What Airlines Say About Protecting Your Gear


When handing over your ski and snowboard equipment at the airline check-in counter there’s always that sinking feeling as you see your beloved gear being thrown into a pile of other bags, knowing the bags of the people behind you will soon be tossed on top of yours. It’s possible that your equipment could be damaged right then and there, or during the flight. While your skis might arrive without too bad of damage, chances are your soft bag will take a beating. Over time, fabric tears, zippers split, buckles break and stitching rips loose.

These worries can be avoided if you check your gear in a Sportube hard case. Manufactured in the USA from high-density polyethylene, this rigid, blow-molded plastic case offers more protection than a regular soft bag. The hard case is also more likely to survive endless trips without much more than a ding or a scratch. The wheels on a Sportube hard case make transportation through busy airports or hotel lobbies easy, and the lockable design gives you peace of mind that what you packed in the case before leaving home will be there when you arrive.

Many airlines prefer its customers use hard cases, with some only taking responsibility for any damage to equipment when packed in a hard case. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what some airlines have to say about checking winter sports gear:

JetBlue: “All ski or snowboard equipment must be in a sturdy container for protection since we do not provide ski boxes.”

American Airlines: “AA… carriers are not liable for any damage to sports items not presented in a hard-sided case. If the outside of the hard-sided case does not have visible damage, AA… carriers are not liable for any damage to the sports items inside the case.”

Virgin America: “Ski equipment, subject to the liability requirements. Skis, poles and boots must be enclosed in a container or travel bag –we recommend using a hard-sided container.”

United Airlines: “United Airlines is not liable for damage to water skis or snow skis. Equipment must be securely encased in a suitable container.”

U.S. Airways: “If the ski equipment is not properly packaged/protected, the customer assumes all risk of damage.”

Protect your gear in a Sportube hard case, and your first run of the day won’t be to the baggage claim customer service desk!


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