/ Climbing equipment on planes
Hoping to fly easyjet on a first climbing holiday.
Just a quick question about what people do regarding climbing equipment on easyjet flights.
Can or should I check all the gear in? Or can I take quickdraws, rope etc on board as carry on luggage, assuming its under the size and weight.
It will be sport climbing equipment, 70m rope and helmets.
There doesn't seem to be an option under sports equipment for 'just a bag' and an extra weight costs a fortune!
Any help or tips will be gratefully appreciated, thanks :)
Always explain that the Bag is sports equipment and (in our experience) you won't get surcharged for the weight
In the good old days long before 9/11 when climbers went to south american climbing. wear the plastic boots, and on the plane take the shells off and walk around with the inners.
wear all your bulky clothles as possible, it'll add to the bulk and weight
once your on the plane you can always take the extra layer off.
I think you'll get the idea
and enjoy easyjet :-)
Thought as much...thanks for the heads up
Do you just add the sport luggage? Then explain at the airport?
Last time I flew to Kalymnos I got all my gear, including rope, qds and helmet, inside Ryanair's 15kg allowance. Clothes went in handluggage, and I wore a few extra layers.
Yes well you will if you keep doing it. Security are not always consistent I know several people who have been stopped from taking ropes or quick draws on as hand luggage.
When travelling I contacted the airlines and Got 3 different answers from, class it as Golfing equipment to a "Hell no", and even a "cam, What is that?"
The airport security will have their own opinion about whats allowed and the airline may have another, then you have to play Russion roullette and hope not to get the angry security officer who will "Dispose" of anything from dangerous hair jell to a deadly rope brush.
I got a whole Trad rack and a 60 meter rope in at around 18kg.
There is no weight restriction on hand luggage so put all Guide Books and clothes inside that. Maybe buy a wedding dress Box, they are designed to fit the exact dimensions of hand luggage. Meaning you can Cram it full.
Ropes can strangle and restrain, Hex's can kill, Quickdraws can hang bodies up like meat hooks. Add a Harness and super tight foot wear and you look like an S&M Terrorist
Put it in the hold and get insured
If as said above you just add the climbing gear to your hold baggage, and if it is overweight tell them why when you check it in, they might not charge you.
Last night I booked flights with Swissair, for the end of Jan. I will be checking into the hold my own personal bag with all of ‘my’ climbing gear in it. But I will also be checking in a bag with Sports Equipment in it (climbing harnesses, ropes, protection, helmets, etc) it weighs exactly 23kg. If I don’t tell them it is Sports Equipment it will cost me €70 for the extra hold baggage. If I tell them it is Sports Equipment it will only cost €50 (actually this time it will only be €35 as they have an offer on). So, it is always worth stating that it is Sports Equipment; whether it is an extra bag, or just an overweight one.
As said above. Put all the gear in the hold, except ‘your’ helmet.
Thanks for all the replies.
Two of us travelling, so between us we can check it in, and have room for clothes in hold allowance.
Helmet tip is good, thanks.
Insurance tip, thanks...overlooked that.
Not hoping to take to many layers as we're going to el chorro last two weeks in April :)
Haha...reminds me of that Peter Kay line..."it's coffee mate, mate" :)
Suprisingly, it can still be quite cold in El Chorro at the end of April, especially if climbing in the gorge. Just make sure you have enough layers, even if you have to wash them a few times. A lightweight belay jacket is a must, and especially if it stuffs down into a small mesh bag.
You might find it useful to take out all year round insurance, it might work out cheaper in the long run, after a trip to el chorro you might be back sooner than you think; or even start looking at other venues overseas.
I will be sure to take out some insurance...and some layers!
Possibly a different topic...do people take out sports insurance as well as general insurance?
> I will be sure to take out some insurance...and some layers!
> Possibly a different topic...do people take out sports insurance as well as general insurance?
Do you mean for the activity?
If so then yes as regular holiday insurance wont cover you for climbing. Check out the BMC.
I guess so yeah...not sure if there even is anything that covers climbers, I will look at BMC.
I had something when I played rugby a while back.
I'm not sure of the specifics of Spain but I never go climbing abroad without specific activity insurance. Any accident could end up being very costly without it.
