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Can You Bring a Snowboard on a Plane – Tips & Tricks

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Carrying a snowboard on a plane can be a bit of a hassle but is not impossible. Because snowboarding is so popular, most airports and airlines are well adapted to handling snowboards and other snowboarding gear or luggage.

Most airlines allow passengers to check in a snowboard as one standard-sized piece of luggage; however, extra fees may be charged for oversized or overweight luggage. Some airlines have specific policies for carrying a snowboard. Before checking in your snowboard, make sure you meet your booked airline’s carriage requirements.

If you plan to take your snowboard bag with you when flying, you’ve landed in the right place. In this blog, I will discuss all things related to carrying a snowboard on a plane.

How Much Does It Cost to Bring a Snowboard on a Plane?

snowboard on a mountain

Before you book an airline, we recommend you first to check their policies regarding your snowboard and extra snowboarding gear.

Each airline has its own rules and prices regarding size and weight, so make sure to measure and weigh your board before you book.

Unlike, for example, a bicycle, snowboards usually do not come with an extra, expensive oversized baggage fee.

However, this can vary from airline to airline. Here are examples of the luggage fees from a couple of airlines:

American Airlines

American Airlines only charge the standard baggage fee of $30 for your snowboard.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines charges $30 for the first checked-in item. The limit for the bag’s size is 115 linear inches, but you have to pay an oversized fee if the size increases after this amount.

Air Canada

Air Canada does not apply any additional charges for ski, snowboard, or boots if you fly between Canada, Europe, the Middle East, or Africa.

Only standard baggage fees apply. One or two checked-in bags are free, depending upon what type of ticket you purchased if you are flying between Canada and the USA.

Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines’ standard baggage fee is $30 for the first checked-in bag. But there is a weight-limit; the bag can’t exceed 50 pounds.

Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines allows passengers checking-in ski or snowboarding gear an extra 30 minutes for check-in.

As long as your snowboard boot bag does not weigh more than 25 pounds, your snowboard and boot bag will count as one checked-in item. These checked-in items cost between $30 and $50.

Do You Need a Snowboard Bag to Fly?

It is not mandatory to use a snowboard bag for flying, but it is highly recommended. We recommend using a snowboard bag not only when you’re flying but also for any type of travel.

A snowboard bag protects your expensive snowboard and other gear.

Snowboard bags are long, padded bags specially designed to not only travel but to protect your gear. There are a few things to consider before purchasing a snowboard bag:

  • Will you be using it every weekend?
  • Will you be carrying one snowboard or two?
  • Do you plan to take your snowboard on a plane?

Padded VS Unpadded Bag

There are two types of snowboard bags.

  1. Padded
  2. Unpaded

A padded bag reduces the risk of scratching and breaking your snowboard. Padded bags have thicker material compartments for other items, and they are also designed with a padded divider in the middle if you want to carry two boards. The padded divider prevents the two boards from clanking together.

On the other hand, unpadded bags also have their benefits as they are lighter and cheaper and they are perfect for those who travel by car, where they can be put easily on the back seat or in the trunk.

Bags with Wheels

If you are planning to fly with your snowboard, then snowboard bags with wheels are best. It will help you in hauling your snowboard bag through airports, streets, and train stations. Such bags are also convenient to carry more than one snowboard. Some wheeled snowboard bags have rough-terrain wheels to make rolling easy over rough and wet ground.

Size of the bag

The primary concern with snowboard bags is size. If you only need to carry the snowboard, a bag matching its size is sufficient.

However, for additional items like helmets, towels, or flasks, a larger bag is needed. Combining other luggage with a bigger snowboard bag can provide extra cushioning for protection.

Be cautious of the total weight to avoid airline fees.

How To Pack a Snowboard For Air Travel?

When traveling with a snowboard, pack efficiently to keep luggage weight and size minimal. Protect your board, bindings, and helmet from damage.

If your bag isn’t padded, use clothes for cushioning, filling gaps with rolled t-shirts and socks. Mind airline weight limits and only pack essentials. If unsure about an item, it’s best to leave it behind.

