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Crystal Ski/TUI air carriage restrictions

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Heads up, and a vent...
For reasons best known to themselves, Crystal (or, so they tell me, Thompson Air, now TUI Air) no longer allow you to book double ski bags and no longer allow you to take (or at least pay for) more than 1 set of skis or 1 board per person (at 15kg allowance still given). The 'System' just won't let them do it.
Blinking ridiculous! Like, no-one ever want to take their skis and their board, or wants to take 2 sets of skis or 2 boards for various reasons. (And be honest enough to pay for them...)
Cannot speak to anyone at TUI to complain or query it.
Funnily enough, though, you can now pay extra for extra hold luggage weight, up to a total of 30kg per person: so it can't be a simple plane weight issue.
I like the convenience of going via a TO, but Crystal are really really getting annoying!
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Has this just changed ?

We got back from Selva with Crystal on Sat (5th) and we were told we could take two pairs of skis in one bag (up to 23 kilos in total ) but had to pay 2 x £ 45 carriage ...
I only upgraded that from one ski carriage a few weeks before we went.

https://www.crystalski.co.uk/help/flights-flying-info/

" If you're planning to take two sets of skis or two snowboards in one bag, you must purchase two ski carriage extras at £45 each – however, the total weight must not exceed 23kg. You can also pack clothes in the bag, as long as it does not exceed the weight limit."
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Never had a problem.
Have always just booked the single extra ski carriage and taken whatever I wanted in the ski/board bag be it 2 pairs of skis or skis and board as long as it's under the weight it's been ok.
Will do the same again in a couple of weeks.
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A nuisance. Am off for an off-piste week in St Anton at the weekend and hoped to take my fat 116mm Rossignol Super 7s and a brand new pair of 96mm Vokl mantras which arrived last week (after trialling in Tignes at the early season Bash). Apparently there is to be loadsa snow so want access to both. Weighed 17 kilos in the bag and Thomas Cook, like TUI, are 15kgs. Decisions..... Puzzled
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@hawkesbaynz,
Take the bindings off?
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Good idea. But could I be a...d enough!
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sheffskibod wrote:

https://www.crystalski.co.uk/help/flights-flying-info/

" If you're planning to take two sets of skis or two snowboards in one bag, you must purchase two ski carriage extras at £45 each – however, the total weight must not exceed 23kg. You can also pack clothes in the bag, as long as it does not exceed the weight limit."


This is exactly the sort of commercial opportunism that we should ALL challenge. As long as your bag is size compliant and under the weight limit, there can be no logical reason to charge more for two sets of skis than for one. To say that they are a business and can charge what they like is to miss the point; in the end they can only charge what people will pay. The more people who complain about such policies, the better. The companies responsible will soon get the message.
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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!
@hawkesbaynz, go to ski bartlett and get them quiver killed.
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IanTr wrote:
sheffskibod wrote:

https://www.crystalski.co.uk/help/flights-flying-info/

" If you're planning to take two sets of skis or two snowboards in one bag, you must purchase two ski carriage extras at £45 each – however, the total weight must not exceed 23kg. You can also pack clothes in the bag, as long as it does not exceed the weight limit."


This is exactly the sort of commercial opportunism that we should ALL challenge. As long as your bag is size compliant and under the weight limit, there can be no logical reason to charge more for two sets of skis than for one. To say that they are a business and can charge what they like is to miss the point; in the end they can only charge what people will pay. The more people who complain about such policies, the better. The companies responsible will soon get the message.


Their single ski carriage has a max weight of 15 kilos...they told me the insurance would only cover one damaged pair (not two pairs) so you can take two pairs at your own risk...

For me , I have a fall line double so two pairs plus salloppettes and coats on the way out (and dirty laundry on the way back) to pack it out works out nicely.

I am coming to the comclusion though that buying my own skis was probably heart over head... I have three trips this year (BB next !) and frankly the pain and cost in transporting them , getting them waxed and edged etc is coming home to roost. I think once worn out I will revert to renting (hi end) which then also gives me the option to change ski to match conditions ...
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Yes, I read that same quote @sheffskibod, and it reads like you can pay £45 per set or board as many times as you want. Indeed I have done this in years gone by (and they used to do 2 sets for £60 in 1 bag for 20kg also). But this year they are limiting it to 1 set skis or 1 board per customer travelling (i.e. 15kg bag, tecncically with only 1 set or board in) and that's it. Crystal say it's the airline, and it certainly doesn't say on Crystal's site when you book that tis has changed.

