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Climbing gear as carry-on baggage
10:46:52 AM
I'm just wondering what people's recent experiences of carrying climbing gear as carry-on luggage have been like? On a recent trip back to Sydney from Perth I almost missed my flight and had to pay excess baggage costs after being forced to check in my carry-on luggage because it contained climbing gear (none of which was sharp or pointy, I'd even put my nut key in main luggage). Funnily enough, when I was flying from Sydney to Perth I was also asked to unpack my bag after it was x-rayed, but in that case the security officer had a look at my rack and then wished me well in my adventures. Have other people experienced this kind of inconsistency, does anybody know what the actual regulations relating to carry in luggage are?
10:52:16 AM
In pre-09/11 days we actually flew from Sydney to Anchorage with crampons and spare picks in our hand luggage (and wearing leather mtneering boots). They saw them on x-ray, made me get them out and show them then sent us through. Not sure that would pertain today.


11:01:54 AM
I have never had a problem carrying-on climbing gear but always thought that I should. I was looking through the VirginBlue conditions the other day and it stipulates that ALL sporting equipment must be checked in. It may be the same on the other airlines.

When we travel I often take the rack in my carry-on bag and my partner takes the rope in her carry-on bag. On only one occasion I packed a rope well in the middle of a 80L rucksack and checked it. Maybe I am being paranoid but watching baggage handlers at work makes me cringe. I have also had a suitcase exposed to heat whilst stowed during flight and it came out with some of the edge of the bag melted. Mmmm...
11:41:11 AM
A few months back my girfriend and I were trying to take a cheap JetStar flight from Sydney to Meblourne after and extended period of travel and climbing overseas.

We were severely over the weight limits and were not allowed to carry on any of our climbing gear except for our rope. Sylish belts we crafted out of our biners were rejected by security. Ironically, they allowed us to carry on our tent complete with poles.

I think it just comes down to the person that is managing the security at the time. Your rack will surely get their attention.

Thankfully, we had lots of time and security allowed us to ask a lot of questions, and let us go back to reorganize things to their approval. We ended up putting on multiple layers of cloths, including multiple jackets and our climbing helment, in 20 degree weather. Through maxamizing the weight in our carry ons, in our laptop bag (an allowable extra carry on), and on our persons we ended up saving $120.

12:11:00 PM
Hi Guys,

We just got back from Thailand and it seems to be very hit n miss. Two of our group took ropes in rope bags as carry on, and went through together. One got through no dramas, but Rich got pulled up and told to throw out the rope or be denied entry. After some shifty talk he got through, but only just.

Their reasoning: A 60m 10.2mm rope is a device that can be used as a "restraining device"

I work in the travel industry, and whilst I can understand the reasoning behind this, the practicality of it is stupid. "Excuse me miss, I just need to flake out my rope before I tie you up.. can never be too careful!"

I carried through 10 quickdraws which I would have thought would have been more of a drama - linking 5 of those badboys together into a nunchuck-of-death would be much more worrying to the hosties..

If anyone is travelling and needs some info from the airlines, email me james DOT flanagan AT flightcentre DOT com dot AU and I can get onto them for you...

12:18:01 PM
I have always wondered why a pair of nail clippers gets knocked back but a car key can get through.
12:42:30 PM
I think it is because clipping your toenails on a plane is banned by strategic arms limitations treaties.
1:21:13 PM
On 9/09/2008 kieranl wrote:
>I think it is because clipping your toenails on a plane is banned by strategic
>arms limitations treaties.
strategic legs limitations treaties actually

3:27:31 PM
Hi there i was the man with the rope which i have carried on many a time and no probs at all. The major difference between the 2 ropes the one that got through was flaked into the rope bag and the one that didn't, mine, was butterfly coiled in the bag that makes it look a lot more rope like. But that being said they were the same and yes it must come down to the person looking at the screen at the time and whether they are asleep or up too quota or something because i also had 5 quikdraws, GriGri with screwgate and some more screwgates in there that got through TWICE throught the smae machine without a hassle GRRRR.
3:39:30 PM
Benno, is your post about trying to save a buck by sneaking through metal gear in your
hand luggage, or otherwise? If it is not about the former, why struggle with hand
luggage to the cafe, then the toilet, then to the boarding area, then overhead into a
Saving a buck? Jetstar have insisted on weighing EVERYTHING I had - together! - the
last couple of times interstate and at Christchurch. Planning for ski-mountaineering will
now include budgeting for excess luggage everytime now. Metal-edged skis, a single
ice-axe, half-CF stocks, helmet, boot crampons, a couple of 'biners, shovel, snow-
stakes, tent-poles. Then and there, just after 5am, $10 per kilo excess was demanded
of me - the bargain $1 books from the NZAC were no longer a bargain; I was not treated
like this at Sydney en-route to NZ. Then the flight home was only 45% full of pax!

