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Fiji and Air Pacific


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#1 Aquapaul

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 07:15 AM

I am leaving for fiji next weekend and would like to hear from recent travelers that traveled from LAX to Fiji what their experiences were in regards to the recent carry on rules. Air Pacific has a 7 Kilo limit on carry ons and I would like to know if they are enforcing it. I am getting a little frantic about how to get my camera equipment there in one piece.
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#2 Stoo

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 09:06 AM

I am leaving for fiji next weekend and would like to hear from recent travelers that traveled from LAX to Fiji what their experiences were in regards to the recent carry on rules. Air Pacific has a 7 Kilo limit on carry ons and I would like to know if they are enforcing it. I am getting a little frantic about how to get my camera equipment there in one piece.


I expect to be heading there myself later this year and would be interested in knowing as well. I use a Pelican case to carry my stuff, so it should be protected if I have to check it, but like you, I would REALLY prefer to take it with me...

#3 davephdv

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 10:16 AM

I expect to be heading there myself later this year and would be interested in knowing as well. I use a Pelican case to carry my stuff, so it should be protected if I have to check it, but like you, I would REALLY prefer to take it with me...



In a phone call to Air Pacific they said they were weighting the carryons and that the limit applied to the total of ALL carryons, Carryon and personal item.

I expect to be heading there myself later this year and would be interested in knowing as well. I use a Pelican case to carry my stuff, so it should be protected if I have to check it, but like you, I would REALLY prefer to take it with me...



In a phone call to Air Pacific they said they were weighting the carryons and that the limit applied to the total of ALL carryons, Carryon and personal item.
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#4 gina

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 11:29 AM

I am leaving for fiji next weekend and would like to hear from recent travelers that traveled from LAX to Fiji what their experiences were in regards to the recent carry on rules. Air Pacific has a 7 Kilo limit on carry ons and I would like to know if they are enforcing it. I am getting a little frantic about how to get my camera equipment there in one piece.


The last time I flew Air Pacific was August 2010 (between LAX & Nadi) and our bags were not weighed. They also had not been weighed on previous trips. Although, things may have changed during this past year.


-Gina

#5 Aquapaul

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 01:38 PM

The last time I flew Air Pacific was August 2010 (between LAX & Nadi) and our bags were not weighed. They also had not been weighed on previous trips. Although, things may have changed during this past year.


-Gina



Well, that's good to hear. We have some friends that leave a few days before us that say they will e-mail us when they get there about their travels. I have trimmed my kit considerably and still can't make it. I wanted to bring some lenses for top side activities but may leave them home. I didn't realize it was going to be this restricted or I may have decided to go some where else. We are spending 5 days at Beqa Lagoon and 7 on the Nai'a. Been looking forward to this trip for most of a year but now really dread the flight because of luggage concerns.

Paul
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#6 diver dave1

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 03:22 PM

If the issue is a few lenses to carry on, why not buy a vest? There are threads here regarding brands.
Scottvest is one people talk of here though I have no personal experience with it.

http://www.scotteves...CFYxb7AodnyDqKQ

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#7 philsokol

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 04:25 PM

I'm packing for a big trip myself, so I'm also in weight-conscious mode.

I can echo Gina - I flew Air Pacific LAX-Nadi last Dec and my carry-on wasn't weighed, but things may have changed.

I have had my carry-ons weighed in the past, mostly on Asian carriers. If you're starting from somewhere other than LA, you may get your Air Pacific boarding pass at your original check-in. Then you can avoid the counter in LAX, just go through security, and then sneak the offending carry-on when you board. I've done this before. The return may then be a problem.

However, I've just gotten tired of all the skulking and I simply check all the u/w gear. You should get 2 x 50lbs to check. My tropical dive kit, fins, bc, wetsuit, reg and minimal clothes takes one rolling bag. Then for the second bag I bought a Samsonite F'lite, lined it with foam and the housing, strobes, ports, cords, batteries, etc. all go in there. Camera bodies, lenses and laptop I carry on in a "discreet" (ie, not bulky) camera backpack which is my "personal item" and has never been weighed (I keep it on my back while checking in).

The joys of the international traveling u/w photographer!

Have a great trip!

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#8 Aquapaul

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 04:30 PM

I have a Domke photographer's jacket I will take. I was hoping to carry my D700 with a lens attached and a D7000 in a pocket along with a couple more lenses and all my batteries. I will not be taking my laptop but did buy an iPad to load pixs to, I just have to see some images on something other then my camera's LCD so I know if I am getting what I think I am getting.
I am hoping to load all this stuff back in my camera bag after I clear security.
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#9 markj

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 03:14 PM

I am leaving for fiji next weekend and would like to hear from recent travelers that traveled from LAX to Fiji what their experiences were in regards to the recent carry on rules. Air Pacific has a 7 Kilo limit on carry ons and I would like to know if they are enforcing it. I am getting a little frantic about how to get my camera equipment there in one piece.


