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Crampons as a Carry-on when flying?

Post general questions and discuss issues related to climbing.
 

Re: Crampons as a Carry-on when flying?

Postby RyderS » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:58 pm

Generally, if you have to go and ask a TSA official whether the item in question is okay to bring on the plane, they get a little skiddish. I was trying to figure out whether or not I could bring my rope as a carry-on since I needed to cut weight on my checked baggage to avoid paying the heavy bag fee. The TSA guy had to get his supervisor to check, and the supervisor told me to leave the rope in checked luggage. Many of the officials aren't familiar with camping gear, so they end up applying TSA policy as broadly as possible to cover themselves/their jobs.

I brought a ton of gear from Boston out to Mount Whitney, and I had my bag searched both ways. True, it can be a risk, especially considering my entire trad rack was in there, among other things. But I did not want TSA people to get weirded out by a large metal mass with a ton of wire-looking runners attached to them in a carry-on; a rack is way too expensive to lose... Like Vitaliy said, the convenience of having the gear on you has to be weighed against the risk of getting stopped and forced to check the item... or worse, having it confiscated. If you're not direly trying to avoid overweight baggage fees or something along those lines, just check it. You can take one little countermeasure for protecting the gear by packing stuff like crampons and/or trad racks in stuff sacks and packing them underneath/in your clothes/less important or generally compressible gear. Also, you could keep a list and dated photos of all your significant gear that you check, too. It may seem excessive, but it gave me peace of mind knowing I had some form of backup while sitting on the plane for hours.

So what I'm saying is, I guess, that even though there are some lax airports that you can luck out in, the general trend of the TSA is excessive safety, sometimes to the point of paranoia (some TSA official was sure she saw a bunch of liquids in my pack, and she was difficult to convince otherwise even after another security guy went through my pack by hand...). I wouldn't test how flexible they are with their policies, it will only leave you with headaches. Air travel just likes to do that...
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Re: Crampons as a Carry-on when flying?

Postby Marmaduke » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:10 pm

Image ??? :lol:
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Re: Crampons as a Carry-on when flying?

Postby CClaude » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:06 pm

Chances are that you won't get very far when/if you try. Its up to the inspector and his/her supervisor in charge during the shift, especially if its not explicitly mentioned on the TSA list. On a trip back from Squamish, the inspector questioned cams and biners until his supervisor came over and allowed it. Don't even try to argue the point (no pun intended). If they say no, arguing the point will only make your chances of getting through worse.

In general sharp objects that are well protected in CHECKED bags won't be confiscated. The bags will be checked (I always get that notice in my bag(s) that is filled with climbing gear) but I have never heard of gear being confiscated (with the exception of stoves of any sorts which no matter what you do, its always a crap shoot).

Funny thing with all officals I meet while travelling. ...... I know they are not suppose to stereotype people, but the better I am dressed, the easier things go, so in general I usually pack chino's and a travel button up shirt for dealing with officals and they tend to treat me better. It still won't get you on the plane with the crampons though.
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Re: Crampons as a Carry-on when flying?

Postby Bob Sihler » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:40 pm

AlexeyD wrote:My guess is TSA will simply not know what they are, which means it's really up to the individual agent to make the call.


I'd guess that, too. The typical TSA agent will probably think crampons are some kind of exotic martial arts weapon. Really, though, I can't imagine you'd get on board carrying something like crampons.
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Re: Crampons as a Carry-on when flying?

Postby aran » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:07 am

anita wrote:this thread is funny
if a guy asked a dumb question, he'd have been berated and laughed at.
a girl asks the question and the thread goes on and on!

can I bring my ice tool's spare picks in my pockets on a plane? what about cans of fuel in my purse? why has REI gone soft? what gear do I need for Everest?!
8)


Never underestimate the power of a woman in need! :lol:
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Re: Crampons as a Carry-on when flying?

Postby Marmaduke » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:57 am

Vitaliy M wrote:
Marmaduke wrote:Image ??? :lol:


Oh boy, did you use one yet?


