6 tips to get through the airport and to the slopes faster
When it comes to skiing and snowboarding around the U.S., Alaska has you covered with flights to the most pristine ski destinations in the West. But before you can enjoy the aspen trees in Steamboat Springs or the feeling of being at the top of the world in Alyeska, you have to get there. Here are six tips to streamline your day of travel from the airport to the slopes.
1. Plan ahead for the best deals
Alaska flies to more than a dozen destinations, and many of them offer great additional discounts.
When you fly Alaska, you can ski free at select mountains, including Alyeska, Big White, Mammoth Mountain, Sun Valley, Bachelor and more. Simply show your boarding pass at any of these destinations for incredible ski deals.
Ready to book your trip? Learn more at alaskaair.com/ski.
2. Get the right ski and snowboard bag
Before you start packing, make sure you are using the appropriately sized ski and snowboard bag to transport your gear. When you fly Alaska, your ski and snowboard equipment may exceed 62 linear inches, but should be no more than 115 linear inches if you want to avoid the oversize bag fee. Most skis and snowboards are under that limit, so look for cases that fit for height, but aren’t excessively longer than you need. When traveling with skis and snowboards, decide whether you want to invest in a wheeled bag or a non-wheeled bag. You’ll get an extra workout with the cheaper non-wheeled bag, but you’ll cruise more comfortably through long airport terminals and parking lots with the more expensive wheeled options.
3. Pack your ski and snowboard bag carefully to avoid extra fees
When it comes to packing your ski and snowboard bag, one piece of ski/snowboard equipment is defined as one pair of skis with poles or one snowboard, plus one boot/helmet bag. If your ski or snowboard equipment is checked in a bag that also contains clothing or other additional items, it will be counted as a standard checked bag, and you will need to check your boot/helmet bag as a second piece of baggage.
Overweight bag fees apply when your bag weighs more than 50 pounds. so be sure to weigh your bag after it’s packed to know whether you can expect an overweight bag charge. If you find yourself just barely over that mark at the airport, try adjusting the gear from one bag to another. Moving a jacket to your carry-on will both lighten your load and give you an extra cozy layer for the flight.
4. Technology is your friend
No one likes standing in lines, whether it’s at the slopes or the airport. Alaska is committed to making travel easier by using technology to help get you on your way. Use Alaska’s award-winning mobile app to check in for your flight, change seats and even pre-order your favorite snack before your flight. It’s really handy when you are enjoying your last day on the slopes and can check in for your flight from the mountain.
You can also save time at the airport by printing your own luggage tags at home.
5. Know what to expect at the airport
Allow yourself plenty of time when you arrive at the airport. You should arrive at least two hours before a domestic departure, especially when you have large bags to check, and check your bags at least 40 minutes before the flight departs.
Most ski and snowboard bags will come out of the oversize bag pickup, but check with airport staff when you land if you’re not sure where to go.
6. Have fun!
Now that you’ve made it to the slopes, enjoy the ride and don’t forget to share your photos with us using #iFlyAlaska.