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Kites! Kites! Kites! => Photos and Videos => Topic started by: photogbill on January 07, 2014, 02:42 PM



Title: Air Travel Kite Case: The Verdict is In!
Post by: photogbill on January 07, 2014, 02:42 PM
I thought I'd share a recent discovery/acquisition I bought as a kite case. I was looking around for something to use to take as many kites as I could while traveling by plane. I did a lot of internet searching. I looked at golf travel cases, snowboard cases, archery bow cases, etc. ...and almost 'settled' for a youth size archery case which would have fallen within the size limits for Southwest Air  but was a little leary about it's shape (how well it would accommodate my kites) & it's durability. That's when I discovered the 'Plano All Weather 36" (Rifle) Takedown Case':

http://www.planomolding.com/product.php?BCCID=121&PID=874 (http://www.planomolding.com/product.php?BCCID=121&PID=874)

Closed case has exterior dimensions of  40" x 15" x 5.5" (measure at the extreme outer edges , including the latches) and interior dimensions of 37" x 14" x 5" ...which makes it just under the 62" maximum size for Southwest's checked-in baggage size without falling into the over-sizd baggage cost. I might add that my trip down to the TISKC Festival will be the first time I travel with it but I don't anticipate having any difficulty using it as my 'free' 2nd checked in bag when I fly.

I ordered the case through Amazon and just got it yesterday. It comes with egg-crate padding in both top and bottom, as well as a 'pluck foam' insert for use with rifles or anything else you want to make customized compartments for within the case. The top padding is glued securely into the lid but both of the bottom paddings are completely removable, which is what I did to accommodate as many kites as I could, comfortably. I ended up being able to bring 2 full-sized 8'er deltas, 6 medium 7'+ (Nirvana NFX Extend size) kites, and a Rev B'series size kite. That's 9 kites total.


(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7390/11825195673_04d5cd26ed_o.jpg)

The case is ruggedly constructed and resembles a Pelican case, at about 1/4 of the price, & under $70. The case does NOT come with the grey interior straps you see in my photo. I installed those myself with pop-rivets as an added security in case TSA agents decide to open & inspect the case. I'm hoping this will help prevent them from mis-arranging my kites before closing the case back up for transport. If you decide to get one of these for yourself, the case is built with 5 latches (2 being being key lockable, however they can't be used as checked baggage) & you will need 'cable loop type' TSA locks since the fixed loops in the normal TSA luggage locks are too short. The latches are surrounded by heavy duty molded structures to help keep them from accidentally popping opened during baggage handling. It has a real nice heavy duty handle that 'clicks' down flat in a 'safe' position during baggage handling. The case is watertight, airtight & dust proof & has a pressure relief value.

All in all ...I think I have found the "perfect" kite travel-case for traveling (or shipping a lot of kites) by air! I have previously shipped kites down ahead of time in an "Airliner" heavy-duty collapsable plastic tube/case that's made for fishing rods ....but got charged an extra charge ...after the fact ...by UPS last year when I shipped them down south to a friend. UPS claimed the extra charge was justified due to the fact that the "container" wasn't 'square' and required extra care in handling. (Have I mentioned yet that I HATE UPS?) I should have fought the extra charge since they automatically billed me (on my credit card) after the shipment had reached it's destination without informing me of the extra charge ahead of time.  >:(

At any rate I was only able to ship 5 kites in the 'Airliner' tube and they were very tightly crammed inside. It required extreme care when sliding the upper portion of the tube down 'inside' the top portion of the tube as to not damage any of the kite's connectors & center T's.

Here's the rest of the photos I took of the new case:


http://www.flickr.com/photos/62683296@N00/sets/72157639530917873/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/62683296@N00/sets/72157639530917873/)




Title: Re: Air Travel Kite Case
Post by: Jared on January 07, 2014, 03:15 PM
Quote
I installed those myself with pop-rivets as an added security in case TSA agents decide to open & inspect the case. I'm hoping this will help prevent them from mis-arranging my kites before closing the case back up for transport.

I would love it if that part were true, but when I've flown with my R-Sky bag, with each kite neatly tucked into a pocket, the TSA choose to pull out every single kite, then just lump them all back into the bag with no attention given the care I had taken in packing the fragile kites to the center / durable kites to the outside.

When dealing with the TSA, the rule always has to be "assume they will screw it up in the worst way possible, and you won't be disappointed"


Title: Re: Air Travel Kite Case
Post by: photogbill on January 07, 2014, 03:21 PM
I know my 'hopes' were mostly wishful thinking when it comes to TSA drones ...but at least I feel that I've done the extra effort to help insure my kites all arrive safely! I guess I'll find out soon enough!


