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Hiking Poles hand luggage in Planes ?

Discussion in 'Frequently Asked Questions' started by Bem48, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. Bem48

    Bem48 Member

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    Hi,
    can anyone enlighten me if it's possible to take the collapsible Hiking Poles
    on Intra-European flights as HAND LUGGAGE??
    Thanks
    Bem in Sydney
     
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  2. Whalleyranger

    Whalleyranger Moderator Donating Member

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    Re: Hiking Poles hand luggage in Planes ????

    Yes you can; it'll have to be x-rayed but as long as it collapses and fits into the overhead locker then you can take it onboard.
    A walking stick counts as a mobility aid, so they can't really say no.
     
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  3. skilsaw

    skilsaw Veteran Member

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    Re: Hiking Poles hand luggage in Planes ????

    The items I can't take on board are:
    pocket knife & razor

    So, since I'm making a package to go as checked luggage, I include my Hiking poles.

    It's no big deal. If they get lost I just buy new ones.
     
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  4. Bem48

    Bem48 Member

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    Re: Hiking Poles hand luggage in Planes ????

    Thank you both for your input ! Didn't think of p/knife and razor, yes it makes sense, to
    make a small pack and check it in the hold of plane.
    Thanks again
    Bem in Sydney
     
  5. Sojourner47

    Sojourner47 Guest

    Re: Hiking Poles hand luggage in Planes ????

    I'm flying Ryanair Stansted to SdC end of March - their Ts & Cs state that "walking poles can not be taken as cabin/unchecked baggage" - anyone tried to carry a pole on board - as a mobility aid, for instance? If I pretent to limp, etc, will that work?
    Surprisingly, Ryanair DO allow knives and scissors, provided the blade(s) is less than 6cm long.... :mrgreen:
     
  6. lynnejohn

    lynnejohn Veteran Member

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    Re: Hiking Poles hand luggage in Planes ????

    We fully collapse them and put them inside our packs. I wonder if that would work.

    lynne
     
  7. JohnnieWalker

    JohnnieWalker Nunca se camina solo Donating Member

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    Re: Hiking Poles hand luggage in Planes ????

    That´s what I do regularly on Ryanair and other airlines with never a problem.
     
  8. renegadepilgrim

    renegadepilgrim Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler

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    Re: Hiking Poles hand luggage in Planes ????

    Basically, if they can't see them then they can't tell you that you can't have them on the plane..... :)
    I think the concern is they could be used as a weapon. I made sure that my rubber tips were on mine when they were in my bag. I checked my luggage this last trip due to the nature of the rest of my travels after the Camino. It was just easier. Next time, I probably will check it too so I can take my Leatherman with me.
     
  9. Kitsambler

    Kitsambler Jakobsweg Junkie

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    Re: Hiking Poles hand luggage in Planes ????

    I think the rules referring to "walking poles" have the solid intact ones in mind; if you have disassembled yours, it's not so different from a knitting needle.

    One thing ... not everyone has the same rules. Those cuticle scissors I carried for several years across the US (internal flights) were confiscated in Dubai by a very upset female security person. My recommendation is to check a small bundle with all your questionable items, and take your pack and the majority of your supplies into the cabin.
     
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  10. renegadepilgrim

    renegadepilgrim Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler

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    Re: Hiking Poles hand luggage in Planes ????

    True. I traveled through 10-12 international airports last year (I lost count!) and I checked my bags everywhere and never once lost my luggage. Even flying Vueling from Santiago de Compostela to Barcelona, I checked my pack (with poles and sharps), and didn't have any problems. No one ever seemed concerned I had liquids on me, or wanted me to take my shoes off. It was quite the change from the good ol' USA. :)
     
  11. kansas098@aol.com

    kansas098@aol.com New Member

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    Re: Hiking Poles hand luggage in Planes ????

    I will be traveling from the US to Madrid in May and was planning on checking my backpack because of a pocketknife and a few other items. How do I deal with the straps on the backpack. Airlines don't like the straps because of getting caught in their conveyor belts. How do others deal with this? Any advise on how to check your backpack would be appreciated. Thank You.
     
  12. renegadepilgrim

    renegadepilgrim Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler

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    Just tighten up the straps so that they aren't loose, or get a duffle bag to put it in. It's really not that big of a deal. Depending on how big your pack is you can take the waist straps and wrap them around the pack. I used an Osprey Airporter for mine and shipped it ahead to SDC.
     
  13. anniethenurse

    anniethenurse Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Re: Hiking Poles hand luggage in Planes ????

    no worries just put your rucksack with poles and knives in a large black garbage bag (plastic) and use some duct tape (silver tape) when checking it in for the flight.
     
  14. lynnejohn

    lynnejohn Veteran Member

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    Re: Hiking Poles hand luggage in Planes ????

    There's also the "plastic luggage wrap" option - it is available at most large airports. We were nervous about the backpack straps on our first camino many years ago, so we went for this option. It does work, and it's not expensive, and it is secure, but it's a real pain to get off. On all of our subsequent caminos, we just secure the straps, as renegadepilgrim described, and also use our elastic braided clothesline as a bungee cord. No problems encountered.

    lynne
     
  15. Kitsambler

    Kitsambler Jakobsweg Junkie

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    Re: Hiking Poles hand luggage in Planes ????

    Another option is to take your pack liner (you do have one, right??) and put your pack inside the pack liner, rather than the other way round. Admittedly this is rather like wrapping the bread with the lettuce, but the straps won't be a bother.

