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skicariage Crystal

 Poster: A snowHead
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Hi one of our group flying to Verona in Italy has booked ski carriage and is asking if this includes his boots? Or will he have to stuff them in his holdall like the rest of us?

Does anybody know as it's not clear on the web site Puzzled Puzzled Puzzled
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Hope he can!

Were going with Crustal at xmas and we have booked 2 ski carriage, I have packed 2 sets of skis and a pair of boots+ tuning kit in each bag.

A few years ago, we did the same, plus the kids xmas present and we got them through.

My experiance, with 5 different tour operators is they don't normally check weight of the oversize luggage i.e. pre-booked skis.

Regards
Nick
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We are going with them, I have asked by email and got this response

Quote:

The ski carriage is £30 per person, there is no weight limit, but the bag cannot contain anything other then the skis and sticks (or the board).


So suggests that the boots cannot go in with the skis which is tedious Evil or Very Mad

I will probably pack the lot in the one bag as usual and hope for the best.
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From what I understand (regular Crystal customer) it does include boots, which can be in a separate bag or in your hold bag, but hold luggage (other than skis) cannot exceed your weight allowance. So essentially your boots are included in your weight allowance. I have taken both a separate boot bag and had my boots in my hold bag before. No problems at all.
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Travelled with Crystal from Dublin for 7 years in a row and always packed up the skibag with skis,poles,helmet and all manner of clothes up to about 20kg, they never checked anything,never even weighed it, but I made sure it didn't have sharp edges/corners sticking out and didn't take the p1$$ and "over-stuff" it with gear.Always packed the boots in my other hold bag and had plenty of room for the rest of my gear spreading it pretty evenly throughout the two. This year we're with Urineair and Michael o Lairy so things will be a wee bit stricter me thinks- even got a new luggage scales from Lidl to make sure !!!
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mfamily2, if Crystal you are probably on a Thomson Fly flight. I flew with them this summer and they were really strict at check-in - people repacking all over the shop! So, if they are strict in the summer, gawd only knows what they are like in the winter when everyone is carrying more kit. Ermm... give 'em a call?
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Bode Swiller, I think 'strict' depends on the airport rather than the airline. Isn't the check-in procedure normally handled by the ground staff?

Some of my ski buddies normally take one of those massive double ski bags fully laden with kit as well as a hold bag between them and two boot bags without any problems (all well inside the weight limit of course).
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I've always taken suitcase, boot bag and ski bag and never had any problems. I did see on the crystal FAQs that the boots form part of your 20kg allowance though
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I had this same query with Crystal last season, whilst organising a large ski group holiday. Crystal's written advice was ambiguous last year, (Crystal clear?) and I'm guessing that, typically, they have done nothing to make it any easier to understand this year.

I called Crystal, our travel agent called Crystal, and the overall interpretation of all advice was that 'paid ski carriage' was for skis and poles (or boards) only. Boots would need to be packed in with our normal luggage. I advised our group members accordingly.

Some of our group disbelieved the advice since they said 'they had checked in a seperate boot bag with their skis for years' and called Crystal themselves who, they said, advised 'paid ski carriage includes skis and boots even when packed in two different bags'.

At the airport there was bedlam! some check-in desks were allowing seperate boot-bags as part of ski carriage and others were refusing it. It was almost as if the check-in staff were enjoying the confusion and aggravation they were causing.

Why oh why can't these people make the 'rules' simple to understand?

These same 'ski carriage' questions are asked year after year and one would have thought that the Tour Operators would have eventually realised it is a problem that needed addressing.

