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Luggage Transfer Correos

Security of backpack contents during flights

Santiago Photo Book

deanfromoz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - October 2019
Hi all,

I'm curious about experiences relating to the security of items in your backpack when it needs to be checked in for flights.

My backpack will be too big to carry as hand luggage, not to mention some items not permitted as carry-on luggage. Has anyone experienced items being removed from their backpack in these circumstances?

I'm flying Qatar Airways, Perth to Paris CDG (via Doha), then easyJet to Biarritz. Given that I'm planning to arrive with pretty much everything I need, I'd hate to discover that things have gone missing in the 30 hours that I don't see my bag.

Gracias
 

Jean Ti

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte, Primitivo, Frances,Via de la Plata

Trying to do one camino every year
I purchase a small roll of saran wrap and rap completely the pack. Never lost anything.

Instead of paying 15 $ and more you just do iT.



 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi all,

I'm curious about experiences relating to the security of items in your backpack when it needs to be checked in for flights.

My backpack will be too big to carry as hand luggage, not to mention some items not permitted as carry-on luggage. Has anyone experienced items being removed from their backpack in these circumstances?

I'm flying Qatar Airways, Perth to Paris CDG (via Doha), then easyJet to Biarritz. Given that I'm planning to arrive with pretty much everything I need, I'd hate to discover that things have gone missing in the 30 hours that I don't see my bag.

Gracias
The rule of thumb I have heard here many times is that if your pack is too big to carry-on, it’s too big to carry on the Camino. I would have to agree with that, so my unsolicited advice would be to start tossing things out of your pack!
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
security of items in your backpack when it needs to be checked in for flights.
A checked bag is a checked bag; mind the standard advice about not putting anything valuable or irreplaceable (documents, medicines, electronics) in it. Sharps and disassembled poles will need to go in the checked bag though.

Pilferage is a common threat though. I recall watching ramp workers opening luggage while we were helpless to stop it, being inside the Dubai terminal, 15 years ago. And there were rings of workers pilfering here in the US a few years back. Maybe things have changed, but you are wise to take precautions. The best bet is to use a bag-wrapping service, or the DIY method with a roll of cling film.
 

deanfromoz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - October 2019
The rule of thumb I have heard here many times is that if your pack is too big to carry-on, it’s too big to carry on the Camino. I would have to agree with that, so my unsolicited advice would be to start tossing things out of your pack!
Peregrina2000, very good advice.

My pack weight is within the 10 percent of my own body weight, so the weight isn't a problem for me, and having done some walking with a fully loaded pack, it is comfortable. My main concern is that it may exceed the permitted cabin baggage sizes, though if I move the sleeping bag from the bottom compartment to inside the pack itself, I may be able to get it through.

Then there's the matter of removing items that may be problematic as far as cabin baggage is concerned, though for the most part these can be purchased on arrival.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
Hi all,

I'm curious about experiences relating to the security of items in your backpack when it needs to be checked in for flights.

My backpack will be too big to carry as hand luggage, not to mention some items not permitted as carry-on luggage. Has anyone experienced items being removed from their backpack in these circumstances?

I'm flying Qatar Airways, Perth to Paris CDG (via Doha), then easyJet to Biarritz. Given that I'm planning to arrive with pretty much everything I need, I'd hate to discover that things have gone missing in the 30 hours that I don't see my bag.

Gracias
I have related before how I flew into a city the day before the start of a month long thru-hike in the Rockies. Because of all the backpacking I do, my gear is ultralight and lightweight and while expensive, is used far more in one year, than most weekend backpackers would use theirs over a ten year period of time.

So here I am less than 24 hours before a 4 week backpacking trip with my gear missing. All of my gear plus the first 10 days supply of freeze dried food. As the minutes go by while watching and waiting for my backpack to appear on the luggage carousel, that sinking feeling and anxiety level just kept rising.

Finally, dealing with the fact that it wasn't showing up, I went to the baggage claim office, filled out the paper work, and headed out to my hotel room. But while I should have been able to relax and decompress from the trip, I had to scramble to replace every single item of gear and food.

Because much of my gear is manufactured by cottage gear makers, and requires online purchases, I had to head to the local REI and do the best I could to substitute what I had with something else to make do.

Stove, mattress, tent, sleeping quilt, poncho, clothing, water storage and filtration, cooking mug, and on and on. Then having to pick through the limited selections of freeze dried food to make up my meal inventory.
for 10 days. Fortunately, I was wearing my trail runners and one pair of the socks I use so at least I didn't have to replace those. And the REI didn't even carry what I wore, anyway.

What REI didn't have, I finally found at two other outdoor stores.

So, no, it isn't just an issue of needing to be more relaxed or meditative; it is a matter of security and actually being assured that you will have your stuff when you arrive.

BTW, it ended up that the airlines believed my gear had been stolen by someone working at the departure airport as there was no record of my backpacked having been scanned upon arrival.

Oh, and despite providing proof of each item and its value, I was reimbursed only 25% of its actual value.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hi all, I'm curious about experiences relating to the security of items in your backpack when it needs to be checked in for flights.