    I've seen "wrap your luggage in several layers of industrial-weight cling film" kiosks in several airports outside the US; this is intended as an anti=pilferage measure but it also works to keep the straps under control.

    Frankly, I would keep the pack as cabin baggage, and check a small parcel with the sharps. This could easily be your micro-mini compressible daybag put to another use.
     
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  16. oursonpolaire

    oursonpolaire Veteran Member

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    Re: Hiking Poles hand luggage in Planes ????

    My airline acquaintances (as well as a DoT officer who deals with such issues) all agree that the idea of poles as cabin luggage is really really not a go. I made sure that my gear would collapse to fit inside the pack, but other correspondents have some good ideas, including the cling wrap.
     
  17. wdbillingsley

    wdbillingsley Member

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    Re: Hiking Poles hand luggage in Planes ????

    I will have checked luggage from the states to Madrid (bags checked free) but then we are flying Ryan Air to Santiago. My wife wants to take her trekking poles but Ryan Air wants 15€ to check a bag...for a 40 minute or less flight! Think we should try taking them on or am I just too cheap? :?
     
  18. camino-david

    camino-david Active Member Donating Member

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    Re: Hiking Poles hand luggage in Planes ????

    Hi Bem,
    Last year I put my poles into my backpack and checked in my bag.This was with Malaysian Airways and Ryanair. Ryanair only charged 5 pounds for an on-line check in.
    I also have locks on the main buckles, which can be bought at many outdoor specialist shops. Also, due to metal in one shoulder, I have sheepskin car safety belt covers on the shoulder straps - cost $25 for the pair from Ugg boot shops. Phone me if you have problems.
    As I have various bits of metal in my body it is very often amusing to see what reactions I get from security. About 50% of the time the alarm does not even go off, and when it does the security guy waves his wand around me and says OK, but at Gatwick last year I was strip searched even to having to drop my underpants -that was not amusing. David
     
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  19. renegadepilgrim

    renegadepilgrim Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler

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    Re: Hiking Poles hand luggage in Planes ????

    I guess I prefer to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission sometimes. :)

    Another way to know that your bags have been tampered with is to use zip ties on your zippers. If someone has gotten into your bag, they have to cut it off. Simple and cheap. It's best to use brightly colored ones that are not easy to replace if you have a particularly crafty thief at the airlines or elsewhere. No need to lock it.

    I like the idea of using a garbage bag with tape to keep the straps from getting in the way. Hadn't thought about that.
     
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  20. Sojourner47

    Sojourner47 Guest

    Re: Hiking Poles hand luggage in Planes ????

    Any checked (carried in hold) baggage on Ryanair is charged at £15 each way.
    Hence my wish to carry poles as cabin baggage, collapsed of course.
    Otherwise it will be cheaper to buy some in Santiago on arrival.... :mrgreen:
     
  21. Portia1

    Portia1 Active Member

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    Iberia has a terrible reputation for losing luggage so I was unwilling to let them touch my pack. I collapsed my poles (actually disassembled them putting rubber bands around each set of pole segments to assure that they went back together the way they were supposed to!) in my pack and no problem, even at the picky USA at Reagan National. Since I put them on either side of my pack, perhaps they looked like pack stays in the xray. I carried a plastic trash bag just in case because I was not going to jettison these poles (Pacer poles)--but I was prepared to show them my surgical scars on both legs from fractures to further justify why such items were necessary. I also put rubber tips on them so that there would be no "question" as to their intended purpose. Now I need to get new rubber tips because I completely wore through them between SJPP and Santiago. Am walking from Porto to Santiago this fall. Can't wait!

    I purchased my knife, wine opener in Spain so I didn't take anything I couldn't carry on board. Will do so again.
     
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  22. ConnachtRambler

    ConnachtRambler Member

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    Re: Hiking Poles hand luggage in Planes ????

    It is worth reiterating, for those outside Europe who are not familiar with Ryanair, that if you are looking for low-cost air travel Ryanair is a wonderful airline.... IF YOU FOLLOW ALL THE RULES. If your carry-on bag is too large or too heavy it could prove very expensive. If the bag does not meet the criteria and you are told it will have to go in the hold, don't argue, just pay the necessary surcharge. Sweet talk will almost certainly have no effect either.

    The £15/€15 charge mentioned is the off-peak charge, if you travel between June 1 and September 19 the charge is £20/€20.

    However it may not be as simple as that. If Ryanair decide that full-length hiking poles constitute "Sports Equipment" the fee per leg of the journey is £40/$40. Rather than get into an argument at the check-in desk last year, I decided to declare our poles as Sports Equipment. Then two sets of poles in a specially made bag cost €30 each way. This year we hope to walk from Porto and as we will have to travel via London Stansted it will entail four flights. We won't be paying €160 to transport our poles. I'm not sure if we should buy collapsible poles or buy poles in Porto and abandon them in Santiago.

    I didn't bother trying to phone Ryanair for clarification on whether hiking poles could be passed off as checked-in baggage. Getting through to Ryanair by phone is well-nigh impossible and the one email that I sent on another issue was ignored.

    For a complete list of Ryanair's so called 'optional' charges see http://www.ryanair.com/en/terms-and-conditions#regulations-tableoffees
     
  23. methodist.pilgrim.98

    methodist.pilgrim.98 R.I.P 2013

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    I can't be bothered to argue with Ryanair staff either. Their staff don't make the rules and they have no authority to overrule their bosses.

    Who wants to start their Camino with a row?

