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Carry on climbing gear @ Sydney Airport: problem

Mike TS
7:39:21 PM
I was stopped at Sydney airport international and told I should not be carrying my carabiners and ATC in hand baggage (I was seriously overweight in my checked baggage) They said sports equipment was not allowed.
Anyone know about this?

8:11:21 PM
Were you travelling domestic or international?
I've travelled to a number of states while carrying climbing gear (harness, with biners, quickdraws, ATC's
etc) and never been stopped. Have worried about it though.
Also worried about the suspicious looking white powder i was carrying with me (aka chalk) but never had
questioned either.

Super Saiyan
8:18:12 PM
I got questioned travelling from Melbourn to Sydney.. Their reason for it was carabiners, ropes etc could be used to restrain people eg them
9:18:15 PM
I had that problem last year at Sydney airport, same reasoning was given. I did, however, have roughly 40 'biners of varying descriptions in there.

That said, Virgin Blue (and I believe others as well) will let you take a "single item" of checked-in sporting equipment as 5kg of your luggage allowance regardless of actual weight. That 20kg pack, including rope and trad rack? 5kg of luggage allowance, leaving you 15kg for everything else. We used it to get our gear to Nowra/Point Perp from Brisbane a few weeks ago.

10:46:10 PM
not like the good old days.

I once took my whole winter climbing rack including a pair of axes, picks removed, crampons, pins and screws, as carry on.

And my wife once had a bosch drill in her carry on luggage!

11:28:13 PM
yea i carried harnesses and chalk with karabiners and so on over both domestic and international, never been questioned. don't think i've carried a rope though and that might be the issue.

11:33:04 PM
I've had the airport narcs say that 'biners can be used as knuckle dusters. (im writing this at Singapore airport!)
11:51:19 PM
Have to love the free internet terminals at Singapore airport!

Have a great trip Neil!!
The Keeper
7:12:42 AM
Yeah, it is getting grimmer and more stupid out there. I tried to take a 60m, 10.5 mm Mammut Flash in a Metolius sling rope bag on as cabin baggage on a domestic flight out of here and ended up being told to re-check it as cargo baggage. The reason - it was on a list - who made the list? - what is the rationale behind each and every entry? I was sorely tempted to engage the young twit security rent-a- cop as to the logic of it all - like what do you think I am going to do - rob the passengers and jump out the door on a 60 m rope at 30, 000 feet?!!! Lassoe the pilot from the rear of the aircraft and threaten to strangle him unless he lands in Coolangatta so I can go climbing in the Great Aussie Death Zone. I realized this was not likely to change matters - maybe he recogonized the rope as a 10.5 mm calibre and is a restricted weapon like an AK-47 or something.
Simply stupid.
Other beauties, going through airport security in Las Vegas as I was heading home after a 10 day stint at Jtree - the 300lb plus hombre security guard, went thorugh my entire climbing pack - cam by cam, biner by biner, etc. Moving at the speed of the Mississippi in winter mode. I barely made my connecting flight. this of course due to their avowed "random" security checks. This was royal bs of course, it is not random at all - if you are classified as "alien" in US parlance you are automatically and mandatorily screened - not once but in this case three times - first with Alaska Air, then the xray gang, and then singled out for another in the departure lounge. This is called job creation.

More you say, well how about the time when I was going through American customs at Skagway, Alaska - en route with my Aussie lad from Warragul - to go tick the Chilkoot Trail in a little hike. I had a can of bear spray and one small pen-size bear banger -. Guess which one I was allowed to bring into the US - - the bear spray of course. No bloody chance for the little pop bear banger. This in a country where you can waltz around the streets of east LA blasting blokes left and right with UZIs, 357 magnum pistols, AK-47s and the like - and they are worried about a little device that shoots a little plastic capsule out that goes bang! Just saw a note on a women and daughter murdered - shot by someone as they were hiking on a little trail near a community in Washington. Boggles the mind it does.

I had no problem getting into Aussie in 2004 or even flying around the place . Of course, I sent my Aussie kid in first to create a distraction and while they were heavily occupied slipped through the matilda security network at the Brisbane airport. Where there is a will, there is a way.

9:34:11 AM

>This was royal bs of course, it is not random at all - if you
>are classified as "alien" in US parlance you are automatically and mandatorily
>screened - not once but in this case three times -

We copped the treatment in LA on our ski trip this year, two families each with 6yo kids pulled aside as a "random search" while the US nats just waltzed through, and we had 15 minutes to catch a flight. My wife and I got padded down etc, and when the guy turned to do the same to my 6 yo (who was looking very concenrned) I had to step in front and said it wasn't gonna happen....I think he realised I wasnt backing down and gave up, but then decided he had to unpack our hand lugage just to be sure....gotta love the new world.

We got our connecting flight just as the doors were closing, but fate would have it, it was delayed 2 hours as they had a fan in the cargo hold that didnt work.

Morale of the story, if security at Sydney airport bugs ya, dont go to the US.