Title: Re: Air Travel Kite Case
Post by: Tmadz on January 07, 2014, 03:33 PM
Please let us know how it works our for you. Very interested in this solution.


Title: Re: Air Travel Kite Case
Post by: Jorge Gouverneur on January 07, 2014, 04:35 PM
It looks really nice. I bet the kites are well protected too.

That looks like a 61 Keys musical keyboard case. to get it under $70 was a great deal


A 61 Keys Keyboard case is around the same dimensions and have seen them for mid $100th to $200 at the music stores. Some are soft cases other hard cases. Maybe looking around can find them under $100.


I've always seen those keyboard cases every time I went to the music stores, but never thought of it. Great Discovery.

I'm going to TISKC Festival too. Hope to see you with your new case there  :)

Thanks photogbill


Title: Re: Air Travel Kite Case
Post by: photogbill on January 07, 2014, 05:01 PM
Please let us know how it works our for you. Very interested in this solution.

I sure will report back! 

It looks really nice. I bet the kites are well protected too.
...
I've always seen those keyboard cases every time I went to the music stores, but never thought of it. Great Discovery.

I'm going to TISKC Festival too. Hope to see you with your new case there  :)

Thanks photogbill

Thanks! It seems to be very durable and should be able to take some baggage handling abuse! I imagine if someone wanted to they could take the foam padding out from the lid and add a few more kites and still have plenty of protection ...since it's walls are pretty thick! I was happy to get 9 kites in there. I didn't think I'd be able to fit that many. I could probably of gone with one or two more but didn't want  to press my luck with the foam left in the lid. It does close 'snugly'.

I'll look forward to meeting you @ TI!

One more thing. Those cable style TSA locks do not keep the case lid from being raised slightly but since it will be checked in ...and picked up at baggage claims, as soon as I arrive at my airport destination...I'm not too concerned. I can always use the lockable latches for security in other circumstances if I want to.


Title: Re: Air Travel Kite Case
Post by: REVflyer on January 08, 2014, 04:44 AM
I use the SKB hard-sider for a set of golf clubs to travel.  I actually carry a putter in there too, so I can tell the airlines
"Honest, it's filled with sports & golf equipment" (NO weight restrictions apply)  Shave kit, knife, scissors, lighter, gortex suit, stout boots, all the crap goes in there.

It's on wheels and pretty darn tough, you can kick it or sit on top of it without damage.  The bride and I will lug two of these down to TISKC next thursday,.... see you there I hope!


Title: Re: Air Travel Kite Case
Post by: thief on January 08, 2014, 07:21 AM
looks like a nice box...i also found this one on amazon: Plano Pillared Take Down Gun Case too...36" long....36$.....
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/91-RwxVQEBS._SL1500_.jpg)


Title: Re: Air Travel Kite Case: + Update
Post by: photogbill on January 08, 2014, 12:02 PM
I use the SKB hard-sider for a set of golf clubs to travel.  I actually carry a putter in there too, so I can tell the airlines
"Honest, it's filled with sports & golf equipment" (NO weight restrictions apply)  Shave kit, knife, scissors, lighter, gortex suit, stout boots, all the crap goes in there.

It's on wheels and pretty darn tough, you can kick it or sit on top of it without damage.  The bride and I will lug two of these down to TISKC next thursday,.... see you there I hope!


It sounds like you found a good system as well. We'll have to get together down in TI and compare travel cases ....LOL!

To update my post: I needed to purchase another TSA cable style lock since I only had the one seen in my previous photos that I had purchased awhile back at a TJMAXX, I think. I did an internet search and discovered similar locks made by Pelican Model# 1506TSA PeliLock. I decided to give them a try and ordered a set (2) of them.

I placed my order with one of my favorite online merchants B&H Photo & Video. I figured since they probably stocked Pelican travel cases that they would have the Pelican brand locks that I had found on Amazon. I was right and their price for the locks was virtually identical ....with two big differences. Two-to-three day expedited shipping (from both) was less than 1/2 price with B&H ...and B&H delivered them to me this afternoon ...as promised after ordering them yesterday afternoon at approx. 12 noon! ONE DAY! Actually I've ordered thousands of dollars in merchandise with B&H over the years and they are THE BEST when it comes to getting you your ordered 'in stock' merchandise in a fast timely manner of any online merchant I have ever used! I realize that I may be relatively close to them, mileage wise (NYC & Philadelphia Suburbs), but to get them to me that fast is pretty remarkable, IMO.  I highly recommend them for anything they sell! They are a very reputable and honest merchant! (They DO NOT sell kites or kite related products.)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/391999-REG/Pelican_1500_518_000_1506TSA_Lock.html (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/391999-REG/Pelican_1500_518_000_1506TSA_Lock.html)

