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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Farmington, ill. -Stop by for a cold beer on your way thru
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    610

    Default Airline traveling with gear

    Here's a neat trick for maximizing the gear you can carry on or check on your next trip.

    Save big on baggage fees on your next fishing trip | Hatch Magazine - Fly Fishing, etc.

    Kevin

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Pinedale, WY
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    Default Re: Airline traveling with gear

    Kevin

    Thanks for sharing that link, another example of how powerful knowledge can be! Yahoo!!!
    Larry


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  5. #3

    Default Re: Airline traveling with gear

    Great info but I'm surprised he says airlines don't allowed rod cases as carry on. I pretty much have to travel by air to go fishing (for trout at least) and I've never had an issue with carrying on my rod case.
    Adoption is Amazing

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Bayou La Batre, AL
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    794

    Default Re: Airline traveling with gear

    It depends on the length of the rod case/tube. Most of them have a length limit. I don't know of any the will not accept a 4 piece rod tube as a carry-on and 3 piece for that matter (if you're flying domestic) as long as it's not a 3 piece 14'+ spey rod. Always check the length limits. Go to the respective airline website and they'll list a breakdown of limitations.

    Having said that, I wish I had my gear here at work with me to take a photo to show but unfortunately I don't. But, I consolidate my gear. I also pack as lean as possible. When flying first class on business I don't have this problem. But if I'm "downgrading" to economy on my own dime I've learned (from flight attendants, when you fly first class they always tell you these little secrets) how to get around the limitations.

    Buy the largest allowed carry-on luggage possible. Most places that sell luggage have a little crate that you place your bag in to check the size for this. Pack lean and smart. For your waders and clothes buy those vacuum bags from Bed Bath and Beyond or somewhere else that sells them. If you have a shop-vac this will increase your space optimization tremendously since they normally pull more of a vacuum than your house vac will. If you have some type of a food saver vacuum pack device this will shrink your package even more. Pull it down initially with the shop-vac. Then attach the food vacuum packer and you'll be able to pull it down even more. This is especially helpful with neoprene waders. It won't cause any damage and will suck those babies down to about 1/4 of their initial size in your bag. Clothes even more. Important thing to remember here is make sure your luggage has a closed separator. Most of them do. One side of your luggage will have a flap you can zip to separate contents from one side from the other. This is especially helpful if you have something that might have a hard or sharp point on it. Want to keep your vacuum bags protected from these things. On the way back, if you're staying in a motel, most motels will let you use their vacuums to repack. If not, stop off at a car wash or gas station that has a coin operated ones and use it. I've yet to fly an airline that checks the weight of your carry-on bags, so you can pack them full without this added worry about making the limit. But again, I don't fly airlines that charge you for carry-on so can't say if those do or not.

    Also, carry a backpack. Put all of your fly boxes in your backpack. Use Rod&Reel combo cases. Here's where you start to consolidate. I take my landing net and my rod/reel case and stuff them down in the largest compartment in my backpack. Then zip the zippers on both sides up to the middle and tie them together with an old shoestring or something to the liking to keep them from opening up. This counts as "one bag". Like I said, pack lean to save money. I've actually packed my 6" Sage Ballistic tube in my backpack. Looks a bit awkward, but technically, it still qualifies as one bag. Another trick for your tackle is one of those waist tackle packs. It qualifies as a "fanny pack" and doesn't count as part of your carry-on. You'll have to take it off to get through security but not at the gate when boarding. And, when the attendant isn't looking, you can take it off and "place it under the seat in front of you or in the overhead bin".

    Now, most of the larger airlines don't charge for carry-on but some of the smaller ones do so you need to check this and compare prices (total ticket price bags included) when shopping around. The smaller guys use their ticket prices minus the baggage fees to try to appear "cheaper". Once you add in all the hidden fees you'll often find the bigger guys just as cheap or cheaper. Just about all airlines charge for checked bags nowadays unless you're a tier member of their respective frequent flyer programs. For the most part their around $25 domestic. Some are more. Check this also. If you haven't already, it's a good idea to join one or more of these. They're free. And if you fly enough with one or more you'll get the perk of one free checked bag if you reach their program tier threshold.

