Maximum weight for ski/snowboard bag?

Old Jan 3, 19, 1:57 pm
  #1  
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Maximum weight for ski/snowboard bag?

Hey all, long-time lurker/first-time poster here, curious to know your thoughts. I got hit with a $100 overweight fee for my snowboard bag on the 1st travelling DFW-GCM, the first time this has happened since traveling with it.

The bag was 79 lbs. with my two snowboards (one pair of bindings), a pair of skis, poles, and one pair each of ski boots and snowboard boots, plus a few miscellaneous items like ski gloves and pants. I had a mild-mannered argument with the priority check-in agent at DFW who politely mentioned she's been doing this for a long time, and she she did call the Platinum phone line to double check with them what I should be charged for the overweight bag. According to the Platinum line agent, it should have been $150, but the check-in agent gave me a break since she originally told me she thought it was $100. On AA's website (can't link until I have 5 posts), ski/snowboard bags have a maximum length of 126" with a boot bag no larger than 45" as one item, but no weight restriction. Because of that, in the past I've gotten away with not having to pay the fee by showing check-in agents the maximum weight and size for all items at the top of the page, which is 100 lbs. and 126".

Should I contact AA and complain about this or would I just be barking up the wrong tree? I've just barely made Platinum this year (by 16 miles!), although I know that doesn't really make much of a difference. It's also slightly frustrating knowing that if we just added a boot bag and put our boots and my bindings in there, the snowboard bag would be a lot closer to 50 lbs., but because we stuffed them in the board bag we were way over. In general, it'll also be helpful to know what to do moving forward, as we have another ski trip coming up in two weeks!

TL;DR: Ski/Snowboard bag was over AA regular bag weight limit, but an ambiguous policy on Ski/Snowboard bag weight limits leaves a bit to be desired
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Old Jan 3, 19, 2:44 pm
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We always do the two bag approach, one for boots and one for skis and that prices as one piece and avoids the weight problems. You can get a helmet, gloves and other items in a well sized boot bag, i i have found that for whatever weight concerns they have, they dont seem to care much about the size of a “boot” bag.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 2:49 pm
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Yeah I suppose that's what we're probably going to have to do. I guess I've just been trying to tote one less bag around if I can avoid it
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Old Jan 3, 19, 3:01 pm
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I would escalate - does not seem right. Since I would assume you are tsa pre, would have been smart to wear your boots thru screening!! Good luck!
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Old Jan 3, 19, 5:13 pm
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Uh, skis are heavy and ski boots are heavy. Not sure why you are surprised. I just returned from a trip and checked 2 boards with boots each and skis in three different bags. I'm EXP so all bags were free for my traveling party.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 5:30 pm
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The fee is correct given what the OP stated, here is the rules from aa.com:
You’ll be charged the checked bag fee of your destination and the following items will be treated as a single item:
  • 1 pair of skis
  • A snowboard
  • 1 boot bag with only boots/bindings, helmet and life preserver
Your boot bag can be up to 45 inches (length + width + height) and must contain only boots/bindings, helmet and life preserver.If you put anything else in your boot bag, you’ll have to pay an excess bag fee. You may be asked to open your bag at the airport.

When you’re traveling to, through or from Brazil, once you’ve used your free bag allowance, your ski equipment will cost $28.05.
The bag according to the OP contained 2 snowboards a pair of skis, poles, and one pair each of ski boots and snowboard boots, plus a few miscellaneous items like ski gloves and pants. So while yes there's no weight listed for allowable bags for skis or snowboards BUT you are only allowed 1 snowboard/skis and that's all. Sounds like you had 2 people gear (snowboard and skis) in the same bag, had you put them in separate bags that would have worked. Also FWIW I've never had any issue with my bag that has all my gear (pants, jackets, undergarments, helmet, etc) but also its ~65-70lbs and thus under the 32Kg/70Lb limit allowed for EXP. My guess is being over 70lbs is what did you in, also will point out in case you ever ride outside the US that many countries have hard health and safety limits on checked bags and will not accept anything over 32Kg.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 5:48 pm
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Originally Posted by bscooter26 View Post
The bag was 79 lbs. with my two snowboards (one pair of bindings), a pair of skis, poles, and one pair each of ski boots and snowboard boots, plus a few miscellaneous items like ski gloves and pants
Originally Posted by jpschoubert View Post
I would escalate - does not seem right. Since I would assume you are tsa pre, would have been smart to wear your boots thru screening!! Good luck!
ehh...NOPE.

The policy is very clear:
From https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...and-sports.jsp
Skis (snow/water) and snowboards
Allowance and requirements

You can travel with:
  • 1 pair of skis or a snowboard
  • 1 bag containing a pair of ski or snowboard boots
You cannot travel with lighters or torches for applying ski wax
The keyword (or number) is "1" (one).
You had 2 ski pairs and one snowboard, more than what is allowed.

Of course, if you ONLY read the part about maximum weight and size, there is no mention of weight.
But you have to read the whole section together and it is VERY clear that you are only allowed either ONE pair of skis OR ONE snowboard.

Yes, airlines are very strict about that recently.
On a recent United flight, they made me open the bag (Despite it having only one board and way below 50lbs) and made sure I only had a snowboard in the bag, no jackets, pants or anything else (which I didn't).
BTW, United limits the weight of snowboard bag and boots bag to be less than 50lbs together.

