A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Camino Forum Donation

Flying with poles in carryon.

Booklady

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nov-Dec 2018
#1
Hello. Leaving for my first camino soon and need to know if folks travelling within/from the United States have had to check their bag due to trekking poles being contained within. I will ultimately contact my airline, but want to hear what y'all have to say, too.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#3
There are many previous posts and long often heated debates on the topic. ;)

It is safer I think to assume you cannot carry them as carry on............

If you don't want to check in your pack containing the poles (in case of loss), many people check the poles in by packing them in a mailing tube.
 

Booklady

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nov-Dec 2018
#4
There are many previous posts and long often heated debates on the topic. ;)
Thank you, I will definitely check the older posts when I am home and on my easier-to-navigate computer. The suggestion of a mailing tube was helpful, too.
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF x2, CPL
#5
I scored three sets at Bilbao airport when security refused to let three ladies take them on board. I bundled them up with my set, stached them in my pack and they went into they hold, no extra charge.
You take your chances.
Regards
Gerard
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
#6
I've packed mine in cardboard twice in the hold....I've had poles taken away in Madrid once, I got them thru once in Madrid, I had them taken, wrapped and sent below in Santiago, and I got poles thru in Paris. Go figure. I think they are a big "no no" for most airline rules, and you take your chances, but I also think it depends on who is working that day and what mood they happen to be in.
 

DevereUx

Devereaux
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept-Oct 2018
#7
As posted, TSA doesn't allow them through security in USA. I take a small, Walmart "transit bag" into which I put my folding sticks, knife, some liquids and other stuff. If lost, St Jean Pied de Port has lots of places you can buy walking sticks, without getting ripped off.
 

MaineSally

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cam Frances SJPDP to Santiago ('17): Finisterre ('17); Muxia ('17)
Camino Portuguese - April ('19)
#8
I had no problem going trough Boston's TSA, however, the folks in Madrid took them. I would strongly advise to check them or simply buy new ones upon arriving at your destination. You'll find them readily available along "The Way."
 
#9
A year or so ago, several forum members put a general thread together to consolidate all the known information. You can read it here.

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...s-through-airport-security.57976/#post-662123

I continue to be lucky and have never had a problem (just a few weeks ago I took my poles in my carry on to Utah and back). But @MaineSally’s comment is one I have heard a couple of times now, so it seems that Madrid may be a problem. I took mine through security in Madrid in April, but I know others have not been so lucky. If you fly into Madrid and transfer to another flight within Spain you will have to go through security again, so I definitely think you should have a back-up plan.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
#10
Laurie, one of the gals that recently walked the Le Puy with me has the Diamond Z-poles like you do. They fold up smaller than most other brands. She always carries them in her pack and has never had a problem. Smaller is better!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
#11
I believe that part of the success or lack there of in carrying on trekking poles may have to do with whether they are the collapsable kind or the fold up kind. I wonder if carbon fiber vs. aluminum poles show up differently on x-ray.
 

TimH

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances March-April 2016
Le Puy route April-May 2017
Camino Norte to Bilbao June 2017
#12
My experience is that the carbon fiber ones have never seem to cause an issue but metal poles are a no no. My carbon Z have flown around the world several times in my carry on and I have never even been asked about them. That said, I am always ready to check them in just in case and I have a well prepared story about how they are walking sticks that I might need at any time (true as I have degenerate knees) but have never had to use it.
 
#13
I've packed mine in cardboard twice in the hold....I've had poles taken away in Madrid once, I got them thru once in Madrid, I had them taken, wrapped and sent below in Santiago, and I got poles thru in Paris. Go figure. I think they are a big "no no" for most airline rules, and you take your chances, but I also think it depends on who is working that day and what mood they happen to be in.
I agree. I have not had a problem USA to Madrid but 50/50 Madrid to USA. Never in Santiago or France. Next time will mail my poles home when finished and not worry about it.
 

mmmckay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino francés (Summer 2018!)
#14
Hello. Leaving for my first camino soon and need to know if folks travelling within/from the United States have had to check their bag due to trekking poles being contained within. I will ultimately contact my airline, but want to hear what y'all have to say, too.
We checked a mailing tube with our poles. That way, we flew stress-free, not worrying about any Last-minute pole problems at the airport. You can throw your Swiss Army knife in the tube as well! Our tube made it through fine, but if for some reason it got lost in transit, we knew it wouldn’t be the end of the world. We had the important gear with us.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
#15
MM, checking poles works well if you have time enough to wait for the carosel for checked items between train/bus connections after your flight lands. I've occassionally been pressed for time with prepaid train tickets, so it's not always feasible to take the extra time to wait.
 
