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Travelling with Skis

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm very excited to be heading out to Tignes on Sunday, and, for the first time I'm taking my own skis. I have a few questions which I'm hoping you snowheads can help me out with.

The bag I ordered for them turned out not to be padded, I think I assumed all bags would be. My solution to this has been to buy a camping mat to wrap around them. Is this adequate protection? I also have the elastics to lift the brakes up. Is there anything else I need to know about packing skis?

I've used the skis a few times in snozone mk and they were waxed there (for free). I realised that the indoor slope quickly trashes skis and I assume they are machine waxed so I won't bother using them indoors again. I suspect the skis would benefit from a decent wax to start the holiday. I've booked hire for my partner from tignes spirit which is near my hotel and they offer wax for €10 or hotbox for €15, is the hotbox a good idea?

Lastly the airport worries me slightly. Flying Norwegian from Gatwick to Grenoble. I understand that at Gatwick there is an oversize baggage check-in in the middle of the check-in area which I should take them to after being tagged. What is the process of collection and check-in of skis at Grenoble?

Thanks in advance for your help. 😀
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
If you are worried you can pad the skis with clothing or bubble wrap. I use the latter. I am embarrassed to say that, although I flew into Grenoble last month, I can't be certain how the skis were collected. But I *think* that they came in on the carousel with the rest of the stuff.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Unless the bases look dried out why not just ski them until they feel or look like they need waxing, then stick them into a shop overnight for a wax?
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I do have a supply of bubble wrap as well, and a luggage strap to wrap round the outside and hopefully keep it al together. Slightly nervous about putting clothes in as I don't think it's allowed in the ski carriage policy.

Hopefully they come out on the carousel 🤞 just don't want to be wandering aimlessly around looking while the transfer bus is waiting. I worry too much about this stuff.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
The bases don't look dried out, just want them to be best set up for the spring conditions. Not fussed about paying €15-20 in a week. Also I've read other people saying that it's best to get new skis waxed properly so it really gets into the bases?
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stephap wrote:
I do have a supply of bubble wrap as well, and a luggage strap to wrap round the outside and hopefully keep it al together. Slightly nervous about putting clothes in as I don't think it's allowed in the ski carriage policy.



Don't worry about that - I always use my base layers to pack around my bindings and tips when I'm putting my skis on a flight. Never ever been questioned on it. Main thing is to make sure it's within the weight limit. Which airline are you going with? Some are more forgiving than others, but all tend to give you a reasonable weight allowance for ski carriage.

[EDIT: just seen you're flying with Norwegian. No idea what they're like for allowances, but I'm sure someone will be along shortly who does know]
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stephap wrote:
I do have a supply of bubble wrap as well, and a luggage strap to wrap round the outside and hopefully keep it al together. Slightly nervous about putting clothes in as I don't think it's allowed in the ski carriage policy.

I generally pack with clothes except when I've flown with Swiss who (in writing at least) have a strict one pair of skis, one pair of poles, one other item max in the ski bag policy (it's free ski carriage so can't grumble too much!). That time I did use bubble wrap (as my 1 other item Wink ). If you do use bubble wrap then make sure the skis are absolutely bone dry to avoid the edges rusting. Dry then at the end of the skiing day and bring them into the warm to totally dry off overnight before bubble wrapping them prior to departure. When you get them home unwrap immediately (there was another thread in the last couple of days where someone stored them like that and came back to find them ruined some months later)
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thanks for the advice on rusting. I keep them in the corner of my living room so didn't think I would encounter a problem but I've noticed some discolouration of the edges so will be VERY careful from now on to make sure they are ultra dry!

