Travel insights from Jenna Buege, associate editor of The Compass

Your Guide to Airlines' Ski and Snowboard Policies

Snowboards, skis and poles, oh my! Flying with winter sports equipment can be a little intimidating. Luckily, many airlines are more than happy to accommodate travelers looking to revel in popular snow sports and flying with your equipment isn’t as complicated as it might sound. So get ready to hit the slopes and shred some serious powder while not worrying if your board will make it to the carousel. 

American Airlines

Similar to other airlines, American allows travelers to fly with one pair of skis or one snowboard and one equipment bag. Passengers can travel with one pair of skis with poles or a snowboard; one pair of ski or snowboard boots/bindings; or one helmet or life preserver. If the content of a bag weighs more than 50 pounds, travelers will be charged the standard checked bag fee. 

Delta Airlines

Travelers can check ski and snowboard equipment on Delta flights as checked baggage. Delta accepts one ski/pole bag or one snowboard bag and boot bag per person. It is important to keep in mind that the combined weight of both items may not exceed the standard baggage allowance of 50 pounds.

Frontier Airlines

Those flying with Frontier will pay a carry-on fee ranging between $37 to $60 depending where and when they make their reservation. Ski and snowboard equipment can be counted as a checked bag and travelers are allowed one item which may include skis, ski poles and ski boots or one snowboard, one set of bindings and one pair of boots. Travelers can also bring one boot bag that will be of no extra cost as long as it weighs less than 25 pounds.

JetBlue

There is no additional charge for ski and snowboard equipment on JetBlue. One item of equipment counts as a checked bag and travelers can bring either one pair of skis, one pair of ski boots and one pair of ski poles or one snowboard and one pair of snowboard boots. Skis and snowboards aboard JetBlue are exempt from the standard size requirement of 62 inches but should still follow other weight and equipment guidelines. Equipment must also be checked-in at the ticket counter and loaded in a sturdy container. JetBlue does not accept ski or snowboard equipment on flights traveling to or from the Dominican Republic.

Southwest Airlines

Passengers flying Southwest can check in sports equipment including skis, snowboards, ski boots and ski poles in substitution of one of their free checked bag allowances per flight. When substituting ski equipment for a free bag, Southwest allows up to two bags (containing one set of snow skis, ski poles and ski boots) to count as one item, even if they are packed and tagged separately. The equipment must also be encased in a container that is approved and acceptable by the airline.

Spirit Airlines

Flying with ski and snowboard equipment through Spirit will cost travelers $21 to $50 depending on the time and place of booking. Spirit allows travelers either one pair of skis, one pair of ski poles and one pair of ski boots or one snowboard and one pair of boots. Skiers and snowboarders will also be required to sign a limited liability release when flying with these items.

Sun Country

Ski and snowboard equipment is accepted on Sun Country flights and travelers can bring one item consisting of either one pair of skis, one pair of ski poles, one pair of ski bindings and one pair of ski boots or one snowboard, one set of bindings and one set of snowboard boots. Sun Country allows a maximum of two pairs of skis per bag and skis and snowboards can be up to six feet in length.

United Airlines

United allows each customer to travel with one item of ski or snowboard equipment as checked baggage so long as the equipment is secure in a suitable container. Acceptable items include: water skis, up to two snowboards in one bag and one snow boot bag, up to two pairs of snow skis and equipment in one bag and another ski boot bag.

Disclaimer: Always check with the airline directly before flying with your equipment to be absolutely sure that you are following their rules.

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