    I put my collapsable walking poles inside my bag and simply put the rucksack in the hold. If your rucksack is in the hold anyway, you might as well choose your sticks where you live and not run the risk of not being able to buy what you want in Porto, not to mention the hassle of having to find a suitable equipment shop there.

    In 2005 Ryanair shipped a long walking pole I'd bought back from Sarria for free. I wouldn't want to risk having to pay for it just before a flight so I leave it at home. As you say sports equipment is expensive.

    Final thought. In 1998 I had to get to SJPP by train from London. It cost £180 return to Bayonne + a further £60 train fare from Santiago to Bayonne.

    Even if you add in the two way baggage fee Ryanair works out remarkably good value and gets me there in under three hours instead of the 12 it took by train. and the 24 hours to return.
     
  24. micamino73

    micamino73 Active Member

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    Hi, So is the consensus that you can't bring your fully collapsed hiking sticks on the plane? I am travelling from Dublin to Santander. my pack will be max 7kg. Pity to pay the 20 euro charge to put the bag in the hold.

    Anyone got advice?
     
  25. Lydia Gillen

    Lydia Gillen Active Member

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    Hi, Yes it seems awful to have to pay €20 because of your poles, but look at it this way. I f you had flown to Santander 30 years ago before the advent of Ryanair what would you have paid for your flight?
    If you spread the cost of €20 over your entire trip what is it per day.? Do you want the anxiety of wondering if you will be allowed or not?

    Buen Camino,
    Lydia

    PS> Ryanair loses very little luggage, because it costs money to send it on by taxi. They lose about 16 per 10.000, whereas B.A loses 60 per 10.000.

    I'll tell you a funny story. Ryanair would not dream of paying an advertising company to think up topical ads when they already pay an intelligent staff who would be quite capable over morning coffee of thinking up good ads.

    About twelve years ago a new airline started called GO. over coffee one bright young employee of Ryanair suggested putting a monopoly board on the wall and the caption ' Pass Go and fly Ryanair'.
    So they did it. Some weeks later Waddingtons sent them a bill, stating that 'Monopoly' was a trademark and they wanted £15.000 for the use of it. Nothing daunted the young man who had suggested it went home at lunchtime and came back with £15.000 of monopoly money and posted it off to Waddingtons. and that was that. Never heard another word from Waddingtons, not even a receipt!!!
     
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  26. Abbeydore

    Abbeydore Veteran Member

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    scissors(for your toes) knife & poles & no argument all go in hold, lost too many cause I forget :roll: :)

    & yes can bring back heavy presseies too :)
     
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  27. ConnachtRambler

    ConnachtRambler Member

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    I don't think we have reached consensus just yet. There are two issues, one concerning Airport Security and the other concerning the airline on which you are booked to travel.

    You must get the poles past airport security and it is not clear if you can do that. Dublin Airport prohibits "OBJECTS WITH A SHARP POINT OR SHARP EDGE CAPABLE OF BEING USED TO CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY, INCLUDING:"

    Trekking poles are not listed but that doesn't mean they are acceptable. I will be travelling through Dublin Airport (without poles) on Thursday and will try to get an answer.

    If you do get over that hurdle the airline should only be interested in the weight and size of your bag.

    Having said that, Abbeydore makes a good point about knife and scissors, and as Lydia says €20 is not a lot in the scheme of things (even with €20 for the return journey). It does become a problem if you can't fly direct and have to travel through an intermediate airport and if you are using full length poles which are classified as sports equipment.

    Liam
     
  28. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I find this and previous 'debates' on this topic fascinating, as well as the notion that as a community, we can reach a 'consensus' - other than what might be provided as good advice to fellow pilgrims. I watch it with interest, because I have been travelling by air with technical walking poles for over a decade, and always carried them in my checked bag(s).

    In the first instance, the rules on dangerous and restricted items are set by the various regulatory authorities, TSA in the US, CASA in Australia, the EU, etc. The airlines don't get a say, and suggesting that airline staff have some management prerogative is misleading. See, for example, http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Foreigntravel/AirTravel/DG_176922 which specifically lists walking poles as a prohibited item in cabin baggage. The airlines reflect these rules in their own advice, and set their own fee structures for hold baggage.

    I understand that the baggage rules of budget carriers like Ryanair make it attractive to only take a cabin bag. I have travelled with Ryanair, and one observation is that they are already relatively liberal in enforcing the dimension restrictions on cabin baggage on the flights that I have been on. However, at most airports, the application of the cabin baggage dangerous and restricted items rules is not done by the airline, but the security staff at the entry to the departure lounge.

    There is the suggestion that you dis-assemble the poles and try to brave out the airport departure area baggage check - an interesting suggestion to blatantly flout the regulations. This seems to me haunted with uncertainty, and one might want to plan for that approach to fail. If the poles are detected, you may have the opportunity to return and have them checked, but there are several airports through which I have travelled where that wouldn't be possible, and the poles would then have to be abandoned. Of course, new poles could be bought at any of the big departure towns on the Camino.

    Second, there is what I think is a fanciful notion that walking poles could be allowed in the cabin as some form of mobility aid. There is no such category, but essential medical equipment is allowed as cabin baggage, see for example http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Publictransport/AirtravelintheUK/DG_078179 where the principle is You are allowed to bring medical equipment if it is essential for your journey with the requirement that your doctor provide documentary evidence to that effect. I am not sure how someone travelling to start a Camino of some hundreds of kilometres is going to argue they need a walking pole to get down the aircraft aisle to their seat.