The Norwegian policy is very vaugue, I think it just says ski equipment only.
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I second @Mistress Panda, I always wrap them with my spare salopettes and such to just within the weight allowance and have never had bother. I even managed to squeeze a second pair in a single bag this time and no one batted an eyelid. When your getting charged around £70 (EJ) they shouldn't grumble either! I have a padded bag now but didn't have for quite a few trips and nothing bad ever happened.
As yours are still new I understand your wish to do everything by the book so to speak. My main ones are 5years old now and have reached the point that I wouldn't notice a new ding or scratch unless it was really severe. It's rather liberating!
I'd go for the in resort waxing it's almost always cheaper than here.
Have a great time!
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I don't know which skis you have but if the binding slide off the rails, unslide them to make them pack easier if you need the space.
Some bindings are mounted on "quiver killer" inserts where you can unscrew the bindings easily.
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I used an unpadded bag for many years without a problem..
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
The skis are Dynastar active 10 with look Express binding which are on rails. I'm trying not to be to precious over them, I was mildly upset when someone scratched them but realise they will get plenty more!

The prices for waxing here do seem expensive but I suppose they can get away with it when there are no competitors.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I always worry about ski carriage
Have I overloaded the bag?
The 20kg limit I think is very mean for £70 return.
I am always over as I put the skis, poles, boots, mo-jos, helmet, goggles & gloves.
And then it will need some padding, a couple of ski jackets, couple of pairs of ski pants.

The only problem I nearly had was at Calgary check in, the nice lady raised her eyebrows as it weighed in at just under 32kg.
She just let it go ahead when I said ... "well I've put my boots in there as well"

But I do worry.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Can you put boots in a ski bag? I normally put them in my suitcase and hang my helmet off my backpack.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@stephap, fly BA, sod the silly charges. Learn to look after your skis. Dont buy your skis at full cost.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@stephap, depends on the bag, plenty of space in mine for boots although some people are very careful and dont allow boots out of their site so they go hand luggage. If you fly BA your one item of hold luggage can be a ski bag, if you can go swiss then you can put a normal hold luggage item in AND ski luggage for no fee, but you have to be down south for this really.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

@stephap, fly BA, sod the silly charges. Learn to look after your skis. Dont buy your skis at full cost.


But BA only fly from London.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Kamikaze Pete wrote:
@stephap, depends on the bag, plenty of space in mine for boots although some people are very careful and dont allow boots out of their site so they go hand luggage. If you fly BA your one item of hold luggage can be a ski bag, if you can go swiss then you can put a normal hold luggage item in AND ski luggage for no fee,


As above. I have a ski bag that will take boots, but I pack my boots separately in any event.

Quote:
but you have to be down south for this really.


MK is hardly the Outer Hebrides... rolling eyes
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@stephap, I'm one of those people that @Kamikaze Pete, referred to.
I will only ever take my ski boots in my cabin luggage. This practice paid off last year when my bag was lost and arrived on the last day of my holiday.

Had I not had my boots with me, I would have cried in my beer.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I've never had a problem with packing skis in an unpadded bag, they're pretty robust otherwise they'd be useless for skiing. wink I left my skis in Austria after one trip this year and then paid for my son's ski carriage but packed both sets on the way back. No issues at all as they only go by weight and we were well within our allowance.
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its quite hard to justify taking your skis ... I take mine but I'd probably be better off renting.
The cost of carriage,
cost of a service,
all the phaaf of carrying them.

Then being able to use ready waxed n' sharpened latest model skis.
And being able to swop them each day, it is tempting to rent.

But I cant manage on rental poles, I have to take my own poles and they will only fit in a long bag Puzzled
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Fly Swiss. skis are free.

Tether the brake arms so they don't stick out. I've seen brake arms stick through an unlined bag and then bent so they need to be replaced.

If you're really worried about edges, pipe lagging gives good protection.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I avoid BA where possible as I don't like them and £70 return for skis is ridiculous. I go with Swiss if I can as it is free for skis (along with food, drink and chocolate!) or Thomson etc where it is about £30-40 return.

I was planning to rent in Jan but it was working out about £140 per week for some touring skis. I bought a pair for about the same cost as 3-4 weeks rental and with the above, extra cost should just be the servicing.
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@Tubaski, I think that Swiss rule is widely ignored.

