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Old 12-04-2010, 11:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default ski resort flight logistics

When you fly into a ski resort what strategy do you normally use for getting your ski gear to your destination?

I think if you book a flight to Aspen from most cities in the US then you'll need to make a connecting flight in Denver.

My initial thought is to include all of my ski gear in it's own piece of luggage. However, if I check in my bag at the front counter of the airport then I want to make sure my ski gear makes it to the destination when I do. If I don't get my ski gear then my weekend will pretty much be screwed.

Is this how you normally arrange your travel - just check in all your ski gear at the front counter of the airport? I guess another way to do it would be to mail all of your ski gear to your hotel the week before you're supposed to arrive. Since airports are going to charge you a $50 baggage roundtrip fee anyway this approach might make sense.
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Old 12-04-2010, 11:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You can always rent a board/bindings and have a good time but loosing your boots or outer wear is a bigger pain. That stuff I would carry on or wear on the flights.
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Old 12-04-2010, 02:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The best way is to make sure that your arrive at the airport with PLENTY OF TIME for you *and your bags* to make it to the plane.

Here in Atlanta, (Harstsfield Airport), the oversize baggage (like skis and snowboards) are taken by a separate location from the normal counter because the normal counters are not set up to handle oversize baggage. The oversize bags are transported by runners going to and from the oversize baggage office, which means that they take a longer time to make it to the plane than 'normal' baggage (or you, sometimes).

On my last trip to Breckenridge in Feb 2010, I checked in about 35-40 minutes before departure. I made it to the plane with only a few minutes to spare, but my snowboard bag did not make it. I had to wait for the next ATL→DEN flight to come in, which was about 2 hours later. This was on Delta. I do not fly very often (roughly once or twice a year), but I have had bags misplaced, sent to the wrong CONTINENT (I went to Jamaica and my bags went to South Korea), and one bag destroyed by baggage handlers..

There isn't really a 'trick' to the system except to carry your bags on with you when possible. The fact that all the airlines have seperate offices in airports dedicated to handling baggage issues should be a clue that they screw things up fairly often. I wouldn't worry about it too much. Most of the time, checked bags do arrive on the same flight as their owner. Just make sure you give the baggage handlers plenty of time to get your stuff on the plane.

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Originally Posted by snowman123456 View Post
When you fly into a ski resort what strategy do you normally use for getting your ski gear to your destination?

I think if you book a flight to Aspen from most cities in the US then you'll need to make a connecting flight in Denver.

My initial thought is to include all of my ski gear in it's own piece of luggage. However, if I check in my bag at the front counter of the airport then I want to make sure my ski gear makes it to the destination when I do. If I don't get my ski gear then my weekend will pretty much be screwed.

Is this how you normally arrange your travel - just check in all your ski gear at the front counter of the airport? I guess another way to do it would be to mail all of your ski gear to your hotel the week before you're supposed to arrive. Since airports are going to charge you a $50 baggage roundtrip fee anyway this approach might make sense.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I flown my snowboard stuff a few times. I have a snowboard-specific carrier that will also hold a little bit extra, such as boots and clothing. I put my helmet in my hardside suitcase. So far I haven't had any issues with the airlines losing the board carrier. I always show up at least two hours ahead of time so everyone has ample time to get to where they need to go. Take an inventory of what was in the bag, maybe even take a couple of pics, so in the event the airlines loses or destroys your gear you can give them an invoice and they can reimburse you.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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With the fees that airlines charge for baggage now - doesn't it almost make sense to ship your snowboard gear to the hotel at the ski resort 1 week prior to flying there? Seems like this is the low risk/worry/hassle way to do it.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowman123456 View Post
With the fees that airlines charge for baggage now - doesn't it almost make sense to ship your snowboard gear to the hotel at the ski resort 1 week prior to flying there? Seems like this is the low risk/worry/hassle way to do it.
Ehhh, I suppose one could do it that way. FedEx and UPS aren't foolproof either, especially around this super-busy time of year. I think flying with the gear is pretty low risk too, and probably less hassle than shipping there and back. You show up, check in, hand your bags across the counter, then find a place to hang out until your flight leaves. It seems as if all of the players in the process would have most of the kinks worked out by now, as thousands of people fly into CO every winter to go skiing/riding.

You could also hand the curbside check-in guys a $5 or $10 bill to make the process even easier.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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oh yeah - that makes me think of one other thing.

I'm going to be flying in on New Year's weekend.

Usually - how reliable are the flights into Aspen around this time of year?

How typical are flight delays and cancellations? I want to make sure I plan my weekend appropriately....
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowman123456 View Post
oh yeah - that makes me think of one other thing.

I'm going to be flying in on New Year's weekend.

Usually - how reliable are the flights into Aspen around this time of year?

How typical are flight delays and cancellations? I want to make sure I plan my weekend appropriately....
as long as the pilots aren't drinking...

Actually I don't know.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My board bag was lost for about 18 hours after a crowded, have-to-fight-for-connections, hellish flight into Salt Lake City. I eventually got it back, but an entire day's riding was lost. The airline had a policy of reimbursing for emergency equipment rentals, but I had nothing -- board, bindings, boots, pants, jacket, gloves, even socks were in the board bag. In any case, I couldn't have gone anywhere that day because I had to pester the airline constantly and essentially nag them into locating my bag and then bringing it to the hotel. Simply reporting luggage as missing does not ensure that it will be found, or even that the airline will look for it. You have to bug them over and over and make sure that the staff who are actually on missing luggage duty are fully aware of your problem.
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Old 12-05-2010, 04:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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and don't lock your bags

if a tsa agent or whatever wants to get inside your checked baggage and there's a lock, guess how they are going to open up your bags...
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