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 Poster: A snowHead
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Schiphol

Absolutely the most comfortable hub to pass through. I use it for travelling to Canada and Japan using KLM's convenient connections from Leeds/Bradford.

The terminal building stretches for miles, but is clean, light and airy with a good variety of decent food outlets. No messing about shuttling between terminals, and best of all are the clusters of "comfort seats": essentially loungers on which you can stretch out and have a kip after an overnight flight from Vancouver or Osaka. (But remember to set an alarm!!)

Also has a small (free) exhibition of art from the Rijksmuseum that changes every couple of months.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Acacia, much better that Heathrow.
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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?
nbt wrote:
alex_heney, i have a friend (not me , guv, oh not not me at all honest, no way I'd ever do something so stupid and admit to it in public Embarassed Embarassed ) who recently passed through UK customs and then filled his 3 litre camelbak, then on landing in the US went through customs without remembering to empty it again. Bit of a pant filling moment when someone mentioned needing a drink while putting shoes and belts back on, and said friend started to pull out the camelbak before remembering that taking liquids through customs was not a good idea, especially in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave....


As far as I am aware, there are no general restrictions on taking liquids through customs into any country. The restrictions are all on taking liquids obtained outside the airside facilities onto an aeroplane.
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Schiphol update!

Having just eulogised Schiphol, let me point out a nasty surprise that lurks in wait for the unwary (me).

I got my credit card statement this morning, including a charge of 25 Euros for a phone call I placed from a public phone at Shiphol when I arrived back from Whistler in April, using my credit card to make the call, to arrange a taxi to pick me up from Leeds/Bradford on my arrival. The call was about 30 seconds in duration.

A bit of a shocker, but it has a happy ending (I hope).

My credit card company told me that since I authorised the transaction, there was nothing they could do about it. They advised me to call the telephone company.

Which I did. The company is called "International Satellite Communications" and is based in Luxembourg (at least its European office is). The rep I spoke with told me that they charge this amount for the first 5 minutes of any call, even if your call only takes about 30 seconds. - This is not made clear on the telephone. He advised me that in future, I should call the operator before making any call to ascertain the charging scehdule. - Then he told me that since this was my first transaction with the company, he would credit my card account with the 25 Euros. (Nice man Very Happy ).

- Clearly, this company has recently taken over the credit-card based phone charging for this airport, and quite possibly other airports also (I've never been charged like this before, and I've frequently used my card to make these calls) - so be aware of this. Next time I'll be sure to take a few Euros with me just to feed the pay phone, or I'll buy a phone card at the airport.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Deliaskis wrote:
SALZBURG
------------

Attitude towards skiboots in hand luggage etc. (Keep to facts, not opinion - what happened!) - no idea!

I've been through security past 3 years with boots in my hand luggage, never had a problem, but the metal spirals in our knee supports had to be checked out!
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All a nightmare, drive and take a couple of days getting there! I know why you see people on pints of lager at 6am! They need to forget.
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Grenoble - can anyone give more info on where to collect skis when you arrive, and the check in process on departure back to the UK in terms of skis going through a different check in?
Thanks in advance.

Innsbruck has had a bit of a rebuild and is now a most relaxing place to fly to and from. There are now twice as many check in desks and this makes for a much more chilled out experience.

I didnt see anything on Turin, so I will add what I know:

You are bussed to the luggage hall on arrival, and there are 8 or so baggage belts. If you arrive midway through the British arrivals on a Sunday morning, it may be packed and a little fraught with tv screens saying one flights bags on their belts, whilst this has subsequently changed to another. Its a good idea to have one or more in your group moving around to other belts here.
Also, ski and board bags are supposed to come in via "belt" 0. However, this is literally a hole in the wall where they are thrown through. It turns into a scrum with people somewhat stupidly standing right in front watching the pile get higher and higher. I turned into school teacher mode (even tho I am not one) and started moving bags down the hall so they were spread out and visible, and surprise surprise people moved them quicker. However, there is another hatch at "belt" 7 and you may well find your skis/boards up there, so be prepared to mooch between the 2 of them as there is no system or explanation at all, just a shrug of the shoulders from the Italian guy with a massive fag in his mouth.
Coming home, its a little more organised but the design of the check in area is mental, there are 2 "satellites" with desks around them in a kind of circle, but once a check in lane is filling up, it blocks the access to many of the others. You will invariably find plenty of aggressive and rude Brits trying to sneak in front of you, so be prepared to sit anywhere on the flight, or else join in the scrum and give as good as you get! I guess its much the same as anywhere, people just want to get checked in and haome again.
The departure lounge is large and airy, with several shops for food and drink, but not cheap. There is a decent but pricey restaurant, and a bar upstairs, and a few smart boutiques including a kappa shop for your Juventus/Torino gear.
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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!
Geneva Thursday 8 Oct 09

