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Kelpfish

BE AWARE OF TACA AIRLINES

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My wife and I just left LAX on TACA and they have a new baggage policy in place. Before you ever enter the airport you have to wait in line to have your baggage weighed. 50 lbs on checked and 22 lbs (1-piece) for carry-on. Yes, they weigh your carryon and charge you $100 if it is over 22 lbs. The checked baggage is $25 per bag for 51lbs to 70 lbs, and another $25 for 71-100 lbs but then your luggage goes on standby, meaning it may or may not make it on the flight. After you weigh in, they give you a bill to pay at the "special" check in counter for over weight baggage. You can then reshuffel if it makes you feel better, but they also have a scale at the gate to recheck your carry on...so you cannot cheat the system. Roatan Charters does not warn you of the stringent policy, so beware.

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Hi Joe,

I recently traveled to London on business and when I was checking in for my return flight (Virgin Atlantic) I noticed that they were checking and weighing passengers carry-ons very stringently. The sign over the check-in counter stated that carry-ons could not be over 6 kilos and they seemed to be enforcing it. I don't know if it was my handsome face :D or the fact that I was traveling on an American ticket but they didn't hassle me about mine - definitely over 6 kilos. $100 does seem to be way overboard. Airline travel really is getting to be a PITA.

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Wow the carry on weighing has come to LAX?!? :D

 

Larry, Virgin usually picks on the little people in economy and if you fly premium or upper, you get left alone.

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Larry, Virgin usually picks on the little people in economy and if you fly premium or upper, you get left alone.

 

True for any airline... :D

 

I think the TACA problem may be restricted to LAX, I flew with them last month between Panama and Belize and didn't have my carry-on weighed.

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Well you know what TACA stands for: Take A Chance Airline!

That reminds me of my favorite acronym. I traveled to Roatan a couple of times in the 70's. Back then, the airline servicing Roatan was SAHSA. Otherwise known as: Stay At Home and Stay Alive. Take A Chance Airline seems like an upgrade.

Edited by Lionfish43

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I just got home and TACA also dinged us in Roatan for another $100.

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TACA once stranded us in San Jose, taking over our flight for a tour group. They came back and got us about 4 hours later. Our luggage was already on Roatan when we got there.

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Ouch! $100....There are worse things that can happen. Returning from Fiji on Air Pacific, Security weighed my carryon and found it weighed more than the maximum allowable 11 lbs. (7 kg) I was forced to check the bag. Only minor damage to the photo gear.

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This is when I start pulling out the 1st stages and batteries and stuffing them into my pockets and saying see that person who just went through the line - he weighs at least 20lbs more than me so I am just balancing the load.

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This is when I start pulling out the 1st stages and batteries and stuffing them into my pockets and saying see that person who just went through the line - he weighs at least 20lbs more than me so I am just balancing the load.

:wacko::o:)

 

That does annoy me though when i pay $$$ in excess baggage, and the person sat next to me might well be a good 10, 20, 30kgs heavier than me! I am going to invest in a photo jacket with lots of pockets before my next trip!

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I just got home and TACA also dinged us in Roatan for another $100.

 

So they checked your bags on Roatan? Did they look at the carry on too?

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Great, so there goes my plans to carry all of my camera gear on my Aug Cocos trip. Any other airlines fly into San Jose, CR directly from LAX?

 

Out of curiousity, what happens if you're transiting from another int'l flight to TACA? So if I'm flying into LAX on Cathay where I get a generous business class check in allowance, will TACAS slap me with the $100 charge?

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yes, they checked my carry ons and then they tag them with a red sticker. There is also a scale at the gate but they only did a random check.

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...yes we over here in Europe get routinely scre.wed by the airlines.

When I come back from my next trip [where I will be scre.wed yet again] I plan to put a database online with the luggage policies and user experiences of the different airlines [maybe this could be even set-up in wetpixel, have to ask Eric] so that all of us can make well informed decisions when we book those tickets [time to fight back and scre.w them too...]

Edited by giftie

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I'm booked to fly Virgin-Atlantic London to Miami in a couple of days. I asked the press office about any extra weight allowance both for baggage and carry on. They had a curt response of no and they strictly enforce the limits of 6 kg (13 lb) carry on in one bag, laptop, everything else must be in that one bag! 2 bags of 23 kg (52 lb) economy, slightly more baggage on Premium economy, more again Upper class. All with the same carry on. If carry on is over it gets dumped in the hold, if that gives 3 bags its an extra $140. They emphasise they offer little compensation for damage and none for computers, cameras or other fragile items so take out insurance!