9:54:05 AM
I once took a whole set of cams and some biners in my hand luggage while travelling from Frankfurt to here - should've seen the look on people's faces as my bags were x-rayed at every security check point. Lucky, didn't take much explaining to be allowed through (this was post 9-11 - quite surprised). Never really had a problem at Syd airport either, although I was only ever carrying one or two biners or bits that simply were too heavy to check in - BUT the one thing that we always get stopped for, are fuel the point that we have to sign waivers saying that we've thoroughly cleaned and immersed in cooking oil, etc etc, blah, blah (only here and in NZ).

12:24:50 PM
Yeah we had the same prob flying with Virgin to Brissy... Heidi and i were checking in and mentioned the rack etc in the carry on luggage. The airport chick suggested we check it all in - we were also carrying on a tent, and she recommended the poles and pegs get checked in too. Much to the dismay of the other Virgin Blue plebs waiting in the queue, we had to repack there with tent, poles, pegs, rack etc spread all over the floor infront of the check in counter.

2:02:54 PM
^ haha priceless!!

Chuck Norris
3:49:28 PM
my flight was delayed coming back from the states in '89 - so i was going in and out of security all day
while i waited. I had my rack and a 2 - stroke hammer drill in my hand luggage and the only time i was
questioned was some guy said "you've got a pretty big black mark coming through in the xray" to which i
replied "yeh its a petrol driven hammer drill" he just went 'Oh' and let me continue without opening it.

only when i got to sydney changing from international to domestic did someone bother to have a look. To
be honest I was relieved that they actually checked - whats the point of security if they dont inspect
something that looks like a machine gun on xray?

Eduardo Slabofvic
4:37:16 PM
I recall a team of female australain climbers who did a long haul flight all wearing their plastic boots (sans
crampons), and one of them allegedly wore her rope wrapped around her torso, under her clothes. Very
comfy and quite the fashion statement.

7:40:58 PM
On 15/07/2006 stugang wrote:
>whats the point of security if they dont inspect
>something that looks like a machine gun on xray?

I've taken a sawn off shotgun through security at the county court in Melbourne. The x-ray operator's eyes looked like they were about to pop out of his head. It certainly got his attention.
3:38:47 PM
Air NZ will let you take hardware (rack & 'biners) as hand luggage or they did when I went to Araps last October. They even knew what some things were when it went through the X ray and we had a little "class" as I explained how certain items worked in practice.

9:00:30 PM
It always seems to vary, and be up to the discretion of the particular person that you deal with on the day.

I've flown with 70+ biners as hand luggage, been told that was OK, but no slings allowed in hand luggage, cos they might be weapons (but the bag of biners was fine, not heavy of anyhting...).

But then another time, I've been told that carrying a few biners and cams as hand luggage is unacceptable, and been made to check them in.

One guy I was standing with in the queue had called the airline multiple times to arrange to carry his kayak on board as sporting equipment with no extra charge. It was all sorted, checked, and double checked, and he got to the airport and they asked him for about $800 of excess to carry the kayak! He was in tears.

Flying back from the US after 9/11, my climbing gear was checked in and no problems, but they decided to cut off the hipbelt of my WE pack to check inside it. When I complained about this at the baggage carousel pickup, I was told that it was done for security reasons, and there was nothing I could do to gain recompense. That strikes me as ridiculous.

Stoves often give a problem. In previous years when asked about whether the fuel bottle was flammable, I'd drop a lit match into the bottle in front of them, and watch them tense up before absolutely nothing happened. Wouldn't recommend that now though. The question that they actually ask though is if you are carrying anything flammable. Assuming that you have appropriately cleaned your stove and fuel bottles, they are no longer flammable, at least in my understanding (please correct me if I'm wrong). Therefore, as far as I see it, if you have done the necessary cleaning, you are entitled to say that no, you are not carrying anything flammable.

One of the worst experiences I had going through customs was with an alarm clock designed to look like dynamite with a timer. That didn't go down too well.

And make sure that the immigration guy gives you back the correct customs card! If you turn up at quarantine with a card for Emily Bennett or suchlike, and a bag full of weird climbing toys, I can guarantee that it'll take you upward of 3 hours to sort out the mess! Now I always check.

Enough rambling. Here's to getting all the ski and climbing gear through Sydney and over to NZ in a few weeks.

The Keeper
7:58:30 AM
Air Canada is probably the worst - they pulled my suitcase with climbing clothes (no gear) and it arrived in Canmore a day late and too late for a planned climbing outing with Yamnuska - I ended up having to buy some new clothes at Valhalla Pure to ensure I could climb. When I asked at the Calgary AC baggage counter about delivery of my delayed bag to Canmore I was told " Not in 10 minutes" as if I asked for that! Then I was told we should all learn to travel with less stuff - really now - after having paid for two bags to get from here to there. That was the final straw - I no longer will fly AC - I have alternatives out of here and elsewhere in Canada and will fly good old Quantas down under again. Since I will be down under regularly in the coming years - our national airline (disgrace) will be the big loser.

In 2004, I brought four ice hockey sticks with me through baggage security and Aussie Customs - no hassles - they probably thought it was a newly developed form of boomerang and how could any crazy Canuck throw one of those things with any effect!!
The test this trip will be a Canadian rugby jersey - that scandalous and ultra insurgent piece of attire should have them thoroughly confused and reeling in great in - security!

9:59:34 AM
They don't like the crack'n'up on ,y keyring much either...

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