Security screening now where passport control used to be.
At 10.30 am the queue to get through security took one hour.
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cad99uk, OMG, out of season on a weekday. Imagine what it will be like in season on a Saturday! Skullie I do loathe Geneva Airport. Evil or Very Mad
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Hurtle, Yes it was a real shock when we saw the length of the queue. We just caught our EJ flight.

EJ were also being very strict on the size of hand luggage. The chap on the gate was patrolling the waiting area and if he saw a wheeled carry-on case he thought was oversize he would pull up the measuring crate and make people put their luggage in it. If it did not go in, even if just caught on the wheels people had to pay and it was put in the hold.

Also a lady was not allowed a hand bag as well as a piece of carry-on luggage. When she protested the chap said 'It's how EJ make money'.
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Manchester

Before going, especially if you're taking the family or in a group, check to see if there's an offer on for the airside lounge.

On our way to US the summer before last we were tipped the wink and booked in a family of four costing £35 IIRC. There were three families of four in total in our group.

There's free coffee/tea/soft drinks/wine/beer/sprits/newspapers/crisps/nuts etc. You have to get out 30 mins before your flight leaves (that's actual departure time not scheduled). We had a two hour delay and were grateful for it, didn't want to leave.

I had an actual saving in the end, as wife didn't bother going to find duty free smellies.
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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.
GENEVA - Directions to car hire desks etc

It really is hard to find the relevant threads on here so, in the hope that this is useful, I copy below some info that I filleted from various sources last year. I am particularly indebted to rob@rar and Boredsurfing for most of the info. Enjoy!

Route from Geneva Airport (Swiss side) to Les Arcs


Travel time along Lac d'Annecy ie scenic route, pretty much same as staying on autoroute via Chambery. Now that Albertville bypass is open, driving around the Lake might even be marginally quicker.

Say 1hr50 to BSM with the new autoroute and Albertville bypass, assuming no particular traffic (around the lake). Used to be 2hr 15 and new roads probably knock 20-25 minutes off the journey.

Scenic route: stay on Swiss motorway to French border then follow signs for new motorway to Annecy. Then come OFF that motorway at Annecy Sud (past the hospital) signposted Ugine and Albertville and "Route Nationale" (ie not motorway). From Ugine it's fast dual carriageway to Albertville, and a new bypass along the river there much reduces the bottleneck quality of Albertville. Then join motorway to Moutiers and finally up to BSM. From BSM just follow signs to les Arcs 1800 up the hill about another 25min

SuperU is on rd BSM- Les Arcs.

Car hire desk (Geneva Airport Swiss side) to car

2E or 2CHF coin for luggage trolleys

On entering Arrivals Hall turn right and walk to the far end where an extension has been built for the car hire desks.

5 minute walk to car, if not using shuttle bus:
turn right out of the double doors after the car hire desks and walk to the right, follow footpath/cycle path markings on the pavement, up a slight hill, past the coaches parked on the right and the hire cars are parked in the second multi-storey on the left - P51. Cross road at the traffic lights, go down in the lift (you're at Level 3) to Level 1, car hire places are all down there.


Car return to Geneva Swiss side/petrol fill-up

1 Follow signs from motorway to Geneva Airport, once at airport follow signs to Car Park P 51 Car hire return

2 Just before P51 there is the World Trade Centre, half way along the frontage there is a petrol station sign, turn immediately right and then left into the pumps. NOTE which pump number you are going to use.