I understand that some TO are members of SnowHeads Forum - Can they not now sort this problem out? I believe that most TO's look on their customer's as a bunch of whinging simpletons. So they could now reduce some of the whinging by finally making the issue of what 'paid ski carriage' actually includes by explaining it in a way understood by even simpletons!
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Would be interested to hear about this for anyone who's flown with Esprit Holidays. We have two pairs of boots to take and i'll have two sets of skis in one double ski bag.
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Given we have to pay £30 for this and that they state there is no weight limit on the ski bag then I really do not see why they are saying that nothing but skis and poles (or board) can go in the ski bag Puzzled What's the problem with paying for 2 ski carriages and then putting 2 pairs of skis and boots in a coffin style bag? Why should you pay your £30 but then still have to lose approx 6kg of your 20kg allowance for your boots, not to mention the space in the case/holdall if you can't take them separately?

I am going to direct Simon Cross to the thread and see if he can shed some light on this for us.
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Ski boot bag is standard with any TO baggage allowance that I've ever used, I'd be amazed if they charged extra for it. They always say that only skis and poles can go in the ski bag, that's standard, but I've yet to have my ski bag checked.
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sarah, thanks for alerting us to the thread.

I'm a little busy today but have forwarded this to one of the team and will come back to you soon.

Thanks
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Simon Cross, thanks for the prompt response, looking forward to a crystal clear answer on this one Very Happy
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It seems fairly clear to me. Ski carriage is for skis and you pay extra as they get checked in through outsize baggage and weighed separately. Ski boots aren't part of this and whether you have them in a separate boot bag or in your hold bag, they form part of your weight allowance. Many people take boots but not skis and there is no extra charge for this. I also know people who take double ski bags with two sets of skis but only pay one lot of ski carriage.

It would be interesting to get confirmation of this from Simon Cross or one of his team. I realise some 'other' rules can be in operation by airport ground staff and this might be outside of the TO's control.
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mfamily2, in my experience, as long as you've paid for ski carriage, and as long as you do not exceed the weight allowance (up to 32kg with TUI last year) you can put whatever the hell you want in there (excluding drugs/bombs etc). I use a Head Monster bag and usually manage 5 pairs of skis, poles and a couple of pairs of kids ski boots. It has never been an issue at either end of the flight.
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Hello all,

Just posting this in between meetings here...

Thanks for all the feedback – I appreciate this is a highly charged issue, but the unfortunate economic reality is that more weight on an aircraft equates to more fuel burn, and hence more expense. It’s the same for any airline because these are the “facts of life”.

As a result its common practise for airlines to charge excess baggage fees to cover this additional cost over and above planned payload.

Ski carriage is in effect an excess fee, albeit at a reduced rate in comparison to normal charge structure. At £30 to pre-book, and £40 at the airport, with the added peace of mind that – in the unfortunate event of equipment being off-loaded due to aircraft going over their payload limits – we will provide ski hire in resort until your own skis arrive, our prices are the cheapest of any of the major tour operators.

While some operators don’t charge for skis, they achieve this by limiting the amount of passengers on the aircraft which – due to the cost of chartering the plane being the same regardless of number of passengers onboard – means a higher seat cost for everyone on the flight – whether they are taking skis or not. We don’t see this as being fair to beginners, non-skiers and those who in general prefer to hire their equipment in resort.

Our policy – in line with other ski operators – is that ski carriage consists purely of the carriage of skis/poles or snowboard. Ski boots are always included in the checked baggage allowance no matter who you fly with, although most carriers are happy for you to pack them in a separate boot bag and pool the allowance with your main luggage.

At Crystal we take great value and great service for customers extremely seriously – you can see that in the way we have offered new product offerings like Ski + at amazing prices this season again, simplified our brochure and website, and even opened up our customer service forum online. Nevertheless we continue to listen to what you have to say to see how we can do things better.

We hope you all can find the right ski holiday at the right price this season and of course, we hope to see you on the slopes soon it's snowing in Europe!

All the best
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Simon Cross wrote:
Hello all,

Just posting this in between meetings here...

Thanks for all the feedback – I appreciate this is a highly charged issue, but the unfortunate economic reality is that more weight on an aircraft equates to more fuel burn, and hence more expense. It’s the same for any airline because these are the “facts of life”.