#16
We checked a mailing tube with our poles. That way, we flew stress-free, not worrying about any Last-minute pole problems at the airport. You can throw your Swiss Army knife in the tube as well! Our tube made it through fine, but if for some reason it got lost in transit, we knew it wouldn’t be the end of the world. We had the important gear with us.
That is what I did also, checking the poles (along with my Swiss Army knife ;)) into a cardboard tube. That worked great until the airlines lost the poles on the way over to Spain about 8 years ago. Getting from the airport to a sports store and then to Atocha for my train to Sevilla was a very hectic way to start my camino. Since then, I have carried them on, and my trips have been much calmer. If you are joined at the hip to a particular type of hiking pole like I am, having to buy a substitute in Spain at the last minute is not ideal. Not the end of the world, of course, but I have been happy to avoid a repeat of that scene.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles and Camino Frances. VDLP Spring 2019
#17
Hello. Leaving for my first camino soon and need to know if folks travelling within/from the United States have had to check their bag due to trekking poles being contained within. I will ultimately contact my airline, but want to hear what y'all have to say, too.
Although I only live on the UK I normally send them in a cardboard tube to my first night destination and repeat the process when finished walking. Also send my trusty penkinife in the same tube.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
#18
Although I only live on the UK I normally send them in a cardboard tube to my first night destination and repeat the process when finished walking. Also send my trusty penkinife in the same tube.
Unfortunately, that's not a good option for people arriving from outside the EU, as Customs can hold up packages forever!

I've always brought a checked bag in addition to my backpack which I carry on, since I do some traveling before/after the Camino, and want to wear different clothing, so I put my poles in the checked bag.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2020)
#19
Hello. Leaving for my first camino soon and need to know if folks travelling within/from the United States have had to check their bag due to trekking poles being contained within. I will ultimately contact my airline, but want to hear what y'all have to say, too.
I put my poles and other sharp objects into a shipping tube and checked that. This worked fine, both going and returning. The post office in Santiago sells shipping tubes.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2020)
#20
Unfortunately, that's not a good option for people arriving from outside the EU, as Customs can hold up packages forever!

I've always brought a checked bag in addition to my backpack which I carry on, since I do some traveling before/after the Camino, and want to wear different clothing, so I put my poles in the checked bag.
I had no issues with checking a shipping tube in 2015. I am from the States.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#21
A year or so ago, several forum members put a general thread together to consolidate all the known information. You can read it here.

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...s-through-airport-security.57976/#post-662123

I continue to be lucky and have never had a problem (just a few weeks ago I took my poles in my carry on to Utah and back). But @MaineSally’s comment is one I have heard a couple of times now, so it seems that Madrid may be a problem. I took mine through security in Madrid in April, but I know others have not been so lucky. If you fly into Madrid and transfer to another flight within Spain you will have to go through security again, so I definitely think you should have a back-up plan.
My experience over 12 trips between the US and Europe has been the same. Carbon Z-poles for me and Pacer Poles for my wife. Never a question including Madrid, Frankfurt, and Lisbon. My Pack has been inspected and looked into several times for other objects that need to be looked at. The poles have been removed by agents while checking the pack and never questioned...just put back in.
If there is a problem...it will be in Europe not the TSA in the USA.
I am always prepared to check them (not the pack) just in case but for the past 9 years or so...no problems.

Many of the negative posts concerning carrying them on from the US are from folks who are simply reading the "rules" or calling an operator at the TSA and asking. The easy answer by a telephone agent is "no"
The facts on the ground by the working TSA agents point to the fact that they are allowed.

Few, if any, first person reports of being denied with poles with rubber tips inside packs in the US.
Like @peregrina2000 I conltinue to carry mine on.

ADDED: However....poles are not allowed on the return flights out of Santiago. I always check everything except valuables on the way home as it really doesn't matter if it arrives with me or not.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#22
I use a wooden walking stick, with a rubber tip. It seems to be regarded as a mobility aide, which it is, and I have never had a problem with it. At Madrid airport, it seems to have been why I was transferred to a mothers/babies and seniors line, which moved slowly, but I had lots of time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
#23
I had no issues with checking a shipping tube in 2015. I am from the States.
I think that @Simon B was talking about mailing something from the UK to Spain.
Although I only live on the UK I normally send them in a cardboard tube to my first night destination and repeat the process when finished walking
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
#25
My experience over 12 trips between the US and Europe has been the same. Carbon Z-poles for me and Pacer Poles for my wife. Never a question including Madrid, Frankfurt, and Lisbon. My Pack has been inspected and looked into several times for other objects that need to be looked at. The poles have been removed by agents while checking the pack and never questioned...just put back in.
If there is a problem...it will be in Europe not the TSA in the USA.
I am always prepared to check them (not the pack) just in case but for the past 9 years or so...no problems.