Last edited by carlosdca; Jan 3, 19 at 5:54 pm
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Old Jan 3, 19, 6:12 pm
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Last year when I was plat, I check a ski bag, a boot bag and a suitcase in DEN going DEN -> CLT -> LGA. I told the check in agent that I wanted to check in the boots and skis as one item. The agent made me open up my boot bag and put everything that wasn't my boots (jacket, sweatshirts, etc) into my suitcase (which still ended up being under 50lbs). For reference, I was not using a huge boot bag, I was using a Hudson Sutler weekender, which is smaller than a regular carry on at 12.00" x 12.00" x 22.00".
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Old Jan 3, 19, 8:56 pm
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Originally Posted by carlosdca View Post
ehh...NOPE.

The policy is very clear:
From


The keyword (or number) is "1" (one).
You had 2 ski pairs and one snowboard, more than what is allowed.

Of course, if you ONLY read the part about maximum weight and size, there is no mention of weight.
But you have to read the whole section together and it is VERY clear that you are only allowed either ONE pair of skis OR ONE snowboard.

Yes, airlines are very strict about that recently.
On a recent United flight, they made me open the bag (Despite it having only one board and way below 50lbs) and made sure I only had a snowboard in the bag, no jackets, pants or anything else (which I didn't).
BTW, United limits the weight of snowboard bag and boots bag to be less than 50lbs together.
I had one pair of skis and two snowboards laid flat on top of one another. Otherwise you are correct, but the agent did not even bother asking about that part of the policy nor did she look in any of my bags. It is also not the question I asked, nor would I bring it up with AA if I escalated this.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 9:40 pm
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Originally Posted by bscooter26 View Post
I had one pair of skis and two snowboards laid flat on top of one another. Otherwise you are correct, but the agent did not even bother asking about that part of the policy nor did she look in any of my bags. It is also not the question I asked, nor would I bring it up with AA if I escalated this.
Yeah but the point is that if you had only a single pair of skis and a snowboard you wouldn't be above 70 pounds. I personally wouldn't fight it. You got away a lot of the time, you'll probably still get away in the future. It's like parking at broken meters. Every now and then, you get a ticket and you just gotta pay it ^
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Old Jan 3, 19, 11:24 pm
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I know that AS, AA and DL all specify just one pair of skis and boots in the ski and boot bag. I have one ski bag that holds 2 pair of adult skis and a snowboard bag that holds 3 pairs of kids skis. I’ve never had any of these three airlines open one of the bags or question me about how many pairs are inside. Similarly, while I am sure there is a bootbag that holds only boots, the ones we have hold a heck of a lot more, like a helmet and goggles and gloves and if we really try a pair of kids boots too. Also never had a question about those two bags either. I make sure everything is under 60 lbs because i assumed that is the weight limit for any bag.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 11:53 pm
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Originally Posted by stephem View Post
I know that AS, AA and DL all specify just one pair of skis and boots in the ski and boot bag. I have one ski bag that holds 2 pair of adult skis and a snowboard bag that holds 3 pairs of kids skis. I’ve never had any of these three airlines open one of the bags or question me about how many pairs are inside. Similarly, while I am sure there is a bootbag that holds only boots, the ones we have hold a heck of a lot more, like a helmet and goggles and gloves and if we really try a pair of kids boots too. Also never had a question about those two bags either. I make sure everything is under 60 lbs because i assumed that is the weight limit for any bag.
Same here I have a 2 board snowboard bag usually containing 2 boards, helmets and associated clothing and the TSA consistently take more interest innit than DL, AA or UA. Never had it above 60lbs though.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 9:17 am
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Originally Posted by bscooter26 View Post
I had one pair of skis and two snowboards laid flat on top of one another. Otherwise you are correct, but the agent did not even bother asking about that part of the policy nor did she look in any of my bags. It is also not the question I asked, nor would I bring it up with AA if I escalated this.
I don't understand what you are trying to get at with this.

I assume your question was "What is the maximum weight for a ski/snowboard bag". The answer is there is no weight limit, BUT you can only carry one pair of skis/snowboard in your bag.
Then I assume your rationalized thought is:
"Dear AA, my snowboard bag fit the size requirements and there is no weight limit for ski/snowboard, therefore I was unfairly charged an overweight fee".

And I assume you want AA to reply with the following:
"I know our agent made a mistake as she had to check that you only had one item instead of going by weight. Our policy is that you can only have one pair of skis/snowboards in your bag. As a courtesy, we will refund your fee this time".

Good luck with that.

For future travels, consider that the policy is very clear (one pair of skis/snowboard per bag).
And that there are two posters above that travel ALL THE TIME with skis and have NEVER had their bags checked is IRRELEVANT as that's not something you can bring up in an argument with a check-in agent if he/she decides to enforce the rules.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 9:41 am
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I dont think the weight is irrelevant, nor are the anecdotes of me and one other here. I think if you keep the bag at a more reasonable weight that they are far less likely to open it. You are definitely not due any compenasation from AA, but in the future I think you have a better chance of getting by with multiple items in the bags if you keep the bags well under 70 lbs.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 12:27 pm
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Looks like FT or user error at my reply I tried to post earlier...
Short version:
I do about 10 trips a year with skis and have for the last 15-20 years. I almost always travel with two pairs skis in a double ski bag and I carry on my boots. Only once, flying out of Charlottesville, did I get grief. The agent made me pay for over sized luggage and also made me remove clothing from the bag. I told her I always pack my ski pants and jacket around the bindings as padding, but she wasn't having it.

I have, at times, also carried three pairs (two in one bag, one in another) and have been fine....which I know is insane on many levels, but seriously, you can ski a 90 under foot when it's clearly a 110 kind of day, and what if you want AT bindings?

My point is, I think we're all somewhat lucky that most of us have historically traveled hassle free with skis. I suspect the fine print, as others have pointed out is somewhere between my end of the bell curve and being totally restrictive and we're all lucky living in the grey middle. Fingers crossed this continues to be the norm because I've got a lot of days on the hill ahead this year!
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