We will be hiking in Switzerland and would like to bring our trekking poles. How do we pack them? will we be charge extra to check them with our luggage?
My Black Diamond trekking poles are three section poles that collapse to a short enough length to fit in my checked bag. Legacy airlines typically allow one checked bag for typical "economy" class passage, more for higher classes. Trekking poles are allowed in your checked bag.
Carry On Bags: No
Checked Bags: Yes
If your collapsed trekking poles are too long, try separating them into individual sections.
You will also have to check ice axes and crampons and anything else that looks sharp.
Just to add my confirmation to the information posted above. Trekking poles must be either included in your checked bag, or wrapped separately and will be charged as a checked bag. They are not allowed as carry on.
There will be a few people who write in and say, "I got through TSA just fine when I......." and there may be some rare exceptions. The policy is not as a carry on and you should reasonably expect that TSA will enforce their policies. You don't want to go all the way through the security screening and then be faced with going to back to luggage check in to check your poles and do screening all over again.
Collapsible trekking poles that fit in luggage are available on Amazon.
If the above does not work for you, i.e., your do not collapse and you do not want to check them as a separate piece, you can do what we have done a couple of times. We bought inexpensive poles locally -- and I mean the cheapest they had at CHF 10.00 per pole -- and then donated them to the hotel for future use. Or wait and check at your hotel to see if they have any to lend to you. Maybe the ones we left behind. :-)
We took our 3-part Black Diamond hiking poles as checked baggage (probably same as Edgar's!) on our trip to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc (got back 2 days ago). We tucked them in our backpack there and back - no problem. We have the Carbon Z super light poles and love them because they are so packable, sturdy, and useful.