Hockey camp is fun, and going to a new destination can be a great way to add to the experience. But these days, flying registers pretty low on the Fun-O-Meter. We’ve put together some tips to help you cope with the hassles of air travel. It won’t make your seat any bigger or more comfortable, but it will take some of the stress out of getting your gear to camp.
Tips on Flying with Hockey Gear
Airlines have become increasingly restrictive on their baggage policies, and most charge for checked baggage. The best advice I can offer is to check with your airline. You should be able to find the answers to your questions detailed on their website, normally under the heading of “Baggage Policy”. Look for a sub category of “Sports Equipment” where they will give greater detail for equipment from each sport.
Sticks not counting as additional bag!
Many airlines count the hockey stick(s) as part of the hockey bag, even though it is technically separate. However, even if this is the policy, there is no guarantee that the agent at the ticketing counter will be aware of it. Therefore, I would also suggest printing the baggage policy and bringing it with you to the airport.
I am a big fan of Southwest Airlines. They are the only airline that I know of that still allows you to fly with a carry-on and 2 checked bags at no additional cost. They also let you change your reservation without a penalty.
Lastly, airlines can levy a fee for overweight or oversize baggage. Each airline has different rules regarding this. Most will waive the size restrictions for sports bags, but not the weight restrictions. Therefore, consider carrying on some of your heavier items to avoid a hockey bag that goes over the 50 lb. limit.