@gixxerniknik, probably what I'll end up doing, but it's a bug as I often like to pay for the extra carriage a) to be a very good girl and b) to get an extra 15kg weight allowance (which for various reason is often helpful - though maybe not fully used - but this year we are going SC and taking both board and skis I have 2 sets of boots, jackets etc also.)
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@sheffskibod, are you servicing your skis yourself?

I was initially concerned that it was a heart over head thing when hubby got me my first set as a mother’s day present, however since me getting them, learning how to look after them, we are now all have our own (family of 4) and I factor them into flight decisions (booking with BA or others which don’t charge ski carriage or ensuring other flights ARE cheaper once ski carriage added).

Having my own has let me add kneebindings which is an additional safety advantage.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
NickyJ wrote:
@sheffskibod, are you servicing your skis yourself?

I was initially concerned that it was a heart over head thing when hubby got me my first set as a mother’s day present, however since me getting them, learning how to look after them, we are now all have our own (family of 4) and I factor them into flight decisions (booking with BA or others which don’t charge ski carriage or ensuring other flights ARE cheaper once ski carriage added).

Having my own has let me add kneebindings which is an additional safety advantage.


Not yet but I recently moved house and it has a bigger garage (i.e. room for a little workbench).
Maybe when I am a bit more organised , I will have to go on one of @spyderjon courses at the piste office..
My wife has her own skis too so might work out .
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@sheffskibod, I can highly recommend it, I think you will find your mindset changing afterwards Happy. I did his course 3yrs ago.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Still trying to get any sense out of Crystal or TUI, but apparently it's all down to these people who like to take heavy hold (not ski/board containing) bags. Obviously weight in a plane is restricted, and they think it's now better to let people pay £18 or £36 to have an extra 5 or 10kg hold baggage rather than pay £45 for 15kg (or part thereof) ski/board carriage.
Unlikely it'll change back, so for future years it looks like it might be an issue for everyone (well, who wants to play by the strict rules). I guess that's another reason for me to start swapping to full-time boarding then, or ski only in the UK Sad
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IanTr wrote:
sheffskibod wrote:

https://www.crystalski.co.uk/help/flights-flying-info/

" If you're planning to take two sets of skis or two snowboards in one bag, you must purchase two ski carriage extras at £45 each – however, the total weight must not exceed 23kg. You can also pack clothes in the bag, as long as it does not exceed the weight limit."


This is exactly the sort of commercial opportunism that we should ALL challenge. As long as your bag is size compliant and under the weight limit, there can be no logical reason to charge more for two sets of skis than for one. To say that they are a business and can charge what they like is to miss the point; in the end they can only charge what people will pay. The more people who complain about such policies, the better. The companies responsible will soon get the message.


Best way to challenge these ridiculous commercial decisions made by TO is to find someone else to book with. I may not change things but at least you will not feel ripped off and will be in better control of your holiday. I have read on here that TO’s baggage rules are often inconsistent with the underlying airline which they may be using (eg BA). Organising a DIY ski holiday not too hard these days and doubt it would cost much more, if booked early, once these hidden costs are accounted for. It seems also the TO are the first to blame factors ‘out of their control’ when something goes wrong and they fall apart if there is a significant weather event (snow!) which they should have a more duty of care given they are in the business of transporting people in winter! (Rant over!)
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@Ozboy, don't disagree. Trouble is, if you don't fancy DIY (and there are valid reasons for that), who else is there left to book with, especially at the cheaper end? Crystal/TUI (ex Thompson) seem to be about the only ones left (maybe Jet 2? - never tried them). Inghams etc are much more expensive.
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@Grizzler, i totally understand but, cost aside, what are the real benefits of using a TO (genuine question).

When I have done it in the past with Ski World (Tignes le Brevier(?) and St Anton), I’ve ended up in long airport queues at stupid o’clock, having to play ski luggage charges bingo, ended up in a old over filled terminal, waited for the bus to arrive, then waiting for people who managed to get lost while waiting for the bus, being hassled by rep on bus to buy ski passes and ski hire from them and trying to convince me to pay their GBP rate, disappointed with accommodation and poor quality of cooking from someone on a gap year who has no ambition of working in hospitality (not their fault).
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Quote:

I have read on here that TO’s baggage rules are often inconsistent with the underlying airline which they may be using (eg BA).