Flew LAX->NADI on Air Pacific in June 2011. They were definitely weighing carryons. Lots of folks were forced to move items to from carryon to checked bag to make the 15lb carryon limit.

I wore my (smallish) back pack to the Air Pacific counter...this was my "personal item"...counter staff saw and acknowledged this personal item but did not weigh it. Did not weigh my wife's personal item, either.

#10 Aquapaul

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 05:03 PM

Thanks Markj, thats what I wanted to know. I will plan accordingly.
Paul Chase

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#11 vetdiver

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:50 PM

I think I am too late to help the OP...but as an FYI -

We traveled to the Solomons on Air Pacific just a few weeks ago. We didn't have any bags weighed on the way out, but on the way home, they were definitely weighing carry-ons. I bought a new backpack called the Tenba Vector - super lightweight - and carried in it 3 camera bodies, 6 lenses, a backup hard drive, a TC, and 2 diopters - it weighed in right at 15 lb. And it was so small as to avoid all scrutiny.

Air Pacific has a package called the "Dive Pack" that allows you to prepay for dive gear as extra baggage, $50 per bag, per direction. It is not advertised, but it is a huge benefit for traveling photographers. Do carry a kazillion copies of the receipt - they will want a copy every time you have to touch your bags.

Of course, for other reasons (utterly hostile crew), hell will freeze over before I ever fly on Air Pacific again, but that is another thread in and of itself. Have a great trip!
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#12 divengolf

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 04:41 PM

Air Pacific has a package called the "Dive Pack" that allows you to prepay for dive gear as extra baggage, $50 per bag, per direction. It is not advertised, but it is a huge benefit for traveling photographers. Do carry a gazillion copies of the receipt - they will want a copy every time you have to touch your bags.

Of course, for other reasons (utterly hostile crew), hell will freeze over before I ever fly on Air Pacific again, but that is another thread in and of itself. Have a great trip!


vet diver,

Thanks for the heads up on the Dive Pack. I'm considering a Nai'a trip next year, but have been put off by Air Pacific's luggage rules/charges. I'd appreciate a summary of your experience with Air Pacific. I'll probably be flying out of LAX.

PM me if you're more comfortable with that than posting. But others will want to know.

Thanks.

#13 davephdv

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 08:58 PM

vet diver,

Thanks for the heads up on the Dive Pack. I'm considering a Nai'a trip next year, but have been put off by Air Pacific's luggage rules/charges. I'd appreciate a summary of your experience with Air Pacific. I'll probably be flying out of LAX.

PM me if you're more comfortable with that than posting. But others will want to know.

Thanks.


I'd like to know as well. Where do you go to get the dive pack and how heavy can the bag be .

Thanks
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#14 vetdiver

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 10:53 AM

I'd like to know as well. Where do you go to get the dive pack and how heavy can the bag be .

Thanks


Hi, guys -

I was given information on the dive pack via my agent at Reef and Rainforest - it involved emailing a specific employee at Air Pacific to set it up (or us, it was someone at LAX) but our instruction sheet inlcuded this info, as well:

They are offering a "dive pack" special at USD50.00 one way for the extra bags (up to 50lb). If
you wish to prepay; you may contact Air Pacific directly on telephone number (310) 568-8676.


It might be easiest to enlist your travel agent's help as a liasion - one caveat, I'm not sure how long this special is valid, though we just returned a few weeks ago. Between two of us, we had three dive pack bags prepaid, as we were bringing along some gear to be tested. I cannot emphasize enough - make MANY copies of all receipts and paperwork, and pre-empt all questions by whipping the papers out at every point where you so much as see your luggage passing by...and be friendly, but confident - if you are flying beyond Nadi, I would also advise you to get it in writing that the dive pack covers the entire itinerary and carry a stack of copies of that, as well. I have a girlfriend locally who got dinged on both connecting flights for her "extra bag", even though they were both Air Pacific and it was all one itinerary.

R.e. my experience on board, let's just say that it was quite upsetting. I waited two weeks after my return to be certain I was able to be unbiased/fair enough to write the airline about it - this was my first time ever writing a complaint to any airline. I have now emailed various employees at Customer Service four times with no reply. I am still hoping against hope to get some acknowledgement of the experience, so I'd prefer to keep it to myself for now.

It is a real shame this is the most accessible way in and out from the US, but the diving was truly gorgeous!

Edited by vetdiver, 26 October 2011 - 10:54 AM.

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#15 gloria

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 05:01 PM

On my past couple of trips to/from Nadi, after trying in vain to pay up ahead of time for added weight, I ended up carrying the camera stuff aboard on a wing and a prayer. I just told them outright that I was carrying photography gear, and each time 'have gotten a wave onward with that declaration. Folks in front and behind me with overweight bags did not get that pass. Can't say for certain if this was dumb luck, or whether they do give a pass for folks with photo gear. But so far, knock wood.