    My last observation is to return to this idea that there should be some 'consensus'. If any consensus in needed, it is that we should provide the best advice we can to fellow pilgrims based on either our own experience or well founded research. I don't think we have always met this objective in this discussion. For example, I don't think suggestions about how to break the law, which is what the civil aviation regulations are here in Australia, have a place in this forum, no matter how well motivated the individuals otherwise might be.

    Regards,
     
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  29. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Re: packing backpacks

    Sea to Summit make a combination pack carrier bag and rain cover. I bought one before my Camino in 2010, but it eventually failed the weight test (at about 500gm) and I used a lightweight waterproof cover (~100gm) instead. See http://www.shopping.com/Summit-Appl...ltr-Pack-Summit-Appliances-Division/info?sb=1 for an idea about what it looks like.

    Regards,
     
  30. Stephen Nicholls

    Stephen Nicholls Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Hiking Poles: can only go in hold baggage with Ryan-air. I've booked for April with 1 item of hold baggage and will strap the collapsed poles into the rucksack. They will extend slightly out of the rucksack, but I think will be OK as hold luggage. That cost me an extra £15. Saves the hassle of finding a shop for a replacement when I arrive in Spain.
    Last year I travelled Ryan-air with a lady who calmly brought her fully extended hiking pole in the cabin with her - and nothing was said! Sadly Ryan-air are not constant with their concepts of what is, or is not acceptable. We've all seen travellers take enormous cabin baggage on board - sometimes unable to get it in the overhead lockers. But it's a chance I'd sooner not take....
    Buen camino!
    Stephen.
    http://www.calig.co.uk/camino_de_santiago.htm
     
  31. bklyntraveller

    bklyntraveller New Member

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    Re: Hiking Poles hand luggage in Planes ????

    I worked at a major US airline and can tell you having the straps dangling could damage your pack as well as the conveyor belts on any airline in the world. Many people use a backpack cover.
     
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  32. William Marques

    William Marques Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    This news from Johnnie Walker

    "HolaIf travelling through or from Stansted Airport please note that hiking poles are allowed as carry on luggage or in carry on luggage. A very helpful pilgrim wrote to the airport authorities and received the following reply. If in doubt take a copy with you!
    "You are seeking confirmation as to whether your walking poles are acceptable in hand luggage. The UK's Department for Transport (DfT) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) direct airlines and airports as to what items should be prohibited from being carried in the cabin or hold of an aircraft. UK Airports are now also subject to EU regulations in terms of prohibited items. I am pleased to confirm that European Commission rules (EC300) do in fact allow hiking poles. Therefore since the airport is now subject to those standards rather than the original DfT series of directions, a change to the orders has been made and we are now allowing hiking poles through. I hope my response is helpful and that you will have no issues with taking your hiking poles through security.
    Yours sincerely
    Nancy Hatch
    Customer Insight Team"

    Good news
    John
     
  33. Sojourner47

    Sojourner47 Guest

    Good news, William, unfortunately a bit too late for me, as I'd already booked hold baggage for my pack plus poles..... :mrgreen:
     
  34. breakintheclouds

    breakintheclouds New Member

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    Same here: I've also booked my bag into the hold. But this is good news for future pilgrims and, perhaps, also good news if it represents a softening of over-zealous airport security more generally?
     
  35. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Somehow I feel safer flying because of those security measures, much as they have sometimes been annoying.
     
  36. Stephen Nicholls

    Stephen Nicholls Veteran Member Donating Member

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    [My final Camino.]
  37. JohnnieWalker

    JohnnieWalker Nunca se camina solo Donating Member

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    The ruling means that at Stansted Airport passengers with hiking poles inside or outside their rucksacks will be allowed through airport security.

    Ryanair is a different matter and I suspect they will stick to their increasingly enforced policy that EVERYTHING must be in the bag or pay for it to be in the hold.
     
  38. Abbeydore

    Abbeydore Veteran Member

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    Not worth the risk!
    Maybe lucky, if not lucky could loose poles if not time to re-book them, or worse your flight too. :cry:
     
  39. JohnnieWalker

    JohnnieWalker Nunca se camina solo Donating Member

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    I think the letter removes the risk. The risk always was that you would be stopped at security and not allowed through with hiking poles either outside or inside your bag. That appears to no longer be the case.

    When flying with Ryanair I suspect they will want hiking poles to be INSIDE the rucksack otherwise they will need to be checked in as these days only one piece of hand luggage is allowed.
     
  40. Gilespenn

    Gilespenn Member

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    Thank you for all the helpful information about airlines and hiking poles. Mine are collapsible so that won't be a problem.

    I'd like to take my backpack (Ospry Talon 33) on my British Airways flight to London but I'm worried over TSA at the Albuquerque airport. They tend to be very strict (the airport is also an Air Force base). They also tend to confiscate anything they think is a threat. I'd hate to lose these new REI poles before my trip begins.

    Anyone have experience with TSA in this regard? I don't have any worries about BA.

    As a first time Camino walker, I must tell you how helpful this forum has been. It is obvious to me that this is a special forum with a lot of wonderful people on board.
     
  41. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    A simple google search on 'TSA Prohibited Items' will find the relevant web-page on the TSA site, but for your convenience, the link is http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm. It doesn't list trekking poles, but does list ski poles. I suspect that your poles would be given the same treatment, even collapsed.

    I have previously posted the link to the UK Directgov site. Despite earlier advice in this thread that the UK rules had changed, that still lists walking/hiking poles as dangerous and restricted goods, allowed as checked items but not cabin baggage.