Other providers than the BMC are available but I've never used them.
BMC cover it, thanks for suggestion
Try a forum search, this gets asked (and answered) at least once a month :)
I did a bit of research in to this and it appears easyjet will let you pack it as sports equipment in a separate bag listed as skiing equipment. The caveat is there must be atleast one bit of skiing equipment in the bag. I doubt they ever check this, but you could pack some ski poles.
Of course if you can get it all in your hold luggage / suitcase then there is no need to do this :)
I've taken ropes in my hand luggage many times without issue.
I have also worn lots of clothes and my big boots onto the plane.
A good way to make your 50litre climbing bag look a lot smaller is to take the lid off and stuff it inside.
Top tip for when you are super tight on weight: take an large stuff sack like an exped rucksack liner empty inside your hand luggage.
Put on as many clothese as you possibly can to get on the plane. (airlines will normally only let you have one hand bag.) Once on the plane take all your extra layers off and put them in the stuff bag.
Tents, without poles, and sleeping bags work well in hand luggage.
I've nver tried to take hardwear on a plain, but don't see why this would be a problem. After all a bottle of broken bottle vodaka or an SLR Camera is a far more effective weapon than a few light weight crabs and wires and you can buy them in every airport.
Some people get away with it, others don't and have their holiday ruined.
As a general guideline, if I'm not camping, myself and partner can comfortably do a week's sport climbing trip with one 15kg (Ryanair) checked in bag between us which has all the climbing stuff in it. If you are taking much more than this you might want to have a bit of a rethink !
Many have questioned why duty-free is allowed to be carried on, and the answer pretty much comes down to "it's profitable".
I googled and youtubed 'SLR Camera as a weapon', but didn't find anything. Can you explain how it would be used?
Partly that, but partly security staff need to have clear and fast to apply rules to speed up throughput. They cannot be expected to analyse all the possible scenarios a piece of kit might be used for when its on board. Someone presumably has already performed a risk assesment of stuff held in duty free.
Does anyone remember the last post about this, when the guy had his biro confiscated, coz it can stab someone? As I recall he said something about the women in the next queue having some longish spikey hair pin but she was let through. It didn't make any difference, as each security person has a different take on what to allow. Think he went through and then went into WHSmiths and bought a new biro/stabber.
That as well (which is why it is pointless arguing with airport security staff, they have pretty much no scope to bend the rules).
The better ones will say no politely, the worse ones will be rude, but if it could in any way be used as a weapon you still probably won't get it through.
> I googled and youtubed 'SLR Camera as a weapon', but didn't find anything. Can you explain how it would be used?
It's a large weighty bit of metal on a strap... I reckon you could do some a bit of damage with one.
Wreck the camera like.
> It's a large weighty bit of metal on a strap... I reckon you could do some a bit of damage with one.
> Wreck the camera like.
In that case anything is a weapon. I'm a weapon.
> In that case anything is a weapon. I'm a weapon.
I reckon I could do way more dammage with an SLR than a krab or a hex.
The snag is, that whether you could actually do more damage with a fluffy pillow is utterly irrelevant.
It's what will or will not get refused as hand luggage. This has been done to death on here many times, and pretty much every bit of climbing kit has been refused at some point. I, for example, have had a rope refused ("it's a restraint, you could use it to tie people up").
Unless you actually quite fancy re-buying equipment at your destination and then trying to recover your own equipment from security (hah!) then don't take anything through as hand luggage that could be considered "out of the ordinary"..
Appears simple enough to me, and no amount of people saying "yes, well I managed to get my nail clippers, water bottle, krabs, rope, shotgun, minigun and ground-launced cruise missile through security" makes the tinest bit of difference to what is or is not likely to happen to the OP.
Thanks for summing up.
Cheers for all the suggestions.
I will be checking all my equipment in a TNF holdall, cable tied up.
Hand luggage will be for clothes and wear all the heavy stuff - boots coats etc on the plane. 10KG carry on
Thanks again everyone :)
easyJet don't have a weight limit for carry on, just size.
I've never had my hand luggage checked for size on easyjet either so don't worry too much if it's slightly too big! I've got away with a 50 litre sack before now and its definitely a bit bigger than the allowed dimensions.