Many of the negative posts concerning carrying them on from the US are from folks who are simply reading the "rules" or calling an operator at the TSA and asking. The easy answer by a telephone agent is "no"
The facts on the ground by the working TSA agents point to the fact that they are allowed.

Few, if any, first person reports of being denied with poles with rubber tips inside packs in the US.
Like @peregrina2000 I conltinue to carry mine on.

ADDED: However....poles are not allowed on the return flights out of Santiago. I always check everything except valuables on the way home as it really doesn't matter if it arrives with me or not.
When I leave Santiago I usually check a souvenirs package which will include my poles.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
#27
I just bought a pair when I got there. It seems that poles in Spain and Portugal are significantly less expensive than here in North America. Although, I can't say for sure as I've never bought them here.
 
Camino(s) past & future
August 2017
#28
Thank you, I will definitely check the older posts when I am home and on my easier-to-navigate computer. The suggestion of a mailing tube was helpful, too.
I used a mailing tube, checked them then kept the tube on my pack where you normally put a tent.

The last trip to walk Germany, flew out of Madrid, no one even questioned me but i still have them in the tube if i get questions
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's (2016) Portuguese 2017
#29
Hello. Leaving for my first camino soon and need to know if folks travelling within/from the United States have had to check their bag due to trekking poles being contained within. I will ultimately contact my airline, but want to hear what y'all have to say, too.
My daughter had hers taken and had to pay £50 for them to go in hold. I have Black Diamond lightweight folding poles. Great poles and no problem with carry on
 
#30
After two trips to Ireland / England / Spain and France / Spain / Ireland, returning to Canada, I can say that I have always carried my poles openly with me. I use them to steady my walking, even on flat surfaces.

Now, having said that, after leaving the CF two weeks after starting due to leg issues this last May, Santiago Airport refused my passing through TSA unless I required special assistance, which I did. They took me onto the plane with pack on my lap and poles in my hand, which all went in the overhead storage. This continued all the way to Canada.

This is my experience and do not anticipate that it will be experienced by anyone else in the same way. As mentioned, the best recommendation is to check with TSA regulations in the country / countries you plan to visit to ensure you know exactly what will be expected of you. In this area, the tip can have a great deal to do with acceptance, or not. My poles are telescoping and have a rubber rectangular treaded foot on them as opposed to a pointy metal tip.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2014)
#31
Hello. Leaving for my first camino soon and need to know if folks travelling within/from the United States have had to check their bag due to trekking poles being contained within. I will ultimately contact my airline, but want to hear what y'all have to say, too.
We travelled from Vancouver, BC to Toronto, ontario with our poles folded up in our carryon backpacks with no problems. Then we flew from Toronto on to Lisbon, Portugal on TAP air with our poles still folded up in our carryon backpacks with no problems.
If you’re flying out of the US, the rules might be different. I’d advise you to contact security in the airport you’re flying out of to see what their rules are to be on the safe side. Someone suggested putting the poles in a tube and checking them. That might be your safest option if they don’t allow them in your carryon. Better to know what to expect beforehand for sure.
 

mwextine

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2013)
#32
Laurie, one of the gals that recently walked the Le Puy with me has the Diamond Z-poles like you do. They fold up smaller than most other brands. She always carries them in her pack and has never had a problem. Smaller is better!
I've never had problems with TSA and periodically inquire at the USA airports that I pass through (they always shrug and seem puzzled that I'd ask).

HOWEVER, they are consistently forbidden as carry-ons in Santiago so either discard, put them in checked baggage or send home by mail. There is a very nice Spanish post office adjoining the Pilgrim's office in Santiago (along with an ALSA bus ticketing office). Last year I purchased a mailing tube and sent my z-poles back to the USA for ~20 euros. Seemed like a good investment.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
#33
The Post Offices have boxes designed for trekking poles. We fit our 2 sets of poles and small stuff like souvenirs, pocket knives etc. in the box and check them for the flight home.
 