Additional to budgeting for excess luggage fees, thoughts include;
- ringing ahead and explain that your travels involve being self-reliant and hence the
unusual and weighty gear
- getting to the airport early and put on a smile at the Service Desk (different to the
check-in) and ask if the commisionaire could meet you at the check-in to look after
the heavy gear. When I used to cycle-tour, the 'commisionaire' at Qantas would
look after bulky items without any comment.
- a year before 9/11, on completion of a sea-kayak trip from Tweed Heads to
Townsville, I got into debates at the travel agent and then at check-in, simply
because I declared an EPIRB. Security for Qantas told me to pull out the battery,
and when I couldn't as it is a sealed unit, told me to dispose of it. I stood my
ground and stated that surely I was not the forst expeditioner to fly Qantas - what
did others do? Only then did they tell me to put the EPIRB in my checked-in
luggage. I wanted to carry it to prevent breakage by crushing (something I have
since done myself away from airlines). I don't declare EPIRBS at all now, but carry
it in my hand-luggage, anyway. The point here is that airline fuss and contradictory
information existed prior to 9/11.

I recently flew Virgin Blue for the first time (without any heavy gear although I was
returning from the Sydney - Gold Coast yacht race). Aside from the hosties being older
: )' - I was asked at check-in if a 'able-bodied man such as myself would mind taking
a wing-seat, so as to be able to assist in the time of an emergency, if need be?' I am
now formulating a way to make my future excess luggage a trade-off for this request
from Virgin Blue.

4:54:03 PM
I flew to Europe last year and because I was close to the baggage limit I decided to take some climbing gear in my hand-luggage - a few cams and wires.

This prompted the attention of the scanners at Melbourne on exit but after inspecting it they decided it didn't meet the definition of a weapon so they let me on board with it.

However I was transiting via Dubai which involved a re-scan. The local Emeratis were not as forgiving so insisted on putting the hardware into a separate envelope which then disappeared into the hold with my checked luggage - but of course without being weighed together as one unit. The envelope appeared safely on the baggage carousel at the other end.

Your (frequent flyer) mileage may vary.

as a postscript, I decided instead of putting the gear in my hand luggage on the return flight to carry something else heavy instead .. some bottles of Austrian wine I'd purchased. Oops. Forgot about the no-liquids rule didn't I? You could almost see the scanners licking their lips when they saw the bottles on the X-ray.

1:34:11 AM
i have flown about the world for the last 3 or 4 years and put all my trad gear in my carry on bag at the top. half the airlines wanted to see it, the rest didnt bother. my rope and harness and one pair of shoes goes in my checked baggage with all my slings, restraining devices, with my nut key. they wont let you carry on a nut key.
12:08:44 PM
On a tiger air flight to tassie i was made to open my carry on bag because it had 5 nuts in it but when the security dude saw them he was cool with it, but little did he know that these were special piano wire nuts for garotting hehehe.

iv heard that people have worn there harness and entire racks as like clothing i guess and just taking it all off for the xray and then putting it back on and hopping on the plane.
Richard Delaney
1:56:55 PM
Ahhh the bad old days...
Coming back from France in the early 90's with an ice-axe - I explained to the check-in
staff at Charles-de-Gaul that I was concerned that it would get torn off the out side of my
pack... They could see what my problem was and "why didn't I just carry it on as hand
luggage like everybody else?" Different story mid-route at Bangkok when, on getting off,
this army guy points an automatic weapon at me and demands that I place the tool on
the floor. It was then checked in as secure luggage as a ... spade!
10:18:30 AM
Whilst procrastinating on exam study, I have been packing for Frog and rechecked what the world says about carry on luggage these days. I found a rather detailed list which pretty much answers any questions about climbing gear in carry on luggage. In short, don't do it.

11:10:16 AM
On 8/06/2016 Wendy wrote:
>Whilst procrastinating on exam study, I have been packing for Frog and
>rechecked what the world says about carry on luggage these days. I found
>a rather detailed list which pretty much answers any questions about climbing
>gear in carry on luggage. In short, don't do it.

You will just have to leave your crampons, ice axes and ice picks, pitons, hooks, hammers and bolts at home on your upcoming Qld holiday then.
Those smart Frog loving Queenslanders have obviously gotten into the ear of the cold southern State airlines to keep such worrisome items out of use up there, and you need only be concerned when the airlines prevent slcd's being taken instead.
12:15:41 PM
and my meat cleaver. I really wanted to take my meat cleaver.
12:27:03 PM
> Rockclimbing equipment such as pitons, hooks, hammers and bolts

Bolts! Bolts?
I did take some cams in carry-on to Europe a few years back. Melbourne let them through, but Dubai took exception.

12:36:27 PM
On 8/06/2016 gfdonc wrote:
>> Rockclimbing equipment such as pitons, hooks, hammers and bolts
>Bolts! Bolts?

Yes. It would seem the Queenslanders also have a Dangerouser Cliffs chapter up there too, either that, or ODH has found a way to white-ant the retro-creep by stopping them at the borders!
2:33:40 PM
"Any other piece of wood, metal or any other substance big enough to threaten someone"

Now, "threaten" is a subjective term right? A ball-point pen could appear threatening.. It's made of substances. You could threaten someone with socks tied together in a slipknot.

That explains why I had to remove all my quick draws - queue again & check them in, pay an exta $40 and nearly miss my flight!

Ultimately it's up to security. If they don't like the look of it - or you - denied.

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