Whilst many airlines are getting much better at accommodating your skis or snowboard, there is often an extra expense incurred when trying to transport your equipment around the world. Our table below details many major airlines, and their allowances and fees, so you know what to expect when booking your trip.

There are a couple of key points to note:

  • All airlines listed, except Norwegian and Ryanair, allow free boot carriage, normally as part of your carry-on allowance. N.B. This may not apply if you have bought a lower-end that does not include carry-on luggage.
  • All flights to/from Japan allow for 2x checked bags, each up to 23kg, of which your ski or board bag can be one.
  • For many airlines, whilst it is not normally necessary to pre-register your ski or board bag, it is advisable - check each airline's regulations for specific details. N.B. this only applies to airlines offering free ski carriage; paid-for ski carriage is often cheaper when booked in advance rather than at the airport.
  • Regardless of airline, all skis and board must be packed in an appropriate ski or board bag.

Ski Carriage Allowance and Fees

Airline

Key Destinations

Ski/board bag allowed in place of checked bag?

Necessary to pre-register ski/board bag?

Cost of extra ski/board bag when pre-booked

Cost of extra ski/board bag at the airport

Weight Limit

British Airways

Basel, Calgary, Denver, Geneva, Grenoble, Innsbruck, Milan, Munich, Salzburg, Tokyo*, Turin, Vancouver, Zurich


Yes

Advised, but not essential

£60

£65

23kg

Swiss Air

Geneva, Zurich

Swiss Air allow an additional ski/board bag on all flights and fares for FREE

23kg

Air France

Chambery, Lyon

Yes

In some cases

£23

£32

23kg

Alitalia

Milan, Verona

Yes

No

60EUR

23kg

Austrian

Innsbruck, Vienna

Yes

Yes

50EUR

23kg

Easyjet

Basel, Geneva, Grenoble, Innsbruck, Milan, Salzburg, Turin, Venice, Zurich

No

No

£35

£45

20kg

Eurowings

Barcelona, Basel, Lyon, Salzburg, Zurich

Yes

Yes

75EUR (Free with "Best" ticket)

30kg

Iberia

Barcelona

No

No

45EUR

23kg

Jet2

Barcelona, Geneva, Grenoble, Lyons, Salzburg, Turin, Verona

No

No

£30

22kg

Ryanair

Barcelona, Grenoble, Milan, Sofia, Turin, Treviso

No

No

£40

£45

20kg

SAS

Bergen, Oslo

Yes

No

£25

£60

23kg

Lufthansa

Munich

Lufthansa allow an additional ski/board bag on all European flights and fares for FREE

23kg

Norwegian (European Dest.)

Bergen, Oslo

No

No

£24-£28

£33-£48

20kg

Norwegian (North America Dest.)

Denver

No

No

£38

£43

20kg

Air Canada

Calgary, Vancouver

Yes

Yes

$100CAD (Free in Premium Economy)

23kg

Air Transat

Calgary, Montreal, Vancouver

Air Transat allow an additional ski/board bag (up to 20kg) on all flights and fares for FREE

20kg

American

Calgary, Denver, Montreal, Salt Lake City, Vancouver

Yes

No

$100USD

23kg

Delta

Denver, Salt Lake City

Yes

No

$75USD

23kg

United

Denver, Vancouver

Yes

No

$100USD

23kg

Virgin Atlantic

Salt Lake City

Yes

No

£65 (Free in Premium Economy)

23kg

Westjet

Calgary, Vancouver

Yes

No

$35-41CAD (Free in "Plus" Class)

23kg

All Nippon Airways

Tokyo*

Yes*

No

$167USD

$200USD

23kg

Japan Airlines

Tokyo*

Yes*

No

~$100USD

23kg

* All flights to/from Japan permit 2x checked baggage, up to 23kg each, of which your ski/board bag may be one.


Avalanche Airbags and Flight Safety

Avalanche airbags are a recent evolution in avalanche safety, and still present headaches for airlines when travelling with them. Broadly speaking, avalanche airbags, both gas and battery powered, are able to be carried on planes safely and freely, although a whole host of potential pitfalls lie along the way. It is essential you follow the appropriate guidance when packing and travelling with your avalanche airbag to ensure it all arrives at your destination safely.

The following guide is designed to help you understand the myriad of different procedures for travelling with an avalanche airbag. Whilst International Air Transport Association (IATA) rules do allow for the carriage of both gas and battery powered airbags, this is open to the discretion of individual national authorities, airlines and airports to implement the specifics of the rule.

Please NoteGas powered airbags are not permitted on American carriers or on flights to/from the USA owing to stringent FAA regulations. A small minority of American carriers may allow empty gas canisters, but this is done at their discretion.

The Ski Club advises following the below steps to ensure your avalanche airbag arrives safely.


Gas Canister Airbags:

  • IATA regulations allow for an avalanche airbag equipped with one (1) gas canister (full or empty) and one (1) explosive trigger to be carried by an individual.
  • Ensure all elements of the system are detached from each other to avoid accidental triggering of the system mid-flight – it is advisable to place some elements in clear plastic bags to further demonstrate they are fully detached.
  • Place the gas canister inside the avalanche airbag – this demonstrates to security staff that the gas canister is part of the avalanche airbag system, and therefore allowed by IATA rules, and not simply an independent canister of gas, which is not normally allowed.
  • It is advisable to slip a copy of the relevant part of the IATA regulations in with the canister – whilst this advice is a few years old from when avalanche airbags were not common items, it can help re-assure airport security staff who may search your bag without you present that this is indeed allowable in your bag.
  • When travelling with the airbag in checked baggage, place this at the top of the bag to allow you to easily access it to demonstrate it has been packed appropriately to airport check-in or security staff.
  • Double-check with your airline whether you need to pre-register your airbag with them – different airlines have different rules on this.

 


Battery Powered Airbags:

Travelling with battery powered airbags is a much simpler affair. IATA rules allow for one (1) battery below 100kwh rating to be carried in either checked or hand luggage.

American carriers and flights to the USA do allow batteries, but only if the battery or system model has not been part of a previous product recall – this is something that effects a surprising number of battery systems.