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Unofficial Travel Advisory: Puerto Rico

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No one has posted a recent update here about any changes in the security in Puerto Rico. Is there any news? Are they still having "issues" with theft?

 

 

I flew through San Juan 3 weeks ago - St Thomas to San Juan to Dallas on American. I carried all camera gear in a back pack plus regulator in a carry on. I had a dive bag filled with dive gear that was checked luggage. Its an Akona dive bag and pretty clearly a dive bag for those that have seen a dive bag before.

All showed up at the other end and did not appear to have been opened from what I could tell.

The only thing of much value in the bag was the BC.

Nothing easy to remove and sell in the bag but it all did arrive at home.

For its worth,

Dave

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Wow, thanks for the tip. Looks like I have to fly through PR for next weeks trip to Dominica. Man, I really hope all goes smoothly!

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Look at the dates of the trouble - and the lack of recent theft reports.

 

None of which is to say "don't be vigilant", and pack your bags to keep as much expensive stuff in carryon as you can...but don't be overly paranoid either.

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Perhaps it has already been mentioned but when traveling through Miami to GrandCayman recently, I noticed they offer some type of shrink wrap service for checked luggage. I didn't have time to look in to the details but the concept of having your bag wrapped tightly in shrink wrap on the departure end seems like it makes sense in terms of theft protection. Has anyone used this?

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Look at the dates of the trouble - and the lack of recent theft reports.

 

None of which is to say "don't be vigilant", and pack your bags to keep as much expensive stuff in carryon as you can...but don't be overly paranoid either.

 

I agree. I flew through there a couple months ago and all went well.

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I fly through there all the time and whatmore, I work at a 148 room resort and am in contact with many people every single day who fly through there. In these 11 last years, and the thousands of travellers I have dealt with at my work, I have never, not even once, come across a guest who had anything stolen. Luggage does get delayed from time to time, but it does show up. The only incident I knew off was a friend of mine who has his bid housing stolen when flying out. That was at the time this thread was started years ago. I think having this thread pinned still does injustice to the current situation and it should be closed or unpinned, as it only serves to unnecessarily scare people.

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good to hear. I have to large pelicans with housings and was starting to get worried. Thanks for calming my nerves.

 

S

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whenever i go someplace with my rig i make sure its taken as a carry on, id be petrified to hand it to someone pre-flight, were going to new guinea in a week and a half and even if its at the expense of checking in my clothing ill be keeping it with me.

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Just got back from a trip through SJU (report to follow when I get a chance to type it up, and get what few good pictures I can out of my mess on my cards). Although my dive bag was clearly 'inspected' based on opened straps etc (why don't they re-close what they open and risk my straps getting eaten by the baggage carousel? ) there was nothing missing. Main photo gear was carried on, but the bag did have my dive computer / console as well as the 8" dome assembly and handle assembly for the housing, and it was all still there.

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I wonder if the guys stealing from bags got a better offer ...

 

http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local-beat/Amer...t-59330412.html

 

just another reason to never fly into or out of SJU and MIA.

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The best solution is laying over in PR is: DON'T. American Airlines sucks as an airline. If you read the travel booklet for Bonaire, it even states that loss or stolen equipment is very high in PR.

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I've long wanted to visit PR. Have things changed much now that it is a few years later?

Steve

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I've been thru PR with dive and photo gear no less than 3 times during the period this thread has existed. (3 round trips I mean). I've never had a theft. I have had clear evidence that TSA or someone (didn't always find the "TSA inspection notice") has been thru the dive bag.

 

That said, of course that's only anecdotal experience, I wear my dive computer on the wrist now (or when console it was with the camera gear), I carry as much of my photo gear as I can in a Lowepro carryon backpack (everything but housing handles, large dome, and arm components), my gear is just "ikelite" (although I do have some pretty high-dollar W.A. and zoom lenses), and my scuba gear is el-cheapo "Sport" class equipment (Oceanic Alpha 8 Sport reg) and jacket BC....so maybe it's just not that enticing a target.

 

A Lowepro AW300 (Vector?) backpack does fit as carryon even below the seat or in the overhead even on the smaller AE turboprops, and I've never been asked to check or 'gate-check' it on Caribbean itineraries.

 

If you do visit PR, I strongly recommend Mona and Monito for diving, as well as East coast (Fajardo) type diving. There's a few different liveabords that do the Mona and Monito thing, from the Juliet that I sailed with to the Spree (which I've also been on but only in the Flower Gardens off the TX/LA coast). There's also a lot of land/surface stuff worth seeing - El Yunque rainforest, lighthouses and cliffs off Cabo Rojo, bioluminescent bays....

Edited by rtrski

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What I routinely use for all my trips is: TSA approved locks (of course they NEVER pout the lock back where they found them~) and tie-ties across all the zippers. That way I know if ANYONE has opened the bag or any of its pockets (I use a soft sided roller). I usually put camera gear and impt dive gear in a rollaboard. But the airlines are restricting number, size and weight of those bags as well.

 

HENCE I went to using a smaller camera rig: Canon S90 in a Fisheye housing with single Inon strobe~

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There has been a lot of discussion here on Wetpixel about losing equipment while travelling through Puerto Rico's Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU) in San Juan. We have received confirmation that thieves at the airport are continuing to target both topside and underwater camera gear in checked baggage. If you travel with expensive gear, please use caution when deciding on a route that goes through Puerto Rico. I myself decided some time ago that I will not fly through Puerto Rico again until the crime ring is caught.

 

Do you not have insurance?

 

I know it is not the same, but if you are carting around $20k worth of gear, surely you would have it?!

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