They are. But it can work both ways. We have been on holidays with Crystal where they used BA. The BA check-in person was trying to charge us for an extra item of luggage for our boot bags, we also had hold bags and ski bags. They relented when we explained that we booked ski carriage with Crystal and that included both boot and hold bags.
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Last week took 2 ski bags with them, 1 with 2 sets of skis and 1 with 1 set of skis and ski boots, they don't check what's in them just the weights, for £45 you get 15kg on top of the 20kg hold luggage, 35kg total and you can split it how you like as long as neither bag weighs over 23kg. You're worrying over nothing, pack your skis and enjoy!
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I wouldn't worry about it. Just keep it under 15kgs and they wont care. Has anyone ever been asked to open up their bag for inspection at check in?? I never have and nearly always take two sets of skis with me.
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@woodpecker, that makes me wonder if checkin staff have the right to physically check what is in the bag - They can ask but can they physically verify what you say? I get they must ask if you are carrying dangerous goods and lithium batteries, their primary concern, but it’s up to the security checks downstream to check contents.
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@dode, But you probably paid for Crystal a ski carriage fee for the extra skibag and boots in the first place. It would have probably been cheaper if they just passed on the BA rules giving you the option of either carrying boots by hand luggage (no cost) or pooling with others in your group to buy an extra bag for multiple boots.
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Check in just weighs it, as long as you state there are no banned items in it they really don't care, then you have to take it to oversize, that desk will be run by the airport operator such as Swissport etc who take oversize for all airlines, they give it a quick xray, check the label and boarding card, they don't care what is in it (except banned items) and would have no knowledge of (or care about) how many skis a particular airline say should be in it.
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@woodpecker, I think you are spot on here and people should not be too worried about the rip-off tactics used to squeeze more money customers who don't seem to have a lot of choice unless they are prepared to DIY.
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Yes @woodpecker, has the right idea. I traveled with Tui last week and had no problem with a double bag (exept for it bieng trashed by baggage handlers and the convayer belt at Manchester Evil or Very Mad )
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Well thank you everyone! Confirmation from TUI that a ski bag CAN contain things other than skis and poles. RESULT!
And yes it's on their website now, but historically has been a very grey area.
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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.
Same with Austrian air this winter
One set of skis per bag


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Mon 7-01-19 19:12; edited 1 time in total
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sheffskibod wrote:
IanTr wrote:
sheffskibod wrote:

https://www.crystalski.co.uk/help/flights-flying-info/

" If you're planning to take two sets of skis or two snowboards in one bag, you must purchase two ski carriage extras at £45 each – however, the total weight must not exceed 23kg. You can also pack clothes in the bag, as long as it does not exceed the weight limit."


This is exactly the sort of commercial opportunism that we should ALL challenge. As long as your bag is size compliant and under the weight limit, there can be no logical reason to charge more for two sets of skis than for one. To say that they are a business and can charge what they like is to miss the point; in the end they can only charge what people will pay. The more people who complain about such policies, the better. The companies responsible will soon get the message.


Their single ski carriage has a max weight of 15 kilos...they told me the insurance would only cover one damaged pair (not two pairs) so you can take two pairs at your own risk...

For me , I have a fall line double so two pairs plus salloppettes and coats on the way out (and dirty laundry on the way back) to pack it out works out nicely.

I am coming to the comclusion though that buying my own skis was probably heart over head... I have three trips this year (BB next !) and frankly the pain and cost in transporting them , getting them waxed and edged etc is coming home to roost. I think once worn out I will revert to renting (hi end) which then also gives me the option to change ski to match conditions ...


I made that decision many seasons back, selling my highly rated K2’s on Ebay. With all the clobber of a family of 4, it was a relief to have one less bulky item to steer around airports.

But be aware that decent ski rental costs have escalated in many resorts. We just spent £800 in St Christoph on various rental bits (including 3 pairs of boots). The Skiset price wasn’t a € cheaper. Long gone are the days of £50 a head! Sad
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You know it makes sense.
@woodpecker, @BMG, @Ozboy, you're probably right. I'm just too honest for my own good and too scared of being the first one who gets caught doing it! (Besides, as I said, the extra weight allowance is sometimes useful - but if now you can buy that in hold luggage I might well just pay a bit less extra and take 2 sets in 1 carriage and the other odds & sods in the main cases.