 

I've packed d200 in Nexus housing with dome port in a lightweight backpack to get weight down to 5.8 kg. None of this fancy camera bag stuff, too heavy. I'm planing on having another camera and lens in pockets of photo vest. Hope it works. Not a friendly airline to deal with from the sounds of their statements unless your carrying golf clubs when its 50% off on overweight charges.

 

The one bag carry on started as UK policy and is being adopted over the whole of the EU. That one bag has lots of restrictions so be careful what is packed.

 

Charles

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I feel your pain and restleness, Charles. It's so hard to tell what an airlines will actually do, but planning to spend a wad on excess baggage and risking lost or stolen camera equipment is so furstrating. Let us know how it goes.

 

Joe

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Joe, next time if you can convince them your gear is for science/school... they should give you a discount. When my class went to Tahiti, we arranged this with Air France ahead of time.

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I'm a regular poster on another forum in the UK and we have all put together a list of airlines and luggage allowances. Yes in the UK we can get really stung and its been like that for a while.

 

Here it is a copy and paste, I hope it helps some of you.

 

Likes Divers

1. British Airways 23kg + 23kg dive gear (in seperate bags) FREE. http://www.britishairways.com/travel/bagsport/public/en_gb

2. Astraeus 20kg + 5kg dive gear FREE (Egypt only. All destinations: 10kg dive gear for £20, 25kg dive gear for £50). http://www.flyastraeus.com/beforeyoufly/index.asp?id=42

3. Emirates 20kg + 10kg dive gear FREE. http://www.emirates.com/uk/TravellerInform...AQs/Baggage.asp

4. Malaysia 20kg + 10kg dive gear FREE (may need a bribe here and there) According to website hates divers! http://hq.malaysiaairlines.com/mh/eng/flyi...information.asp

5. XL 20Kg + 10Kg diver gear FREE. http://www.xl.com/Customer_Info/Baggage_Short.asp

6. Singapore Airlines 20kg (economy) + 10kg diver FREE Not mentioned on website! http://www.singaporeair.com/saa/en_UK/cont...e_allowance.jsp

7. Cyprus Airways 20 kg plus extra 20kg free. http://www.cyprusairways.com/main/default.aspx?tabid=72

8. Virgin. Standard weight allowance: 20kg Diving equipment: additional bag for scuba equipment, free up to 6kg. This is not mentioned on the website and it is suggested they actually hate divers...! http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/en/gb/passe...agebyweight.jsp

9. Etihad Airways 30kg (standard for everyone) Depends on class: Diamond (first class) 40kg, Pearl (business) 30kg, Coral (economy) 20kg. No extra allowances on the website. http://www.etihadairways.com/etihadairways...Information.htm

10. Air Lanka 30kg for divers (may ask for c-card at check in) Useless website! http://www.srilankan.aero/travelplanner/tr...s_luggage.shtml

11. First Choice 20kg + 10kg dive gear FREE (need to show c-card at check-in) No bag to weigh more than 23kg. Must pre-book on 0870 757 2757 at least 4 days prior to departure. http://www.firstchoice.co.uk/info/travelin...ingbaggage.html

12. Monarch 20kg + 13kg dive gear for £15 per sector if you pay when booking online. £20 per sector if you pay at check-in. (need to show c-card at check-in). http://www.flymonarch.com/cnt/travelinfo/baggage.asp

13. Thomas Cook Airlines/FlyThomasCook. Standard baggage allowance 15kg, maybe upgraded to 20kg at time of booking for a small fee. Extra 10kg may be booked via Customer Services 08702430416 http://www.thomascookairlines.co.uk/sporting_equipment.htm & http://flythomascook.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/...amp;p_topview=1

14. Kenya Airways 20kg + 10kg dive gear free if informed in advance. Not mentioned on website. http://www.kenya-airways.com/kq2/kqdispinfo.aspx?colm=62

15. Precision Air 20kg + 10kg dive gear free if informed in advance. Not mentioned on website. http://www.precisionairtz.com/flightschedule.asp

16. Air Malta 20kg + 15kg dive gear FREE. http://www.airmalta.com/sports-baggage

17. Daallo (to Djibouti) 30kg tho no details on useless website! http://www.daallo.com/baggage.htm

18. Qatar Airlines. 20kg + 10kg dive gear free (need to ring up their head office and request extra allowance) This is not mentioned on the website. http://www.qatarairways.com/ecomm_faq.html?linkdes_7

