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Luggage Transfer Correos

Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Poles Carry on Compatible?

0 Euro Camino Bank Note
Camino(s) past & future
planning for spring 2018
I have been a hiking pole user for the last 20 years and have no plans to stop now. The only poles I can find that fit inside my pack are the obscenely expensive Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z poles. The salesperson at REI where I tried them out assured me that they are carry on compatible. Does any one know if this is true or not? I would like the El Camino to be a totally carry on trip. I would be flying from Sacramento California to Barcelona or possibly Madrid.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
According to this TSA blog post, all hiking poles are permitted only in checked bags.
Do some people get away with them in their carry on? I'm sure that they do, but if you've spent a lot of money on them you probably don't want to take a chance.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
I would rely on the advice of a sales-person in regard to the transport status of a hiking pole with as much faith as I would take the advice of a border-line security person in regard as to which hiking-pole would most suit my build and planned activity.

I am absolutely confident that amongst the members of this forum someone has sailed through the security line with packed poles of equally obscene expense: someone else will tell of watching there beloveds disappear into the dumpster.

As any day or two reading the endless circular discussions of this topic on the forum will likely lead you to conclude: you are free to pack your nasty sharp pointy objects in your pack and seek to carry it into an aircraft cabin, but when doing so you should arrive at the airport in plenty of time and with the necessary facility to check them if security reject them for boarding.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
I have been a hiking pole user for the last 20 years and have no plans to stop now. The only poles I can find that fit inside my pack are the obscenely expensive Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z poles. The salesperson at REI where I tried them out assured me that they are carry on compatible. Does any one know if this is true or not? I would like the El Camino to be a totally carry on trip. I would be flying from Sacramento California to Barcelona or possibly Madrid.
As a follow up to the brilliant post by @Tincatinker - if you REALLY have to have hiking poles (BTW I use them) then either put your backpack in the checked baggage section or buy a suitable pair in Paris / Madrid / Pamplona / St Jean. Cheers
 

HedaP

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
Just a suggestion. I take a small and old suitcase picked up at a charity store. In it I pack poles, scissors and anything else that can't go in carry on. The rest stays with me on the plane. On arrival the suitcase gets thrown out.
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
CF (17) Sarria - Portomarín
CF (17) SJPdP - SdC
CF (18) SJPdP - Fisterra
CP (19) Porto - Muxia

Purple Backpack

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2012
England C2C 2015
Via Francigena 2016
Le Puy 2018
I have and love the Z poles. I pack them inside my pack, folded and in their nylon stuff sack. I put the rubber caps on the tips to protect both the sack and so the pointed ends don't look so...pointy... on X-ray. No problem at all going out of the US into 3 different countries on different trips (Spain, Scotland, Switzerland). Coming home, I check my pack, putting it in the large, heavy plastic bags provided by the airlines.

I also take a mailing tube and try to be early at the airport so if the poles are a problem, I can pop the poles in the tube and check them through. I'd rather lose the poles than the whole pack. I've never had to do this, though, and have always left the tube in the airport.

I had a pair of cheap poles confiscated at the Santiago de Compostela airport so don't want that to happen to the Z poles.

By the way, yes, they are pricey. But cheaper than an Emergency Department or orthopedic surgeon.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
We have carried our poles on through TSA for the last 10 years. Sometimes twice a year.
We insure that they have rubber tips on them.
The TSA inspectors see them. They do not question them. These are facts. They do not deny them. I have had my pack inspected to look at something else and the poles were taken out by the inspector and set aside while looking.
They did not question them at all and put them back inside the pack. Others here confirm the same experiences. The agents simply allow the poles. Just insure that the tips are not sharp like ski poles..use rubber tips!

We do not "get away" with taking them on board in our packs. The agents simply allow them.
I simply do not understand why this question keeps coming up and people continue to post "expert opinions" that they are not allowed.
At any rate....no one would confiscate them (except in Santiago airport).
Can anyone here confirm personally that they were denied boarding or had poles "confiscated" by TSA in the US????

Returning out of Santiago...we always check our packs as we are not as concerned that they arrive on the same flight or in the same city as us.
 

Purple Backpack

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2012
England C2C 2015
Via Francigena 2016
Le Puy 2018
Ah, Grayland. Poles out of the US have never been an issue for me. But don't ever try to take packages of freeze dried food. I was treated like I was transporting plutonium mixed with heroin on my last trip. My very carefully packed pack, all neatly organized in stuff sacks and fitted together like a jigsaw puzzle, was ripped to shreds by US TSA last trip. They poked each blueberry oatmeal, prodded packets of soup and mushed every protein bar "to make sure it's really a protein bar". It took forever to put everything back as my flight began boarding and I had to eat those nasty bars daily, reminded always of that smug TSA agent's face.

