Airlines can be total bastards when it comes to charging extra for carrying skis and snowboards. How many times have you thought you’ve nabbed a good flight deal, only to discover it’s going to cost twice the ticket price to fly your gear out?
Here’s our rundown of the cheapest (and most expensive) European airlines to carrying your equipment…
What’s the cheapest?
There are actually a lot of European airlines that carry skis and snowboards for free. In fact, eight to be precise – Air France, Alitalia, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, KLM, LOT, Lufthansa, SAS and Swiss Air.
Germanwings have an interesting policy where you have to pay for hold baggage, but you can book skis or boards on for free. Sounds like a fair deal to us!
And the most expensive?
Unsurprisingly, the budget airlines charge the most for carrying skis and boards. Good ol’ Ryan Air can charge you up to €60 one way, if you forget to book before you get to the airport.
They are followed closely behind by easyJet (€40-50 one way) and FlyBe (€40 one way) who will only let snowboards on planes on a standby basis. Odd.
Perhaps more surprisingly, Norwegian Air is pretty pricey, despite their nation’s love of winter sports. It could set you back €40 one way to fly with the Scandis.
Just a few more handy tips…
Some airlines require you to register your skis or board in online up to 48 hours before, so make sure you check.
Technically, you are only allowed to carry skis/board, poles and boots in your gear travel cases. Airlines have been known to get arsey when you stick helmets/underwear/spare bottles of jäger in there.
Saying that, it’s a good idea to properly pad your skis and snowboard out when you travel. You don’t want to end up with a splitboard that err… wasn’t a splitboard when you last saw it.
This table is correct as of 7 October 2014. However, we do recommend double-checking with the airline before you fly.
EUROPEAN AIRLINE SKI AND SNOWBOARD BAGGAGE FEE CHARGES 2014
|AIRLINE||FIRST HOLD BAG FEE||SKI/SNOWBOARD BAGGAGE FEE (ONE WAY)||EXTRA NOTES|
|Air France||Free||Free (counts as free baggage allowance) or €70 if take hold bag||Can use as free baggage allowance. Max. 20kg. No longer than 300cm. More info here.|
|Alitalia||Free||Free (counts as free baggage allowance) or €55 if take hold bag||Max. weight 23kg. More info here.|
|British Airways||Free||Free (counts as free baggage allowance)||Max. 190cm in length. Must be in recognisable ski bag. More info here.|
|EasyJet||€35||€40 pre booked/€50 at airport||Max. 20kg. You can pack boots separately and it counts as full baggage fee. More info here.|
|Finnair||Free||Free (counts as free baggage allowance) or €25 pre booked/€40 at airport||Must be under 23kg and 220cm in length. More info here.|
|FlyBe||€19-61 depending on weight||€40||Skis should be booked online in advance. Snowboards accepted on standby basis only. More info here.|
|Germanwings||€15 pre booked/€30 at airport||Free||Max. weight 30kg. Max. three pairs/boards per person. More info here.|
|Iberia||Free||Free (counts as free baggage allowance)||Skis and snowboards should be properly packed. Must be under 23kg. More info here.|
|Jet2||€56||€39||Needs to be pre-booked. Max. weight 20kg. Max. size 182cm x 91cm. More info here.|
|KLM||Free||Free (counts as free baggage allowance) or €15 pre booked/€30 at airport||Needs to be reserved at least 48 hrs in advance. More info here.|
|LOT||Free (as long as not flying with Economy Simple)||Free (if counts as free baggage allowance) or €50||Max. weight 45kg. Need to declare equipment 24 hrs in advance by calling LOT Call Centre. More info here.|
|Lufthansa||Free||Free (counts as free baggage allowance) or €50 if take hold bag||Max. weight 32kg. More info here.|
|Monarch||€24-64 depending on route||€31||Max. 20kg. Ski boots can be taken in a separate bag as part of main hold bag allowance providing combined weight doesn’t exceed 20kg. More info here.|
|Norwegian||€9-33 depending on route||€25-68 depending on route||Max. weight 20kg. Cheaper if booked online in advance. More info here.|
|Ryan Air||€15-45 depending if low/high season||€50 if pre-booked/€60 at airport||Max. weight 20kg. More info here.|
|SAS||Free||Free (counts as free baggage allowance) or €45 pre booked/€60 at airport||Max. weight 23kg. More info here.|
|Swiss Air||Free||Free (counts as free baggage allowance) or €50||Max. weight 23kg. Max. size 158cm. More info here.|