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Avoiding hassles at the airport

tammi

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances: St. Jean Pied de Port - Santiago - Muxia- Fisterra (May/June 2015)
Camino Frances: Unfinished Business Estella - Astorga (May/June 2016)
We would like to be able to bring our poles and Swiss Army knife without hassle at the airport. I'm aware the knife will have to be checked baggage (if we bring it), and the poles may or may not be an issue. I'm wondering a couple things:
1. With a non-stop flight Chicago/Madrid what are the chances of our baggage getting lost if we just check our backpacks? I have never traveled overseas, but my experiences with lost/delayed baggage has primarily been when connections are involved.
2. Returning home, we are on a little bit of a time crunch with connecting flights and do not want to check baggage. We were thinking of just shipping questionable items home. We are ending in Muxia and going from there to the Santiago airport. Is there a post office in Muxia that we could take care of this?
 
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GreatDane

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF to Burgos Sept/Oct 2014, Burgos to Astorga April 2016, Astorga to SdC 2017
I had 3 connections, all on Delta to MAD. I carried on my backpack including boots and sent through a small box containing my trekking poles, cheese knife, shampoo and conditioner. No charge as my first "bag" was free (free, ha ha ha). I figured if the box never showed up I could easily replace those items somewhere. Plain brown box but I did decorate it with rowdy colorful patches of various neon duct tapes so I could spot it quick among all the other bags and boxes coming down the luggage carousal.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Is there a post office in Muxia that we could take care of this?
There does not seem to be a post office there. You may be able to have the hotel or albergue there mail something for you. Otherwise, the correos in Santiago may be your best bet.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
So here's the thing. Check the bits that you cannot carry on, and mark your parcel with your itinerary. Ideally, spend one night in the destination airport city, to allow any delayed luggage to catch up with you. Mark your parcel with your itinerary; there are tags available that will accommodate a folded sheet with your first week's travel plan. Nevertheless, assume your luggage will be lost and pack the checked bag accordingly: if it's not replaceable, don't check it. No electronics, jewelry, prescription medications, or important travel documents go in any checked piece.

I use Pacer Poles, and disassembled they come through US security just fine. Not collapsed, mind you - disassembled.

A Swiss Army knife is not necessary; you can do quite well with the Mini-bites from Guyot Designs (https://www.guyotdesigns.com/product-microbites/), or a plastic picnic knife. You only need to cut bread, cut cheese, cut sausage, or spread a bit of butter, right? I've walked four years and never required a metal knife in my pack.
 
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tammi

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances: St. Jean Pied de Port - Santiago - Muxia- Fisterra (May/June 2015)
Camino Frances: Unfinished Business Estella - Astorga (May/June 2016)
Thanks all. I have Pacer Poles too Kit, so you can see my reasoning for wanting MY poles (rather than get them in SJPP)! They do fit in my pack, but I really wasn't sure how much of a pain it might turn into when boarding; and if it was worth it.
The Swiss Army knife is one item I keep pondering if I should omit (4 oz!), but besides a knife, it's a scissor, tweezers, nail file, bottle opener, and of course cork screw! Certainly fits the multi-purpose criteria! Not, however, a deciding factor in checking bags (may get left behind for the weight though). It's more about the poles...
Having a non-stop flight and knowing we will be at the airport well in advance of our flight is a little comforting, however checking baggage is always a pain/risk.
 

joe g texas aggies

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Santinago April/May 2015
We flew from LAX to OGG (Maui), arriving yesterday. One of our bags did not make it, because the TSA pulled it out for inspection. At least, that's what Hawaiian Airlines claims. We paid $100 for excess baggage charges to check that bag.

We checked in at LAX about 90 minutes before they closed the doors. TSA had plenty of time to check that relatively small bag. So, word to the wise when checking luggage - never underestimate the inefficiency of bureaucracy.
 

