Ski and Snowboard Airline Bag Fees

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Navigating baggage policies for different airlines can be tricky and frustrating. There are numerous exceptions and scenarios that can alter the pricing of ski and snowboard baggage on a trip.

Getting it right can save you quite a hassle on your trip, as bag fees and overweight fees can easily be $50-100 per bag EACH WAY. 

We have put together general ski and snowboard bag policy info for the major domestic US airlines. For international flights, be sure to check the provided bag policy links.

Quick Summary

All major airlines treat ski and snowboard baggage as follows: 

(1 Ski Bag + 1 Boot Bag) = 1 checked item

The 1 checked item consisting of ski or snowboard equipment generally follows the normal checked bag fee structure

Weight of the Ski Bag / Boot Bag COMBINED is applied toward the weight limit

Airline Checked Bag Fee Weight Limit Overweight Fee
American Airlines $30 - 40 50 lbs $100
Delta $30 - 50 50 lbs $100
Southwest First 2 Checked Bags FREE 50 lbs $75
United $30 - 40 50 lbs $100
Alaska Air $30 - 40 50 lbs $100
JetBlue Free - $45 50 lbs $150
Spirit $30 - 50 40 lbs $30 - 55
Frontier $35 - $45 50 lbs $75
Allegiant $20 - 50 40 lbs $50
Air Canada Free - $50 50 lbs $100

What is the best airline for traveling with skis?

Southwest Airlines provides all ticket holders 2 FREE checked bags to start. Your ski bag and boot bag together count as 1 checked item. Essentially, Southwest is the only airline where your ski equipment can always fly free (so long as you only check 1 other bag, and you don’t exceed the weight limit). They also are not strict on allowing you to stuff your ski bag with ski clothes, so long as you remain within the weight limits.

The other major airlines (American, Delta, United) are decently flexible and basically treat your ski gear the same as any other checked bag. There are the occasional, but uncommon reviews about being charged for stuffing ski bags with clothes.

Alaska Air is interesting because of their partnership with certain ski resorts in providing FREE ski lift tickets (often for just a partial day) by simply showing your Alaska Air boarding pass. However, Alaska Air is one of the few airlines that specifically address in their policy that you can’t stuff your ski bag with your other ski clothes (along with Air Canada and JetBlue).

Budget airlines often have lower weight limits and higher overweight fees, so you will need to be extra careful that your ski bag and boot bag are not exceeding those limits.

Of course, there are alternative factor such as loyalty rewards, credit cards, and more that may make one airline more advantageous than another for some people. Often, a certain loyalty class or credit card benefit includes a free checked item that ski equipment can be used for – so remember to check your wallet and take advantage of any existing perks you may already have!

American Airlines

  • Standard checked bag fees apply up to 50 lbs and 126 inches (length + width + height)
    • 1st checked item = $30
    • 2nd checked item = $40
    • 3rd check item = $150
  • Boot bag can not exceed 62 inches (length + width + height)
  • Standard overweight fee applies from 51 -70 lbs ($100)
    • For First / Business class, weight limit is 70 lbs rather than 50 lbs
    • Overweight Fee (50-70 lbs) = $100
    • Overweight Fee (71-100 lbs) = $200
  • 1st checked item is free for: 
    • Eligible AAdvantage Aviator and Citi / AAdvantage cardmembers
    • AAdvantage Gold
    • oneworld Ruby
    • Confirmed Business customers
    • Confirmed Premium Economy customers

Click here to go to American Airlines baggage policy 

Delta

  • Items over 115 linear inches (length + width + height) and/or 100 lbs will not be accepted
  • Standard bag fees apply to ski equipment up to 50 lbs and 115 linear inches
    • 1st checked item = $30
    • 2nd checked item = $40
    • 3rd checked item = $150
    • Overweight Fee (50-70 lbs) = $100
    • Overweight Fee (71-100 lbs) = $200
  • For Delta SkyMiles Medallion Members and Delta SkyMiles® American Express Card Members, your first standard checked bag flies free

Click here to go to Delta baggage policy

Southwest

Southwest does not charge for the first two pieces of checked luggage. Ski equipment can be applied toward this allowance. Like most other major airlines, Southwest will allow up to two bags of ski or snowboard gear (one bag for the skis, and one boot bag) to count as just one checked item (even though each bag still gets its own luggage tag). 

  • Excess baggage (a 3rd checked item or more) and items over the weight limit (50 lbs) are charged a fee of $75.

Click here to go to Southwest Baggage Policy

United

Standard checked baggage policies apply to ski and snowboard equipment 

  • 1st checked item = $30
  • 2nd checked item = $40
  • Weight limit for Economy class = 50 lbs
  • Weight limit for Business or First Class = 70 lbs
  • Weight limit for Mileage Plus members of status Silver or above = 70 lbs
  • Overweight fee = $100
  • Items can not exceed 115 inches in linear dimensions (length + width + height)

FREE checked baggage for Mileage Plus members:

  • Silver status = 1 free checked bag
  • Gold status = 2 free checked bags
  • Platinum / Premier 1k status = 3 free checked bags

Click here to go to United Baggage Policy

Alaska Air

Ski equipment is treated in accordance with standard bag policy – which is almost completely identical to United.

