Airline Travel Question

Harry Longshanks

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I have an odd question.

I'm traveling home for the holidays next week. My family is in Texas, so I'm taking my clubs. Obviously I will be checking them.

My second bag is carry-on size, but I never carry on because I hate the hassle and fighting for overhead space, which I'm sure is even worse since the new fees.

Because my bag qualifies for carry-on (no fee), any chance they will let me check it for free instead, and carry nothing on?

Or would that just scramble the bureaucratic mind of the counter agent?
 

Harry Longshanks

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Oh, by the way:

Carry-On Baggage

You're allowed one carry-on bag, which can measure up to 10" H x 17" W x 24" L (25 x 43 x 61 cm), plus one personal item, such as a purse, briefcase or laptop computer. At least one of the items should be stowed under the seat in front of you.

Important: Keys, medication, and travel documents should always be packed in your carry-on baggage.

The following items may count as your "one" carry-on bag and may exceed the carry-on dimensions as long as they can be safely accommodated in a proper stowage compartment in the cabin of the aircraft.

  • Art/Advertising portfolios
  • Paintings
  • Delicate scientific equipment
  • Fishing poles
  • Human organs
Good to know.
 

JB

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It definitely depends on the airlines. My best friend is a pilot for Delta and I just asked him and he said that they should allow you to check it.
 

Smallville

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Don't know what airline you are using, but if it was Southwest, you get two free checked bags (including golf clubs). But just because we are talking about airlines, I'd bet someone elses farm that if you check it, you pay for it, regardless if you could carry it on. You're not, so I'd expect to pay. And if I didn't, I'd be happily surprised.
 

ClairefromClare

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Airlines are idiots. I'd just carry it on.

Also, most airlines now have self-serve bag checks inside the terminal. Faster/easier than curbside check-in, plus you don't have to tip.

We're going to have fun next week because we bought tickets well before October 1, when the fees came into effect. So we ought to be able to check all seven or eight bags (lots of ski and snowboard equipment) for free. I expect a lengthy debate on that one.
 

Harry Longshanks

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Airlines are idiots. I'd just carry it on.

Also, most airlines now have self-serve bag checks inside the terminal. Faster/easier than curbside check-in, plus you don't have to tip.

We're going to have fun next week because we bought tickets well before October 1, when the fees came into effect. So we ought to be able to check all seven or eight bags (lots of ski and snowboard equipment) for free. I expect a lengthy debate on that one.
I suggest you print out the page from the website that grandfathers you in.

I'm flying Alaska, which requires self-service check in.

I'm mentally preparing for battles with airline personnel and other passengers over carry-on. I haven't flown since the new rules, and I expect the plane the be overcrowded with carry-on luggage. I'm 6'3" and my legs barely fit in the seat space as it is. A 4 hour flight is literally painful. Especially during the holidays when they move the seats even closer so they can add an extra row or two. My knees are always wedged into the seat in font of me.

One year, the woman next to me had put her excess carry-on crap under the seat in front of me. And then she became livid when I told her that was my space, that I specifically didn't bring carry-on luggage so I could keep that space clear so my knees weren't in my chest, and that she had to move it.

I'm also concerned that I'm going to get bumped because when I tried to select a seat online, I got a message that said "Seats for this flight will be assigned at check-in." That's code for "this flight is oversold, and there is no seat for you", right?
 

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I suggest upgrading.
 

julie_m

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I haven't flown since the new rules
May I highly recommend having your one quart plastic ziplock ready before going to the airport? (All toiletries and liquids go in that thing.) I think that slows down the lines most of all, people shoving their entire carry on worth of perfume and shaving cream into a sandwich bag a TSA guy gives them, usually cursing the entire time.

I'm also concerned that I'm going to get bumped because when I tried to select a seat online, I got a message that said "Seats for this flight will be assigned at check-in." That's code for "this flight is oversold, and there is no seat for you", right?
That's a bummer. I do what my dad used to and always request the emergency exit row for my legs, that works well, and they treat you like some kind of hero when you act up to the challenge of operating the slide.
 

Harry Longshanks

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May I highly recommend having your one quart plastic ziplock ready before going to the airport? (All toiletries and liquids go in that thing.) I think that slows down the lines most of all, people shoving their entire carry on worth of perfume and shaving cream into a sandwich bag a TSA guy gives them, usually cursing the entire time.
All my toiletries will go in my golf bag.

Last year, the TSA was yelling at the line continuously about the rules for liquids, and STILL, every third person was shocked and unprepared. WTF? I'm honestly scared for the future of the human race. I seriously think we have overprotected the idiots of society, and now they are breeding at a far higher rate than smart people. We are doomed.



That's a bummer. I do what my dad used to and always request the emergency exit row for my legs, that works well, and they treat you like some kind of hero when you act up to the challenge of operating the slide.
I always do. Except everyone knows that trick now, and even though I get to the airport very early, those seats are always gone. And I'm always amazed at how they put someone in the seat who will kill us all because they are incapable of performing the tasks required in an emergency situation (elderly and won't be able to open the door, morbidly obese and won't be able to fit through the door, child and won't be strong enough to open the door . . .)
 