Do you charge heavier passengers more than lighter ones?
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Queen b it might seem fairly clear to you, but I would point to the number of queries on SH regarding luggage allowances as evidence that it is certainly not clear to many people.
With reference to your comments, I would reply;
1) Even non-ski related luggage might need to go through the 'outsize baggage' if it is 'outsize' so this is no indication that this service is only for additional 'paid extra for' items.
2) What is the real problem of including anything other than skis/poles in with the 'paid extra for' allowance as long as it is within the total weight allowed?
3) The TO should know exactly what is and what isn't allowed by the airport ground staff. It might not be in the TO's control, but surely they have an obligation to concisely confirm what is and what isn't allowed to their own customers to avoid causing them confusion and aggravation.

It will be interesting to see if Simon C will be able to confirm Crystal's policy in simple terms. Maybe he'll even find records of my enquiries regarding the confusing advice last season, and investigate why no-one thought to make it any clearer this season wink

In reality, don't we all just want to know what is available, what is allowed and of any additional costs. Obviously, I'm sure we will all then complain that it is not enough allowance, and it costs too much, but at least everyone knows where they stand.

Addendum added after finding Simon C's post came in as I was writing the above;

I understood Simon's explanation of Crystal's allowance - Ski carriage is for skis/poles or board only. Boots are part of the normal luggage allowance even if the boots are packed in a seperate bag.

Seems straightforward, although I will complain that my boots weigh 6Kg and the luggage and the rest of my ski-gear another 10kg - leaving just 4Kg for everything else!

At least I now know where I stand. In the evenings it will probably be at the bar, in just socks and underpants!
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Mr Marmot, I think Simon Cross is giving the official line worst-case-scenario. In real life people invariably get away with things like two pairs plus boots plus clothes in one bag (I always have, never been charged yet in 20 years and indeed even the travel agent I booked through advise I do this!), and usually the check-in people turn a blind eye, but Simon can't say this because he doesn't control the terms/conditions of the flight carrier and has to err on the side of caution and give the strict interpretation of the rules just in case the people on the gates decide to be stroppy jobsworths and check/charge.

I'd like to add though I don't like the gamble at the gate and worry for the day when someone tries to enforce the ridiculous 6kg ski bag limit or checks for two pairs, and I've paid extra in the past for peace of mind to travel with airlines with reasonable baggage allowances - ie old Swiss or BA where you got 20kgs plus a 20kg ski bag allowance and tended to avoid EJ/Ryanair, but it's getting more awkward now airlines seem to be getting a lot more strict. I'd be a lot happier and wouldn't moan that the extra cost if the 30ukp or whatever paid for ski carriage covered an additional bag of outside dimensions that could contain anything up to 20kgs in weight and the airlines were consistent with checking weight limits and charging excess.
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Good post Sideshow Bob . I agree with everything you said.
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Mr Marmot, I've no idea about other outsize items (such as golf clubs, child's pushchair) as I've never taken them on a flight myself. Is this a relevant question to snowHead ?

Simon Cross has pretty much confirmed my understanding of it, but since one of my ski buddies is cabin crew for Thomsonfly, I might have had inside information. Very Happy

Can't really see why people would want to put extra luggage in their ski bags? Two pairs of skis, yes if the bag is big enough (I doubt mine is), but what else? Clothing and toiletries would go in one's hold bag surely?
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All depends on the bag. I know that I can get my board, bindings, boots ski clothing and normal clothing for a week's holiday quite comfortably in my board bag, and thus if I was going on a boarding holiday for a week that would be the only bag I took with me, plus hand luggage.
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Sitter, I didn't think about one of those board bags, yes I guess you could quite feasibly get everything in one of those. I don't think I'd want to lift it in and out of the car boot though! Very Happy

Think I'll stick to my separate ski and hold bags!
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I guess that's a no then. Madeye-Smiley
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mfamily2, Laughing Laughing

Simon Cross, fair play for coming on here and contributing but a more concise answer would have done, I had to sift through the waffle and excuses and read your post twice before I actually found the answer.
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sarah, and others.