My backpack will be too big to carry as hand luggage, not to mention some items not permitted as carry-on luggage. Has anyone experienced items being removed from their backpack in these circumstances?

I'm flying Qatar... I'd hate to discover that things have gone missing in the 30 hours that I don't see my bag.

Gracias
G'day @deanfromoz I know the feeling. I have a "over cover" that takes a backpack up to 65 litres. I lock it and trust in the honesty of the baggage handlers. Additionally I always take my walking boots (very well broken in) as part of my carry on. Just about everything else can be replaced in Paris or Pamplona or St Jean but boots are specific to your feet and are all but irreplacable. Of course I also have all my other travel junk: mobile phone, iPad, charges etc and they also come in the cabin with me. If I can put my hands on my cover I will come back with a name or photo. Cheers

OK - I found it - its an Osprey Transporter - holds up to 70 litre bags (10 Sep 19)
 
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Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Pilferage is a common threat though. I recall watching ramp workers opening luggage while we were helpless to stop it, being inside the Dubai terminal, 15 years ago. And there were rings of workers pilfering here in the US a few years back. Maybe things have changed, but you are wise to take precautions. The best bet is to use a bag-wrapping service, or the DIY method with a roll of cling film.
Having travelled through Dubai about 30 times since 2005 and being a Gold Skywards member (Emirates Frequent Flyers) I would have been finding the nearest Emirates staff member and demanded that something be done to stop the theft. PS - in those 30 transits I have never lost one item from any of my checked bags.
 

camino07

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18Norte
Peregrina2000, very good advice.

My pack weight is within the 10 percent of my own body weight, so the weight isn't a problem for me, and having done some walking with a fully loaded pack, it is comfortable. My main concern is that it may exceed the permitted cabin baggage sizes, though if I move the sleeping bag from the bottom compartment to inside the pack itself, I may be able to get it through.

Then there's the matter of removing items that may be problematic as far as cabin baggage is concerned, though for the most part these can be purchased on arrival.
Don't worry Dean. I also travel from Perth with Qatar to Spain each year (I'm a Camino addict) and always check in my pack. So far no problems.There is a machine at the airport to wrap your pack in clingwrap if you wish.
Once with Etihad it was a day late into Edinburgh and way back in 2010 with Emirates it was a day late to Lisbon. Both times it was delivered to my hotel.
 

DebR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances:
2013; 2014; 2015; 2017; 2018; and counting down to Christmas 2019
Hi all,

I'm curious about experiences relating to the security of items in your backpack when it needs to be checked in for flights.

My backpack will be too big to carry as hand luggage, not to mention some items not permitted as carry-on luggage. Has anyone experienced items being removed from their backpack in these circumstances?

I'm flying Qatar Airways, Perth to Paris CDG (via Doha), then easyJet to Biarritz. Given that I'm planning to arrive with pretty much everything I need, I'd hate to discover that things have gone missing in the 30 hours that I don't see my bag.

Gracias
I fly Qatar from Melbourne each Camino, and lately I’ve taken to a kind of reverse checking plan. I bought a $6 yoga mat bag from Kmart, put my poles, toiletry liquids, Swiss Army knife etc in it, and plastic wrap it (at home or airport). This bag gets checked, and they tend to mark it “fragile”, meaning it doesn’t come out on the conveyor at baggage claim, but is instead waiting for me when I get there, on a separate stand next to the conveyor at Paris CDG. Worst case scenario: I replace easily replaceable stuff while my pack stays with me.
The yoga bag weighs next to nothing and goes in the bottom of my pack, coming out occasionally as a laundry bag. If needed, I could also fill it with clothes and use it as a pillow if I needed...
 

Salomon de Jager

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
Hi all,

I'm curious about experiences relating to the security of items in your backpack when it needs to be checked in for flights.

My backpack will be too big to carry as hand luggage, not to mention some items not permitted as carry-on luggage. Has anyone experienced items being removed from their backpack in these circumstances?

I'm flying Qatar Airways, Perth to Paris CDG (via Doha), then easyJet to Biarritz. Given that I'm planning to arrive with pretty much everything I need, I'd hate to discover that things have gone missing in the 30 hours that I don't see my bag.

Gracias
Don't take more than 10% of body weight. In fall / winter one has to reckon with rain and colder days. I'm taking my sleeping bag, just in case (it makes the pack a bit heavier). But I take my bag on the plane to Paris and from there I'm taking the train. Have a good one.
 

Annemiek

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2005)
Camino Portugues (2019)
Hi all,

I'm curious about experiences relating to the security of items in your backpack when it needs to be checked in for flights.

My backpack will be too big to carry as hand luggage, not to mention some items not permitted as carry-on luggage. Has anyone experienced items being removed from their backpack in these circumstances?

I'm flying Qatar Airways, Perth to Paris CDG (via Doha), then easyJet to Biarritz. Given that I'm planning to arrive with pretty much everything I need, I'd hate to discover that things have gone missing in the 30 hours that I don't see my bag.