NO, In need of an Instructor.
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Re: Crampons as a Carry-on when flying?

Postby MoapaPk » Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:12 am

mrchad9 wrote:Oh leave Kristin alone Vitaliy!

I don't see why this would be a joke. I would be surprised if you could not carry them on, but I don't know. Your best bet would be to ask at an airport, but they would have to know what crampons are. Maybe someone who is flying soon can ask for you if no one here has tried it already.

My mother flies with these all the time, and hers are over a foot long. I'd use them as a weapon before crampons...


This amazes me, because my mom had her knitting needles taken away starting in about 1995. Back then the suspect items were brought to a locked cabinet in the plane, or pulled and sent to baggage check at the gate. After the second time, she just checked them at the start.
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Re: Crampons as a Carry-on when flying?

Postby lcarreau » Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:41 am

"Spock, I don't think it's a good idea to take that thing aboard any Starship. Set phasers on stun !!!"

Image
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Re: Crampons as a Carry-on when flying?

Postby AlexeyD » Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:42 pm

anita wrote:this thread is funny
if a guy asked a dumb question, he'd have been berated and laughed at.
a girl asks the question and the thread goes on and on! 8)


I don't think I've ever been berated on SP for asking any questions. So, either I never ask dumb questions, or SP-er must think I'm a girl :shock:
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Re: Crampons as a Carry-on when flying?

Postby Proterra » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:25 pm

Forget it.

My experience (>30 flights) is that all kinds of ice tools, geological equipment such as rock hammers, and pretty much anything with a bladed edge, sharp point or what could be used as a blunt-force weapon will be confiscated.

I have, on one occasion, even lost a plastic bottle opener to the greedy hands of airport security at EDI, which was supposed to fit all the aviation safety rules, but that was after I held them up for 40 minutes because I had packed upwards of 60 lbs of rocksamples individually in my carry-on to avoid check-in fee...

Conversation went like this:

"what's this?"

"Lewisian Gneiss, Neo-Archean, Scourie outcrops"

"And this?"

"Torridonian Sandstone, Torridon Group, Applecross Formation. Neoproterozoic Era, Tonian Period. Near Rhiconich."

"And this?"

While holding up every single packed sample that came out of my carry-on.

Needless to say, when they were done with my rocks, airport security was pissed off enough to send my carry-on through their X-ray another three or four times, just to check whether they had overlooked something... That's when they got that little plastic opener... The poor lassie who took it even offered to stab me with it when I told her that was safe to take on the flight.

5 years prior to that, I've gotten a crow bar and a monkeywrench into the cabin without me even knowing it. Most likely the metal frame of my carry-on pack had sort of camouflaged it. Either that, or the airport security guy had smoked too much before work... Anyway, had helped out at a squatting in Nijmegen and was flying back from NRN to PIK when I went through my carry-on to get my MP3 player out and had this "oh fuck..." moment. Didn't pull it out, didn't mention it at all to the people on board, and just forgot about it. Didn't feel the need to start something there...

But yeah, dealing with airport security, it's best to stick to nothing sharp or bladed, nothing that can pose a fire threat, and nothing that can be used as a blunt force weapon. Basically, if you can fuck somebody up with it more than with just your bare hands, it's not O.K....

Cheers,
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Re: Crampons as a Carry-on when flying?

Postby drpw » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:36 pm

Proterra wrote:5 years prior to that, I've gotten a crow bar and a monkeywrench into the cabin without me even knowing it. Most likely the metal frame of my carry-on pack had sort of camouflaged it. Either that, or the airport security guy had smoked too much before work... Anyway, had helped out at a squatting in Nijmegen and was flying back from NRN to PIK when I went through my carry-on to get my MP3 player out and had this "oh fuck..." moment. Didn't pull it out, didn't mention it at all to the people on board, and just forgot about it. Didn't feel the need to start something there...


Imagine if something bad had gone down though, you would have been able to handle the situation easily. The only thing to add to that is a 3 foot length of heavy chain, and then a real old school beat down would have been possible.
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