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leahmeryl


Apr 3, 2003, 11:14 AM
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need advice on airline travel with gear
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I'm flying down to ALABAMA in two weeks and need to bring some basic gear with me for climbing and bouldering - harness, shoes, biners, ATC, crashpad.

Any advice on packing? Most important I'm wondering about the crash pad - is it worth flying with this thing checked or should I just bite it and buy one when I get down there? Also, if I do check it should I put it in some sort of bag?

Also, can I carry on all the other stuff without too much hassle from security?

Thanks!

Leah


janeothejungle


Apr 3, 2003, 11:38 AM
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hey Leah,

I flew cross country and checked my burrito style metolius xxl through. They told me you have to be able to remove the straps or else bag the whole thing. I used two of those big yard trash bags taped together and had NO problems at all. Hope it helps.


bartlax


Apr 3, 2003, 11:45 AM
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I always carry what gear I can in a carry on, just because I would be very upset if they lost it and I was out a thousand bucks worth of stuff. When I have had to check backpacks and such for trips, I have never had a problem when bagging my backpack. Depending on the airline, they usually have tough plastic garbage like bags you can use. Bring a small role of duct tape and you should be fine!! Happy Flying. :D


atg200


Apr 3, 2003, 12:00 PM
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i fly with gear checked nearly every week, and in over two years of that have never had any problems at all. don't worry about it. i carry on as little as possible to avoid hassles at security.


naturalhigh


Apr 3, 2003, 1:51 PM
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i read a somewhat disturbing article in the news a short while back...

seems that since there is now the new federal authority that checks bags, airlines are no longer completely responsible. i read about several incidents where people had items stolen from their luggage that had been checked by the feds. since both airline and the feds now handle your luggage, it is MUCH harder to place blame on who's responsible... so guess what? No one takes responsibility.

I read one guy had a "No War" sign in his bag and when he picked his luggage up the note inside from the feds had a handwritten bit that said "I do not appreciate your anti-american attitude" .... man... SCARY!

i'll be taking my cams and biners on board with me, thank you.


reborne


Apr 4, 2003, 8:25 AM
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too bad he didnt get a chance to respond caus i dont apreciate the fact that someone considers a no war shirt anti american unless maybee and i stress maybee if it was specific to the current situation and didnt just say no war


punk


Apr 4, 2003, 8:35 AM
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Another valid option is to send it via UPS or FEDEX to their center in the town of destination a week ahead of time I think that UPS charging the same price for anything up to 70lb and anything above that with special characteristics have a different rate frankly I have not heard of any incidents with shipping it in this method


piton


Apr 4, 2003, 8:54 AM
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depending on how much you bring i would get insurance.. i know i have to look into this for a trip to yosemite coming up.

you should have no problem with your gear.


petsfed


Apr 4, 2003, 9:13 AM
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The security people will get weird about nut tools, and cams don't look very friendly for the uninitiated. You may have to check all your gear, even though its small enough to carry on. Although its not an issue for you, ice gear is a big no-no in the passenger cabin. And for obvious reasons, your aid rack will have to be checked.


gblauer
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Apr 4, 2003, 9:29 AM
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Hi...I fly a lot...here are the pros and cons:

1) Check your gear and you risk having your gear lost or stolen. You can mitigate this risk by shipping on UPS or Fedex. If you decide to check put ID outside and inside your bag. This will improve the chances of locating your bag in the event of misrouting.

2) The airline will likely let you check your crashpad as is, as long as you label it clearly. If you can squeeze it in a garment bag, all the better

3) If you choose to carry on your gear, be prepared to do a lot of explaining to the TSA personnel. Let them know that you are a climber and that you have metal gear BEFORE you put your gear through the xray machine. You run the risk that they make you check your gear (see number 1)

Have fun and happy flying. BTW, If you have a meal service on your flight, you will get a much better meal if you order a special meal (you must order at least 24 hours prior to your flight, I recommend the fruit platter or veggie meals)


climbinganne


Apr 4, 2003, 9:35 AM
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i check all gear except:

my climbing shoes and a naked harness...(that means no metal)

worse case senerio..is that you can still boulder til they deliver your lost stuff...