I flew four times with them in February and March (for precisely the reasons you mention) - on each occasion with a double ski bag holding one pair of wide skis, poles, boots, ABS bag, rope, crampons, ice axes and hardware. Nobody batted an eyelid, although I'd made sure that it didn't exceed 23kg (my "domestic" luggage only weighed 12kg as a result and, if necessary, it could have fitted in the cabin baggage allowance).

I would, however, have been FUBAR if it got lost in transit...

Swiss is awesome at Heathrow Terminal 2, check-in is a pleasure (Geneva - not so much), although the oversize baggage guy made me lift the bag onto his conveyor myself!
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mmgg1988 wrote:
I avoid BA where possible as I don't like them and £70 return for skis is ridiculous.

Ok, I get the first bit, I like BA less each time I use them. But don't know where you get £70 for skis from.

In order to get the free ski carriage with Swiss you have to book the economy fare (includes 1 checked bag) not the economy light (hand baggage only) fare. This gets you free ski carriage one pair skis, poles and boots in addition to checked baggage (23kg) and 8kg hand baggage allowance (and I've seen them check weigh hand baggage)

BA - Can include skis as part of checked luggage 23kg. cabin bag 23kg so effectively limited by size, additional small cabin bag allowed also 23kg - but really just a size limit.

Whilst I do like flying Swiss better than BA for me it's a pain having to take a ski bag and a suitcase rather than just all my stuff in a double ski bag like I do with BA. But I don't pay extra for skis with either.
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Like others I pack out the bag with base layers etc. Put the tips to the bindings inside a leg of warm ski pants, the tails to the bindings in cool ski pants. Have a pair of lightweight snow boots (north face nuptse III boots- like wearing a duvet on your feet, weigh next to nothing) stick one over the tips, the other over the tails.... Job done.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Tubaski, I flew with Swiss a few weeks ago and took a big double ski bag with all of my gear in it that weighed about 28kg - no problem at check-in. The attendant acknowledged that the skis made up the excess weight and there was no need to have them in a separate ski bag.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@sproggski, @Kelskii, yep I did say in an earlier post that the skis only in the bag was the written policy. It's good to know that some common sense is applied by check in staff - although personally I tend to stick to the rules just in case they suddenly decide to enforce them rigidly.


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Wed 5-04-17 7:13; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Grenoble baggage collection area is very very small. There's 2 carousels. Skis appear on a separate belt at the end nearest the planes. You'll struggle to miss it.
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PS. I also use a camping mat and put some bubble wrap around the tips and tails in case someone drops my skis from a height onto them. (The baggage guys at Grenoble aren't the gentlest.)
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 Poster: A snowHead
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You are not going to believe this, but while looking for flights for the EOSB easyjet checked out at £240, inc 1 20kg hold bag & 1 ski bag, BA business class worked out at £226 inc 2 x 32kg hold bags, one of which can be skis. Can't believe I'm flying business class to go skiing, how good is that!

Hope they look after my skis as well as me!

I've never wrapped anything around my skis but I've always used a big wheelie board bag, and boots go in the other hold bag, more room for duty free gin that way!
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stephap wrote:
I'm very excited to be heading out to Tignes on Sunday, and, for the first time I'm taking my own skis.
...
I've used the skis a few times in snozone mk and they were waxed there (for free).
...
I've booked hire for my partner from tignes spirit which is near my hotel and they offer wax for €10 or hotbox for €15, is the hotbox a good idea?


Have you skied in April before? Don't you just love that moment when you're tootling along happy as larry and suddenly you hit a patch of glue and nearly stop ( or at least, the skis do.... Skullie ) . You're going to need all the wax you can get, even in Tignes. We take ours pre waxed and a tube of rub on which is used each day. It's not perfect but every little helps in the glue days, even if you skied the grande motte _all_ the time you gotta get to val claret somehow... And you'll be wanting to get through val d'isere at some stage, "Oh the slushguls of Face, how we love you"...

