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Author Topic: Kites on airlines  (Read 1468 times)
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glk47
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« on: November 09, 2009, 07:00 PM »

So here is one more approach to the problem of carrying kites on airlines. The airline in question was SouthWest, which has arguably the most liberal policies around, but the only real advantage we took of that was that up to two checked bags are free. The keys to our solution are that the checked baggage rules (normal, not golf clubs) are a total dimension of 62 inches (that's length + width + depth) or less, and that almost all our framed kites break down to less than 36 inches in length.

We took a 10 inch (nominal - more about that later) diameter tubular concrete form. These are made of a heavy duty cardboard (about 1/4 inch thick) and sold in home centers in convenient 48 inch lengths for a few dollars apiece.

I cut the length down (on a table saw, very carefully!) to 38 inches with the idea that 38 + 10 + 10 is noticeably less than 62, even when enclosed in a bag.

My wife observed that the 9 inch cakes pans we had just discovered in our basement fit nicely inside the tube, with some duct tape just to hold the bottom one in place:



The second cake pan is shown sitting on the tube, which is bottom up to show the duct tape holding the first one. Then we filled the tube with kites (10, as I recall):



Put the other cake pan in over the kites:



We then took an army style duffel bag, opened up its seams, removed about 12 or 14 inches from the circumference of the bag and used the material to make the bag about 14 inches longer.
 
The tube fits in the bag, with some room at the top for soft stuff (a parafoil), and it all closes:




The tube is stiff enough, especially when fully stuffed, to protect the kite sticks.  The cake pans both close the ends and add stiffness to the cylinder ends.  If you're still concerned about protection, the nominal diameter of the tubes is sufficiently variable that it's easy to buy two, one of which just fits inside the other. In fact, they're stacked that way in both my local home centers.

Anyway, SouthWest accepted it without question or comment and there were no dents, much less kite damage, when it came off the plane on both halves of the round trip.

Larry

Edit by Mike - Fixed your Image tags

Thanks - Larry
« Last Edit: November 10, 2009, 09:03 AM by glk47 » Logged
mikenchico
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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2009, 07:50 PM »

Thanks, I've looked at those but hadn't seen an easy way to close them securely. The duffle bag is an excellent solution.

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"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see" John W Lennon

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fidelio
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2009, 08:11 PM »

excellent idea and fantastic execution. very well done.  Smiley
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Fdeli
Bob D
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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2009, 04:05 PM »

Are there any concerns with kites being stolen from containers by an airline employee?
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Bob D.
xuzme720
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2009, 04:08 PM »

No more than anything else out of your luggage. Frankly I'm more concerned with damage...
You should have some sort of recourse if anything is stolen by contacting the airline and filing a claim.
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Asfink tersez wot....

Exactly! Party on, Garth!
mikenchico
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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2009, 08:23 PM »

You should have some sort of recourse if anything is stolen by contacting the airline and filing a claim.

 Cheesy  Cheesy  Cheesy

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"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see" John W Lennon

"People do not quit playing because they grow old, they grow old because they quit playing" George Bernard Shaw
kiteking
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2009, 10:52 PM »

Are there any concerns with kites being stolen from containers by an airline employee?


My wife was traveling with the boys once, and left her purse at the security check. The flight attendant contacted the gate who called security an assured her they had recovered and were holding it for her, on returning to Tucson she picked up her purse and everything was there.... except her money
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fidelio
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2009, 11:35 PM »

Are there any concerns with kites being stolen from containers by an airline employee?
if you were worried about them taking one from the bunch, you could tape up the ends then hand write something on the tape so should the tape be broken, they'd be unable to replicate it, revealing signs of tampering at a glance.

you might have TSA break the seal but if they do, i believe, like customs they mark it as such, and i wouldn't worry 'bout TSA taking anything.

i haven't flown a lot lately so don't quote me on that. Tongue
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Fdeli
xuzme720
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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2009, 05:06 AM »

You should have some sort of recourse if anything is stolen by contacting the airline and filing a claim.

 Cheesy  Cheesy  Cheesy



Yeah after I read it, it did sound pretty weak... Roll Eyes
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Asfink tersez wot....

Exactly! Party on, Garth!
Jared
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« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2009, 05:33 AM »

I flew a few months ago with my RSky bag in checked baggage.  On my return trip from SFO-RDU, Covenant Security (TSA contractor, I believe) opened my kite bag, removed every single kite sleeve, then put them all back in the wrong order.  I'm incredibly lucky that nothing was broken, since I had packed it in a very specific fashion.
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thief
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« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2009, 06:03 AM »

nah Jared: you are lucky they all ended up back in there!!!!!!!!

I use the HQ deluxe padded travel bag for airlines...and stuff it full of everything i can imagine (clothing etc) to get it tight....and then use one of the TSA approved (and operable) locks that shows if the lock was opened....

if i were carrying a couple of kites i use a hard plastic  blueprint/drawing case and carry it on....then ask the steward/'ess's if they can put it up front....and if they ask on the plane i tell them it is full of documents and they never give it a second thought.....
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Kites kayaks & corgis again!!!
Jared
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« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2009, 06:08 AM »

Normally I use the Zephyr case as a carry-on, and that's been fine.  It happened that I was attending a festival and needed a wider array of kites than I usually carry while traveling.

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