Gracias
As long as you don’t put any explosives in your backpack, you will be fine.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Cling wrap is a good idea. While it wont stop your gear going missing, theft by airport staff is usually on an opportunistic basis and if your stuff is too hard to get to they will look for an easier mark.
Pretty much my thought. We've placed our backpacks in canvas duffel bags when flying somewhere where we will rent a car and laundry bags otherwise. That keeps straps from being ripped, things falling out and some deterrence from pilferage. Never lost anything.

The airlines though, that's a different story. We spent 47 hours in airports or airplanes to get home once at 11 pm. We kept a neighbor waiting another hour while we and the baggage manager searched for a missing pack. We gave up and went home. In the morning I got a call with the good news that the pack was found but the news was delivered in a really bad way. After identifying ourselves an agent asked in a very accusatory way "Why didn't you pick up your bag last night?"
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
I have related before how I flew into a city the day before the start of a month long thru-hike in the Rockies. Because of all the backpacking I do, my gear is ultralight and lightweight and while expensive, is used far more in one year, than most weekend backpackers would use theirs over a ten year period of time.

So here I am less than 24 hours before a 4 week backpacking trip with my gear missing. All of my gear plus the first 10 days supply of freeze dried food. As the minutes go by while watching and waiting for my backpack to appear on the luggage carousel, that sinking feeling and anxiety level just kept rising.

Finally, dealing with the fact that it wasn't showing up, I went to the baggage claim office, filled out the paper work, and headed out to my hotel room. But while I should have been able to relax and decompress from the trip, I had to scramble to replace every single item of gear and food.

Because much of my gear is manufactured by cottage gear makers, and requires online purchases, I had to head to the local REI and do the best I could to substitute what I had with something else to make do.

Stove, mattress, tent, sleeping quilt, poncho, clothing, water storage and filtration, cooking mug, and on and on. Then having to pick through the limited selections of freeze dried food to make up my meal inventory.
for 10 days. Fortunately, I was wearing my trail runners and one pair of the socks I use so at least I didn't have to replace those. And the REI didn't even carry what I wore, anyway.

What REI didn't have, I finally found at two other outdoor stores.

So, no, it isn't just an issue of needing to be more relaxed or meditative; it is a matter of security and actually being assured that you will have your stuff when you arrive.

BTW, it ended up that the airlines believed my gear had been stolen by someone working at the departure airport as there was no record of my backpacked having been scanned upon arrival.

Oh, and despite providing proof of each item and its value, I was reimbursed only 25% of its actual value.
Your story should be the cut and pasted to every post that is similar to this one about checking backpacks! So sorry to hear that story.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route.
I fly Qatar from Melbourne each Camino, and lately I’ve taken to a kind of reverse checking plan. I bought a $6 yoga mat bag from Kmart, put my poles, toiletry liquids, Swiss Army knife etc in it, and plastic wrap it (at home or airport). This bag gets checked, and they tend to mark it “fragile”, meaning it doesn’t come out on the conveyor at baggage claim, but is instead waiting for me when I get there, on a separate stand next to the conveyor at Paris CDG. Worst case scenario: I replace easily replaceable stuff while my pack stays with me.
The yoga bag weighs next to nothing and goes in the bottom of my pack, coming out occasionally as a laundry bag. If needed, I could also fill it with clothes and use it as a pillow if I needed...
This is an EXCELLENT solution! Good thinking!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
Hi all,

I'm curious about experiences relating to the security of items in your backpack when it needs to be checked in for flights.

My backpack will be too big to carry as hand luggage, not to mention some items not permitted as carry-on luggage. Has anyone experienced items being removed from their backpack in these circumstances?

I'm flying Qatar Airways, Perth to Paris CDG (via Doha), then easyJet to Biarritz. Given that I'm planning to arrive with pretty much everything I need, I'd hate to discover that things have gone missing in the 30 hours that I don't see my bag.

Gracias
As many have said I would bet anything that your bag is too heavy. The 10% rule often doesn't make a lot of sense. As a first time pilgrim there is about a 103% chance you have unnecessary gear.Everyone does. Another thing I would tell you is you can't recreate what will happen on the Camino no matter what you do at home. On my first Camino I was walking as far or further the last few weeks than I was walking most days and I felt great. A week into the camino I had pains in places I didn't know I had places. If you already have bought poles and maybe a pocket knife or some other things you say may not get through carry on, put those in a bag and check them. If they don't get through you can probably get whatever you need quickly in Biarritz or SJPP. CARRY YOUR BAG WITH YOU!!!!
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
If your carry-on allowance is a small bag and a personal item ... get a small nylon tote bag, and offload the items you might want access to (fleece, a pair of socks, toiletries, your zipbag of fluids for security check, etc) into this. If you are using some kind of bumbag, shoulder bag, put it into the tote too. Then repack the backpack using only the main compartment. Then use the compression straps to squish it all. Perhaps the cling wrap will squish it some more.

I got my backpack onto a Ryanair flight using this method.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
. The 10% rule often doesn't make a lot of sense.
. . . .
CARRY YOUR BAG WITH YOU!!!!
Totally agree with both of these gems. I remember one forum member who joked that he was going to gain a few kilos before leaving home so he could carry more weight in his pack. I carry a pack in the 19-20 pound range and that is quite a bit more than 10% of my body weight, but I am in pretty good shape and it has never been an issue for me. (Having said that, though, I am going to lighten things up a bit for next year when I hit 70). My son in law takes long thru hikes with 50 lbs. in his bag and suffers no ill, though he has gotten with the lightweight gear program some. So I think this 10% rule is a lot of bunk.

