The worst part of snow and surf related travel is the airlines
My biggest piece of advice when it comes to airlines and oversized baggage is, do your homework especially when it comes to prices. When travelling with baggage and particularly oversized baggage budget airlines are not all that cheap due to all the fees that they will sting you with.
As an example here we look at four airlines offering the same route between the east coast of Australia and New Zealand. We looked at flights from Sydney to Queenstown on the same days in August to compare the total cost for a typical snow holiday. All prices included the luggage, seat selection in and a snack in economy to make it easier to compare.
As a low cost carrier Jetstar charges an additional $25 per oversized item and varying rates for baggage depending on weight. To make it easier to compare we picked a plus bundle but with 30kg of luggage and the oversized bags typical of having to travel with a snowboard. Total cost is $667.37
Qantas includes baggage and a snack on all flights and the cheapest we found on the dates we selected was $607.54 with up too 30kg of luggage and then at $20 per kg after that. Remembering that this can be split over multiple bags with Qantas.
This was a sale flight where choosing a seat would've incurred a $15 fee per flighst taking the cotal cost to $637.54.
Like Qantas, Virgin Australia offers baggage and a snack on all flights, this baggage in economy is only one bag at 23kg. For an overweight bag, it would be $90 each way.
Total cost of the flights on the days we selected with Virgin Australia is $765.66
Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand offers sporting equipment for no additional cost over standard baggage, however, the cost of baggage over 23kg and under 32kg is $160. This would add $320 to a return trip. On our bookings, we found Air New Zealand would've cost a grand total of $948 for a comparable service to the other carriers we compared.
This comparison demonstrates that the cost of the actual airfare isn't always the cheapest option once all the fees airlines slug you with when travelling with sporting equipment, particularly "overweight" equipment are added to the total.
The total cost of the flights on the days we selected with Virgin Australia is $765.66rying rates for baggage depending on weight. To make it easier to compare we picked a plus bundle but with 30kg of luggage and the oversized bags typical of having to travel with a snowboard. Total cost is $667.37s why it always pays to check for what suits you in your circumstances.