 

Tolerates Divers

1. British Jet 20kg + 8kg dive gear FREE + 5kgs hand luggage. (33 kgs total). Useless website! https://secure.britishjet.com/home.aspx

2. KLM 20kg/25kg + 20kg dive gear for 20/30 Euros (depends on destination) All the information is on the website, but it's not easy to understand!! http://www.klm.com/travel/gb_en/travel_inf...age/index.htm#2

3. Easyjet Max free allowance for divers: 20kg Standard weight allowance: 20kg (subject to a per bag check-in charge). Diving equipment: for a charge of £15 divers can carry an extra 12kg. http://www.easyjet.com/EN/Planning/baggage.html

4. Ryanair Max free allowance for divers: 15kg However, 10kg can be carried as hand luggage. Standard weight allowance: 15kg (bag check-in charge £3.50 per item per flight if booked online). Diving equipment: sports equipment charge is £15.50 per item, per one way flight if booked and paid online. The maximum weight is 32kg for sports kit. http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/conditions.php?pos=MYFLIGHT

5. ThomsonFly 25kg hold & hand baggage combined, hand baggage must not exceed 10kg. Dive gear not mentioned specifically on website, but 'Sports Equipment' allowance may be purchased in advance for £15 each way. http://www.thomsonfly.com/en/flywithus_2753.html

6. Eurocypria 20kg + 10kg dive gear for CP20. According to website, no extra allowance! http://www.eurocypria.com/main/default.asp...&itemid=503

7. Air France 20kg + 20kg dive gear for a fee (between €10 - €40 each way depending on destination) http://www.airfrance.co.uk/GB/en/local/gui...ecekedgfndgfl.0

 

Hates Divers

1. Cathy Pacific 20kg no extra. http://www.cathaypacific.com/cpa/en_INTL/h...gageinformation

2. Maldivian Air Taxi 20kg including hand luggage (yes they weigh the lot) no diving allowance & $4.50/kg excess. Useless website! http://www.mataxi.com/

 

Can't decide!

Air 2000, 20kg +10kg dive gear free - on outward journey, charges 50 euros on return - then refunds said euros after a heated email exchange. Air2000 is now First Choice, see #11 above.

 

Air Malta, customer services duty officer- 20kg +15kg dive gear free http://www.airmalta.com/sports-baggage

Air Malta, tele sales cordinator - no allowance available.

 

BA/ Quantas- when flying westwards, 23kg + 23kg dive gear (in seperate bags) FREE

BA / Quantas when flying eastwards, 20 kg, no allowance

 

General Advice

Airlines have a habit of changing the rules at the drop of a hat. ALWAYS check the latest situation via phone or website. ALWAYS take a printed copy of the website with you, cos the check-in staff WILL deny all knowledge of the extra allowance. If you have to pre-book the allowance by phone, ALWAYS ask for confirmation in writing, and get a contact name & telephone number in case of problems. ALWAYS have your C-cards to hand at check-in. Some tour operators will have negotiated a special deal for divers with the airline, so you should check with them. As usual, ALWAYS get details in writing.

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Awesome stats. I haven't read them all, but for 1. it is worth noting that BA trans atlantic allows 2 x 23kg + 23kg dive bag. Plus BA now have a generous carry on allowance (single bag up to 10kg).

 

Alex

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Awesome stats. I haven't read them all, but for 1. it is worth noting that BA trans atlantic allows 2 x 23kg + 23kg dive bag. Plus BA now have a generous carry on allowance (single bag up to 10kg).

 

Alex

 

Alex, when I few with BA the other week they told me at check in that there was no limit on carry on. You just had to be able to lift it into the overhead locker un-added and must not be bigger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm. I think mine was about 11kgs. :)

 

I think I'm going to try and fly BA from now on.

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Yep, I sure know about Take A Chance Airlines = TACA

 

We were on our way to Belize via LAX for a week of diving at Isla Marisol, Glover's Atoll.

Our check-in luggage was definitely within the weight limits but the woman checking our

luggage then pulled out a measuring tape and told us that one of our bags was 2 inches too long!!!

She also reminded us that the check-in was closing in 20 minutes....and I could only picture a

relaxing week of diving in the Carribean dissipating in front of me!!!

Fortunately my fiance had a friend who lived very close to LAX and who was able to quickly bring us a

suitcase that fit within the TACA measurements. We BARELY made the luggage check-in cut off.

 

Fortunately TACA did not lose any of our luggage. Another couple diving at Isla Marisol who had also

flown TACA were not as lucky, having had EVERY check-in item not arrive in Belize!