3 Go to credit card pay station at the end of the pump island you are parked by. Press button for instructions in English, follow the instructions, fill up.

4 Drive out of petrol pump area, go forward into the entrance of P51 (No need to go back onto the main road.)

5 Simply take a ticket at the right hand barrier, yes there are credit card logos on it BUT JUST TAKE A TICKET.

6 Drive 150 yards forward to the entrance barrier for Car Hire return put ticket into the box by barrier, barrier lifts, drive to approximately where you collected the car.

7 Find member of staff to check car and sign the paperwork.

8 Walk through the car park to the road back to the terminal.

NB – good idea not to overshoot P51. If you do, keep following overhead signs for P51 , which takes you up & round to a back entrance, ?one level up from car returns. Once back inside P51, follow exit signs & just before exit barrier, do sharp right into car returns.
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ANY Trolley requiring a coin......................take a corned beef tin ring pull on your key ring and insert rounded end , works for supermarket trolleys also..you'll never need a pound,euro,swiss franc again Laughing
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

EJ were also being very strict on the size of hand luggage

Good. I can't stand sitting on an aircraft surrounded by everybody's vast piles of tat. Twisted Evil
Quote:

take a corned beef tin ring pull on your key ring

I haven't eaten corned beef in a while, but last tin I opened had a little metal flap thing and you had to use a key which slotted over it. Have they changed?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:

Geneva. The Doorway to France



lizski wrote:
Does Geneva airport have a Swiss and French side? and the city? Very confusing on trainschedules . Is there anything you need to know regarding different areas?


Yes the airport does have a French and Swiss side.

If you arrive on an international flight you will come out on the Swiss side unless you specifically follow the signs to France. If you do that you will find that your baggage still goes to Switzerland. There is a facility whereby you can ask to have your bags brought to the French side but I have never trusted it. Rather I pick up my bags, clear customs into Switzerland and then go up to the departures level and go through said doorway. As you face towards the airfield and away from the road it's at the far right hand end of the departures level. There's a sign and a French customs post so you will need your passport.

Once through you can access the French car rental desks which is usually the reason you want to be on the French side in the first place. On your return it's important that you bring the car back to the French side. Once you have done that there are check-in desks for international flights although they may not be permanently staffed. If there's no-one there you can usually use a courtesy phone on the desk to summon an agent. It's all actually quite easy and the only real tricky bit is making sure you have really good driving directions so you don't end up on a Swiss motorway getting stung for about 30 Francs for the privilege of driving a couple of miles.


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Fri 6-11-09 14:10; edited 2 times in total
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
nbt wrote:
Manchester also charge for parking when picking people up at arrivals

Birmingham charge for parking when dropping off too - unless you use the long-stay carpark and catch the shutte bus. I find it easier to be dropped off/picked up at the railway station (International) and take the (ex-)Maglev.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
for anyone flying ex Bristol, I have an email from customer services there stating that they will be allowing ski boots in hand luggage providing they conform with the individual airlines hand baggage policy !
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
HELP, where can I find train times Munich to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Flight arrives 20.00 hrs on a Wednesday, so need time to collect luggage and get to train station.
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urs44, Obvious place to try is German Rail Last train looks like 22.31. on a Wednesday (20.33 & 21.33 also.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks for that. Looks like train not an option as flight only arrive 22.00! May have to hire cars, not good.
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urs44, 20.00 or 22.00 Puzzled
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Oh gawd, Christmas has taken it's toll! Thanks for that, makes our travel a little cheaper. Do you know what cheapo Euro27 ticcket is called. I believe 5 can travel on this?
Thanks again
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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!
urs44, it is called a Bayern Ticket and yes up to 5 people can travel on it. It costs 28 Euros for up to 5 paying passengers and you will find it listed on the info pages under the term Länder Tickets.

If any of your 6 kids are age 6 or under they travel for free I think. You can use it for all the regional trains and buses as well as the MVV (Munich's public transport system which includes the S-Bahn from the airport to the Hauptbahnhof. You catch the Garmisch trains from the Hauptbahnhof.