Though my gear would not be as hard to replace as in the nightmare that @davebugg recounted, it would be an awful way to start a camino. I had a taste of it about 10 years ago when my hiking poles did not arrive in Madrid. I really had to scramble to get some replacements before my AVE to Sevilla, and though it wasn’t the end of the world it was very stressful. And I speak good Spanish and know the Madrid metro system, so for many others it would have been terrible. Since then I have successfully carried on my poles, collapsed in my pack, but I am not suggesting we start that debate again. :p

For me, the bottom line is that though the chances of having a pack get lost are low, it does happen (you can see old threads here recounting it). I do not want to be one of those people. I would never ever check my pack.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
Totally agree with both of these gems. I remember one forum member who joked that he was going to gain a few kilos before leaving home so he could carry more weight in his pack. I carry a pack in the 19-20 pound range and that is quite a bit more than 10% of my body weight, but I am in pretty good shape and it has never been an issue for me. (Having said that, though, I am going to lighten things up a bit for next year when I hit 70). My son in law takes long thru hikes with 50 lbs. in his bag and suffers no ill, though he has gotten with the lightweight gear program some. So I think this 10% rule is a lot of bunk.

Though my gear would not be as hard to replace as in the nightmare that @davebugg recounted, it would be an awful way to start a camino. I had a taste of it about 10 years ago when my hiking poles did not arrive in Madrid. I really had to scramble to get some replacements before my AVE to Sevilla, and though it wasn’t the end of the world it was very stressful. And I speak good Spanish and know the Madrid metro system, so for many others it would have been terrible. Since then I have successfully carried on my poles, collapsed in my pack, but I am not suggesting we start that debate again. :p

For me, the bottom line is that though the chances of having a pack get lost are low, it does happen (you can see old threads here recounting it). I do not want to be one of those people. I would never ever check my pack.
As I said I now put my poles and my Swiss Army Knife in a small bag and check it. If it doesn't arrive no problem. The last time I moved the old house ate both my poles and the knife so this year I will fly to Madrid and stay a couple of days. I got a great flight from Madrid to Pamplona, almost the exact price of a bus ticket and I will arrive at 9:00AM. So I will take a local bus to the Decathlon and buy some poles and a knife. If they don't have them I already scoped out a couple of Cuchillerías to go to. It gives me plenty of time to get what I need have some lunch and take the afternoon bus to SJPP.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
As I said I now put my poles and my Swiss Army Knife in a small bag and check it. If it doesn't arrive no problem. The last time I moved the old house ate both my poles and the knife so this year I will fly to Madrid and stay a couple of days. I got a great flight from Madrid to Pamplona, almost the exact price of a bus ticket and I will arrive at 9:00AM. So I will take a local bus to the Decathlon and buy some poles and a knife. If they don't have them I already scoped out a couple of Cuchillerías to go to. It gives me plenty of time to get what I need have some lunch and take the afternoon bus to SJPP.
Just a heads up for anyone who may not know, Decathlon now has three center city stores in Madrid. No more schlepping out to the industrial park necessary.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
Just a heads up for anyone who may not know, Decathlon now has three center city stores in Madrid. No more schlepping out to the industrial park necessary.
Thanks but I don't want to check my poles at the airport in Madrid. I will just sit and space out on the bus haha.
 

Michael-FL

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portugues (2017)
Frances/Salvador/Primitivo (2021)
Hi all,

I'm curious about experiences relating to the security of items in your backpack when it needs to be checked in for flights...
.Gracias
Hi Dean, on my last Camino I knew my pack wasn’t gonna work as a carry-on, so I used a zip over bag I bought from REI made to fit up to a 65 L pack and then put a lock on it. Of course, that’s no protection from your bag getting lost in transit. At the very least, wear your hiking boots/trail runners in transit and carry-on high value items and hope for the best. Buen Camino
 

Jean Ti

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte, Primitivo, Frances,Via de la Plata

Trying to do one camino every year
It is a very good idea! And you also keep your bag clean from the airport carrier belt
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
The rule of thumb I have heard here many times is that if your pack is too big to carry-on, it’s too big to carry on the Camino. I would have to agree with that, so my unsolicited advice would be to start tossing things out of your pack!
Unfortunately some budget airlines have been making their carry-on sizes smaller and smaller, Ryanair now only allow a bag 40x25x20cms which is pretty small. It's certainly worth checking carefully before you arrive at the airport.