@Ozboy, why do I use TO? Firstly it's usually cheaper. Depends where you want to go, and if you can do deals, but I priced it several times and for several places in summer 2018 and DIY was more expensive for all. Fear of the unknown is another reason (though I have done DIY in the past in summer). Then again, Crystal Ski were FA use when I had my accident, so as long as the insurance are helpful then there's little to be gained from the TO (but that was my first, and thankfully reasonable minor medical/injury experience abroad, and I've learned a little about how to deal with it now). However, I can still see various and many eventualities where having a Rep around is useful: assuming of course that they are actually there, which is far from always the case, as I know. There is also the better protection which you have on booking a package holiday over separate flights, transfers and accommodations - which is the main reason that I will use a TO. Probably not always worth a lot in reality, but technically there could be benefits. Overall, really just a case of neither me or Mr G (especially if I, the chief planning, sorting, financing and researching officer, am not able to attend to things) feeling fully confident to deal with all emergencies and eventualities, I guess. But I'm starting to think that I should try DIY.
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Not Crystal but flew EJ last week. Two ski bags, one with 2 pairs and one with 3 pairs (one for an 8 year old though). One of the bags was 6kg over the 20kg limit but not an issue as pooled weight allowance with the other bags. No one cared.

The computer check in at LGW made it more awkward though, they have an option to check in skis and another option to check in skis & boots. I clicked the former without realising and it was quite a trial to explain to the lady that there's no difference between the two when you book/pay, only the machine makes that distinction. In the end we had the choice of arguing at customer service desk or booking additional hand luggage for £6, obviously we saved the £6 to avoid yet another tedious conversation with a person in orange about how their own airline operates luggage policy.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Just to update this (well, today's version), the latest Crystal rules (they seem to change their minds and online information at random - quel surprise Mad ) are that you can now:
a) take 1 set of skis or 1 board (ahem) in a single bag with a 15kg total allowance (additional to your 20kg hold bag) and pay £45;
Or
b) take 2 sets/boards in a "double bag" and pay a rip off £90 for a stupendous 20kg allowance. Hmmmm... Evil or Very Mad (In years past this option was £60, then was apparently withdrawn, but has mysteriously reappeared again recently on a random basis which some staff and some computer systems do or don't know about);
Or
c) spend ages on the phone, get a helpful and vaguely knowledgeable customer service person and get them to agree that the wording quoted from their website in an earlier post above means that you can do b), still at £90, but take 23kg (whoohooo!). The lost 15+15-23kg is not transferrable.

Paying 2 x £45 and taking 2 x 15kg bags is, however, definitely no longer possible. (Although someone I spoke to at TUI holidays - who run TUI airlines and own Crystal - says they think you can... rolling eyes). But, as already said above, you can now pay for extra hold luggage weight of 5 or 10 kg (but it can't include skis or boards): but you then have to split that between 2 bags as maximum hold bag weight is 23kg. This option is only currently made available when you come to do the online check in and not when you book; though tomorrow or next week... Puzzled

I despair.

Was just looking at the Finnair website. How many bags do you want, maximum weight each bag 23kg, don't care if they contain skis or not as long as less than 220cm long? Just pay us E20 per bag, up to a maximum of 4, per flight leg (which even includes plane change-overs). God, those Finns are odd people. How can they possibly come up with something so sensible, simple, easy and practical? Must be all that reindeer meat affecting their brain cells Toofy Grin
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Or book one set of skis, chuck all skis/boards in one bag, everything else in the 2Nr 20kg bags you have (assuming 2 people travelling) and just chance it at the airport?

Or DIY.
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Grizzler wrote:
Just to update this (well, today's version),

Paying 2 x £45 and taking 2 x 15kg bags is, however, definitely no longer possible. (Although someone I spoke to at TUI holidays - who run TUI airlines and own Crystal - says they think you can... rolling eyes). But, as already said above, you can now pay for extra hold luggage weight of 5 or 10 kg (but it can't include skis or boards): but you then have to split that between 2 bags as maximum hold bag weight is 23kg. This option is only currently made available when you come to do the online check in and not when you book; though tomorrow or next week... Puzzled

I despair.

Was just looking at the Finnair website. How many bags do you want, maximum weight each bag 23kg, don't care if they contain skis or not as long as less than 220cm long? Just pay us E20 per bag, up to a maximum of 4, per flight leg (which even includes plane change-overs). God, those Finns are odd people. How can they possibly come up with something so sensible, simple, easy and practical? Must be all that reindeer meat affecting their brain cells Toofy Grin


Oh crikey. You have me worried now. I was already worried about how I was going to navigate the crystal luggage maze. How can taking two 15kg ski bags not be possible if you pay for x2 ski carriage? This is what I've done and also have paid for additional luggage weight that, according to the blurb, can be split with other bags, there's nothing saying the ski bag can't be part of that weight split....