    My view is that relying on the generosity of local airport staff in this regard is fraught with the risk of having the poles confiscated. If you don't want to check them, plan on getting a new pair on arrival.

    Regards,
     
  42. crisnelson

    crisnelson New Member

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    hi there,

    I called TSA, and Air Canada, which is how I am getting to Madrid. Hiking poles, b/c of their sharp tips, are considered weapons. The best solution I found was to get collapsible hiking poles from REI - they collpase to 25" and will fit nicely in my backpack, which I am checking.

    The more cumberson, alternative was to get a cardboard tube and check the poles as baggage, fine on the flight into Spain, but how to ship them back when I return? I couldn't see carrying a carboard tube with me on the Camino so I could check them on the flight home.

    THe TSA person was knowlegeable and helpful - their 800 number can be found on their website easily.

    cheers, Cris
     
  43. scikowski

    scikowski Member

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    I recently flew from San Francisco to Dallas to Madrid to Pamplona with my REI poles inside my pack with no problem at all. Obviously, they can see them when my pack goes through the Xray machine, but no one even commented on it.
     
  44. Sojourner47

    Sojourner47 Guest

    I'm sure you can buy cardboard tubes in Santiago.....
     
  45. annakappa

    annakappa Veteran Member

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    Last year, although Adriann's poles were dismantled and in his pack, the security man at Santiago Airport confiscated them. When we protested, he then took us to an area by his post to show us all the poles (probably about 40) that had been confiscated that morning! This had nothing to do with the airline, in our case Iberia,but rather the Security Man on duty that morning. Anne
     
  46. Abbeydore

    Abbeydore Veteran Member

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    What was his name :lol: & where's his shop :lol:
     
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  47. annakappa

    annakappa Veteran Member

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    That's precisely what I was wondering too, Abbylore! Anne
     
  48. falcon269

    falcon269 sidra; no commercial interests

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    If his business model is to confiscate trekking poles for resale at the endpoint of the Camino, when everyone is done with them, he is truly following the national business model for failure. :D

    I hope he is enterprising enough to get them back to SJPdP, Roncesvalles, or Pamplona where there is stronger demand ...
     
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  49. unadara

    unadara Active Member

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    I left my poles in Santiago airport also (this year), the security "girl" told me Aer Lingus won't allow them. But I flew out with them, she told me before I went through x ray so I could go and pay for them in the hold as luggage but they were LIDL's few yrs old and I had got a new pair at home also. But it is bad that you can't predict it. They seem to be encouraging people to travel light on one hand and then getting people to check in bags just to take poles. Last year we had 2 bags and did check one with poles. Ok Dublin but not Santiago...go figure..
     
  50. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    That's pretty unfair, even if made partly in jest.

    As is this other thinly veiled accusation of dishonesty.

    I have pointed out elsewhere that it is the various air safety regulators who have banned the carriage of hiking poles in aircraft cabins. Not the airlines, and not the security staff whose job it is to apply those rules. These are people doing their job, and don't deserve this treatment.

    BTW, having the poles confiscated is perfectly predictable. The airlines have no choice but to apply the regulations. Relying on airline or security staff to make a generous interpretation of the rules in your favour is what is entirely unpredictable.

    Regards,
     
  51. falcon269

    falcon269 sidra; no commercial interests

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  52. falcon269

    falcon269 sidra; no commercial interests

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    The Transportation Security Administration is not Spain, but their rule is:
    The list does not say "trekking" or "walking poles." The Los Angeles Times, however, asked the TSA about poles:
    You can hope for an inattentive security guard, or different national rules, but do not be surprised if your trekking poles are confiscated. It will be safest to check them.

    I don't think security people are just doing their jobs in many cases. The abuses are countless. They love the power, and they abuse it.
     
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  53. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Entirely, if humour means attacking the defenceless.
     
  54. falcon269

    falcon269 sidra; no commercial interests

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    When the security agent had me publicly spreadeagled and groped my crotch from both directions, I did not get the sense that he felt himself defenseless! Rather, I got the impression that he thought he had all the power in the world and I had none! As a Vietnam veteran, I have personal understanding of the heady power over life and death. I think the average TSA agent has similar understanding. Of course, I could be wrong.

    Back on topic, it is advisable to check your trekking poles.
     
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  55. Abbeydore

    Abbeydore Veteran Member

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    yes they come under the same genes as meter maids/persons, their 'smile' gives it away! :roll: :arrow:

    Hold or loose it........... :lol:

    I once 10-15yrs ago took 1 gallon of white spirit on board, to Ireland, ryanair, no problem........thinking about it now pretty stupid............even though you couldn't smoke!

    & no I've never been 'felt' by one either, have asked for women rather than a bloke though,
    have no idea why that's not possible :wink: :mrgreen:

    Hold or loose it........... :lol:
     
  56. Thornley

    Thornley Veteran Member

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    Hey Abbeydore,
    Please leave the meter maids out of this.
    In lovely [ was ] Surfers Paradise we have these lassies in bikini's and they actually place money in YOUR expired meter.
    Best wishes from Oz
     
  57. julie

    julie Active Member Donating Member

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    Hi Cris, I put my poles in a tube and check it through as luggage. On arrival I throw the tube away. For the return trip, I buy another tube, simply wrap the poles in bubble wrap or check them in with my pack.

    When I'm setting out, I don't care if the poles go missing because they are easily replaced but I wouldn't like to run the risk of the entire pack going astray so it goes on board with me. That's not really a concern on the return trip so I'm happy to check it in then.
     