For security, if I have to check bags for the hold I use cable ties to hold zips etc. You can cut the tie later with a nail clipper and you can almost always carry a smal nail clipper into the cabin with you. It won't stop the determined thief but it will deter the casual one who might take the 3 seconds to unzip a bag and grab for something inside.
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
Totally agree with both of these gems. I remember one forum member who joked that he was going to gain a few kilos before leaving home so he could carry more weight in his pack. I carry a pack in the 19-20 pound range and that is quite a bit more than 10% of my body weight, but I am in pretty good shape and it has never been an issue for me. (Having said that, though, I am going to lighten things up a bit for next year when I hit 70). My son in law takes long thru hikes with 50 lbs. in his bag and suffers no ill, though he has gotten with the lightweight gear program some. So I think this 10% rule is a lot of bunk.
However for most pilgrims who are not seasoned walkers, 10% is not a bad guide as a place to start. Even as a lifelong walker I always hated carrying any more than I absolutely have to, I can't imagine carrying 50 pounds. The pack I carried to walk Offa's Dyke a few years ago weighed 21 pounds including full camping kit, 2 litres of water and 2 days of food and that was more than enough.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
Your story should be the cut and pasted to every post that is similar to this one about checking backpacks! So sorry to hear that story.
It all turned out OK, with some less than ideal workarounds, but the stress was unwelcomed, fer sure :)
 

Annet2020

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues 2020
I'm curious about experiences relating to the security of items in your backpack when it needs to be checked in for flights.

My backpack will be too big to carry as hand luggage, not to mention some items not permitted as carry-on luggage. Has anyone experienced items being removed from their backpack in these circumstances?
I've checked in big backpacks for years and I never had anything stolen from it. Of course I never put any valuables in it, always take them as carry-on luggage. Locks and wraps are things from recent years. When I travelled the world 20-30 years ago you hardly saw any.
A bigger risk is luggage lost somewhere in transit, arriving a week or so after you do. It never happened to me but unfortunately it does happen.
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(
I purchase a small roll of saran wrap and rap completely the pack. Never lost anything.

Instead of paying 15 $ and more you just do iT.

Some airports/ airlines won't allow it. I saw a couple in Portugal being refused their plastic wrapped bags because they had not been wrapped by a service in the airport. It makes sense to try, but not a given.
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(
Hi all,

I'm curious about experiences relating to the security of items in your backpack when it needs to be checked in for flights.

My backpack will be too big to carry as hand luggage, not to mention some items not permitted as carry-on luggage. Has anyone experienced items being removed from their backpack in these circumstances?

I'm flying Qatar Airways, Perth to Paris CDG (via Doha), then easyJet to Biarritz. Given that I'm planning to arrive with pretty much everything I need, I'd hate to discover that things have gone missing in the 30 hours that I don't see my bag.

Gracias
I placed my entire pack and poles in a big IKEA storage bag. I taped it with masking tape a few times around and added a security lock to the zipper. It arrived intact, nothing missing. On a second attempt doing this, the tape had been cut and lock removed, but contents seemed okay. I don't think there are any guarantees. If airport personnel want to get into your pack, they will.
 

Bodi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Najera Sept. 2017; Najera to Astorga Oct. 2018; SJPP to Pamplona May 2019
@DebR I really like your idea of checking a small separate bag for poles, etc. I'm going to do this next time (Sept. 2020).
 

Linda Fantillo

RiverWalker
Camino(s) past & future
September/October 14, May 17, September 18
The rule of thumb I have heard here many times is that if your pack is too big to carry-on, it’s too big to carry on the Camino. I would have to agree with that, so my unsolicited advice would be to start tossing things out of your pack!
But what about my precious Pacer Poles?
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
Like most, I carry my pack on. It’s a 34 L packed full. Easy to fit in lockers. I measured it carefully.

My poles, liquids and sharps get checked in, housed in a mailing tube. Not the end of the World if I lose those. I guess I could put other items in there too, that are easily replaced.

Like you @davebugg, replacing my gear would be a nightmare... most is specialised and not easy to find. But of course if I had to.....I'd walk using ‘any’ gear.. :)

20+ years in the Military taught me a big lesson.
Never get separated from your gear ;)
 
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Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
[QUOTE="KJFSophie, post: 783532, member: 77427"
I placed my entire pack and poles in a big IKEA storage bag. I taped it with masking tape a few times around and added a security lock to the zipper. It arrived intact, nothing missing. On a second attempt doing this, the tape had been cut and lock removed, but contents seemed okay. I don't think there are any guarantees. If airport personnel want to get into your pack, they will.
[/QUOTE]
They have a legal right to do so to investigate any bag. That's why I prefer to use cable ties which they just snip off if they want to. I like the idea of using a big Ikea bag to protect your backpack.
 

Hobbyhorse

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept 2014)
A possible solution for the pacer poles: my husband & I took two sets of 'collapsed' walking poles to a hardware store and bought a custom-cut length of heavy duty PVC pipe in a diameter wide enough to agmitwo poles at each end. There was small enough space among the poles for knife, scissors wtc. We sealed the pipe ends with lots of duct tape and put on lots of labelling as to our name, contact and fligts/ destination/date info. We checked the pipe as luggage/sports gear. On the way home we just checked our packs and were able to fit our poles inside.
 

David with new Kit!

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances September (2019)
I'm just back from the CF and on both legs we used light weigh 40 litre dry bags to place our rucksacks in. For security I used 1.5mm wire from picture frame hanging wire, made up with looped ends. Fed the ends through the dry bag links and fitted a padlock. The more vivid the colour the easier to find at baggage reclaim .

