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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am leaving on a trip in a couple of weeks flying with US airways. I want to bring a rod for popping but their baggage policy really sucks (62" max unless you pay $100). Does anyone have any suggestions for a 2 piece popping rod? The destination is Golfito, CR and I would be throwing some homemade poppers 1/2oz -3oz. Thanks!
 

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I'm not familiar with US airways rules, but I can tell you a few things that will happen once you get to San Jose, CR. I went down right after X-Mas this year. If you are flying from San Jose to Golfito, you will be charged $50 for sporting equipment. (rod case, surfboard). They will also charge you for extra weight on your check in bags. I can't remember what it is (around 25#s total) you will have to pay "X" amount for each pound. If you yourself hit the scales over 250#s you will be charged for another whole ticket. That's both ways to and from Golfito to San Jose. I was lucky on the way back to San Jose and they didn't charge any extra because the plane was almost empty. I went to Puerto Jimenez, but the same rules apply to Golfito. If you don't like it, you can take the bus from San Jose to Golfito. It's only about $10 but it will take over 12 hours. Your call. I pulled out my wallet. I almost hired a Taxi to take me. He wanted $225. That was cheaper than all the extras. But, I didn't want to spend six hours in a taxi.

Here's the big problem. When you get back to San Jose, do NOT have any line on your reels in your carry on bag. You will have to remove it right there on the spot into a trash can. CR has a flying rule when leaving the country. "No fishing line on carry-on bags". You can either take your spools off and put them in your check-in bag (if spinning) or put your reels with the line on them in your check-in bag.

I'm not sure why, but when leaving San Jose to come back to the states, every single person on the plane had to empty out their carry-on bags onto a table. They looked at everything. Maybe they just run a tight ship in CR, but it makes boarding a very slow process. They spent 10 minutes on me alone and another 10 minutes on my wife's carry on bag.
 

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TJ is right. I traveled to many different destionations including San Jose, Cosat Rich by carrying on OTI 7'6" two-piece popping rods without single problem so far. But I don't know about the local flight from San Jose to Golfito.
 

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This seems to be a problem with several airlines. For some airlines, the maximum length dimension for skis and fishing poles/cases is not specific. This opens the door to some arbitrary decision on the part of employees.

Sportfishing associations and clubs should work toward getting airlines to clarify policies with reasonable length dimensions. I haven't researched all the airlines, just a few that I use. I'll start a list and others can PM me if you have specifics, together with the airline's webpage URL. I'll add them to the list below in alpha order.

These are general rules. Today, most airlines are charging extra "fees" for baggage, in part due to abuses*. Tip: Print out a copy of the airline's rule for fishing gear, just in case (increasingly likely) you encounter a know-nothing, incompetent employee. Heed MrsBill's advice, "Don't let this ruin our vacation".

AIRLINE

Alaska: 115" and 50lb maximum.

Fishing Equipment

Continental: 80" or 115", depending on type of plane.

Sports Equipment

Frontier: Policy for fishing poles/case is vague. 109" maximum in place on several other types of "special items."

Frontier Baggage Chart

Nature Air: Subject to "space" and "extra fee of $40 per flight." However "...no luggage regardless of weight is guaranteed transfer on the same flight as the ticketed passenger." Central America, ain't it wonderful. :D

What are your baggage allowances?

United: 109" maximum, fishing equipment considered "checked bag equivalent."

United Airlines - U.S./Canada special items

US Airways: Policy for fishing poles/case is vague. Special items longer than 62" are charged extra ($100).

Special Items


PS. Once it's more-or-less complete, I'll create a .pdf file for easy printing.

_________________________________________

TSA Policy regarding "expensive" fishing reels: Traveling with Special Items - Hunting & Fishing Equipment
Print this page and carry it with your reels in your carry-on bag. Note, there's no mention of fishing line not be allowed on board.

* I remember a Continental flight to Aruba/Bonaire several years ago. The plane stopped in Haiti. The Haitian market merchants would fly to Miami with absolutely HUGE suitcases, shop K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Sams, etc., for their inventories, then load it on the return flight as personal baggage. They would even try to stuff huge suitcases in the overhead. The ploy also allowed them to circumvent onerous import tariffs. It was a total circus.

First, I didn't think the plane would get off the ground with the combo of load and heat. Then, when the plane did it the ground HARD in Port-au-Prince, I just knew the landing gears would rip off.

Ever sit on the tarmac with 20 - 400lb Haitian women in 110 degrees and no AC? :eek:
 

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mrbill - how much of what you paid do you think was legit versus pocket stuffing?


I think it was legitimate. They have the extras on a sign right behind the counter. This is the hopper planes. It's a different airport than the main one in San Jose. In fact, I don't like using a credit card when traveling. I know you need one when you check into a hotel but I like using green cash.

I think my total for the extras (excluding the air fair) when going from San Jose to Puerto Jiminez was around $450. I remember I was a little pissed off-ed. My wife looked at me and said something like "Honey, your a tourist on vacation, your supposed to get the shaft", "Don't let this ruin our vacation".

I even tried a bribe. I told her to let it slide and I'd slip her a hundred dollar bill. She really didn't want the cash. So, I pulled out my wallet and gave the girl five "C" notes for the extra crap. She pretty much insisted that their system would rather me use a credit card. I was surprised she didn't take the cash. So, I used a credit card.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow, thanks for all the quick replies. I am new to this type of fishing so this site has been very helpful.

Minnow, I was looking at the Tuna Sniper online but thought it was too long.
5' puts me just under 62" though - perfect!

Paul, Yeah I'm near Philly. Do you have a shop? If so PM location and I'll stop by to look at Tuna Sniper.

Mr. Bill, Thanks for the heads up on the line. That must be a new rule because I didn't have a problem last year when I passed through CR on the way to Panama. I'm flying Nature Air to Puerto Jimenez and plan to travel light to save $ and hassle.

Dan, I didn't know US Air had such a strict limit until after I bought the tix (super cheap + nonstop). Last few trips I took Continental which has a 80" max on fishing gear.

Thanks again guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am now realizing that you didn't recommend Tuna Sniper but another popping rod made by OTI...told ya I was new at this.!
 

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Wow, thanks for all the quick replies. I am new to this type of fishing so this site has been very helpful.

Minnow, I was looking at the Tuna Sniper online but thought it was too long.
5' puts me just under 62" though - perfect!

Paul, Yeah I'm near Philly. Do you have a shop? If so PM location and I'll stop by to look at Tuna Sniper.

Mr. Bill, Thanks for the heads up on the line. That must be a new rule because I didn't have a problem last year when I passed through CR on the way to Panama. I'm flying Nature Air to Puerto Jimenez and plan to travel light to save $ and hassle.

Dan, I didn't know US Air had such a strict limit until after I bought the tix (super cheap + nonstop). Last few trips I took Continental which has a 80" max on fishing gear.

Thanks again guys.
i am waiting on the tuna sniper now.
i have the 7'6" here
 
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