fanederhand


Apr 4, 2003, 9:50 AM
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I travel all the time with my gear. That includes ice tools, screws, TRAD gear and crampons etc. But you got to check it. Dont try to bring it through security as a carry on. :wink: Pack your gear and rope in the pack you normally take to the crags and put it (the pack with gear) into one of those large soft travel bags that has wheels. You can get travel bags for under $60 at AAA if you are a member (I got both of mine for 35 a couple of years ago). One last thing, make sure you have insuranced on the gear and know what you got. (home owners is the best and easiest) You will be surprised at how expensive it would be to replace it all if the airlines lost it, or it got stollen while on a big road trip.


leahmeryl


Apr 4, 2003, 9:56 AM
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Thanks for all the tips! My biggest concern is the crash pad. Especially since I have to walk a while and take a subway and take a train to get to the airport. Someone suggested renting some of the gear once I get there. Any thoughts on that - can I rent a reliable crashpad or two or are ones for rent usually crap?


fanederhand


Apr 4, 2003, 9:59 AM
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In reply to:
I travel all the time with my gear. That includes ice tools, screws, TRAD gear and crampons etc. But you got to check it. Dont try to bring it through security as a carry on. :wink: Pack your gear and rope in the pack you normally take to the crags and put it (the pack with gear) into one of those large soft travel bags that has wheels. You can get travel bags for under $60 at AAA if you are a member (I got both of mine for 35 a couple of years ago). One last thing, make sure you have insuranced on the gear and know what you got. (home owners is the best and easiest) You will be surprised at how expensive it would be to replace it all if the airlines lost it, or it got stollen while on a big road trip.


PS one more thing. Watch your weight, lots of airlines are reducing the weight limit they will charge you extra if you go over. Mine just lowered theirs to 50 pounds. I always carry two bags and equialize the weight between them. If I am doing Alpine I were my boots but bring TEVAs that I can put on to go through security. A few previouse posts mention shipping it ... dont spend the extra $$$ doing that when you can check your bags at the airport for free. The shippers can loose your gear and even if they dont you got to go get it instead of heading straight to your destination from the airport. I have done both and checking your bags is better by far.


climber_dude


Apr 4, 2003, 6:33 PM
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i dont have any advice or answers but just out of curiosity would the air port security mistake a bag of chalk for cocaine has this ever happened? :lol:


Partner coldclimb


Apr 4, 2003, 7:28 PM
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I went through with chalk, a biner, and shoes in my backpack. They stopped me at security, opened my bag, dug through every last pocket, finally got to the bottom, pulled out the climbing gear, all hooked together, and went, "Oh, it was this." holding up the biner. Then she handed me the stuff and let me repack while chalk was billowing out all over. Kinda makes ya wonder about security... unless the person had seen climbing chalk before.


bighigaz


Apr 8, 2003, 7:44 PM
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Word to the wise... [In reply to]
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I worked for an airline (not to be named) for 3 years until Sept. 11th... I can tell you that not every one that handles your bags is honest of heart, nor bright enough to read "f-r-a-g-i-l-e" My recommendation would be to carry your gear on board with you, or make sure it's locked up if you check it...

..and if you put your crash pad under the plane, make sure it is covered in a hefty bag, then taped (duct tape is best), as the belt-loaders are merciless if a buckle or strap get sucked under the rotating belt... it will rip anything apart -- especially a crash pad.

Also, I noted while I was working there, that the most durable luggage you can carry is an army issue duffle bag, (very durable), and, believe it or not, the North Face duffle bags. These both held up to the abuse better than any other baggage.

Keep in mind that because of the new security measure at airports around the country, carrying your gear on board MIGHT be a hassle, as some of those special check point personal have absolutely no comprehension as to what they are looking at when they see a bag of nuts and cams... they might make you check it, or if you're lucky, they'll search it - which means they'll pull it all out and put it back in with you watching, but not touching... for this reason, sometimes your best bet is simply to get an army issue duffle, and lock it with a combination lock.