  • 1st checked item = $30
  • 2nd checked item = $40
  • 3rd checked item = $100
  • Limits: 115in linear dimensions, 50 lb weight limit
  • Fees for breaking limits = $100

Alaska Air really scores points with the ski travelers through their partnership with ski resorts to provide free lift tickets. Most only allow the free skiing on the same day of the flight, but are within a fairly short distance to the airport. The best strategy is getting a flight later in the day or evening, and you’ll still be able to get a full ski day in. 

  • Alyeska Resort (AK) – free same day lift ticket – closest airport is Anchorage (50 mins drive)
  • Eaglescrest Resort (AK) – free same day lift ticket – closest airport is Juneau (30 mins drive)
  • Squaw Valley / Alpine Meadows (CA) – free same day ticket – closes airport is Reno/Tahoe (45 mins drive)
  • Big White Resort (Canada) – free same day ticket – closest airpot is Kelowna (45 mins drive)
  • Marmot Basin (Canada) – 1 FULL DAY lift ticket, same day use not required – closest airport is Edmonton (4.5 hours drive)
  • RED Mountain (Canada) – 1 FULL DAY lift ticket, same day use not required – closest airport is Spokane WA (2.5 hours drive)
  • Steamboat Springs (CO) – limited to Seattle and San Diego flyers into Steamboat airport [HDN], valid only on day of departure
  • Bogus Basin (ID) – free same day ticket – closest airport is Boise airport (50 min drive)
  • Schweitzer (ID) – free same day ticket – closest airport is Spokane WA (1hr 45 min drive)
  • Red Lodge (MT) – ski free on day of departure – closest airport is Billings MT (1 hr drive)
  • Whitefish (MT) – ski free on day of departure – closest airport is Kalispell MT (20 min drive)
  • Mt. Bachelor (OR) – free same day ticket – closest airport is Bend (20 min drive) or Redmond (25 min drive) municipal

Participating ski resorts with proof of Alaska Air flight

Click here to go to Alaska Air baggage policy

JetBlue

JetBlue’s checked baggage fees are outlined in the screenshot below. Additionally, you can save $5 each on the first two checked items if you check your bags more than 24 hours in advance.

  • Weight limit is 50 lbs, with a $150 overweight fee
Jetblue bag fees 2020
Image taken from JetBlue baggage fee policy page June 2020

Spirit

Ski and snowboard luggage on Spirit is treated the same as standard baggage, but unlike most other airlines, they DO NOT have special exceptions for the size limit. Therefore, ski baggage over 62 linear inches is subjected to an oversized bag fee of $100. Any item over 80 linear inches will not be accepted.

Additionally, Spirit has lower weight limits than most at 40 lbs. The charge for breaching this limit is $30 for items between 40 and 50 lbs, the charge increased to $55 for items between 50 and 70 lbs.

Spirit checked bag fees are not fixed. They depend on when you book your flight and whether you check bags in advance or at the counter. It will depend on your individual flight and booking, but generally checked bag fees range from $30 to $50 each way. 

Click here to go to Spirit baggage policy

Frontier

Oversized charges do not apply for ski luggage on Frontier, and the luggage is otherwise subject to the same fees as standard baggage provided the boot bag does not exceed 25 lbs (Total weight limit is 50 lbs). A $75 fee is assessed to overweight items.

Like Spirit, Frontier does not have a fixed fee structure. Bag fees depend on individual booking time, class, and whether you checked bags online or at the counter. Bag fees generally range between $35 to $45 each way.

Click here to go to Frontier baggage policy

Allegiant

Ski baggage on Allegiant Airlines is subject to standard bag fee policy, with no exceptions to the size limit (80 inch linear dimensions) or weight limit (40 lbs).

  • The fee for exceeding 80 linear inches = $75
  • Overweight fees for 41 – 50 lbs = $50
  • Overweight fees for 51 – 100 lbs = $75

Bag fees vary by route and booking selections, but generally fall within $20 to $50, with the cheaper rates available online at booking and higher rates at the airport.

A full bag fee table by flight route can be found here.

Click here to go to Allegiant baggage policy

Air Canada

Ski and snowboard baggage is subject to standard checked bag policies, but oversize charges do not apply.

Air Canada makes a special mention in their policy that ski and boot bags can NOT contain clothing or other personal items, so don’t try stuffing the ski bag with all your ski clothes.

  • Basic and Standard fares:
    • 1st bag: $30.00
    • 2nd bag: $50.00
  • comfort and Flex fares:
    • 1st bag: free
    • 2nd bag: $50.00
  • Latitude fares:
    • 2 bags free
  • Any excess baggage (3rd checked item or more) is $100
  • Weight limit is 50 lbs with a $100 fee for exceeding

Click here to go to Air Canada baggage policy

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