How To Make Life Easier When Flying With Your Snowboard

At the airport, use a luggage cart for convenience and to free your hands. Prefer wheeled snowboard bags and strapped boot bags. Check your bag’s weight beforehand to meet airline requirements. Flatten snowboard bindings for space, and mark bag straps for easy adjustments. Ensure your gear is dry before packing; a towel can help. Opt for a padded bag for better protection. Pack not just snowboarding attire but also warm, comfy clothes for post-snowboarding relaxation.

Airline Ski & Snowboard Baggage Policies

Every airline has a different policy for ski and snowboard baggage. Some airlines treat ski and snowboard bags as regular bags.

Other airlines treat them as extra luggage or oversized bags with additional fees. Sometimes airlines count a boot bag and a snowboard bag as one bag.

Here is a list of different airlines and their baggage policies:

American Airlines Ski and Snowboard Baggage Policy

Under American Airline and Snowboard Baggage Policy, snowboard and ski bags are treated as regular bags rather than oversized bags.

Their baggage policy specifies one snowboard bag and one equipment bag count as one checked item.

If the equipment bag exceeds 50lbs and 62inch, the bag will be charged as a separate checked bag, and standard overweight and oversize charges will be charged.

You can read the full American Airline Ski and Snowboard Baggage Policy here:

Alaska Airlines Ski and Snowboard Baggage Policy

Alaska Airlines’ ski and snowboard baggage policy consider skis or snowboards as checked baggage, provided each piece is packed correctly in a suitable bag or container.

Oversized and overweight fees are waived. However, they do not specify whether boot bags are included.

One piece of snowboard equipment is defined as one snowboard, plus one boot or helmet bag.

If boots/helmets are checked in a bag containing clothing or additional items, standard checked baggage fees will apply to the bag.

Snowboard equipment may exceed 62in (linear) without incurring an oversize fee.

You can read the full Alaska Airline Ski and Snowboard Baggage Policy here:

Delta Airlines Ski & Snowboard Baggage Policy

Delta Airlines’ ski and snowboard policy allows travelers one ski or snowboard bag and one boot bag as a single bag.

But, if these two bags’ combined weight exceeds 50 pounds or size exceeds 115 linear in/292 cm (length + width + height), there will be an excess weight fee.

You can read the full Delta Airline Ski and Snowboard Baggage Policy here:

United Airlines Ski & Snowboard Baggage Policy

United Airlines ski and snowboard baggage policy also consider ski and snowboard bags as a checked bag.

Your gear must be packed in a secure, suitable bag or container. You can pack up to two snowboards in one bag and take one boot bag with you as well.

For these bags, a standard baggage fee applies, and if the weight of the bag or bags exceeds 50 pounds, then the additional weight fees are applied.

You can read the full United Airline Ski and Snowboard Baggage Policy here:

Frontier Airlines Ski & Snowboard Baggage Policy

United Airlines ski and snowboard baggage policy also consider ski and snowboard bags as a regular bag.

The bag can have one snowboard, one set of bindings, and one pair of boots.

The boots (a boot bag) can be checked separately from your snowboard but still counts as one bag if the boot bag does not exceed 25 pounds.

If the boot bag exceeds 25 pounds, it will be considered a second bag. Overweight charges still apply to this condition.

You can read the full Frontier Airline Ski and Snowboard Baggage Policy here:

Southwest Airlines Ski & Snowboard Baggage Policy

If we look at Southwest Airline’s ski and snowboard baggage policy, they consider a ski or snowboard bag as one regular bag.

They don’t charge you for your first or second bag. Your snowboarding bag may include one snowboard and one pair of snowboarding boots as long as they are packed together in one single bag.

If you carry a separate second boot bag, they also won’t charge extra fees. You can read the full Southwest Airline Ski and Snowboard Baggage Policy here:

Moreover, airlines update their policies very often, so always check directly with the airline about the updated policy for your specific flight.

Final Thoughts

Flying with your snowboard and gear is definitely possible. Ensure you have good quality bags that live up to the airline standards and protect your board and equipment. Also, before you book a flight, check the airlines’ luggage policies and possible fees.

Weigh and measure your bags to avoid additional costs or any unwanted surprises when checking in your bags at the airport and find out you need to pay extra charges because your bag is too heavy or oversized.

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