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I’ve schlepped my ski gear around airports all up and down the western slopes, and I’m still in pain from rolling my ski bag from the economy parking lot, loading and unloading them on rental-car shuttles, and having to squeeze them onto an escalator. At most airports, oversized baggage claim can be across the airport from your regular baggage which makes the task of collecting your gear quite time consuming.
In certain cases, checking a ski bag is often a little cheaper than shipping them. (Ship Skis offers a base rate of $49 for bags under 25 pounds.) Southwest Airlines still costs nothing if it’s one of your first two checked bags. On other airlines, the cost can range $20-$100 for your 1st and 2nd checked bags.
If you take a minute to think about this beyond the math of airlines vs. Ship Skis you can see there are many reasons why shipping your luggage makes way more sense. I’ve made a habit out of using the service after my first experience because arriving to see my bag at the door of my rental chalet is just too good to be true.
Here are 8 reasons why it might make sense to give Ship Skis a shot on your next ski vacation:
Overweight planes have the largest items removed first…yeah, that’s the ski bags. Those items removed don’t make it until the next flight which in many cases won’t be until the next day.
As many of us know the future becomes grim when attempting to track delivery as well as ask airlines what exactly they’ll reimburse for. More times than not, getting a clear answer is nearly impossible. Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is most airlines won’t reimburse you for ski related items until it’s been over 24 hours since you landed. What’s next? Frustration sets in when the fresh mid-day powder calls your name.
If you have more bags than just your skis to check at the airport, you could save considerable time and energy by shipping your skis and your luggage. By setting up your shipment in advance you can ship both items. Imagine walking onto and off a plane and smiling as you pass everyone hauling a dump truck sized suitcase through the airport.
When I arrived at Denver Airport for my flight on Sunday evening, Delta’s computers were down, and the lines to check any bags at the counter were longer than the DMV. If I had my skis and luggage with me, I might have missed my flight or had to hail a cab to a nearby FedEx location. Lucky me this time… all I had was a carry-on, so I was through security in 20 minutes.
Airlines will not assume any liability for damage to skis/snowboards in soft-shell travel bags. (Sometimes, the counter makes you sign a waiver, other times they don’t – I’m curious whether the airlines even know when and where this waiver is even needed.) Ship Skis’ base insurance coverage is $500 and its included with all shipments. You can also upgrade your insurance up to $3,500.
In the case of tight international connections, having to claim your bags, go through customs and re-check bags can lead to a mad dash to your connecting gate. International hubs such as JFK in New York and Miami International Airport come to mind as places where customs lines can back up to ridiculous lengths. Ship Skis sends ski bags internationally to destinations such as Zermatt and France and anywhere else. Visit the Ship Skis FAQ page for more details on international shipping.
Let’s be honest there’s only so many shapes, sizes and colors of ski travel bags. Chances are someone headed to Vail at the same time you are has a similar looking bag. If they’re an eager beaver looking to get on the snow faster than you I’d be worried that they’ll snag your skis and be gone before you even arrive to the carousel. You might get a call and sort it all out but too bad for you if you lose a day on the slopes.
If you don’t have a ski-travel bag or hard case to ship your skis, no problem. You can purchase a ski box, which can be purchased at any shipping store, for around $10-20, and it’s reusable. You can also visit the Ship Skis website to determine what partner ski shops carry boxes and travel gear. What better way than to prepare for your shipment at the same time you purchase those last-minute winter clothing items.
Airlines are good about delivering bags to your destination, but only if that destination is close enough to the airport. Exactly how far a courier will go to deliver a bag depends on the airport and airline, but if you are staying longer than an hour or so from the airport, you may not be able to have your late bags delivered to you at all. We all know the best snow is sometimes a 2-3-hour drive from the nearest airport, you’d be best to prepare in advance.
If the whole family is in tow, you’ve surely got your hands full at the baggage claim. Not only will the bag fees add up, but you might run out of room in the rental car or even worse need to upgrade vehicle size $$$ at the counter. The fact is, when you ship your skis once, and everything goes smoothly, the ease of it all may get a little addicting.
Post submitted by Will Smith, Ship Skis