I'm going to have to ring them aren't I?! rolling eyes
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@Grizzler, I got very confused just reading your note - kudos to you for your patience dealing with what sounds like a very incompetent company.

I reckon if you look a DIY next time if wont be much more expensive and you have protection for each element if paying by credit card. I also think there are not many eventualities in resort that you could not figure out better / quicker that the rep now that everything is on the internet. The snowheads collective will assist you in putting together a DYI trip.
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@Ozboy, I might hold you to that last bit! It is looking more and more likely, if not necessary. (DYI: is that do yourself in? Not going for that again, thank you...)
Then again, if I can throw 2 things into 15kg (which I can, with 5 kg to spare) then I can pay for the new extra hold allowance if I need it (unfortunately, for various reasons, not including taking too much stuff, I well might) and make it work. (They used to give me a free extra hold 5-7kg for necessary medical-related; though whether they'd do that these days I don't know, and I'm just too Crystalled-out this time to try.) All depends what Mr G wants to take: his larger board is very heavy, as are his boots, and if he wants to take 2 boards we would certainly struggle without extra hold weight these days. Stripping off bindings and putting them in the hold is possible for the boards (they're not light bindings) but it's all hassle and faff which really shouldn't be necessary when other airlines can offer much more user friendly options.

@kittya, sorry, didn't want to worry you. If you have paid for 2 carriages and there's 2 of you going, that's fine. If you've paid for 2 carriages assigned to just 1 passenger and they've let you do it (maybe you booked before they changed it?) then I would argue that you are also fine. You cannot now buy more than 1 carriage per passenger now online or over the phone (well, as of 1600 hrs this afternoon you couldn't...). You might get away with weight swapping/sharing, as long as every bag is below 23kg - but it might be safer to keep the carriage bags to whatever you've booked, presume 2 separate bags at 15kg or 1 pooled one at 23kg, and use your hold baggage to the max. Obviously the separate bags give you more, though more hassle to carry.
Do let us know if you phone and clarify it (you might get a different version to my various ones over the past 2 days).

@SnoodlesMcFlude, not enough weight allowance, simple as that. Was checking last 2 trips' notes (pre needing to carry extra knee braces and related bits!) and we had 1 fabric board bag at 14kg, 1 wheeled double bag (skis and board) at 20kg, 2 hold bags at 20 near as and hand luggage at 7 and 6 (technically should only be 5 each). When we used just to take his board and 1 skis for me (before I also boarded), the hold and cabin bags were the same, the ski carriage came in at 20-23kg for both items (and other stuff). Sad, aren't I, keeping a record.

Oh sod it, they'll all have changed their rules and prices by next season, if not during this. Evil or Very Mad
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At least you can take skis. Neilson/BA have said plane is too heavy on 19th from LGW to saltzberg I can’t even take my skis with me. Happy I am not
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Ldj226 wrote:
At least you can take skis. Neilson/BA have said plane is too heavy on 19th from LGW to saltzberg I can’t even take my skis with me. Happy I am not


Shocked is the ba charter then rather seats on scheduled ba flight?
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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!
@Ldj226, odd... I don’t think it will matter if you turn up with one bag at 23kgs with equipment inside as this adds no additional weight. Ski boots, helmet and precious accessories go in hand luggage. Best to ring BA for advice.
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NickyJ wrote:


Shocked is the ba charter then rather seats on scheduled ba flight?


Nope scheduled flight and @ozboy I have tried to speak to BA and pay them £45 for the privilege and they have said nope no skis which is just crazy. My weight will be under 23kg. Going to complain to BA and see what they say. Worries about turning up with Skis incase they say no...
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Ldj226, for what did you pay £45? There is no need to prepay or notify BA that be is taking skiis on a scheduled flight as part of your single piece of luggage. You just need to turn up and all is good if under the euro traveller checked allowance of 23kgs. Done they 10’s of times in the past with skis and bikes. There is the option to buy extra bags but don’t recall £45 being the fee - certainly n dedicated ski carriage fee. You should be able to carry a week’s worth of clothing and skis in 23kgs and they suggest boots can be carried as hand luggage. Think the TO is profiteering if this is what you paid. You need to get there early so it’s loaded first. If for some reason they refuse to carry them, the airport should have a left luggage service to hold your skiis for a fee for week.

It’s all here:
https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/baggage-essentials/sporting-goods-and-musical-instruments
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