But the poles were never questioned.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Z poles folded up inside carry on pack have not once been questioned. I fly from New Zealand to Europe and back every year to walk a pilgrim route. I have flown with Emirates, Cathay, Lufthansa, Swiss, Singapore, Air New Zealand, a Portuguese Airline, etc and have never had a problem.
 

JoAnne Obata

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015), Camino Portugues (2016), Haeverjen (2017)
Hi! I have flown out of SMF (2015) and SFO (2016) with my Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z as carry-on. I have the rubber tips on them.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi! I have flown out of SMF (2015) and SFO (2016) with my Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z as carry-on. I have the rubber tips on them.
I have and love the Z poles. I put the rubber caps on the tips to protect both the sack and so the pointed ends don't look so...pointy... on X-ray. No problem at all going out of the US into 3 different countries on different trips (Spain, Scotland, Switzerland).
Sorry to take this a bit off-topic (though I have frequently weighed in on the side of those who carry on hiking poles, having done it for almost ten years now, in and out of numerous airports, with never a problem). BUT.... my question is for those who have Black Diamond Distance Carbon poles. What kind of rubber tips have you found that do not fall off the tiny shaft of the Z-Pole. @linkster has come up with a way to "fatten up" the shaft so they won't fall off, but I think that the poles ought to have rubber tips that fit!
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
I'm not sure if my 5-year old BD poles are the same as newer ones, but I just go in a store and try a few rubber tips and buy the best fit. I have lost a tip occasionally but carry a couple of spares and it hasn't been an issue for me.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
April 2019: Frances, Salvador, Primitivo
I have BD carbon z poles, and I collapsed them and put them in a mailing tube. I checked the mailing tube (I also put in some of my personal care items that I worried would be confiscated).

I didn't want any issues with them at the airport.

Buen Camino!
 

emmanuel

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2011)
Norte (2014)
Norte (2016)
Salvador (2017)
Frances (2018)
Madrid-Salvador-Primitivo 19
I have taken my Z poles in cabin without a hassle. Neatly folded, with rubber tips on, they look so small and safe no agent has ever cuestioned them.
 

Maxsmart

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
I carry the Carbon Z poles and based on advice from this forum my Mom and I tried to carry them in our carry-on backpacks on the trip from Santiago back to Paris. Security informed us that we could not carry them on the plane, that they would have to be checked. Obviously this was a common problem, because they pointed us to a kiosk right outside of security where we could have our poles wrapped and then put in as a checked bag. This was in June 2015. Going to SJPP we did what another poster suggested and carried a thrift store bag to check as baggage and then discard. We even wore thrift store clothing on the plane trip, then threw it away in the bag in SJPP. Meant we could start with all clean clothing.
 

Maxsmart

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
I apologize if it sounded like I was criticizing this forum. I wasn't......this is a great resource and Ivar does an awesome job! But most of the posts about poles and carry-on vs check baggage discuss flights in general terms like "around Europe", or from USA/Australia/somewhere to Europe and back. A pilgrim doing a reading of the forum might not look for exceptions like the Santiago airport. Certainly not the fault of the forum - just a lot of info here.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
@Maxsmart makes an important point stand out in the pole/carry-on discussion.

Be very aware that You will NOT be able to carry-on your poles on your return flight from Santiago.
Most/many of us just check our packs on the way home as we are not concerned about them arriving separately as we are when starting our Caminos.
Starting a Camino without your carefully accumulated pack and gear is a sure fire bummer.
Others mail them along with knives, etc or just check the poles and other items.

Just be aware that poles cannot be carried aboard FROM Santiago.
 

Tom Cartwright

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Have completed through Agosta
I have been a hiking pole user for the last 20 years and have no plans to stop now. The only poles I can find that fit inside my pack are the obscenely expensive Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z poles. The salesperson at REI where I tried them out assured me that they are carry on compatible. Does any one know if this is true or not? I would like the El Camino to be a totally carry on trip. I would be flying from Sacramento California to Barcelona or possibly Madrid.
I have been lucky to get out of the US with poles in my backpack, but not always in Spain. I carry a mailing tube and check if there are any issues which I had to do from Madrid to SJP last year. They are technically not TSA approved for cabin.
 
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