#16 Aquapaul

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 08:47 AM

Well here I sit at Bega Lagoon and al I have to say about Air Pacific is that they were great. I too had the pre-paid second bag, big savings by the way. I also called the LAX ofice for Air Pacific before I left and gave them my concerns about my camera gear, mainly cameras and lenses. I told them I couldn't get my bag below 25 pounds. They got back to me a couple days later and said I could have an extra carry on for $5 usd per kilo. I did that and when I checked in they ended up waving the cost. I will say when you check in there are 5 check in people, the manager is a grumpy looking stocky female. Try hard not to get in her line. She was weighing everything and pretty much was making life as tough as she could make it for her customers.
It's our last day at Bega today and we have the Shark Dive, pretty excited.... We are off to the Nai'a tomorrow. Hope this helps near future travelers.
Paul Chase

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#17 Aquapaul

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 08:49 AM

Well here I sit at Bega Lagoon and al I have to say about Air Pacific is that they were great. I too had the pre-paid second bag, big savings by the way. I also called the LAX ofice for Air Pacific before I left and gave them my concerns about my camera gear, mainly cameras and lenses. I told them I couldn't get my bag below 25 pounds. They got back to me a couple days later and said I could have an extra carry on for $5 usd per kilo. I did that and when I checked in they ended up waving the cost. I will say when you check in there are 5 check in people, the manager is a grumpy looking stocky female. Try hard not to get in her line. She was weighing everything and pretty much was making life as tough as she could make it for her customers.
It's our last day at Bega today and we have the Shark Dive, pretty excited.... We are off to the Nai'a tomorrow. Hope this helps near future travelers.
Paul Chase

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#18 Aquapaul

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 08:55 AM

Well here I sit at Bega Lagoon and al I have to say about Air Pacific is that they were great. I too had the pre-paid second bag, big savings by the way. I also called the LAX ofice for Air Pacific before I left and gave them my concerns about my camera gear, mainly cameras and lenses. I told them I couldn't get my bag below 25 pounds. They got back to me a couple days later and said I could have an extra carry on for $5 usd per kilo. I did that and when I checked in they ended up waving the cost. I will say when you check in there are 5 check in people, the manager is a grumpy looking stocky female. Try hard not to get in her line. She was weighing everything and pretty much was making life as tough as she could make it for her customers.
It's our last day at Bega today and we have the Shark Dive, pretty excited.... We are off to the Nai'a tomorrow. Hope this helps near future travelers.
Paul Chase

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#19 paquito

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 09:15 PM

(Mods could hopefully clean up the triple posting.)

Anyway, to share recent experience. Returned from Fiji this week. Great trip, though I'd love to have any other direct options to chose from other than FJ.

Connected in LAX from Delta. Delta tickets were separate, NOT same ticket as Air Pacific. Got delta to add in the itinerary, but Air Pacific is not a partner.
In doing so, Delta was able to see the international leg and allowed two 50lb checked bags, checked all the way to Nadi at no charge.
Upon arrival into LAX, had to go to the Air Pacific desk to get boarding pass. Agent was cool, no issues on bags.
Friends were asked by agent how many bags they checked, when told two, agent got in a huff about only allowing one and needing a charge, but finally said would make exception in this case. (already checked through, so not like she had much of a leg to stand on).
When arrived at the gate, agent checked bags, confirmed they had loaded.
No inquiry on carry-ons ever.

On return from Fiji, agent was able to check bags all the way through, again on delta flights. Two bags, less than 50lbs, no charges.
No inquiry, no weighing of carry-ons at any time, and not at the gate either.
All bags arrived, transferred to delta after customs.

In summary, two checked bags both under 50lbs each, no charges.
Carry-ons were 15-20lbs, never questioned.
I have a feeling this was definitely an exception. YMMV

Though I did not get any charges, Air Pacific is a crap airline in my opinion. Horrible aircraft (747 in really archaic condition) with slop for food, uncomfortable temperatures, and seats/entertainment that are embarrassing by any modern standards. I've had crappy charter flights that offered a better product.
If there was any other direct from the US airline (QF and NZ dont go direct), I'd chose the other. I cannot believe they are able to have a lock on the route.

#20 Cary Dean

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 06:55 AM

Flew them last year from Nadi.
Ticket counter was helpful and gave me a pass on carry on camera
bag (which was way over weight but had been allowed by every other airline )
after I pleaded my case about pro camera gear etc.
Security agent sent me back to counter (different agent)
where they proceeded to hit me with $350US in overweight fees and
claimed they would gate check at boarding time.
They never came back at boarding time and I still
carried bag on.
Was less than happy and felt like I'd been scammed
but was happy to be on to next leg of trip.
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