The dry bags also doubled as a liner for our rucksacks while on the CF.

Yes, you could possibly get a smaller rucksack on as hand luggage, and I saw many people doing that. But, if you get picked out for a bag size check it could end up in the hold unexpectedly with no security on it.

There is no right or wrong, it's a matter of personal preference and I also asked for advice on the forum before making my decision.
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
The rule of thumb I have heard here many times is that if your pack is too big to carry-on, it’s too big to carry on the Camino. I would have to agree with that, so my unsolicited advice would be to start tossing things out of your pack!
Amen to that...my other adage is...there are 2 kinds of luggage carry on and lost
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Amen to that...my other adage is...there are 2 kinds of luggage carry on and lost
To all who might be intimidated by the avalanche of opinion that says you must/should/it would be stupid not to carry on your pack, don't worry. Some of us always check our packs. In my case there's no way around that, but I have never had a problem (over the years flying Aer Lingis, Iberia, KLM, Swiss Air, or Air France).

I either wrap the pack at an airport kiosk before check-in, or use a light lockable duffel bag. It's a choice - both work. The duffel does not involve disposable plastic, but needs to be carried. But it can be useful: on one camino I used it when I got to Pamplona to ship my cold-weather clothes ahead to Santiago.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, Madrid (2019) Portuges (2020)
Hi all,

I'm curious about experiences relating to the security of items in your backpack when it needs to be checked in for flights.

My backpack will be too big to carry as hand luggage, not to mention some items not permitted as carry-on luggage. Has anyone experienced items being removed from their backpack in these circumstances?

I'm flying Qatar Airways, Perth to Paris CDG (via Doha), then easyJet to Biarritz. Given that I'm planning to arrive with pretty much everything I need, I'd hate to discover that things have gone missing in the 30 hours that I don't see my bag.

Gracias

So ...

Some say ‘check it’, others say ‘never let it out of your sight’, most say ‘never lost anything’ a few say ‘I was robbed’.

That’s what you would expect surely?

What have you decided to do?
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
So ...

Some say ‘check it’, others say ‘never let it out of your sight’, most say ‘never lost anything’ a few say ‘I was robbed’.

That’s what you would expect surely?

What have you decided to do?
Good observation. . . :)
 

deanfromoz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - October 2019
There's been some really good advice here!

Okay, I've decided to carry it on as my preference due to a 2 hour connection in Doha en-route to Paris. I am pretty fit, weigh 75kg, and my packed 38L pack came on at 6.8kg.

I was surprised about how compact it looks when packed up tight.

Thanks for all of the input!
20190914_055310.jpg
 
Camino(s) past & future
Spring (2019)
A checked bag is a checked bag; mind the standard advice about not putting anything valuable or irreplaceable (documents, medicines, electronics) in it. Sharps and disassembled poles will need to go in the checked bag though.

Pilferage is a common threat though. I recall watching ramp workers opening luggage while we were helpless to stop it, being inside the Dubai terminal, 15 years ago. And there were rings of workers pilfering here in the US a few years back. Maybe things have changed, but you are wise to take precautions. The best bet is to use a bag-wrapping service, or the DIY method with a roll of cling film.
Hi all,

I'm curious about experiences relating to the security of items in your backpack when it needs to be checked in for flights.

My backpack will be too big to carry as hand luggage, not to mention some items not permitted as carry-on luggage. Has anyone experienced items being removed from their backpack in these circumstances?

I'm flying Qatar Airways, Perth to Paris CDG (via Doha), then easyJet to Biarritz. Given that I'm planning to arrive with pretty much everything I need, I'd hate to discover that things have gone missing in the 30 hours that I don't see my bag.

Gracias
I have a lockable zipper bag (very light weight) made to hold a fairly large backpack). I think most shops that sell backpacks also sell these bags. However, I wear my hiking shoes on the plane because of their weight. Medications, documents, etc. I put in my carry on "sack". I've never had a problem.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
What are you doing about your hiking poles, sharp items, and other things that cannot be brought into the cabin? Just curious.

I also use the Kestrel 38, and have always checked my bags. In six Camino trips I have never had a problem.

My method is to place the rucksack in a cheap laundry bag from the dollar store. On arrival, it goes in the inevitable box of surplus to pre-Santiago needed stuff that I mail ahead to await my arrival.

This has always worked for me,. But I am curious about how you can carry-on a 38 liter pack, yet transport cabin-restricted items.
 