907golfer12

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I'm also concerned that I'm going to get bumped because when I tried to select a seat online, I got a message that said "Seats for this flight will be assigned at check-in." That's code for "this flight is oversold, and there is no seat for you", right?
Since I'm in Alaska and fly with them everywhere, I will say that you will not get bumped. Like I said I fly with them everywhere, so 14 years of flying with at the very least 2 flights a year, my family has only been able to pick our seats once when doing it online. I don't know the the heck they have that while your getting tickets online, but what ever. I can say for sure that you won't get bumped.

On the topic of checking the "carry on," I'm almost 100% sure that you will not be able to check it for free. The only thing you could do is upgrade to First Class, but you may not want to pay that fee.
 
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ClairefromClare

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...and now they are breeding at a far higher rate than smart people. We are doomed.
They've been breeding faster since the dawn of time. It's just the smart ones who are waiting longer and longer to reproduce.
 

DDBowdoin

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luckily AerLingus covered my golf bag... otherwise you can get slammed with the oversize charge on a travel bag.

if I travel anywhere in the US, I'll ship them UPS overnight to the hotel and avoid charges
 

ClairefromClare

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luckily AerLingus covered my golf bag... otherwise you can get slammed with the oversize charge on a travel bag.

if I travel anywhere in the US, I'll ship them UPS overnight to the hotel and avoid charges
I know there are services that do that with clubs, and I'm seriously considering it as well. We hope to play a fair amount of golf on next year's travels, and between having spent a lot of effort putting my bag together and that old left-handed woman thing, I simply don't want to take my chances with rental clubs.
 

DDBowdoin

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I know there are services that do that with clubs, and I'm seriously considering it as well. We hope to play a fair amount of golf on next year's travels, and between having spent a lot of effort putting my bag together and that old left-handed woman thing, I simply don't want to take my chances with rental clubs.
rentals are OK if you are just playing standard courses... but if you're traveling, with golf as your primary objective, then yes use one of the many services to ship your clubs down.
 

Harry Longshanks

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luckily AerLingus covered my golf bag... otherwise you can get slammed with the oversize charge on a travel bag.

if I travel anywhere in the US, I'll ship them UPS overnight to the hotel and avoid charges
I checked that before I booked the flight. Most airlines have an exception to the size limits for sporting equipment, including golf clubs and skis/snowboards. I always find the written policy on the website and print it out. Sometimes it's hidden pretty good, but it's usually there.


Passengers traveling on Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air may check their first bag free of charge. A second bag may be checked for $25 one way. Each bag can be a maximum of 62 linear inches (length + width + height) and may weigh up to 50 pounds. Additional fees apply if there are 3 or more bags being checked, or if the bags are overweight or oversized.
Some sporting equipment (snow skis, golf clubs), may be checked in lieu of one piece of luggage, if packaged in a suitable container. Sporting equipment checked in addition to the free baggage allowance is charged an excess fee. There is a fee charged in all situations for some equipment (surfboards, scuba gear). View details about allowances and fees for specific sporting equipment.
Golfing:
To be packaged in a proper soft or hard golf case. There is no limit to the number of items inside the bag. Golf Equipment may exceed 62 linear inches, but no more than 115 linear inches, provided the equipment does not exceed 50 pounds.
Skiing:
To be packaged in a proper soft or hard ski/snowboard bag. Ski equipment may exceed 62 linear inches, but must be no more than 115 linear inches.
I have yet to find a shipping service that doesn't take longer and is not significantly more expensive than baggage fees. I recently read an article in one of the golf magazines that concluded the same thing (but I can't find the article now. Will add a link if I can find it.)

EDIT: Found the link re shipping fees vs. baggage fees:
http://www.golfdigest.com/courses/blogs/mattyg/2008/11/1-800-ship-my-c.html
 
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Harry Longshanks

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Since I'm in Alaska and fly with them everywhere, I will say that you will not get bumped. Like I said I fly with them everywhere, so 14 years of flying with at the very least 2 flights a year, my family has only been able to pick our seats once when doing it online. I don't know the the heck they have that while your getting tickets online, but what ever. I can say for sure that you won't get bumped.

On the topic of checking the "carry on," I'm almost 100% sure that you will not be able to check it for free. The only thing you could do is upgrade to First Class, but you may not want to pay that fee.
Well, the flight was full and the runways clear, so no issue there - left on time and arrived on time. (The taxi driver's ability to navigate my street in the slush was a different matter.)

However, the carry-on/checked baggage was as expected - bureaucratic obstinance. Alaska makes you check in online or at an automated kiosk at the airport. You have to declare # checked bags when you get your automated boarding pass. When I checked my golf bag, I pointed to my carry-on and said:
Harry: "I know there is a fee to check a second bag, but what if I check this bag and carry on nothing? Will the fee be waived?"

Dude: "Nope. No way I can do that. Otherwise there wouldn't be a fee for the second checked bag."

Harry: "Well, I know. But I'm just going to carry it on if I can't check it. I just hate carrying on luggage. I don't have a third bag or anything. It's still 2 bags on the plane. It's just cargo hold versus cabin, so it's the same weight either way"

Dude: "Right, same weight. But the thing is, it's not the weight. It's that we have to pay the baggage handlers."

Harry [jaw dropped for a second]: "I see. So, you're paying the baggage handlers by the bag now, are you. [Turn and walk away, dragging the carry on with me.] It's not the fuel surcharge like you said when you announced the extra charges a few months ago."
 

ClairefromClare

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I'm thrilled you got to your folks for Christmas, Harry!
 

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