Oh, and travelling with skis? Don't feel too precious about them, For the last few years I've been doing it 4 trips a year and for the last 35 years. I stick a towel around the tails to stop them going through the bottom and throw all kinds of junk in the (double) ski bag to pack around them. bags of carrier bags for shopping, 1/2L empty bottles of water (for bringing Genepi back), funsize pocket snacks, spare gloves, tea towels, just any old extra junk. I've never had an issue, mostly EDI to GVA, sometimes EDI LYS and occasionally Innsbruck.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@stephap, I've flown with BA, Swiss, EasyJet and often taken a ski bag containing skis, boots, ski touring kit and all the luggage I need for a long 4-5 day trip. I've never been challenged, except when the bag was overweight. I'm not saying it can't happen, but it's never happened to me.
@Tubaski, BA have been charging for skis for a year or two. In normal economy, you can take them instead of your usual bag and usually get away with it, but if you're taking it as an extra bag, you'll be charged, more at the airport than if you pay in advance.
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Tubaski wrote:
stephap wrote:
I do have a supply of bubble wrap as well, and a luggage strap to wrap round the outside and hopefully keep it al together. Slightly nervous about putting clothes in as I don't think it's allowed in the ski carriage policy.

I generally pack with clothes except when I've flown with Swiss who (in writing at least) have a strict one pair of skis, one pair of poles, one other item max in the ski bag policy (it's free ski carriage so can't grumble too much!).


Only time I've flown Swiss with skis was Zurich-Delhi-Srinagar, with ski bag as only hold baggage. While their website is really ambiguous as to whether you can pack other stuff in your ski bag (I always do - boots, clothes, avi kit, etc) and no airline has ever questioned it let alone checked), once I got through the rigmarole of being referred back to the info on their website 3 times as the bottom-rung of their customer service can't actually answer questions, it transpired that YES you can put other stuff in your ski bag).
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
The British Airways ski carriage (extra checked-in bag ) charge varies depending on which London airport you're flying from. From LHR-Zurich it's now £120 return so, I'll be trying to avoid this by packing everything into a double ski bag for my trip at New Year.
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Tubaski wrote:
@sproggski, @Kelskii, yep I did say in an earlier post that the skis only in the bag was the written policy. It's good to know that some common sense is applied by check in staff - although personally I tend to stick to the rules just in case they suddenly decide to enforce them rigidly.


Yes, the information on the Swiss website relates to skis that are carried separately from a checked-in bag. As Clarky indicates, there's no information relating to the carriage of skis in a single checked-in bag but I've always found they respond to queries/messages posted using their online contact form very quickly.
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Kelskii wrote:
Tubaski wrote:
@sproggski, @Kelskii, yep I did say in an earlier post that the skis only in the bag was the written policy. It's good to know that some common sense is applied by check in staff - although personally I tend to stick to the rules just in case they suddenly decide to enforce them rigidly.


Yes, the information on the Swiss website relates to skis that are carried separately from a checked-in bag. As Clarky indicates, there's no information relating to the carriage of skis in a single checked-in bag but I've always found they respond to queries/messages posted using their online contact form very quickly.

Yep, just to clarify my previous post, I rechecked on the site and the rule about 1 extra item is a general term for sports equipment, in a footnote, it is by no means clear whether they intended that to apply to skis or not. As @clarky999 says it is ambiguous. But it is reassuring to know that they don't seem to be applying it in practice.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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On Lufthansa & Swiss I always take a double roller as my "extra" ski bag, with 2 or 3 pairs of skis, poles and boots as well if it'll come in under weight.
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I have never used an indoor slope but the OP says they will quickly trash your skis.
Is this true? Why?
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@essex, The snow in a dome is abrasive like all man made snow and it strips the wax quickly, but I don't think it actually damages the skis.

Plastic slopes are another matter. Dendix with no sprinklers would put me off.
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