  58. Linda Fantillo

    Linda Fantillo RiverWalker

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    Hi, I am planning to start the Camino in Sept/14 and after speaking to another prospective walker who plans to leave about the same time, she indicated that her poles collapsed and went into a case that she would put in her pack. Upon checking with CATSA - the Canadian Airport Security - they told me in no uncertain terms would they be allowed. as they were still considered a security risk. So that is that.
     
  59. qpqp

    qpqp New Member

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    Interesting. A friend of mine was recently at the Ottawa airport and asked the CATSA security people
    there whether or not hiking poles were allowed in carry on luggage and they said it wasn't a problem, so your comment "that is that" isn't the whole story. I suspect that you would get a different story from security person to security person and airport to airport.
     
  60. CISSA69

    CISSA69 Active Member

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    I have walked the Camino de Santiago many many times, volunteered as a hospitalaro and at the CSJ offices in London and have presented on "Camino and Equipment" .
    Sydney,

    I think it best to assume that they do not let hiking poles on the plane as hand luggage. I have managed to get them on at Santiago and at Standsted but had poles confiscated at Santander .... I now but the bag and the poles (I dismantle the poles into three parts and put them in the bag). I also get the bag rapped in plastic. Expensive but worth it.

    C
     
  61. unadara

    unadara Active Member

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    Cant believe you got them through Santiago, had to leave 2 pairs there, no problem getting them out of Dublin Ireland but not back again. This time am checking a bag and just accepting it (hate checking a bag, like to keep my things with me!).
     
  62. indyinmaine

    indyinmaine Active Member

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    Unless there is a specific directive from the country you are flying from, you are ALWAYS at the mercy of the "TSA" agent at customs. That goes for the gate personnel when you board as well. That actually preceded all the 9/11 regulations. Pack 'em or gamble.
     
  63. lynnejohn

    lynnejohn Veteran Member

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    We are flying KLM out of Toronto next month and their baggage information includes a restriction on "ski and walking/hiking poles" as carry-on luggage. We are doing the checked-in tube containing our poles. I understand it's wise to check both your airline and the transport regulations in the country of your departure and transfer. That said, I wouldn't want my poles confiscated, so I wouldn't take the chance, seeing as rules are applied randomly and indiscriminately.
     
  64. Pdsskelly

    Pdsskelly New Member

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    I got back just last night, so this is very recent. :)
    We flew RyanAir from Santiago to Madrid. Our hiking poles were inside our packs and not visible at all. Before going through security we were asked if we had poles inside our bags. When we said yes we were told that they would have to be checked for security purposes. Ryanair taped two sets of poles together and checked them. There was NO CHARGE for this but of course, it meant waiting for baggage after the flight.

    Our our flight with United Airlines from Madrid the poles were back in the pack and they were no issue at all.

    (On the way out of the US my daughter had to pull her poles out to show a TSA person what they were. I was in a different line and my poles weren't given a second thought. I totally agree with the comments above that the individual Security person has latitude that can be unnerving.)
     
  65. Silverton

    Silverton Active Member

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    The conundrum of carrying hiking poles on flights continues. I smugly thought I had it sussed for European flights, but in April the security people at Santiago airport were not one bit impressed with my letter quoting EU regulations permitting the poles in cabin baggage (we had backpacks with dismantled poles inside). They showed me the Ministro de Fomento rule that contradicted my 'EU regulation'. I had not been forewarned, argued the toss, and eventually they let me and my two companions through, grudgingly, once only, and probably because I was such a grumpy old lady! It was good that P. was told beforehand to take the poles to Ryanair--it came as a great surprise to me that they would accept them free!! I think Santiago airport should have a large sign in several languages saying what their rule is.

    I am confident about taking the poles inside my cabin-size backpack on my flight from Ireland or the UK TO Spain, but in future I may have to pay for a bag-in-the-hold on my return flight from other Aena Spanish airports (the official seemed to imply it was Santiago airport's special offer for them to be stowed free by the airlines). I know, I know, I shouldn't begrudge a few euro, or the baggage-claim wait--but ...
    As has been said, sometimes this appears to be the whim of a jobs-worth security official. I do wish they could be consistent--and generous! Why not wave anyone through, on display of a Camino shell--or at least a compostela!
     
  66. jennie

    jennie Active Member

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    sister in sept 14. we completed our walk in 2014?puenta la reina to belarado june 2016,
    hi ,my dad and I flew into biarratz for just one week this time,no prob getting on with the poles in our packs from Dublin with ryainair . on the way back however again from biarratz to Dublin there was much discussion between the security guys about our poles and result was the decided they would fall into the possible weapons category,one of the staff suggested that I could go back and ask passengers that were checking in large cases if they would mind putting our poles in their bags ?I found a lovely lady that looked a little concerned until the helpful security guy said the poles had been x rayed "no contraband items"she put our poles into her bag ,I offered her some money and she declined,found the staff there reluctant to take our poles but bound by the rules they were super helpful x x
     
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  67. Ahhhs

    Ahhhs Active Member

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    It sounds a little confusing depending on the airline, but am I correct in assuming that traveling from the U.S., if your poles can collapse and fit in your carry on pack, you can bring them on the plane ? (How's that for a run on sentence? :) )

    Cheers.
     
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  68. NicoZ

    NicoZ Veteran Member

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    I don't think I've ever seen an airline check what's inside a bag. It's security. One problem is you're always at risk of the person working security.
     