IngridF

Intrepid Peregrina
Year of past OR future Camino
2012, 2015 ,2017, 2019
Thanks all. I have Pacer Poles too Kit, so you can see my reasoning for wanting MY poles (rather than get them in SJPP)! They do fit in my pack, but I really wasn't sure how much of a pain it might turn into when boarding; and if it was worth it.
The Swiss Army knife is one item I keep pondering if I should omit (4 oz!), but besides a knife, it's a scissor, tweezers, nail file, bottle opener, and of course cork screw! Certainly fits the multi-purpose criteria! Not, however, a deciding factor in checking bags (may get left behind for the weight though). It's more about the poles...
Having a non-stop flight and knowing we will be at the airport well in advance of our flight is a little comforting, however checking baggage is always a pain/risk.
Re: Swiss Army Knife, I agree with Tammy, it's not really necessary, but also see the value of having all the attachments. Solution: buy in Spain. Buen Camino!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Lourdes, Aragonese May-June 2018 incomplete
Hi - you do not need a Swiss Army knife. You need a plastic knife which you could get on the flight, a wine bottle opener and maybe a tin opener. Enjoy your trip!
 

november_moon

Veteran Member
I'd bring the knife. Just pack it and your poles in a shipping tube and check the tube.

Our knife came in very handy one day when we had to repair one of our packs. We had these rather stiff cables with hooks on the end (maybe 8-12 inches long, which we had used previously to hang small clothing to dry on the ends of our bunks). We used our knife to cut the hooks off one cable and then were able to use the cable to reattach the shoulder strap to the pack. Of course, the pack broke when we were in the middle of nowhere, so being able to fix the pack then and there was a really good thing.

Regarding the tight connection on the way home - I never worry about delayed luggage on my way home. If the luggage doesn't make the connection, your airline will put it on the next flight and then bring it to your house. You'll be home, so it doesn't matter if your dirty laundry takes an extra day or 2 to get to the house.
 
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edandjoan

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
St. Gallen to Muxia
2012-2018
Checked bags get lost and delayed..it happens…doesn't seem possible on a point to point flight, but it just happened a couple of weeks ago for us and this is not the first time. If you really need it, carry it on. We always buy a pocket knife upon arrival and it is cheaper than checking a bag.
 

Al the optimist

Veteran Member
Just a comment about poles/knives and carry on. Those of us in europe travelling with the cheapo airlines have to pay extra for a checked item so are reluctant to pay the £20 each way (Ryanair) when we can buy the stuff for less and have no hassle.
 

tammi

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances: St. Jean Pied de Port - Santiago - Muxia- Fisterra (May/June 2015)
Camino Frances: Unfinished Business Estella - Astorga (May/June 2016)
There does not seem to be a post office there. You may be able to have the hotel or albergue there mail something for you. Otherwise, the correos in Santiago may be your best bet.
Decided to check the questionable items (on the way there), carry on our packs and hope for the best. I will be crushed if my PacerPoles are lost/damaged, but that seems the best option since both poles and knife can be replaced if the worst case scenario happens.
We are going to end in Muxia and go straight from there to the airport on our last day in Spain. It seems there will still be a few times I'll definitely be wanting the poles after we leave Santiago (walking to Finistere/Muxia). Is there a postal service at the Santiago airport? Otherwise maybe I'll ship the poles, and whatever else seems appropriate, while we are passing through Santiago (pick up a pole for the last few days and do without the PacerPoles).
We are trying not to plan anything the 38 days between SJPP and Muxia, but I sure do want to know the details there and back (for myself and gear) are all taken care of in whatever way is necessary.
Thanks again for all the helpful suggestions and information!!
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
Decided to check the questionable items (on the way there), carry on our packs and hope for the best. I will be crushed if my PacerPoles are lost/damaged, but that seems the best option since both poles and knife can be replaced if the worst case scenario happens.
We are going to end in Muxia and go straight from there to the airport on our last day in Spain. It seems there will still be a few times I'll definitely be wanting the poles after we leave Santiago (walking to Finistere/Muxia). Is there a postal service at the Santiago airport? Otherwise maybe I'll ship the poles, and whatever else seems appropriate, while we are passing through Santiago (pick up a pole for the last few days and do without the PacerPoles).
We are trying not to plan anything the 38 days between SJPP and Muxia, but I sure do want to know the details there and back (for myself and gear) are all taken care of in whatever way is necessary.
Thanks again for all the helpful suggestions and information!!

I can't find any indication that there is postal service at the airport. You might have more luck than I in looking.

Santiago Airport
http://www.aena.es/csee/Satellite/Aeropuerto-Santiago/en/Santiago.html
 

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