Edited by AMW

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I'm a regular poster on another forum in the UK and we have all put together a list of airlines and luggage allowances. Yes in the UK we can get really stung and its been like that for a while.

 

Here it is a copy and paste, I hope it helps some of you.

 

Likes Divers

1. British Airways 23kg + 23kg dive gear (in seperate bags) FREE. http://www.britishairways.com/travel/bagsport/public/en_gb

2. Astraeus 20kg + 5kg dive gear FREE (Egypt only. All destinations: 10kg dive gear for £20, 25kg dive gear for £50). http://www.flyastraeus.com/beforeyoufly/index.asp?id=42

3. Emirates 20kg + 10kg dive gear FREE. http://www.emirates.com/uk/TravellerInform...AQs/Baggage.asp

4. Malaysia 20kg + 10kg dive gear FREE (may need a bribe here and there) According to website hates divers! http://hq.malaysiaairlines.com/mh/eng/flyi...information.asp

5. XL 20Kg + 10Kg diver gear FREE. http://www.xl.com/Customer_Info/Baggage_Short.asp

6. Singapore Airlines 20kg (economy) + 10kg diver FREE Not mentioned on website! http://www.singaporeair.com/saa/en_UK/cont...e_allowance.jsp

7. Cyprus Airways 20 kg plus extra 20kg free. http://www.cyprusairways.com/main/default.aspx?tabid=72

8. Virgin. Standard weight allowance: 20kg Diving equipment: additional bag for scuba equipment, free up to 6kg. This is not mentioned on the website and it is suggested they actually hate divers...! http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/en/gb/passe...agebyweight.jsp

9. Etihad Airways 30kg (standard for everyone) Depends on class: Diamond (first class) 40kg, Pearl (business) 30kg, Coral (economy) 20kg. No extra allowances on the website. http://www.etihadairways.com/etihadairways...Information.htm

10. Air Lanka 30kg for divers (may ask for c-card at check in) Useless website! http://www.srilankan.aero/travelplanner/tr...s_luggage.shtml

11. First Choice 20kg + 10kg dive gear FREE (need to show c-card at check-in) No bag to weigh more than 23kg. Must pre-book on 0870 757 2757 at least 4 days prior to departure. http://www.firstchoice.co.uk/info/travelin...ingbaggage.html

12. Monarch 20kg + 13kg dive gear for £15 per sector if you pay when booking online. £20 per sector if you pay at check-in. (need to show c-card at check-in). http://www.flymonarch.com/cnt/travelinfo/baggage.asp

13. Thomas Cook Airlines/FlyThomasCook. Standard baggage allowance 15kg, maybe upgraded to 20kg at time of booking for a small fee. Extra 10kg may be booked via Customer Services 08702430416 http://www.thomascookairlines.co.uk/sporting_equipment.htm & http://flythomascook.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/...amp;p_topview=1

14. Kenya Airways 20kg + 10kg dive gear free if informed in advance. Not mentioned on website. http://www.kenya-airways.com/kq2/kqdispinfo.aspx?colm=62

15. Precision Air 20kg + 10kg dive gear free if informed in advance. Not mentioned on website. http://www.precisionairtz.com/flightschedule.asp

16. Air Malta 20kg + 15kg dive gear FREE. http://www.airmalta.com/sports-baggage

17. Daallo (to Djibouti) 30kg tho no details on useless website! http://www.daallo.com/baggage.htm

18. Qatar Airlines. 20kg + 10kg dive gear free (need to ring up their head office and request extra allowance) This is not mentioned on the website. http://www.qatarairways.com/ecomm_faq.html?linkdes_7

 

Tolerates Divers

1. British Jet 20kg + 8kg dive gear FREE + 5kgs hand luggage. (33 kgs total). Useless website! https://secure.britishjet.com/home.aspx

2. KLM 20kg/25kg + 20kg dive gear for 20/30 Euros (depends on destination) All the information is on the website, but it's not easy to understand!! http://www.klm.com/travel/gb_en/travel_inf...age/index.htm#2

3. Easyjet Max free allowance for divers: 20kg Standard weight allowance: 20kg (subject to a per bag check-in charge). Diving equipment: for a charge of £15 divers can carry an extra 12kg. http://www.easyjet.com/EN/Planning/baggage.html

