Alpine skier Marcus Sandell is a member of the Finnish national team and an experienced traveller.
'My flights amount to some 20 to 25 each year, most often from Helsinki to somewhere in the Alps. Pre-season we trained in Ushuaia, the southern tip of Argentina, and this was my fourth time there. I don't think you can fly much further than that'.
Sometimes Marcus and his support team carry even 80 pieces of baggage.
'I'd say that the most important thing in packing is to choose durable and well-designed ski bags and roomy travel bags'.
When asked for his favourite destination, Marcus mentions Alta Badia in the Italian Dolomites, where he races every year just before Christmas.
This season's target is to achieve more stability in the runs.
'That would take me closer to my goal of keeping within the top three in the World Cup Super G races', Marcus muses.
How to pack your skiing gear
Be sure to pack your skis and ski board bags with care.
- Remove all old baggage tags and loose straps.
- Tie the straps and any cords together so that they can't get caught in baggage conveyors.
- You can pack more than one set of equipment in one bag, as long as maximum weight limits aren't exceeded. Check the limits with your airline before travelling to the airport.
- On domestic flights, you should check beforehand with the airline that the aeroplane has space for skis. The smallest types of aircraft don't necessarily have space for special pieces of baggage in their cargo hold.
- When checking in, take the ski bags to the special baggage conveyor.
You need an authorisation from the airline to transport avalanche rescue kits
If you intend to take an avalanche rescue kit with you, then you should mention it when booking the trip. However, if that isn't possible, it must be mentioned at the check-in, because you need the airline's authorisation to transport it.
The kit and cylinders are transported together, either in the cabin or cargo hold. Any airbags in the kit must be equipped with pressure relief valves.
Transport fees for ski bags vary between airlines
- The transport of ski bags depends on the type of ticket. If the ticket includes only one piece of baggage ('1 PC' on the ticket), you can carry either a piece of baggage or a ski bag for free.
- If you want to carry both, you need to pay an extra fee for one of them. Baggage fees are lower when paid beforehand.
- If your ticket says '2 PC', then you can carry both a piece of baggage and a ski bag without any additional fees.
- Finnair Plus Platinum and Gold customers are allowed one ski or ski board bag – in addition to one piece of baggage – without extra fees.
- Economy tickets allow you to carry one ski bag in addition to one piece of baggage without additional fees.
- For Economy light tickets, the ski bag can be carried for an additional fee.
- The LowFare+ ticket allowance is one piece of baggage, and ski bags are subject to an additional fee.
- The price depends on the length of the trip and is lower when paid beforehand.