Good luck! Have a nice trip.
James.


elwood54


Mar 27, 2007, 7:21 PM
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Re: [coldclimb] need advice on airline travel with gear [In reply to]
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Hey Guys, any update on this? Is it still possible to get crash pads checked in without any additional fees? Still unlikely to get my trad rack onboard as carry on? Thanks.


fmd


Mar 27, 2007, 7:31 PM
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anykineclimb


Mar 27, 2007, 7:32 PM
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fmd wrote:
elwood54 wrote:
Hey Guys, any update on this? Is it still possible to get crash pads checked in without any additional fees? Still unlikely to get my trad rack onboard as carry on? Thanks.

I would suggest calling the airline you are flying with. I just came back from a flight and I wasnt allowed to bring my bottled water through the security check point. I had to buy a bottle of water for three dollars at one of the airport gift shops.

carry your empty nalgene, then fill it up in the bathroom


thedejongs


Mar 27, 2007, 7:41 PM
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This thread is redundant with another that still gets some life out there. So, I'll just post a redundant reply.

Post 9/11, post shoe bomb scare, post liquid bomb scare-- you can still check your trad rack through just fine. Don't bother calling in advance-- whether they let you check it or not is up to the local TSA manager. I'm always prepared to check it and show up early to deal with that risk, but I've never been required to check it. You throw it on the X-ray belt, they'll scan it a couple times until they determine they can't figure out what's in it just by X-raying it, and they'll ask for one of the locals to do a "bag check." Before they dive in, they'll always ask you if there's anything in there that could hurt them-- all you say is-- "Not unless you're afraid of some rock-climbing gear." That gets their attention and they usually get really curious as to how everything works. They'll tell you in their XXX years, you're the only person they've ever checked with climbing gear, ask you some questions about climbing and your gear, and then let you load it back in the bag and be off. I think it breaks up their boredom to get to see something different. Never a problem-- and you avoid the mishandling mishaps that are mentioned above.
Save travels.


Partner happiegrrrl


Mar 28, 2007, 2:05 PM
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I always carry on my rack, harness, shoes and chalk. Have had luggage delayed and lost forever - not going to let my climbing trip get ruined because someone snet my bag to the Bermuda Triangle of Airport Baggage.

Plus, it's heavy! I usually go slightly over weight with the 2 checked bags I'm allowed. If I had my gear in there, I'd be screwed. Carry on doesn't really have a weight restriction, but goes by size. So, I stow it in a duffle, along with change of clothes, camera and whatever and am good to go.

I always mention that "it's rock climbing gear" to the x-ray person as I go by. Why wait for them to scratch their heads. Plus, it breaks the ice. Because - most times - they will do a check. You want to be on good terms when they start rummaging through and poufs of white powder start rising from the depths of your bag.....

As for the water - I was really miffed about that too. And it only occurred to me after the fact to do the empty bottle and fill it after passing through. But - I will be traveling again soon, and can't wait to foil the water monopoly!


lhwang


Mar 28, 2007, 2:49 PM
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We've never had any problems checking our crash pad.

Regarding other stuff, I'll carry on my shoes and chalkbag so that at least I can boulder if stuff goes missing for a few days.

I find that it's pretty unpredictable as to what they'll let you carry on. Actually, I think there's probably more risk of losing your stuff if you try to carry it on and then they end up taking it away and checking it for you. This happened to my boyfriend and I when we were coming back from Squamish. We were in a hurry and the check-in employee told us our bag was overweight, so my boyfriend took the rope out of the bag and put it in his carry-on. We asked if it would be a problem at security and they assured us not. At security, of course, they took the rope away from us and checked it, then told us there was no guarantee it would be on the same flight as us. We were not impressed.


stymingersfink


Mar 28, 2007, 4:27 PM
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don't use a haul bag if you're coming into the states from overseas!

In fall '04 i ran into a pair of Norwegians who were looking to get on Zodiac, their haul bag was heavily duct-taped up one side... Of course I had to inquire WTF?

Turns out when the bag came through Customs the customs officials were too lazy to actually open the top and dump gear, preferring to slit it open with a razor knife! He filed a claim, it was going to be replaced, but still had to deal with the inconvenience of a haul-bag of questionable integrity. They ended up going over to some route on the other side due to the freshly-cleaned nature of Zodiac at the time.


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