Wovoka

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April, 2015
Don't forget that most or all airlines allow an ADDITIONAL small "business-related" (i.e. computer, etc.) bag as a carry-on ... which can weigh a ton, if you want. I've always brought on board a carry-on plus an expandable canvas roll-around briefcase and never been stopped for this additional piece. Of course they assume it will be placed under the seat before me, but I usually find space to shoehorn it overhead.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
I can understand your concern about your pack getting lost if checked. However, it's hard for me to picture that there should be anything in your pack that would be worth stealing. Basically all you have is a change of clothes and some toiletries. Surely there are suitcases on your flight that would have a lot more attractive items to steal.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
I can understand your concern about your pack getting lost if checked. However, it's hard for me to picture that there should be anything in your pack that would be worth stealing. Basically all you have is a change of clothes and some toiletries. Surely there are suitcases on your flight that would have a lot more attractive items to steal.
That is assuming that backpacks and luggage are sifted through and contents examined PRIOR to a theft. Then there is luggage that is lost and takes a time to recover and return. . time which can significantly delay a Camino start if one is waiting around for a recovery and return.. And a good quality backpack is worth money by itself..
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
That is assuming that backpacks and luggage are sifted through and contents examined PRIOR to a theft. Then there is luggage that is lost and takes a time to recover and return. . time which can significantly delay a Camino start if one is waiting around for a recovery and return.. And a good quality backpack is worth money by itself..
Well this is the OP's question, "Has anyone experienced items being removed from their backpack in these circumstances? "
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, Madrid (2019) Portuges (2020)
Surprisingly for a forum with its fair share of pedants (myself included) nobody’s pointed out that one’s bags will be as safe as they can possibly be during the flights.

It’s when they’re on the ground that you have a problem.

Anyway, the OP has asked for advice, got it, considered his plan and declared his intent. Let’s leave him be!
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
Well this is the OP's question, "Has anyone experienced items being removed from their backpack in these circumstances? "
I understand that, and your point is well taken. :) I was bouncing off of your statement "I can understand your concern about your pack getting lost if checked. However, it's hard for me to picture that there should be anything in your pack that would be worth stealing."

I apologize if I misunderstood the context of your response. :)
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
Surprisingly for a forum with its fair share of pedants (myself included) nobody’s pointed out that one’s bags will be as safe as they can possibly be during the flights.

It’s when they’re on the ground that you have a problem.

Anyway, the OP has asked for advice, got it, considered his plan and declared his intent. Let’s leave him be!
:) So very correct, Henry.

 
Last edited:

deanfromoz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - October 2019
What are you doing about your hiking poles, sharp items, and other things that cannot be brought into the cabin? Just curious.

I also use the Kestrel 38, and have always checked my bags. In six Camino trips I have never had a problem.

This has always worked for me,. But I am curious about how you can carry-on a 38 liter pack, yet transport cabin-restricted items.
I won't be using hiking poles, and won't be taking any sharp items (from what I can see this only includes safety pins). Any restricted cabin baggage items can be purchased upon my arrival in France.

In the event that Qatar Airways staff feel that my pack is too large for cabin baggage, then I'll have it plastic wrapped and take my chances. Though, the pack seems to compact down quite nicely using the straps.
 

Wovoka

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April, 2015
I'll repeat what I posted before, Dean: If the backpack is all you're taking on board, you might consider adding a professional- looking bag (briefcase, etc.) into which you can stuff extras. An airline like Qatar, I'm sure, allows this. I see such bags in Goodwill & consignment shops all the time, and upon arrival you can, if you like, either trash or donate it. The only time an agent for a (small) airline balked - and this was for excessive weight - was when flying out of Ushuaia, but all I had to say was "camera equipment." She just waved me on without even looking.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
I'll repeat what I posted before, Dean: If the backpack is all you're taking on board, you might consider adding a professional- looking bag (briefcase, etc.) into which you can stuff extras. An airline like Qatar, I'm sure, allows this. I see such bags in Goodwill & consignment shops all the time, and upon arrival you can, if you like, either trash or donate it. The only time an agent for a (small) airline balked - and this was for excessive weight - was when flying out of Ushuaia, but all I had to say was "camera equipment." She just waved me on without even looking.
This might be so for full service airlines, but easyJet have a single cabin bag allowance. This is not uncommon, so do Ryanair. You may still find your bag sent to the hold, although it is always possible to pay extra for a fare that increases the allowance.
 

deanfromoz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - October 2019
I'll repeat what I posted before, Dean: If the backpack is all you're taking on board, you might consider adding a professional- looking bag (briefcase, etc.) into which you can stuff extras. An airline like Qatar, I'm sure, allows this. I see such bags in Goodwill & consignment shops all the time, and upon arrival you can, if you like, either trash or donate it. The only time an agent for a (small) airline balked - and this was for excessive weight - was when flying out of Ushuaia, but all I had to say was "camera equipment." She just waved me on without even looking.
I'll be keeping a few items in a small Sea to Summit dry bag, which will include things that I want to either use during flight (phone, cords, Camino Village to Village Guide), or keep on my person (e.g. Passport and itinerary hard copies). I'm of the view that the Qatar Airways aircraft overhead lockers will be able to accommodate my pack, while the dry bag will stay with me at seat level.

This might be so for full service airlines, but easyJet have a single cabin bag allowance. This is not uncommon, so do Ryanair. You may still find your bag sent to the hold, although it is always possible to pay extra for a fare that increases the allowance.
Yes, this is what I thought too. I want to hold onto my pack until I get to Paris, but am of the view that it might be too big to carry on to my easyJet flight from Paris to Biarritz. If this is the case, it's a one sector flight, so see the risk as being much smaller, so have paid a checked baggage allowance when booking my ticket just in case.
 

