Navigating skies and slopes – Finnairian's guide to travelling with skis
Skiing holiday ahead? If you want to bring your skis or snowboard to your destination, purchase their transportation as travel extra. With these tips, you will make your skiing holiday smoother.
Nina Seppälä works as a Maintenance Planner at Finnair Technical Services. In her free time, she skis and is an active member of the Finnair Snow Team, a hobby club for Finnair employees, so she is familiar with travelling with skis both in Finland and abroad. Here are Nina's tips for smooth trips with skis.
Book in advance
There is limited space in the hold of the aircraft for special baggage, such as skis and snowboards. This is particularly the case with Finnair's smallest aircraft types, meaning ATR and Embraer aircraft. It is therefore very important that you book the transportation for any special baggage in advance. This is the only way to ensure that there is space for your baggage in the hold and that the journey at the airport starts smoothly.
Transportation of skis or a snowboard is always purchased as a travel extra. You can easily do it via Manage booking or the Finnair mobile app. Finnair Plus Platinum and Platinum Lumo members can carry one ski or snowboard bag free of charge as a tier benefit.
"Special baggage fees are also cheaper when purchased in advance than at the airport. I recommend planning packing carefully so that your baggage fits within the allowed 23 kg, and there will be no additional charge for extra kilos," Nina Seppälä advises.
Pack your ski gear first
As with any trip, planning what you pack for a ski trip pays off.
"I always think carefully about what I really need to take with me. On a skiing holiday, most of the day is spent in ski gear, so you might not need too many other clothes. I choose multi-purpose clothes, so there's less to pack," says Nina Seppälä.
"Ski gear and clothes take up a lot of space, so I always pack them first and then the other stuff. Snow wear can be packed in a ski or snowboard bag, so the clothes also protect the skis or snowboard during the trip."
Nina's ski trips include a ski bag, a checked bag, and a small carry-on bag.
"I can fit everything well into these. I pack my boots in the checked bag. There are also equipment bags that meet Finnair's checked baggage dimension requirements," she says.
"It's a good idea to maintain your skis before the trip or at the destination, so you don't have to take maintenance equipment with you. If you carry ski wax, for example, you should familiarise yourself with the restrictions that apply to carrying them with you."
Arrive at the airport in good time
When you carry special baggage, you always spend a little more time at the airport. Therefore, it is recommended to arrive at the airport well in advance. As a basic guideline, you should be at the airport no later than two hours before departure and three hours before your flight to the USA.
"I always reserve an extra half hour when I travel with ski equipment, so I don't have to start the trip nervous," says Nina Seppälä.
"You can conveniently take your baggage to Helsinki Airport the night before. This way, the morning of departure is calmer, even if the airport is busy."
Check-in services vary from airport to airport, and you will find more information on the airport's own website. At Helsinki Airport, the ski or snowboard bag must always be taken to the special baggage belt. Please first pick up your baggage tag from the self-service kiosk.
Nina's next skiing holiday will be in Levi. Lapland is one of Nina's favourite destinations for skiing holidays, especially if you are going on a trip with a bigger group.
"There's a lot to do even without skis, and the plus is that you don't necessarily need a car to get around," she says.
"In Central European destinations, it is always good to consider how to get to the destination most conveniently from the airport with skis. I have visited Northern Italy and French destinations a lot, and for those trips, I have flown to Milan. Munich has good connections to ski resorts in both southern Germany and Austria," Nina hints.