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Checking Backpack on Airplane

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New Member
Hello all...I've never done this type of trip before and was wondering if one is supposed to put their bag in another bag or something like that when checking into the airport. I will also have pacer poles. Not sure how this packing works? Any feedback would help. Thanks!
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Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
Hi KristinaMaria,

Our method was to 1) Attach our poles to the bag. 2)Tighten all the straps as secure as possible. 3) Fit it inside a blue Ikea bag. 4) "Cliplock" the Ikea bag closed.

Worked fine for us. On the way home same, but no Ikea bag still OK, just secure your straps in a way that they can't catch on conveyor belts.

Buen Camino


Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
We've used the following methods:
1. Pack and poles in another bag
2. Wrapped the pack and poles in the airport plastic stuff (awful to get off)
3. Tightened and tied all straps.

(Took our poles apart and put inside the pack for each method. We now prefer method #3, but all are effective). If your poles don't fit inside your pack, you can tie, duct tape or bungee them to the outside of your pack.

Hope this helps. Buen camino!



Veteran Member
Hi, In the days when one didn't have to pay for checked bags I simply attached poles to side of pack, putting bubble wrap or some other cover over pointed ends.
First, I used strong elastic bands to secure the two ploes together. Then I used boot laces to tie them to pack, which can also be used as a clothes line on back of your pack as you walk. They were accepted at standard check in point; on one occassion I was directed to deposit bag at over sized baggage desk, at no extra charge ( by Ryanair official). Since introduction of charges for checked baggage I don't take poles/sticks!

Enjoy the planning & anticipation.

P.S. I've never wrapped a pack with checked luggage to transcontinental or european destinations.
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Crazy Chicken Lady with the Camino on my Mind!
Past OR future Camino
Apr-Jun 2009 - I solo walked from Roncesvalles to Santiago. I hope to return as a hospitalera in 2016.
I did not check my pack - I stowed it in the overhead compartment. I did not take walking sticks. My plan was to purchase a one in Spain. (I ended up using a lovely tree branch someone gifted me with and left it behind when I made my return trip to the USA.)

For me, part of the pilgrimage was to learn to live with just the barest of essentials, to pare life down to only what really matters. This was a challenge at times, but it was a gift I gave to myself - travelling light ultimately freed me from burdens and worries.

Letting go of stuff and passing things along when I no lnger need them, examining my own motives and defining needs vrs want, being creative with what I have - having enough and being grateful for it all...that is how I like to live. That is how I strive to live.

Life is good. <3

In Sunny Santa Fe


New Member
hmm thanks for the recommendations...i have a few days to decide now, but your posts have made me reconsider the walking sticks as a whole. i'm doing more travelling afterwards and feel like they might become cumbersome to have to watch over all the time. i still have to figure out the best method to check in a bag.
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
The walking sticks you purchase along the Camino really are lovely and quite sufficient... and it helps the economy. I purchased one the first time I walked. The only reason I took the PPs this time was because of my wrists. I haven't decided if I'll take them next time or not...
Kristina, I had checked in my backpack. I had my poles reduced to its minimum length and packed into the bag. Worked well. I had with me a small foldable backpack for the evenings. This became my carry-on for the flight.

If you are travelling further, after the camino, you may wish to consider sending ahead to Santiago another small bag with things you need for that section of the trip. That way you would not need to carry them through the camino. You can do this from your starting location, be it SJPDP or Roncesvalles. Storage is inexpensive. Check out the facilities provided by Ivar.

Buen camino


Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
I use pacer poles and just pull them apart and put them inside my pack. Put something like my socks on the top so that they don't puncture the bag and have never had any problems. But I do always check the bag into the luggage hold. Cheers, Janet
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Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
I was traveling on Iberia which has a horrible reputation with checked luggage--especially from the US. So I did NOT check my pack and put my collapsed pacer poles inside my pack (there were no questions asked). My pack was smaller than almost all the luggage in the overhead bin!


Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
I was traveling on Iberia which has a horrible reputation with checked luggage--especially from the US. So I did NOT check my pack and put my collapsed pacer poles inside my pack (there were no questions asked). My pack was smaller than almost all the luggage in the overhead bin!


Active Member
If you have a tight schedule and/or are making connections on your flight you need to consider what will happen if your checked luggage does not arrive with you. At the very best it will be a few hours delay but even that may mean missing a bus or train connection. At worst it could mean a full day or two and could mean also losing reservations for accommodations. I would if at all possible take everything as carryon.

Deleted member 3000

From the Telegraph, UK:

Iberia has emerged as the European airline most likely to lose a passenger's luggage according to the latest figures due to be released by the industry.
By David Millward, Transport Editor
Published: 3:35PM BST 17 Jun 2009

The Spanish carrier lost 19.2 bags for every 1,000 people who boarded its planes during the winter months, ending in March.

It was rated the worst performer among 26 participants in a survey carried out by the Association of European Airlines.

Air France came next, with 18.9 bags going astray per 1,000 passengers, followed by the Portuguese carrier, TAP with 17.3 bags and then Bmi, who "mishandled" 17.2 bags.

British Airways, which once used to languish at the bottom of the performance table continued to reap the benefits of Heathrow's Terminal 5 which, after a disastrous first few days, has been functioning well. It mishandled 15.6 bags per thousand passengers, a fraction of the number of bags that were going astray when the airline was at its worst.

Overall airlines mislaid 13 bags per 1.000 people they carried on board. In most cases the luggage is reunited with the rightful owner within 28 hours.

A spokesman for Iberia said: “The reason for our results in delayed luggage according to AEA is due to the heavy snowed in Madrid in the beginning of January that forced to close Barajas airport for one day and disruptions during two more days. Along with this, Iberia was suffering from December 2008 up to February 2009 a work to the rule strike by pilots, which led to cancellations and delays.

“For a network airline like Iberia this kind of things have a direct impact on delayed luggage.”


Veteran Member
Interesting statistics Falcon,

It seems the airlines loose 1.5 to 2 percent of the bags, assuming one bag per person. Frustrating as it is to be in the unlucky 2 %, 980 people out of every 1000 got their luggage, no problem. Pretty good odds really.

David, Victoria, Canada
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