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Swiss Air, Germanwings, and Austrian Airlines allow ski equipment onboard at no extra cost rates three top airlines as ‘Most Ski Friendly’

‘Tis the season to be on the piste, but the thought of paying to carry skis onboard can sometimes dampen the mood. The UK’s leading website for flight deals points skiers towards the airlines that will fly their ski equipment for free, as well as through the costs associated with other carriers.

"Most airlines will unfortunately charge for carrying ski equipment onboard, so the rare perk of carrying skis at no extra cost could quite possibly dictate travellers’ choice of destination," says Nadine Hallak, Travel Expert for

"Given that these three airlines are carriers for some of the world’s biggest ski destinations, it’s no surprise that they’re highly accommodating when it comes to ski equipment," adds Hallak.

In its latest tips page on the Cost of carrying skis on flights, reviews 13 of the world’s top airlines including both budget and flagship carriers, and the costs for carrying ski equipment onboard.

Of the three most ski friendly, Germanwings is the most generous with its policies on sports equipment allowing up to three pairs of skis or snowboards per passenger for free with as little as three hours notice prior to departure. Austrian Airlines allows one set of skis or snowboards for free if notified prior to departure, while Swiss Air allows the same along with a pair of ski or snow boots.

Among the low cost carriers, costs generally vary at anywhere from £18 to £30 depending on the airline. Ryanair weighs in as most expensive of its budget counterparts charging £40 per item if booked online, and a heftier £50 per item at the airport with no pre-booking. Excess baggage fees also apply.

easyJet and bmibaby weigh in as cheapest charging £18.50 and £17.99 respectively per item if booked online. The fees account for items such as boots, skis, and other sporting goods.

Of the flagship carriers, British Airways, Air Canada, and Air France all incorporate the cost of carrying skis as part of free baggage allowance. Air Canada waives the oversize charge for skis and snowboards with no extra for snow boots while BA incorporates poles into its ski equipment allowance.

No matter what airline travellers choose to fly with, booking up to 24 hours in advance is often required, so it’s important to check airline rules around checking sports equipment well in advance of travel.