  69. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    The general answer, irrespective of what country your flight originates in, is that the airline safety regulator makes the rules, and these are applied at airports by the security staff, not by the airline staff. As @NicoZ says, the security staff may not consistently apply the rules, and sometimes let things pass that might not comply with the cabin baggage rules. In some international airports, there is both a general entry check to the terminals, and a further security check at the gates. After these checks, the airlines themselves don't normally do another baggage check that could detect poles inside a carry on bag, although they might do a size check to ensure that their own cabin baggage rules are met.
     
  70. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Limiting my answer only to my experience going through airports in the US, I have carried my hiking poles through TSA security without any problem on many flights and through many airports. For my caminos and for many hiking trips. Doug is right that the ultimate decision is up to the person who scans your bag, which would be TSA here in the US, but so far I have never had a problem. I always have enough time at the airport in case of a last minute snag, so I could check them if needed.

    I used to check my poles, but one year when they didn't arrive in Madrid and I had to scramble to make it to an outdoor store on my way to Atocha to catch the train to Sevilla, I started carrying them on. And so far so good.
     
  71. Ahhhs

    Ahhhs Active Member

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    Thanks peregrina2000. I would think that carrying a pole or poles through security would be similar to carrying a cane and therefore not a problem. But you do occasionally run into a grumpy TSA badge wearer. Do you think it would be better to just use the pole (I use one) or try to pack it in my carry on? I know it could vary depending on who is on duty but, thoughts? I recently checked the TSA guidelines and didn't see them as prohibited.
     
  72. falcon269

    falcon269 sidra; no commercial interests

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    Since they are not specifically mentioned (intentionally, I believe), they are viewed as ski poles, which are prohibited. The TSA has probably deflected thousands of questions on trekking poles without specifically addressing them. No one wants to be the person that makes them legal, only to see one used as a weapon the next week!
     
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  73. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Hi, Ahhhs,

    The TSA regulations are actually ambiguous on this point, so there is room for discretion or grumpiness on the part of TSA. I once posted th exact language of the regulations, I could find it for you. But basically, the regs say that walking aids are allowed and ski poles are prohibited, and as you say there is n mention of hiking poles. That means it is up to the interpretative powers of the individual you deal with. Because there is that ambiguity, I always bring mine over collapsed in a duffel bag, but they always go through those x-ray scanners with a moving belt without any problem at all.

    If the pole collapses and fits in your pack (mine don't), I would put it in the pack and send it through. Buen camino, Laurie
     
  74. Lydia Gillen

    Lydia Gillen Active Member

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    Up until now I have always checked my rucksack into the hold with my poles inside. But feel mad paying extra for such a little ruck when everyone else has huge big rucksacks in the cabin

    However this year, no next year, both Beth and I got a good deal on our flight, but Aerlingus wanted €35.00 to check my rucksack. That means €70.00 all told. So I have decided to bring my ruck into the cabin with me with the poles collapsed inside.. My poles cost me €6.00 several years ago in Lydl.:)
    If they are confiscated I will buy new ones the following day in Pamplona.;)

    Time will tell if I get through with them in Dublin.
     
  75. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    It seems a very long bow indeed to compare trekking poles to a medical aid like a walking stick. Are you going to spin the security inspector a yarn that you cannot walk down the aisle of the plane without your trekking poles?
     
  76. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Hi, Doug,
    I know you've said that before on other threads, but it's a mischaracterization of what people are saying. No one is saying that hiking poles are a medical aid. No one is saying that you have to convince TSA that your hiking poles are something other than what they are. As you probably know after all these similar threads, the TSA regulations prohibit ski poles, allow walking aids, and say nothing about hiking/trekking poles. That means only that they are not covered by the regulations, not that you have to convince TSA that you need them as a walking aid.

    In probably more than 30 flights going through TSA with my hiking poles in the US, I have never tried to sneak something through, and no one has ever asked me whether I needed my hiking poles as a walking aid. In fact, no one has ever said anything about my hiking poles at all. I am not saying it can't happen, just that it hasn't happened to me. Buen camino, Laurie
     
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  77. Ahhhs

    Ahhhs Active Member

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    Thanks Laurie. That is what I meant.

    And I don't usually spin yarns, especially to grumpy TSA inspectors.
    But I could limp just a little if necessary. ;):D
     
  78. Silvester

    Silvester Member

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    For what it's worth... My pacer poles travelled with rubber tips, collapsed, inside my sole piece of luggage - my camino backpack - as cabin baggage without any hassle on Singapore and Vueling Airlines through Wellington/Auckland/Changi/Barcelona/Valladolid. BUT the flight out of Santiago de Compostela attempting the same technique was foiled at the Xray and I had to return and check them in (for free though) as there are so many pilgrims with poles that they reckon it's easier to just have a blanket "poles in the hold flying out of SdC" policy. I had them tightly secured in their bag though so it was pretty simple to whip them out, and everything else in the backpack was also in stuff sacks so it wasn't a problem. Fortunately I had enough time to comply.
     
  79. falcon269

    falcon269 sidra; no commercial interests

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    Each TSA employee screens tens of thousands of travelers each year. Each one receives extensive training on searching passengers and luggage. While it may be true that some are idiots and pilgrims are smarter than they are, by the time I get to the inspection station, I assume that they have heard it all. "I need those trekking poles to walk. Well, yes, I am about to walk 450 miles in Spain carrying that backpack, but really, I am disabled."

    Years ago before TSA, a friend returned from Spain with some furs. To avoid customs, she did not declare them, and stated that she had taken them with her when leaving the United States. Since the customs agent heard that excuse a dozen times a day, he took her to the back room, and searched her purse. Being a banker, she had saved the receipts in her wallet. She lost the furs, and paid the duty and a hefty fine. So much for saving a bit of money by buying furs in Spain.

