Can You Bring Skis On a Plane? TSA Rules 2024

Skis are bulky items that need some prior arrangement before taking them on a plane, and whether you’re traveling on a domestic or international flight, there are some rules that you should know before start packing your ski equipment.


Generally skis are permitted on planes but as checked baggage only, skis are large items that won’t fit as carry on baggage so ensure that you secure them well before handing them to your airline, other equipments like helmets and boots are allowed in both carry-on and checked baggage.

Keep reading to know more about transporting your skis on planes, and how to pack them for your next flight.

Let’s dive right in.

Can You Take Skis Through The Security Checkpoint?

The TSA (Transportation Security Admonition ) didn’t specifically mention skis on its website, but they mention ski poles which are not allowed on board the airplane.

Screenshot from the TSA website

I checked Twitter to find some answers from the TSA but it turns out that they have the same rules as ski poles: Skis need to be transported in checked baggage.

Besides their size you can tell that skis can be used as bludgeon to hit someone in the head, this another reason why the TSA do not permit them in carry on baggage.

So even if you are traveling with a single small ski it won’t be accepted on board the airplane.

But a ski helmet is allowed through the security checkpoint and in carry-on baggage.

Screenshot from Twitter

Do Skis Count As Checked Baggage?


Generally the TSA and most airlines do allow skis in checked baggage.

If your skis equipment does not exceed the standard checked baggage for your airline, then one pair of skis and snowboard boots will be considered one checked item.

Screenshot from Twitter

How Much Does It Cost To Take Skis On A Plane?

Most airlines apply charges for taking sport equipment in checked baggage, only few of them allow skis as check baggage free of charge.

Airlines Skis Rules
American AirlinesAccording to AA one pair of skis, snowboard boots and bindings are considered one checked item, and the standard checked baggage fees will apply.
But if the equipment bag exceeds 50 lbs / 23 kgs and 62in/158cm, it will be charged as a separate checked bag and the fee of overweight and oversize baggage will apply.
Alaska AirlinesAlaska Airlines will accept ski equipment and they can exceed the standard 62 linear inches, the cost if 30 for a single checked bag.
If your bag goes above 115 linear inches, you will need to pay oversized checked baggage charges.
Frontier AirlinesYour ski equipment will be counted as a regular checked bag as long as it does not exceed more than 25 lbs, the standard checked baggage will apply, usually between $30 and $50, depending on your destination.
JetBlueThe standard checked baggage applies, but it can exceed the allowed size and a $30 fee will apply.
Delta Air LinesOn Delta the charges for the standard checked baggage fees ( $30 ) will apply as long as you don’t exceed the standard weight.
United AirlinesUnited Airlines accepts one item of ski or snowboard equipment per passenger as one checked bag, standard charges for the first checked bag will apply.
Southwest AirlinesSki bags fly for free on southwest airlines.
Spirit AirlinesYou will need to pay about $30 – $50 for checking in your skis bag, but if you pay the fees online it will be cheaper than the airport.
Air CanadaWhen you book a ticket except the economy basic fare one ski bag containing skis / snowboard equipment such as boots, helmet and goggles (even if you’re not traveling with skis) are allowed in checked baggage free of charge.
British Airways The standard checked baggage rules are applied on British airways.
You can take ski equipment as part of your checked baggage as long as the bag is within 190 x 75 x 65cm.
All the items must be packed as one piece in order to count them as one bag.

How To Pack Skis For Flying?

You will need to ensure that you neatly pack and use a solid protective bag like this Sportube ski shield wheeled bag, before handing it to your airline (Amazon Link ).

And if possible pack ski boots and helmets in your carry-on bag.

Together they will save a lot of weight, space and will ensure that you don’t pay overweight luggage fees, while the crucial parts of the equipment are with you.

Checked baggage is more prone to be damaged, crashed or mishandled compared with carry-on baggage which is always in front of you.

So when you receive your ski bag ensure to take a look and check that everything is intact inside the bag and there is nothing missing.

Screenshot from Twitter

Never pack expensive small items in checked baggage, if the TSA inspect your ski bag they will leave a notice inside containing their logo and info, if it happens that an item is missing from your bag you need to immediately declare it to the airline before you leave the airport.


Final Thoughts

Skiing is a thrilling sport and traveling with skis is pretty straightforward, you just pack your skis perfectly and send them as checked baggage.

If you want to save your ski bag some weight, take the helmet and ski boots with you on board the airplane.

An important thing to remember also, if you have a ski item that operates with a lithium battery, ensure that you remove the batteries from your checked bag and take them in your carry-on bag.

We hope this helps

Happy travels

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