If you fly regularly they are probably well worth it for making sure that you maximise your luggage allowances without going over the weight limits.
I first used a set on a 12 person mountaineering expedition to Peru where they proved an absolute lifeline - if we hadn't had them it would have been an absolute nightmare when it came to ensuring that every one of 24 hold bags stuffed full of kit were all under the weight limits.
In addition that are great for lightweight backpacking and mountaineering where you want to have an objective check on what you kit weighs or when you want to check you have split loads fairly between yourself and you partner.
Not only a weapon - simply if there is any doubt why you want to carry a piece of unusual kit on board is probably fair grounds for refusal.
I really try to think how things look from their perspective but, as you say, there are security sstaff and security staff. I've had a run in in the past because the clear bag I'd put my toothpaste in for inspection was a Tesco sandwich bag with a bluish tinge !
I've seen them check quite often, but it's almost always trolley bags they check, I don't think I've seen them do a rucksack. This is probably to avoid the debate when it fits but has to be squashed in.
But I wouldn't take the risk, as it's £40 to put it in the hold at the gate or you don't fly.
Never had troubles before, but recently coming back from Vietnam I was found by a member of the air crew as I was boarding the plane who rushed me back through security to see my haul bag surrounded by pretty serious looking guards. They made me open it and show them what I had in it (full trad rack, chalk) and it was only me saying 'it's ok it's ok' that they agreed perhaps it was ok. They didn't look happy though, and had no idea what it all was. I think they were rather scared by the size 6 cam!
What made me more worried was the fact that my bag wasn't on the plane that appeared to be taking off imminently!
All worked out in the end though!
> I've never had my hand luggage checked for size on easyjet either so don't worry too much if it's slightly too big! I've got away with a 50 litre sack before now and its definitely a bit bigger than the allowed dimensions.
I have regularly seen people having to check-in their hand-luggage on RyanAir as it won't fit into that 'thing' they use to measure them.
Ryanair are much fussier than easyJet (I think their staff get commission for catching people out) - but the best advice is always not to try it on and to stick to the absolute letter of the rules because it could ruin your trip just to save the cost of a check-in bag or a bit of time thinking about the best way to pack.
I have this rucksack
Is this pushing it on the size front?
The size is 56x45x25cm. Measure it, if you're having to squash it down to fit you are taking a risk. As my Berghaus Arete Pro 45 is too big (too long) I suspect that's way too big.
I used to have a Karrimor Trail 35 which was about the perfect size.
did you fly with easyjet? have you ever seen anyone have their bag checked by them when it's slightly borderline?
Measure it and make sure you could compress it down to something close to regulation size. I went on the assumption that if I really needed to I'd be able to wear some of the clothes in my bag and compress it down a bit more.
Measure it! They give the dimensions on their web site.
A key component of whether or not anything will be allowed through is profiling and assessment. The easy way out for a tired security guard faced with something different is to say 'no'. If you kick off, - QED. If you're reasonable and ask to speak to a supervisor with a reasonable request, then you can pass an assessment. If in doubt, go and speak to one of the security people first and ask, then check in. It shows that you are a responsible traveler and are dealing with the issues that they face sensibly.
Why they let people take lithium laptop batteries through is a mystery to me - well not really - the fuss that would be caused, plus the worse alternative of having them kicking around in the hold. Polish construction workers with spare power tool batteries in their hold baggage is an issue at present for example.
Yeah its well known ryanair are vigilant checkers on the baggage dimensions, as mentioned easyjet much less so. I've mainly used easyjet, actually I have seen them check once but the bag they checked was 'much' too big.
About 80 times in the last year (I jest not), and a further 80 or so the previous year, though almost always LTN-GVA and back, sometimes LGW-GVA and LTN-ZRH or vice versa. I have seen them check plenty of times, though it is normally hard sided trolley bags (where it will obviously either fit or not) rather than rucksacks (where a debate might ensue).
Nonetheless, if your holiday is important to you my view would be don't take a risk. Or if you do, don't moan when you are caught out and have to pay £40.
I would say that a 55-75 rucksack is *way* too big and likely to be obviously so, though if you pack it half full it might be less obvious.
