Anybody know? These charges could easily elipse the cost of shipping your skis by FEDEX.
As for getting away with more by using a curbside check...I have found this to be true, especially on the outbound trip. But I have been charged overweight fees, etc. curbside when returning. Not sure why! Same bags, same weight, etc. Maybe if you have a large tip in your hand....
Or are the airlines returning some of the fees to the curbside personnel?
When I was at Alta this year, I spoke with repeat skiers that used the same lodge several times a year and found that the Gold Miners Daughter would store their equipment for them between visits. Beats the airline bag check hassle.
The Colonel \:\)
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
April 2, 2008
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
You know, The Colonel... it would be great if everyone got together and boycotted the airlines that initiated this horrible practice. But the airline public will just take it as the price of doing business. And the charge will remain standing as just another way to tack on a surcharge without telling you the fares went up. Then after a little while, all the other airlines will follow suit. I'm normally Mr optimist but in the world of corporate america today, greed rules.

As far as the other side of the question, I believe that once you add the price of aggravation, FedEx already undercuts the airline charge by far. It is a great experience to get to your hotel and find the ski tube in your room, or the concierge already having taken it off the tube, waxed it, and placed it on the ski room by your already warm boots.
GRK
April 2, 2008
Member since 12/19/2007 🔗
404 posts
On our recent trip coming and going from Utah on Delta, both ways they counted our double ski tube and boot bag as one item...however if you read the fine print, they get to measure them as well. Fortunately for us they did not measure them.

Returning, we were delayed 45 minutes on the ground because the baggage crew could not fit all the luggage into the regional jet we were on...it took awhile but eventually they did. The flight crew mentioned they had never see so much luggage. Well...what do they expect if they are serving a ski destination? With hardly any overhead space on those planes that just made the problem worse.
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