Having been in the business for a good while, the economic reality of this is that competition has driven down prices to such a point where the airlines, pick any one you choose, have become quite strict with "the rules".

People may choose to bend or even break those rules but it's not my place to encourage people to do so, as you can imagine.

As for charging heavier passengers more than lighter ones, I am sure there must be an EU or UN ruling that would discourage this Smile

Furthermore, if there was a lack of clarity in my post, I welcome further questions - I'd be happy for myself or the team to clarify for you.
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FenlandSkier, word. Evil or Very Mad Twisted Evil
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Quote:

I welcome further questions - I'd be happy for myself or the team to clarify for you.


thankyou simon cross.

i'd like to repeat mr marmot question please:
"What is the real problem of including anything other than skis/poles in with the 'paid extra for' allowance as long as it is within the total weight allowed?"

i understand fully that you must charge for the extra weight but once charged surely it must make sense to let me use it?

thanks.

jc
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sarah wrote:


Simon Cross, fair play for coming on here and contributing but a more concise answer would have done, I had to sift through the waffle and excuses and read your post twice before I actually found the answer.


A little harsh I think, sarah wink

Surely it was fair that Simon also explained why they charged, and also be allowed to spout a bit of promotion for Crystal, for taking the trouble to give any sort of answer.

I thought the bit about the ski carriage charge including an amount to cover the cost of Crystal hiring equipment in resort for anything that doesn't make it on to the plane very relevant. It gives an understanding of the sort of costs that have to be built into the ski carriage charge.
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Mr Marmot wrote:
....Surely it was fair that Simon also explained why they charged, and also be allowed to spout a bit of promotion for Crystal, for taking the trouble to give any sort of answer.

I thought the bit about the ski carriage charge including an amount to cover the cost of Crystal hiring equipment in resort for anything that doesn't make it on to the plane very relevant. It gives an understanding of the sort of costs that have to be built into the ski carriage charge.


I'd go along with that. I think Simon has given good value on SH - giving straight answers as bet he can. If I do use a TO again, Crystal will again be on my list.
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bythesea wrote:
Quote:

I welcome further questions - I'd be happy for myself or the team to clarify for you.


thankyou simon cross.

i'd like to repeat mr marmot question please:
"What is the real problem of including anything other than skis/poles in with the 'paid extra for' allowance as long as it is within the total weight allowed?"

i understand fully that you must charge for the extra weight but once charged surely it must make sense to let me use it?

thanks.

jc


Hopefully you'll get an answer from someone who actually knows... but I can hazard a guess in the meantime. I have never had my skis weighed at an airport; I can imagine it would be inconvenient and difficult to weight ski bags (boards might just be doable), so I *guess* that the reason TOs do not want other gear in there is to limit the excess weight because it woul be very easy to carry a lot of extra weight this way outside the allowance. Before BA changed their rules they were very strict about ski bags only containing skis, and they did even check on one occassion. This was kind of understandable because at time they were carried for no additional cost. Sadly this is no more...

By the way, Lufthansa and Swiss still carry skis for "free" (and maybe Austrian, as they are also owned by LH?).
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Quote:


Hopefully you'll get an answer from someone who actually knows... but I can hazard a guess in the meantime. I have never had my skis weighed at an airport; I can imagine it would be inconvenient and difficult to weight ski bags (boards might just be doable), so I *guess* that the reason TOs do not want other gear in there is to limit the excess weight because it woul be very easy to carry a lot of extra weight this way outside the allowance.


hi, thanks for your reply.
i've always had sports equipment weighed without a problem at airports - windsurfing, kitesurfing, mountain biking & snowboarding gear. it took no longer that weighing a bag.
also the weight wouldn't be "extra" as surely you'd have just paid for it.
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Well, like I said it was a guess. I have never had skis weighed (as far as I can remember). It's not just because they are awkward, I think it's a process thing too, as there tend to be a lot of skis on a flight the often get chucked on a large trolley and you don't put them on the luggage scales - if this means my other bags can use the full luggage allowance then I'm not worrying. If they do weigh the skis and still insist you can't put other stuff in the bag then it's just bonkers.
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My skis have also been weighed at the airport.