Camino(s) past & future
I am walking in March and April of 2019.
#34
Hello. Leaving for my first camino soon and need to know if folks travelling within/from the United States have had to check their bag due to trekking poles being contained within. I will ultimately contact my airline, but want to hear what y'all have to say, too.
Hi booklady
I don't have an answer to yr question, except to say I am also leaving soon for my 1st Camino and all the info I am getting is you can't take them in carry on. When are you leaving? Are you doing the C. Frances? Maybe see you on the walk! Good luck!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
#35
I've never had problems with TSA and periodically inquire at the USA airports that I pass through (they always shrug and seem puzzled that I'd ask).

HOWEVER, they are consistently forbidden as carry-ons in Santiago so either discard, put them in checked baggage or send home by mail. There is a very nice Spanish post office adjoining the Pilgrim's office in Santiago (along with an ALSA bus ticketing office). Last year I purchased a mailing tube and sent my z-poles back to the USA for ~20 euros. Seemed like a good investment.
In Santiago the airlines will check your poles for free.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#36
Anecdotally, I have always carried my trekking poles on board with me. I collapse them, have removed the metal tips and placed rubber tips over the ends of the poles, and then wrapped them together in a tight bundle with shrink wrap. Then I place them in the side pocket of my pack so that TSA and other security agencies in other country's can see them.

I have never had so much as a questioning glance in any country..... except Spain. Travelling from the US into England and then to Spain, no problem. US to Germany to Spain, no problem. US to France to Spain, no problem. However, there is ALWAYS a problem when attempting to travel out of Spain. I try, and each time I end up checking them in (using my ultralight daypack), and then going back thru airport security. Sigh. I still carry on my backpack, though. I never check it as luggage.

I accept that I need to be prepared to check my trekking poles; but if TSA and other nation's security allows it, I am not going to argue with them :)
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
#37
TSA in the U.S. prohibits them.
I travel with my trekking poles a few times a year and TSA has never prohibited me or my wife from carrying them on. They have to be packed right. My first trip they were in bubble wrap connected to the pack. my newer poles fit inside of my pack. Spain is a different story they will not allow them. Maybe it is the airport. We fly out of Seattle and Vancouver B.C.
 

alipilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2005), Frances (2007), Madrid/Frances (2011), 1/2 VdP (2012),
#38
I’ve had two friends fly out of Palm Springs airport and both were denied boarding with their poles (one checked theirs, the other called her husband to come pick hers up). My aunt tried to fly with a golf ball retriever in her carryon and that was confiscated. I believe it’s not the sharp tip but the fact it can be used as a baton is their concern. The attached screenshot is from the TSA’s website, taken today.
 

Attachments

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#39
I’ve had two friends fly out of Palm Springs airport and both were denied boarding with their poles (one checked theirs, the other called her husband to come pick hers up). My aunt tried to fly with a golf ball retriever in her carryon and that was confiscated. I believe it’s not the sharp tip but the fact it can be used as a baton is their concern. The attached screenshot is from the TSA’s website, taken today.
I think the statement in your attachment is the key to why so many are able to take trekking poles on board; to wit, it is at the discretion of the TSA agent with whom you are dealing. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#40
Folding carbon fiber poles are different from full-size hiking poles, and may be treated differently. The suggestions of disguising, packing in a particular way, etc. do not explain the different outcomes or decisions of the security people. Anecdotally, the folding carbon fiber poles are often accepted even when carried in full view, EXCEPT on departure from Santiago where they strictly enforced a no-poles policy.

The important point is that you must be prepared for poles to be rejected as carry on.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
St. Jean to León the slow way
(Aug '15, Aug '17, Jan '18, Aug '18)
León to Sarria (Jan '19)
#41
I just did a search on here for "flying with poles" and find this conversation going on today - what a coincidence and what a great forum! I've checked my backpack in the past but I'm not doing that this time. I leave for Leon next week and I really don't want to lose my poles since O'Cebreiro and other climbs/descents are coming up. I too have the fold-up black diamond poles but I'm really chicken to take my chances with TSA so since I happen to have an old mailing tube, after reading this thread I'm checking them in the tube which I'll throw away in Madrid and then worry about how to get them home when I get to Sarria. Thanks!

As an aside, I have to mention that the users of this forum are SO much more welcoming and considerate than some forums on other topics. It just goes to show that there really aren't many if any jerks out there on the Camino. Ultreia!
 

OLDER threads on this topic


Book your lodging here

Booking.com



Advertisement

Booking.com

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • February

    Votes: 5 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 35 4.3%
  • April

    Votes: 126 15.5%
  • May

    Votes: 197 24.3%
  • June

    Votes: 56 6.9%
  • July

    Votes: 16 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 13 1.6%
  • September

    Votes: 239 29.4%
  • October

    Votes: 98 12.1%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.6%
Top