Denisealldridge

Camino Frances 2014- 2015 Camino Portuguese 2017
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014 first half
2015 Camino Frances Completed -
Camino Portuguese 2017.
Hi all,

I'm curious about experiences relating to the security of items in your backpack when it needs to be checked in for flights.

My backpack will be too big to carry as hand luggage, not to mention some items not permitted as carry-on luggage. Has anyone experienced items being removed from their backpack in these circumstances?

I'm flying Qatar Airways, Perth to Paris CDG (via Doha), then easyJet to Biarritz. Given that I'm planning to arrive with pretty much everything I need, I'd hate to discover that things have gone missing in the 30 hours that I don't see my bag.

Gracias
I just flew from Vamcouver Canada to gate wick London and connected flight to Porto to do the Portugese Camino . I had everything except my poles as that is no longer aloud . They went through my backpack and asked many questions , I think more about where I was going and how to go about it as I think the security guard wants to do the walk as well . Lol . I had a tiny pair of nail scissors which they were going to take but she let me keep them . In London I had the same thing , nail scissors are a no no .
Cheers Denise
 

Davidmm

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
I use a 250 gm 50 liter barrel bag in which share with my wife for checked luggage. This gets out backpacks down to carry on size. All our essentials then stay in our carry on luggage
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
NOOOOOOOOO— you promised!
😆😆😆😆


Not more than a few weeks ago you said: “I am done with this issue.”

Sorry...the tease got me wondering... Not for me, but for others...

I REALLY want to be done with this issue. But others failing to use the search function to see everything written previously, ad nauseum, keep bringing it up...

I cannot resist...
 

deanfromoz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - October 2019
That is assuming that backpacks and luggage are sifted through and contents examined PRIOR to a theft. Then there is luggage that is lost and takes a time to recover and return.
Having spent 15 years in the aviation industry in Australia, I'm pretty familiar with the likelihood of bags being searched or tampered with in this region. However, having not been to Europe yet, there's an unknown that I'm yet to experience.
 

Lifeofdelight

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016
My cheap training shoes stolen from my backpack side pockets by luggage handlers flying from Morocco to Lisbon in April this year. Furtunately I always carry on or wear my walking shoes as everything else can be replaced at popular starting points.
Now I use an oversize rain cover for my backpack which tightens over whole pack leaving only the top handle. You could add lock.
Makes it more complicated for pilferers to make an opportunistic grab. Doesn't add any extra weight.
I would suggest carry on if it were not for the poles which I already have and don't want to buy each time.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
My cheap training shoes stolen from my backpack side pockets by luggage handlers flying from Morocco to Lisbon in April this year.
They didn't just fall out of the side pockets and get displaced from the pack?
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
That is assuming that backpacks and luggage are sifted through and contents examined PRIOR to a theft.
It was my assumption that desirable items are identified as the bags go through xrays.
it's hard for me to picture that there should be anything in your pack that would be worth stealing."
I agree that there should not be any valuables in the checked pack.
opportunistic grab
This opportunity should also be minimized by securely closing everything inside the main compartment. That also avoids risk of falling out, as Dougfitz points out.
 

deanfromoz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - October 2019
Now I use an oversize rain cover for my backpack which tightens over whole pack leaving only the top handle. You could add lock.
Makes it more complicated for philpherers to make an opportunistic grab.
In my experience most baggage handlers are genuinely hard working and not interested in pilfering items from baggage. However, those that will are opportunistic, and where the traveller makes it harder for them to casually inspect baggage for potential pilferage the opportunity doesn't arise. The traveller is advised to think ahead and consider the risks.
 

Mudcrone

Mudcrone
Camino(s) past & future
2012-2018 Frances, Via de la Plata, Portugues Central and Seaside, Norte
Hi all,

I'm curious about experiences relating to the security of items in your backpack when it needs to be checked in for flights.

My backpack will be too big to carry as hand luggage, not to mention some items not permitted as carry-on luggage. Has anyone experienced items being removed from their backpack in these circumstances?

I'm flying Qatar Airways, Perth to Paris CDG (via Doha), then easyJet to Biarritz. Given that I'm planning to arrive with pretty much everything I need, I'd hate to discover that things have gone missing in the 30 hours that I don't see my bag.

Gracias
I've checked my pack every year for 7 years and never had a problem. I didn't want the hassle of lugging it around departure and arrival terminals going and coming home and lay overs.
 

Glamgrrl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Travel318
We’ve traveled all over and use the blue ikea bag system to check our pack and poles. Ive never had anything stolen from checked baggage. Once ready to walk, the Ike’s bag fold up and into the pack nicely. I shipped parts of my bag ahead a couple times and used said ikea bag and kept my pack while walking. Just like the type of shoes question, the book ahead question etc, with so many members it’ll rare to not get the whole range of answers. Let not forget blister treatment and socks!!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Late to the party here - I was away on holiday last week - but am I the only person perturbed by the thought of wrapping a pack in countless metres of Saran wrap/cling film only for it to be interred in a Spanish landfill site for eons? 😞

In years to come will archaeologists uncover it and say "Look, pilgrims ventured from the far corners of the global and brought this with them as an offering to appease the gods of TSA!"

Just sayin'
 

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