The S-Bahn station is in the area below Terminal One, so you collect luggage, exit the arrivals area and can take the lift down to the access area and tickets machines. You have to ditch the trollies though before you get down to the platforms.

Sing out if you need any help getting around the DB web site.

Sue wink
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MEMMINGEM

Tiny airport but looks like recently done up. Only used on way back from Kappl so can't comment on arrivals. Used Ryanair and to be honest have no complaints with the service on all fronts. Quick and easy check in. Plane was an hour late in leaving but that was due to the plane needing major de-icing - not Ryanair's fault. Only a handful of flights a day so would imagine that if landing everything should run pretty smoothly. More upgrades getting done to airport in May. If you were delayed several hours though it is too small to pass the time though. Only one coffee shop serving pretty basic foods on each side, ie check in and departure lounge. Would definitely use again though for getting to resorts in western Austria. took around 2.5 hours in car from Kappl so should take around 2 from say St Anton
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Boredsurfing wrote:
Bournemouth

Park car in Car park. Walk across road into Departures Portakabin.
If checked in on line turn right to security gate have a laugh and a joke with the security peeps and then wander through the shop portakabin to the bar and restaurant portakabin or go to the gate portakabin where there is now another snack bar and bar.
Sit back amd watch your plane taxi up from the end of the runway and park by the portakabin.
When boarding group A called wander through out onto the stand. Head for the rear steps, most peeps seem to head for the front steps.
Select seat and note that push back is always bang on time

A new purpose terminal building is being built, (just in time as the roof of the Passport control portakabin is leaking Very Happy ) which will of course completely spoil the overt simplicity of Bournemouth International but will allow the airport to handle 6 aircraft instead of the current 3


Love this! Live literally 5 mins from bournemouth airport so was quite nice to be booking a holiday where we are flying out from here this year. I am actually looking forward to this instead of having to trek to london at stupid o'clock in the morning, although yes I know usually its all part of the game!

Flight leaving at 6am so will be interesting to see how our check in and board goes! Will update accordingly after we've been! NehNeh
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SALZBURG 6/3/2010
-------------
Just used a Monarch Charter Flight, through TERMINAL 1. Check in of skis took place in new special room situated between the entrances to Terminal 1 and 2. Three Long queues right out into the car park. Wear something warm, it was cold, windy and snowing! Once you've handed your skis in, you have to back-track and negotiate getting across the same 3 lanes of ski luggage and cases, where people are reluctant to make an opening! Worse than any lift queue!

All electrical appliances had to be removed from hand luggage, even adaptor plugs (but not at Manchester!)

Departure lounge seating totally inadequate for numbers waiting for flights - forget trying to buy food! It's as if every year, the numbers departing takes them by surprise - not improved over 14 trips through Salzburg.
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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.
Addition...
CHAMBERY

Arrival

Seems bl**dy chaos, but luggage does seem to come out strictly on order of planes landing. If you can't get near the belts, go outside and turn hard left and you can see where they offload from trolleys onto the belts - play spot your luggage!
- There is now a screen between the two belts to keep an eye on...
- Wait until most people have got their stuff then go get yours... The bus will wait! Very Happy (appologies for those going to Meribel/La Tania last week)
- Most silly belt ever as they also put skis on them and hey presto at the U-turn, they just all fall off!!!

Departure

Chaos as all the TO buses try to arrive exactly 2hrs before the flight. If you are travelling independently, avoiding this time makes check-in much easier. Stay landside until you *know* your plane is in - quite good restaurant/bar upstairs. Airside there is very little room and almost *no* facilities.
- Check- in: make sure you look at which lanes are available, as invariabley there are several and you can queue jump quite easily if one of the lanes is free/ barely used...
- Definately stay landside!!!
- There is free WIFI, just look for a bar receipt lying around and the access code is at the top, else, just ask one of the bar staff!
- No need hunt for cheaper food around the airport as they are all the same, even the little van outside... Yes I did go check! Sandwiches EUR 5, Canned Drink EUR 3. Other stuff is priced like in resort etc... The "restaurant" has quite good food, albeit rubbish staff! I can recommend the beef burger! Toofy Grin
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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
Can anybody comment on Southampton? We are considering using it as it is only 30-40 mins drive away but there is a higher surcharge and we will need to pay for parking. As opposed to gatwick where we can park at my parents house.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
GENEVA AIRPORT
Has one hour's free WIFI
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Any one recently been through Grenoble and any change/updates to provide from above posts?