This photo shows the difference in the two cable locks (right-click image and 'Open image in new window' for larger view) :

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3730/11841682634_40c4018a34_o.jpg)

Sharper Image brand on left & Pelican brand (Model# 1506TSA PeliLock) on right. The cable is thiner on the Pelican lock but it is also shorter so it doesn't allow your locked case to be opened as far when attached which makes your internal belongings safer from amateur thieves. I would imagine that a kite could be slid out with the 'Sharper Image' lock & I highly doubt it would be possible with the Pelican lock. Neither one would prevent a pro thief with the right tools from stealing your belongings. The pelican also just feels more solidly made & like it will be more durable. It's a little tricky setting your custom combination on the Pelican lock but that isn't anything you need to do very often.


Title: Re: Air Travel Kite Case: + Update
Post by: ezme6 on January 09, 2014, 02:17 PM
I just use a soft bag, stuff it Full, never had a problem, domestic or international flights.... 8)


Title: Re: Air Travel Kite Case: + Update
Post by: photogbill on January 10, 2014, 08:01 AM
I just use a soft bag, stuff it Full, never had a problem, domestic or international flights.... 8)

I'm glad you've had good experiences. I'm just curious about a few things. By "soft bag" ...do you mean a soft multi-kite bag? Were the leading edges unassembled? What was the total size (length + width + height) of the baggage? Did any of the airlines try to charge you an extra charge for 'oversize' baggage?

This will be my first time traveling where I checked baggage in containing my kites. Previously. I've sent my kites down ahead of time to a friend by UPS

I guess I'm the untrusting type, in general ...and would rather take the extra precautions to protect my investments ...especially when it comes to the TSA & any other government agency!


Title: Re: Air Travel Kite Case: + Update
Post by: thief on January 10, 2014, 08:25 AM
i have done the soft bag thing before and traveled with a HQ Padded Travel bag (sadly long gone)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-YFQnBzgGlbk/R0lsLMdNzDI/AAAAAAAATAQ/0ssgzG6eH_g/s512/DSCF0895.JPG)
full of kites and clothing....

Back when Dodd was with New Tech he had a hand (i guess) in designing their big roll up bag....Dodd came to the Newport Kite Festival with his and unrolled it on the field...out poured kites, shirts, pants, socks and everything.....but the kites were safe..

i do carry my Scott Hampton kites flat in an archery bow case....That keeps the kites flat....and safe....and that way i can also lash the case right to the roof rack with out any worries for driving travel......
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ajkwbv7ffnU/RzL-3Lm8JSI/AAAAAAAALYc/6LrC7yqHvXk/s512/DSCF0820.JPG)

my wife and i drove up to Moncton Canada for the 2011 Dieppe Canada kite festival....the archery bow case was in the car and i had forgotten what it actually was.....
the border guard asked if i had any weapons...said "nope!"  a mile down the road my wife looks at me and says "what???????? you have a case that was for archery bows! what if they wanted to search the car????"...."well...they would have seen the case and found it full of kites......" what else was i going to say! ;)


Title: Re: Air Travel Kite Case: + Update
Post by: KaoS on January 10, 2014, 04:02 PM
I just use a soft bag, stuff it Full, never had a problem, domestic or international flights.... 8)

Yep, me too! I've traveled to festivals in 14 different countries and have only ever used soft bags. Never had a breakage, never had a bag damaged. I did use ski/snowboard bags for a while (they're padded), but nowadays I just use unlined cordura bags (they're lighter).

But I have heard horror stories about baggage and air travel in the USA, and pretty much every US kite flyer with framed kites turns up to international events with a hard case - golf, archery, rifle, etc.  Must be a reason  >:(

It seems to be similar with postage too.  I buy and sell overseas items regularly.  The only time I get damaged parcels is when they are delivered USPS - I think they use garbage compactors to fit more mail into their containers  :(


Title: Re: Air Travel Kite Case: + Update
Post by: photogbill on January 10, 2014, 06:10 PM
Thanks for the extra input & info ezme6, thief, and KaoS. I have an R-Sky padded kite bag that would hold 10 or more kites and accessories but I think I'd worry too much about breakage if I used it ...and I haven't measured it but it appears to be way over the size restrictions I have read for check-in without getting charged extra for over-size baggage. I've also heard ...years ago that Airlines baggage claim agents are skittish about checking bags with kites in them. I'm sure it's totally due to a lake of knowledge about our sport & our kites. That's another reason I chose to go with a hard case. It'll be hard for them to argue that my kites aren't adequately protected with them being in the case I bought!
Is the HQ padded bag as large as the R-Sky ones? MY R-Sky bag will hold all my kites with the LEs assembled, even my 8+ footer duel liners.
Based on Kevin's comments ...it looks like I'm not alone in going the hard case route for US domestic travel. I remember years ago seeing a cool hard case with wheels that Ron G. used for travel with his competition kites but I didn't run across anything that looked like it with my internet search. Seems to me it was a snow-board case but I'm not sure about that.