They ask me to lay the ski-bag on the conveyor, they check the weight, they attach the luggage tag and then ask me to to take the bag to the 'outsize' luggage drop. They've never asked to look into the ski-bag to check that it only contains skis.

At the 'outsize' baggage drop they ask me to wait whilst it goes through the x-ray machine. They've never queried the contents but then again I have nothing in the bag other than skis and poles.
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FenlandSkier wrote:
Do you charge heavier passengers more than lighter ones?


Very rational but O'Leary's been there all ready and had to look for other schemes.
If you need 2 seats you may have to pay double.

It might be wise to keep quiet about the suggestion.
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=1662471&highlight=fat#1662471

Crystals policy is clear & £30 is reasonable compared to most. I get annoyed when I have taken the trouble to keep the weight of my main hold bag including boots down to the weight allowance and then check-in staff almost invariably allow ski boots as part of ski carriage & even coffin bags go as ski carriage. Some TUI charters had a main allowance of 15kg=10kg + boots = smelly skier.
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The charging of skis at a rate of £30 or £40 is nothing more than profiteering and they do it because they can. If you look at the price of a typical ski package with Crystal and say pick one with fight, hotel, transfer and half board meals in the hotel, airport fees etc. at a cost of say £450 per person, what proportion of that would be the cost of the flight.

I don't know, but if we said £80 and that is probably on the top side, an extra £30 or £40 is a big wack extra for carrying a pair of skis and is a nice little earner.

Extra fuel to cover the extra weight ? negligible.

They probably also do it so they can flog their ski hire package which a few of the beginners in our group in the past have found out consisted of some manky old non brand skis and old boots.

Having said all that our last 5 group trips have been with Crystal and on the whole, we have been quite happy apart from a stay at The Valley Blanche in Alp D'huez a couple of years ago where quite a few people staying there our week got the shits ! The food was very poor.

Contrast that with stays at the Postwirt hotel in Soll and Le Cachette in Les Arcs where the food in both was superb, both booked with Crystal.

So will we consider Crystal this year, yes of course but I still think your ski carriage cost is outragious.
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Simon Cross, I apologise if my reply was harsh and I do appreciate you taking the trouble to come on here at all.

All I(and many others want to do) really want to do is to pack boots in with skis in the coffin style of bag and have the boots included as part of the £30 ski equipment carriage charge not lose 6kg say of the 20kg suitcase allowance. If there's no weight limit on the ski bag then it's not a big deal to you but means a lot to the customer in terms of ease and convenience of packing. It's a reasonable request I think.
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What I actually want to do is book ski carriage and be able to put skis in a ski bag and boots in a boot bag, leaving my 20kg allowance for my hold bag. I think I'm agreeing with sarah.

Quote:
means a lot to the customer in terms of ease and convenience of packing. It's a reasonable request I think


Spot on
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bernie wrote:
.....Extra fuel to cover the extra weight ? negligible.......


Your source for that gem? We used to fuel a VC10 going from Brize Norton to Cyprus with 132,000 lb of fuel - maybe carrying 35,000 lb weight. Of course the VC10 was not as efficient as modern aircraft - but, briefly, much more fuel has to be carried than payload - which in turn costs both in terms of direct fuel cost and airframe fatigue.

Another cost in carrying skis is that the awkwardness of shape defies automated baggage handling and needs serate security. PITA for the airlines and TOs. Crystal's charges look reasonable to me.
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