Many thanks
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Zurich really has been cocked up. There is a large food hall in the public area but it was absolutely packed yesterday. I've a theory that local families spend Sundays there (Geneva too) as there are actually shops open there unlike the rest of the country. Once you've checked your luggage in and gone through to Departures the choice is limited to Burger King or the bar (typically salads or pasta or pizza snacks). The restaurant we ate at last year is closed probably to make way for another up market shop. Better choice is probably the Gate area, you can get pasta there, but I'd already eaten my £10 Burger King cack by then.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Villz wrote:
GENEVA AIRPORT
Has one hour's free WIFI


When your hour expires simply log on again giving you as much time as you want.
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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?
GENEVA

If you have time to kill (don't ask - too many lads trips where one of the three incoming flights is delayed) and need food there are scores of options but few are cheap.

Best bet is to head past the railway station to the very end of the airport. There is a Migros supermarket where you can get pretty much whatever you need. The added benefit is you can do the first days shopping - decent bread available. The walk there and back also wastes a bit of time.

If the weather is good it is worth taking your picnic (sourced as above or otherwise) up to the top level and through the new food court. Good open air seating with lots of tables.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Sat 19-11-11 12:23; edited 1 time in total
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What are Manchester and Chambery like these days for letting ski boots on as hand luggage?
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
bobmcstuff,
Manchester - Whenever we have taken ski boots, have always packed them in our cases, as the airlines stipulate on their travel documentation that you have to do so - would hate to chance it, to be told I can't carry them on as hand luggage, then risk my very soft boot bag protecting them sufficiently. At least in a hard sided Samsonite case, I know they're protected.

Flying with Thomas Cook (Neilson) again this time, and on the invoice it tells you they form part of your luggage allowance nad must go in the hold.
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Cheers.

Hmm. Oh well, I've got 22 kg hold luggage and 20kg ski bag allowance for a week trip so I should be able to fit them in easily enough......

IMO if it fits into the size restictions for hand luggage you should be able to bring them. They're just trying to make you pay excess baggage aren't they.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Exactly!! We pack my ski bag with two pairs of salopettes at least, jackets go in the husband's board bag with his boots, plus any hoodies/fleeces that we can squeeze in too - Thomas Cook give you 15kg for your skis/board so might as well make good use of it!! Board bindings and my ski boots go in the suitcases, and we just pack pretty light then - let's face it, it's not exactly high fashion you're after out in the cold in the evening!
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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!
Southampton

Very easy and pleasant airport to fly from if you live in that neck of the woods. Two things to note though;

1. Can be prone to fog as close to the coast. Beware if catching an early flight !
2. Long stay car parking is SO expensive if you just turn up and park. Make sure you pre-book on-line !!

Griggs
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bobmcstuff wrote:
What are Manchester and Chambery like these days for letting ski boots on as hand luggage?

I've got the answer to the Chambery part of that question- got this reply from Katarina at their general airport email address today.

I'll be in touch with Manchester airport next. We're flying Jet2 (for our Crystal hol to Tignes in March) and I'm hoping the other half's boots can go in the hand luggage both ways.Very Happy

Quote:

Dear Sir,

All depends of the flight and the company that you are using.

If the company is FLYBE and the flight type is a DASH, you are NOT allowed to take your ski boots with you as a hand luggage.

All the other companies and all the other flight types accept ski boots.

You must only remember please that this excludes any other type of hand luggage,

while the ski boots are considered as your hand luggage. Otherwise you try to include them in your suitcase.

Best regards

Katarina
Accueil
Aéroport de Chambéry-Savoie
Tél. 00 33 4 79 54 49 54
accueil@chambery-airport.com


1st post-YAY!!! Very Happy
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MrSteve, welcome to Snowheads and thanks for the post, most helpful !
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