• Welcome to AlpineZone, the largest online community of skiers and snowboarders in the Northeast!

    You may have to REGISTER before you can post. Registering is FREE, gets rid of the majority of advertisements, and lets you participate in giveaways and other AlpineZone events!

Fees for checking bags

SkiingInABlueDream

New member
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
617
Points
0
Location
the woods of greater-Waltham
The transpack carry-on thread got me curious. I'm recently back from a Montana trip (Whitefish, which is awesome btw) and I had to pay $200 each way for my ski bag because it was longer than 62". This was on top of regular fees for any checked bags. I've been ski traveling for 20 years and I've never had to pay a fee like that. The airline was United, which anecdotally is regarded as one of the worst US based airlines. But even on United's website all I could find about baggage fees was $30 and $40 for the first and second bag, and the extra charges if over 50 and then 70 lbs, but nothing about size. The flight was a group reservation in a package trip through a Boston area ski club.

Trying to figure what was going on there. maybe some airlines have special sub-economy tiers that aren't outwardly advertised but are available to agents looking to roll cheapest possible airfare into packages? Or, United itself is misrepresenting it's fees?
Whatever the case, my takeaway is that the next time I do a club trip I'll seriously consider booking my own air travel.
 

Edd

Active member
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
5,372
Points
38
Location
Newmarket, NH
Was there a layover? Meaning 4 flights so $50/flight? I’ve had this on Air Canada so not uncommon but still sucks. If no layover, then they should burn in Hell.


Sent from my iPhone using AlpineZone
 

SkiingInABlueDream

New member
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
617
Points
0
Location
the woods of greater-Waltham
Boston > Denver, Denver > Kalispell MT so yes. And the $200 was each way so it'd be $100 per flight as you math'd it. What perplexes me is that there's no mention of that fee on United, that I can find. So someone, either Untied or the ski club, was not exactly upfront about expenses.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2011
Messages
241
Points
16
Location
too close to NYC
My bet is you got charged the standard oversized bag rate rather than the special sporting goods rate. Skis, golf clubs, etc. are supposed to have different rules. I would be calling United and demanding some money back.
 

Skrn

New member
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
98
Points
0
I agree. This is not supposed to happen

My bet is you got charged the standard oversized bag rate rather than the special sporting goods rate. Skis, golf clubs, etc. are supposed to have different rules. I would be calling United and demanding some money back.
 

abc

Active member
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
Messages
3,848
Points
38
Location
Lower Hudson Valley
When checking in online, there’s the question of how many bags you’re checking. And then the option to specify it’s a “sporting equipment”, which exempts from regular bag size.
 

kingslug

Active member
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
5,240
Points
38
Location
Stamford Ct and Stowe
Fly delta..get the amex gold card for 95 bucks and get first checked bag free and ski and boot bag count as 1
But never check boots..they lose those and your screwed
 

puckoach

Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2009
Messages
218
Points
16
Location
128 Burbs
Interesting post, thank you for putting it up.

Not sure if I read it right. But if I went west, was going to bring boots. Not my skis. Which appears to add cost.

I fly about 25 or more trips per year. While all the airlines suck. United never fails to find new bean counter moves, to piss you off. Newest, is a third tier of surcharge for coach seat location.
 

abc

Active member
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
Messages
3,848
Points
38
Location
Lower Hudson Valley
This is good advice but I never follow it. Just seems like a pain. Someday I may regret it.
You need to try it once. Once you done it (carry boots), you may not find it a pain. I use a wheeled carry-on. So not actually “carrying” it.

The mental anguish of losing my boots for the entire duration of my trip far outweighs the physical hassle of having to carry it with me.
 

dlague

Active member
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
8,789
Points
36
Location
CS, Colorado
Having traveled to go skiing on several occasions, boots are easy carry on items. Attach the straps and you are good to go. Skis are checked in of course, helmet jackets ski pants and other gear can be put in a carry on or pack with other clothing. If you need to bring lots of clothing well that is another story.

Sent from my SM-G930V using AlpineZone mobile app
 

fbrissette

Active member
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
1,586
Points
38
Location
Montreal/Jay Peak
My bet is you got charged the standard oversized bag rate rather than the special sporting goods rate. Skis, golf clubs, etc. are supposed to have different rules. I would be calling United and demanding some money back.


That's fully correct. Ski bags, despite not respecting the total 62 inches limit are considered as a normal bag.

Just flew united last week no problem. When you do self check-in, just register the ski bag as a standard bag.
 

SkiingInABlueDream

New member
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
617
Points
0
Location
the woods of greater-Waltham
Appreciate the replies. @Ski The Moguls - thank you for the links.

I remain confused though. In the Sports Equipment page I do not see anything suggesting that your bag(s) being "Sports Equipment" excuses them from the size limit. And in the main page on baggage fees I didnt see anything suggesting exceptions (for sports equip for example) could exist. So Im not convinced that "sports equipment" would necessarily sidestep the 62" limit. (A ski bag can be <5ft...) But then, why would they create a separate page for Sports Equipment if there were no special conditions (potentially) associated. <still confused>

Regarding the check-in process. I can't speak for online checkin but when I was at the actual kiosks, I never saw any special option(s) for baggage (sporting or otherwise). It literally just asked about number of bags, weight, and size. I ran through it multiple times thinking, no way something's gotta be wrong. But I would have had to answer the kiosk questions falsely to avoid the >62" charge at which point I figured the ppl at the desk would surely suspect my ski bag's size and Id get sent back to the kiosk, and/or Id just be making extra work for them to go in and bill me so... I bent over and took it. <shrug>

I hindsight I should have done some homework before hand, but again Ive never had problems with ski bags so it was a curveball for me.

I'll post again after I phone United.
 
Last edited:

abc

Active member
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
Messages
3,848
Points
38
Location
Lower Hudson Valley
I’ve flown United just last year. And a few times before. I’ve not been charged for my ski bag for being oversized (I have a hard case, which is even more bulky than a ski bag).

If it were just an isolated case of an overzealous agent, you would have only been charged on one of your legs, right?

The fact you got charged for both legs is making me worried whether United is tightening their luggage policy to squeeze more $$ out of is!

So would appreciate sharing any response you get from them.
 

djd66

Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2015
Messages
256
Points
18
United also has a fare class that charges for a carryon bag. They also are the same airline that rips customers out of their seats.
 

fbrissette

Active member
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
1,586
Points
38
Location
Montreal/Jay Peak
Skis are a checked baggage. I go out west once a year and I've always been charged a standard baggage fee. No oversize fee. 50 pounds limit applies.

From United website:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


United accepts one item of ski or snowboard equipment per customer as checked baggage. Equipment must be securely encased in a suitable container. An item of ski equipment consists of:

  • Water skis
  • Up to two snowboards in one bag and one snow boot bag
  • Up to two pairs of snow skis and associated equipment in one bag and one ski boot bag
    • If the combined weight of the ski bag and boot bag is over 50 pounds (23 kg), applicable overweight charges apply.
    • A boot bag without an accompanied ski bag is considered one bag and normal baggage fees apply.
First or second checked bag service charges may apply.
Ski equipment in addition to the baggage allowance will be assessed at the current excess baggage charge for a single piece, whether or not it is presented as a single piece.
Ski and boot bags weighing more than 50 pounds (23 kg) or that contain other items in addition to appropriate ski equipment will be subject to the applicable overweight checked baggage service charge. Ski and boot bags that do not contain ski-related items will be subject to any applicable oversize and overweight checked baggage service charges.
United is not liable for damage to water ski, snow ski, or snowboard equipment.
 
Top