4. Ryanair Max free allowance for divers: 15kg However, 10kg can be carried as hand luggage. Standard weight allowance: 15kg (bag check-in charge £3.50 per item per flight if booked online). Diving equipment: sports equipment charge is £15.50 per item, per one way flight if booked and paid online. The maximum weight is 32kg for sports kit. http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/conditions.php?pos=MYFLIGHT

5. ThomsonFly 25kg hold & hand baggage combined, hand baggage must not exceed 10kg. Dive gear not mentioned specifically on website, but 'Sports Equipment' allowance may be purchased in advance for £15 each way. http://www.thomsonfly.com/en/flywithus_2753.html

6. Eurocypria 20kg + 10kg dive gear for CP20. According to website, no extra allowance! http://www.eurocypria.com/main/default.asp...&itemid=503

7. Air France 20kg + 20kg dive gear for a fee (between €10 - €40 each way depending on destination) http://www.airfrance.co.uk/GB/en/local/gui...ecekedgfndgfl.0

 

Hates Divers

1. Cathy Pacific 20kg no extra. http://www.cathaypacific.com/cpa/en_INTL/h...gageinformation

2. Maldivian Air Taxi 20kg including hand luggage (yes they weigh the lot) no diving allowance & $4.50/kg excess. Useless website! http://www.mataxi.com/

 

Can't decide!

Air 2000, 20kg +10kg dive gear free - on outward journey, charges 50 euros on return - then refunds said euros after a heated email exchange. Air2000 is now First Choice, see #11 above.

 

Air Malta, customer services duty officer- 20kg +15kg dive gear free http://www.airmalta.com/sports-baggage

Air Malta, tele sales cordinator - no allowance available.

 

BA/ Quantas- when flying westwards, 23kg + 23kg dive gear (in seperate bags) FREE

BA / Quantas when flying eastwards, 20 kg, no allowance

 

General Advice

Airlines have a habit of changing the rules at the drop of a hat. ALWAYS check the latest situation via phone or website. ALWAYS take a printed copy of the website with you, cos the check-in staff WILL deny all knowledge of the extra allowance. If you have to pre-book the allowance by phone, ALWAYS ask for confirmation in writing, and get a contact name & telephone number in case of problems. ALWAYS have your C-cards to hand at check-in. Some tour operators will have negotiated a special deal for divers with the airline, so you should check with them. As usual, ALWAYS get details in writing.

 

 

Wow!- good info. Seems like the airlines are doing a good job of shooting themselves in the foot.

 

I just returned from 12 days in Little Cayman. We flew SFO to Miami on AA, then transferred to Cayman Air. Unfortunately when we got to Grand, none of our 3 checked bags were there. A day later one showed up, but the other two never did. Fortunately the main photo gear was in our carry on, but the arms,cords,chargers,batteries,ex- port seem to be gone for good, as well as one+ set of dive gear, and our combined clothes bag. AA says they don't have them, and Cayman Air says the same thing.

The people at LCBR were great, giving us gear to use, and getting our laundry done while we were out diving. Other guests also helped out with toiletries, and batteries, and offers of clothes.

 

We generally go on 1-2 overseas dive trips a year, and booked our next trip to the Philippines on Cathay Pacific because we heard it was really nice, and I had enough frequent miles on a partner airline for the tickets. Now I see they are rated as "Hates Divers". What a bummer!, I can't easily change it either. I'm starting to feel like staying at home more. The arbitrary and potentially very expensive nature just adds more stress to travel. It seems like a reasonable cost like .50/lb over 20# for carry on would be ok, 1st bag free, then $15 for checked. At a time when the whole travel industry is on its butt, the airlines are reacting by cutting off their nose to spite their face.

Not a welcome feeling. - John :B):

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Its a good idea to check the original of this quote. its sticky on Diving Overseas forum on http://www.divernet.com/Forums/

The basic original gets updated periodically by regular members and there are gradual updates from those who travel making posts. Probably need to read the last full summary post and the posts around it to get the best idea of whats going on. As others have said the goal posts move frequently.

Tim Digger

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We just flew TACA from the Quito, Equador after diving with Peter Hughes in the Galapagos to Machu Picchu and back to Quayaquril, Equador. I carried a 35 pound backpack and a 35 pound roller as carry-ons full of photo gear. My wife and daughter each had backpacks plus one duffel to carry our jackets. We had no problems with these carry-ons and they were not weighed. In Lima all carry-ons were searched prior to boarding, they just opened my bags and looked at my underwater camera gear and reclosed the bags without disturbing the contents. In Cusco all our checked baggage was visually searched, but not our carryons.

 

Elmer

Edited by eyu

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