Title: Re: Air Travel Kite Case: + Update
Post by: thief on January 11, 2014, 03:57 AM
sportubes ( https://www.sportube.com/default.asp?m=0 (https://www.sportube.com/default.asp?m=0)) became popular with competitors to carry their kites in... This is probably what ron has.... I know that they became the thing to 'have to have'....


Title: Re: Air Travel Kite Case: + Update
Post by: KaoS on January 11, 2014, 04:35 PM
Golf travel cases (SKB, Samsonite, Plano, etc.) are the ones I've seen used the most.

That's the trouble searching on the web... unless you know what you are looking for, you don't always know what to look for  ;D


Title: Re: Air Travel Kite Case: + Update
Post by: photogbill on January 11, 2014, 07:28 PM
That's the trouble searching on the web... unless you know what you are looking for, you don't always know what to look for  ;D

ROFL ....you got that exactly right my friend!  :D

I'm pretty pleased with what I found so far though! Time will tell whether it'll get the job done or not!  ;)


Title: Re: Air Travel Kite Case: The Verdict is in!
Post by: photogbill on February 01, 2014, 07:11 AM
Sorry I took so long to give an update on my travel case.

The case traveled extremely well. No damage to either case or kites.


1st Flight: On my trip from Philly to Atlanta, I was asked by a couple of baggage personal if there was a gun in the case (which I expected). Some may not be aware but you can travel by airliner with a rifle or handgun but there are procedures that are required ..and the baggage has to be 'checked in' of course. Airline security will also have you open the case for inspection to insure the weapon isn't loaded during travel, after which you will need to lock the case with non-TSA secure locks.
The ONLY problem I had on my trip south was after landing, at the baggage claims area. My flight was slightly late which caused a delay with the baggage handlers unloading the baggage for the entire flight. I discovered that baggage handler's are on a "schedule" for all incoming flights and if there is a flight delay, they will leave that flight dock area and go to another flight and unload their baggage first ...returning to the late flight when they can. MY flight wasn't that late ...ONLY 10 minutes or so but this is travel in America, as we have come to know it!  >:(

After the baggage for my flight started to load for delivery at my baggage terminal ...my clothing luggage was there but ...I waited & waited ....NO 'KITE' CASE! I started to worry. After calling a friend that travels a lot by plane, he suggested I check all the other baggage terminals ...noting that sometimes an odd shaped baggage will be loaded on a different baggage terminal than the one for my flight ....due to special handling and in the event that the TSA agents opened and inspected my case.
(http://cbsdenver.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/denver-international-airport-baggage-claim.jpg)

...there were about 8 baggage terminals for incoming AirTran/Southwest flights. After going back and forth for approximately an hour ...between all 8 of the baggage terminals, looking for my case and checking in with the baggage claims office several times, for my case ...I finally got a baggage claims agent to try to locate my case! Panic was starting to set in that they may have lost my case/baggage .....when suddenly the agent found my case. This agent was very curious about my kites when he learned what was in my case. I had my Samsung Tablet with me, and after sharing some general information about stunt kites ...I showed him some pictures from my tablet and a flying video. He seemed genuinely interested in our sport. He wanted to know where he could buy a stunt kite like the ones I showed him, so I shared a kite maker or two, gave him my email address and steered him to our GWTW forum so he could learn more if he chose to. That conversation and being able to share my interest and enthusiasm for our sport took ALL the pain out of my ordeal in getting my 'kite case'!

2nd Flight: Traveling back to Philadelphia International airport from Atlanta went far smoother. Although my case was not loaded onto the baggage claims terminal with my other bag and the other passengers' baggage, I was able to ask a baggage claims agent right away to see if he could find my baggage. After giving him a description of my case, he went off to locate my case and within a few minutes showed up with it, asked to check my ID ...and off I went to get a cab home!

SYNOPSIS: It appears there are no serious issues  traveling with the case but based on my experience, airport baggage personal WILL handle the case separately from the other baggage with varring delays in obtaining the case after your flight. Was it worth it? IMO, YES! I was able to bring nearly twice as many kites along with me this year to TISKC without paying any extra shipping cost for my kites as in previous years. Booking flights on Southwest Air allows for two checked-in bags at no charge!  ;D