    In the paranoid world of TSA today, anyone making a false statement to an agent takes an unimaginable risk. Agents have power that Caesar only dreamed of. Without even blinking an eye, an agent may remove a passenger to a holding room until his flight has left. If the passenger decides to get sassy and argue the point, the process may only begin with missing the flight.

    I do not think airport inspections as currently conducted have made air travel any safer, but my attitude is kept in check while traveling. I have a head full of opinions, and I suspect that the TSA does not want to hear any of them.:)

    I have inquired about the specific permissibility of trekking poles on airplanes. If a few thousand more inquiries are sent to TSA, they may actually state a clear policy. Or maybe not. Still, it is better than griping at the airport. They cannot detain you while you are at home on your computer! Here is the website:

    https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/talktotsa/

    TSA regulations are not binding outside the USA, so it may always be difficult to take poles home from Santiago as cabin baggage...
     
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  80. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Oh, my goodness -- I'm not sure why some of you are so insistent on turning a few innocent questions into a plot to sneak something past TSA. I don't disagree with anything that you say, falcon, but it's not what we have been talking about. I have never told a TSA agent that I need my poles to walk, and as a matter of fact, I have never had any conversation with any TSA agent about my poles at all because they always zip right through the security scanner.

    As I've said, my posts were referring only to carrying hiking poles on board in the US and passing through TSA. I always check my poles on the way home from Santiago because I know they do not allow hiking poles as carry-ons.

    Sorry, I should just stop posting on this topic, but falcon when you get going you just bring out my argumentative juices, in a good way, of course. Buen camino, Laurie
     
  81. falcon269

    falcon269 sidra; no commercial interests

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    My poles and my backpack go as hold baggage!:) I was reacting to the general concept that TSA is willing to quibble whether trekking poles are a disability aid. I watched Brooke Shields get a full pat down at JFK. The new breed of airport fascist is not to be trifled with...;)
     
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  82. Silverton

    Silverton Active Member

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    I hesitate to open up this thorny subject again, but I will be on a flight from Madrid to Dublin (Ryanair) in March (whew, one day ahead of a scheduled strike day, unless the AENA situation gets nastier by then). Can someone with recent experience advise me whether Barajas airport security personnel will, or might, accept my rubber-tipped hiking poles inside my backpack--as cabin baggage? I'm not worried about Ryanair who won't see the poles, and it won't be a problem on the flight TO Spain, but the homeward flight?? I doubt that the Madrid airport (and the airline) would share Santiago/Lavacolla airport's long-suffering, but free, check-in allowance for the poles. And if airport staff are feeling uber-grumpy around the strikes--I probably don't need to both you with the dumb question. (But thanks, anyway!)
     
  83. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    In my experience, Barajas security personnel don't need an excuse to be grumpy, but even so, I've carried my hiking poles through security in Madrid probably around 10 times without a problem. Which is not to say there won't be a problem, of course! (My last time through security was in June 2014).
     
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  84. Silverton

    Silverton Active Member

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    Thanks, Laurie. You would be using T4 for United, wouldn't you? I think I'm looking for European-flight users departing from T1 (or others?) who I'[m guessing would have different airport security lines. Long-haul security--more or less grumpy? Question for a sociology PhD thesis, maybe? Mary
     
  85. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Hi, Mary, I do go in and out of T4 (American, Iberia, British Airways, etc.), and it's possible that there are different policies in T1-2, but that would be surprising. It's the same security company/personnel, it's not run by the airlines. In any event, maybe someone wit T1-2 experience can confirm or deny. Good luck with this, Laurie
     
  86. Juno

    Juno Member

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    Hi, this is now 2015 and if you fly British Airways, it says quite clearly that you can't take walking poles into the cabin... Good luck to those of a betting disposition! :)
     
  87. Alfonso_Rey

    Alfonso_Rey New Member

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    Confirming what Silvester reported in December 2014, when flying out of Santiago de Compostela poles are NOT allowed in cabin luggage. When they catch them on the security scanner, you'll have to go back out to the check-in counter, wait in line again, check your pack (or just the poles), then pass through security again. I was lucky I had plenty of time before my flight to do this.

    A lot of pilgrims mail a box home from the SDC Post Office, which is conveniently right around the corner from the Pilgrim's Reception Office. I think this solution makes sense for Europeans, less so for those from other continents.
     
  88. Ahhhs

    Ahhhs Active Member

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    Yep. Although I had my single pole in my carry on pack all the way from California to Spain with no problem, I had a tight connection out of Santiago a few weeks ago and didn't have time to go back to check my pole. It was collapsed inside my pack. They found it and confiscated it. If you want to keep yours, allow enough time to check it in advance.
     
  89. Rosie Bentley

    Rosie Bentley New Member

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    Or buy a razor and pocket knife when you arrive? That's what I thought I would do so I can carry my pack and poles with me on the plane. Bien Camino
     
  90. Rosie Bentley

    Rosie Bentley New Member

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    This is excellent news!
     
  91. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    This was posted in 2012. Hardly news!! You might want to confirm that the advice is current.
     
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  92. nalod

    nalod Active Member

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    Update on Poles. Just back from recent trip. Got pole through airport security at Dublin Airport and on Ryanair flight to Biarritz no problem, but coming back at Madrid Airport had it taken of me. Not a chance getting through Madrid .
     

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