    It's all about weight vs fuel consumption + overhead + profit. They figure the maximum weight the plane can carry and how much fuel it will take to get from point A to B + operating overhead. Then divide that buy available seats with a small factor of not filling every seat and there you have your ticket price. The scam is now, for competitive advertising, they deduct the "extra weight" of all of your "stuff" from the "initial" ticket price and show only what they charge for your weight first. You basically don't see all the add-ons until just before you click on "purchase" hoping they don't scare you away when you see that huge spike in your total price. You know, when that "$90" round trip ticket now suddenly costs $245?

    I fly roughly 10K miles a month these days for business. I pretty much only fly Delta now if it's on my dime simply because, as Forest Gump would have put it, "I've got more flyer miles than Davy Crocket". So I've pretty much learned most every trick in the book on getting around baggage fees and limitations.
    Last edited by kevind62; 04-03-2018 at 04:44 AM.
    Kevin
    "Fight like you're the 3rd monkey trying to get on Noah's Ark"
    "Not every day is filled with sunshine. Some days you're the pigeon, some days you're the statue"
    "If God had intended for man to only fish on weekends, He never would have created the other 5 days of the week."

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  8. #5

    Default Re: Airline traveling with gear

    Southwest Fishing Equipment Policy 2018- Flying with Fishing Equipment 2018 - Taking Your Fishing Rod on a Plane, Flying with Fishing Gear - Airline-Baggage-Fees.com here is a link with policies from all major airlines. Not sure if it is super accurate, but it gives nice overview and you can always confirm directly on the airlines website.

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    875

    Default What about a golf club carrier

    I once had an extremely bad experience on a trip, flying Delta and American Airlines. (Sorry to some of you, I've mention this a few times in previous posts.)

    I purchased and extremely nice military style rolling duffel bag that was made for military personnel to carry rifles on a plane. It was perfect for carrying a ton of fishing gear, including rod tubes and waders.

    The problem was it was over-sized. It exceeded the 62" limit, length, width, height, established by the airlines by several inches, and both airlines charged me more to check this bag than I paid for my original ticket. It would've been cheaper for me to buy an additional ticket and strap the suitcase into the seat next to me. The duffel measured 67", 5 inches over the limit, and it was my only piece of luggage besides a carry-on backpack.

    I asked the manager behind the counter if they would charge me $250 to check a set of golf clubs. He said they wouldn't because golf clubs are "sporting equipment". When you measure the length,width and height of a golf club carrier it exceeds the measurements of the duffel I was traveling with.

    So, now I'm wondering if I should get a golf club carrier and stuff it with all my fishing gear.

    Depending on the airline there might be an additional fee for a second suitcase, but it won't be a $250 additional fee.

    Also, Southwest allows you to bring two suitcases for no additional charge and one of those pieces can be a set of golf clubs. I specifically asked them this question last time I flew Southwest.

    Has anyone tried this, carrying fishing gear in a golf club carrier?

  10. Default Re: What about a golf club carrier

    I had an interesting experience when traveling to Florida for a work trip, but I also brought my fishing gear as I had enough time to get some water time. I packed light, carry on suitcase and my backpack with my 8wght rod strapped to the side. I was flying American to Tampa Bay Florida with a layover in Phoenix. Leaving Salt Lake City, no problems, easy getting on the plane, no one said anything. Arrived in Phoenix, ate some breakfast and headed to the gate, as I was walking down the terminal to the plane I heard "Sir, SIR!" and then some lady come running after me and tapping on the shoulder. "I think your bag is too big, follow me back to the gate so we can measure it" I was really nice and said, OK, but I just flew in from SLC and was on the same exact plane and it was not too big and no one said anything on that flight. My suitcase fit just fine in the overhead on the flight to PHX. Got back to the gate and they said it was to "thick" so I had to check it. At this point I was little irritated and asked why when it clearly was a "carry-on suitcase" I bought it just for that purpose! She then said "well you already have to carry-on items" "HUH?" I asked, "Well, your backpack is one, and whatever is strapped to the side of your backpack is the second. If it is not part of the backpack, we consider it an additional item, and we only allow two items to be carry-on, so you will have to check your suitcase either way"

    I think she was having a bad day, as the rest of my flights were hassle free with the same exact setup.

    But, just be warned, this is a possibility.

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