"Why they let people take lithium laptop batteries through is a mystery to me - well not really - the fuss that would be caused, plus the worse alternative of having them kicking around in the hold."
They are explicitly banned in the hold if not in a device, and you are encouraged to carry on in hand luggage any device that would have one. (It helps that most such devices are too expensive to want to check in anyway).
Logic would say ban them entirely, the trouble is that that would kill the market for business travel - businesses would move heavily away from travel, and the airlines would end up bankrupt.
It's the same reason why duty-free is allowed, IMO. Any risk assessment has to include (and will include) the risk of air travel as we know it becoming completely economically unviable.
I would tend to agree that 55-75 is likely to be visually too big and may get checked.
Thanks, I thought so - its 10 cm too long.
Between the two of us travelling we should be ok...thanks again for all the replies
Yes, mine is checked more often than not when flying Easyjet from Leeds Bradford. Luckily it's always within the limits.
That means that at least the check in staff can't raise any spurious objections. You still run the gauntlet of departure gate staff raising an objection but I've found they are more pre-occupied with getting everyone processed quickly.
One trick we use is get the main rucksack up to the weight limit with the hardwear etc, plus wear a cag with a heap of other stuff in the pockets to the check-in. Once the sac has been weighed it has to go to the 'oversized' belt because of the straps - on the way we fill it up with the extra stuff.
You can have that for free, only don't tell them it was my idea!
Nice tip, thanks Chris :)
Why the cable ties?
Be careful about making your hold bags hard to get into. On or last trip a friend bag failed to arrive at our destination. It turned out that the x-ray operator had picked up something suspect, because the bag was locked and they couldn't check it out they didn't load it onto the same flight as the passenger.
I just thought it may keep people out, but not too much trouble if they needed to get into it for what ever reason. Don't want to get there to find I'm missing quickdraws or other valuable climbing items. At least if the cable ties have been snipped, I know that there has been someone in the bag and can check the equipment against a kit list or something similar.
Thanks for the advice thou :)
I suspect that we massively overestimate the risk of stuff getting nicked from our bags. On your average budget flight they are unlikely to stand still for long enough for anyone to open them without being spotted :-)
> I have regularly seen people having to check-in their hand-luggage on RyanAir as it won't fit into that 'thing' they use to measure them.
Sounds fair to me!
The rules are well enough publicised so why let people get away with breaking them?
If it became known that they were a " soft touch" everyone would star taking advantage of it.
Or indeed, just one of the large reuseable shopping bags. I've done this lots when flying with the kids by myself - take an empty shopping bag, and throw all the stuff I could make them wear (and they will be wearing when arriving/leaving, just not round a hot airport), like ski coats, hats, etc into the shopping bag. If challenged, I'd explain, and get them to put them on if necessary. But the reality is no one's ever quibbled.
Recently returned from Alicante with Monarch, we both used 45L rucksacks for hand luggage, which just met the max dimensions if fully compressed with nothing in the lids. Both bags were weighed in both directions (max 10g) not sure if it was just us cos they looked big or standard practice.
We also used the full 20kg hold baggage allowance each but we did take a full trad rack inc cams, 2 x 60m half ropes plus a 60m and 70 m sport rope, and enough QD's that we could both work sepertae routes if required. As it turns out we took way too many cold weather clothes as the weather was awesome.
One of the main bags was almost a kilo over the limit on the way out but nothing was said but maybe that was why they checked the hand bags.
Took a trad rack to Morocco last year (two sets of wires, loads of cams qd's etc) I got a sportsbag allowance from easyjet which gave us an extra 12kg for £25 each way.
Email them before you book explaining the situation and then reply to them with your booking ref once you have booked.
The silliest thing about it was, the sportsbag for mountaineering equipment was only allowed ropes and helmets in it, so with two 60m ropes, a handful of slings and our helmets the rope bag only weighed 8 kg, but the the remaining weight was allowed over the rest of our luggage, there is (was?) nothing stopping you from taking extra bags on easyjet, its the total weight and the max weight per bag that you need to worry about.
Ended up with weight allowance to permit shopping in Marrakech on the way home.
That's good to know...I will be booking flights soon so I will be sure to email them
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