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How often has your ski been damaged when you fly? Poll for those that fly at least yearly with ski.


skigirl
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  • Baller

I often see posts where people had their skis damaged when flying with them. I want to travel more with my ski, have a sportube, but worry about my ski. I would like to get a feel of how rare/frequent this is, and need to get an idea of how often people did NOT have a problem. Can we restrict this to people who fly with their ski at least once a year? And define damage as significant damage and can't use the ski. The scientist in me wants to collect: how many times you have flown with your ski, over how many years, and the number of times your ski has been damaged. And also collect details on the type of damage and type of case used. But I think that is too much for the poll. :)

Thanks for the information!

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  • Baller_

I have flown as many as 10 times a year and currently at about 3 X per year. I have never had damage to my ski but the TSA lost my In-Tow handle. As a former insider I always took full precaution with my gear.

 

Limit your stops and try to fly non stop whenever possible.

 

Your ski needs to be in the hands of the airline handlers a minimum of 50 minutes prior to cargo door closing. (Not departure time) The TSA will have your bag for 20 minutes so add that to the time it takes to get it into the handlers hands.

 

Dont think that a few towels and wet suits wrapped around your 2k ski and placed into a soft side roller bag will protect your ski. Your luck will run out, its risky enough using a sport tube.

 

Watch the TSA unpack and repack your ski if you have the option.

 

Try to fly out of airports that have the huge Scanner/MRI/Sniffer machines. Your ski tube can be placed in these and the TSA will not unpack as long as it reads OK. Tiny airports usually will have the TSA right at the counter and you can watch the process from afar.

 

If your destination is under 8 hours, drive.

 

 

 

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  • Baller

Never flown with waterski, but used to fly with snow skis. They unpacked it every time Minneapolis to Denver and Minneapolis to Munich. If you have bunches of stuff in there, count on them putting it back in wrong or not getting the two halves of the case pinned properly.

 

Gave up flying for skiing out west and just road trip it now, for a variety of reasons.

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  • Baller
My plan next time I travel will be to UPS my ski and boots to the site rather than fly with it. It will be in its original box and it will be insured. I figure UPS /Fed Ex ship skis all the time without damaging the ski. Too many stories of broken skis/guitars/etc on the commercial flights.
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  • Baller_
I have only had one ski with an epic fail and it was within 24 hours of a flight. The ski broke square under my front foot, not between the feet as might be expected. The ski company warranteed the ski (and my plate of a different manufacturer), but I can't help but think it was a baggage handling casualty.

Lpskier

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Twice I have had ski damage, I used to work at the airport as a Licensed engineer, have seen loads of abuse by handlers, even seen handlers drive there vehicles directly at suit cases that had fallen off of trolleys and run over them, they also ignore suit cases on the roadway, I use to put them on the hood of my vehicle and take them to the baggage area, the reason for putting them on the hood was to prevent anybody accusing me of stealing etc.

There are some good people at the airport, but a small percentage with little or no respect for other peoples property. My HO S2 was cracked across the tail and my brand new Radar Vapor was Cracked across the front. the skis were tip to toe in their ski bags, placed in a well padded Reflex Travelling case.

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Its been years since I traveled, but there was a several year period where I took at least one flight a year and I don't think I ever had any damage. The first year or two was back when KD had the fin blocks that bolted in from the bottom. I took the entire fin out back then. Then I got a single event travel bag and would basically wrap my ski in towels, vest, rashguards, etc. Pretty sure I also wrapped fragile all over my bag as well.
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I have been lucky, never a problem. I have a 9" hard case made of PVC pipe . Wrap everything in towels and equipment. Also have an O'Brien soft bag that I put an inner hard box inside for the ski to sit in. Never had a problem with that one either.
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  • Baller

When I read about the damage done to skis by baggage handlers I wonder if there is much you can do to prevent it.

Seems like skis get run over by heavy vehicles, also sport tubes are often mentioned in the same sentence as a ski broken in half.

I use a Masterline one event roller and wrap the ski in enough soft goods that you really have to run it over with a fork lift to break it.

If that happens a sport tube (wich I also own but is a drag to pack) would not make any difference.

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  • Gold Member

Hi:

 

The other thought that I do not see above, is why use the Airlines? On my trip to Orlando, I used Ship Sticks and sent my ski via SportTube.

 

I shipped my ski 3 days early as it was the cheapest fare. Ski was at the Hotel waiting for me. When I was done, it was picked up at the Hotel and delivered back to the house. I am pretty sure they used FedEx. Their customer service was fantastic. No lugging it back and forth through the Airport etc. About $25 more each way, but no hassles and it was insured. Just a thought.

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I had a pair of alpine skis damaged(tip or tail delamination) while flying and have used a SportTube ever since. I don’t think a SportTube would prevent damage from a vehicle but will help protect from dings and dents if the ski is well padded inside. Shipping via FedEx or UPS maybe safer than an airline.
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I had a jump ski and slalom ski crushed once in a soft three event bag which was tightly packed. It appears it fell off the baggage cart and was run over by something. Tip of the jump ski flattened completely and the tail of a slalom ski looked like the broken shell of a hard boiled egg. Same trip. Fortunately I was heading too ski school and was able to get replacement equipment the same day (different brand of jump skis but same slalom). Hit the cap of the baggage value payment and almost paid for the replacements (this was probably 20-25 years ago).

 

More recently I travel much more. Approximately 30-40 flights (one way - so requiring baggage handling each time) yearly. I use a sport tube and carry either a slalom ski and related equipment or slalom and trick. No damage yet however the sport tube takes a beating. I've had it come back without the pin or with the pin in a place where it doesn't hold the two halves together. I've also had the side smashed in on the "top end" but was fortunate the slalom ski was on the other side of the tube. Just last week I hauled some survey gear and a slalom ski to CLT and it made it there ok. On the return (completely empty sport tube) they lost the pin and it came out of the chute in two halves.

 

Probably always a gamble. Biggest risk in my opinion is the TSA inspection. I still probably get checked half the time. They seem to have the hardest time getting things back together properly.

 

Ironically, the one time I forgot and left the fancy swivel handle on the sport tube I was lost upon arrival. Figures.

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