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Hello everyone,

 

For those that have traveled with Air Nuigini from Port Moresby to Tawali - Alotau (GUR).

 

They are saying 70 lbs total for weight....Including carry on. Additional baggage is $5 USD for every additional Kilo. Which is fine, but it says that if the airplane is weight restricted it won't go with you. This has me a little nervous, especially since I am planing on packing and checking 2 dslr's (in pelicans) and dive gear for myself and my wife.

 

What is the likelihood that the plane with be overweight?

 

If you have any other words of wisdom..Please feel free to share.

 

Dustin

 

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Hi Dustin,

 

We did that trip 2 years ago and weight was checked carefully for the internal flight. I saw some people hit for excess baggage (avoided by one person when money changed hands at the weighing point). Our group was able to take all gear so I think you would have to be unlucky to be separated from your gear.

 

Mark

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Hi Dustin,We did that trip 2 years ago and weight was checked carefully for the internal flight. I saw some people hit for excess baggage (avoided by one person when money changed hands at the weighing point). Our group was able to take all gear so I think you would have to be unlucky to be separated from your gear.Mark

Thanks mark...was your flight full? How much gear? We have about 300 pounds between myself and wife. With dive gear, photo and video gear, laptops, etc...heck. The pelican cases weight 50 pounds by themselves(2 at 25 each).

 

I am reading horror stories of baggage charges in the $1000's.

 

Dustin

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Dustin, Our scheduled afternoon flight was cancelled (probably because it wasn't full and not uncommon from what we heard) - this meant losing a day of diving. The flight we were on the next morning was fairly full. You have more than double the normal allowance so it might be worth trying to chat up a local to learn of any helpful tricks and invest in a photo-vest or two.

 

Mark

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What are peoples thoughts on trying to get both my wifes and I's full DSLR Rigs in as a carryon? We normally do that, so I know I can do it. the problem is that if they decide to weigh the carry on's. I can try the photographers Vest, with some cargo shorts routine. haven't done that before. but I am willing

 

I was orginally thinking of checking them. But the more I think about it, I am wondering if carry on will work. Details of my flights, are Virgin Australia LAX > BNE...2 hour 10 minute layover. BNE to POM on Air Nuigini.....overnight in POM. POM > GUR on Air Nuigini.

 

Is it going to be better to check, or carry on the camera gear. I have heard horror stories of the Australia airports.

Any advice would be appreciated.

 

Dustin

Edited by Oceanshutter

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Ok, can someone explain how to use "photographer vest" to sneak in more weight? Like what do you put in it? I asked because when come to international flight, you're talking about 10 hour+ of journey, and me being 230lb certain feel okay in a T-shirt in tight plane seat. I can imagine the vest would cause some discomfort, but how bad, and what to expect?

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Ok, can someone explain how to use "photographer vest" to sneak in more weight? Like what do you put in it? I asked because when come to international flight, you're talking about 10 hour+ of journey, and me being 230lb certain feel okay in a T-shirt in tight plane seat. I can imagine the vest would cause some discomfort, but how bad, and what to expect?

 

I believe the idea is to load up the vest with camera's lenses, lights, strobes etc....wear the vest to the check in counter, and through security. After you pass security, you just load all of it back into your carry on.

 

It's ridiculous....

Edited by Oceanshutter
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Ah, make sense, so you shouldn't have your carry on bag fully stuffed like it's going to burst open, and wear all the heavy stuff at the same time. Yeah it's getting very stressful to fly these days, especially with those expensive toys.

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Dustin - If you're worried about BNE, you won't be weighed there, as you will go through the transit procedures. I do that flight quite frequently. There is no check in for your BNE-POM flight, just a transfer desk and a security check. I can't comment on LAX. As others have noted, you will be weighed quite carefully for domestic flights in PNG as excess baggage is a revenue center for Air Niugini

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I use "OceanShutter's procedure when flying PI to Manila. Works like a charm!

With 7 trips to PNG, I've tried most every thing.

Some times you can ask to pay a cash 'fine' instead of the baggage charge.

I put about US$20 in PNG kina in each front pant pocket and claim that's all I have.

First one pocket and if that is not enough then the other one.

Don't forget they will also get you on the outward flight also!

 

If you see Rob there say 'Hi' from Allan for me.

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I use "OceanShutter's procedure when flying PI to Manila. Works like a charm!

With 7 trips to PNG, I've tried most every thing.

Some times you can ask to pay a cash 'fine' instead of the baggage charge.

I put about US$20 in PNG kina in each front pant pocket and claim that's all I have.

First one pocket and if that is not enough then the other one.

Don't forget they will also get you on the outward flight also!

 

If you see Rob there say 'Hi' from Allan for me.

Are you saying you do the photographers vest? Do you actually have to use it? I figure we would probably have a think tank roller for each of us, with the backpack too. All together weighing in at probably 80-90 pounds total. Is that really pushing my luck?

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Dustin - If you're worried about BNE, you won't be weighed there, as you will go through the transit procedures. I do that flight quite frequently. There is no check in for your BNE-POM flight, just a transfer desk and a security check. I can't comment on LAX. As others have noted, you will be weighed quite carefully for domestic flights in PNG as excess baggage is a revenue center for Air Niugini

Will I be able to check my luggage from vigin Australia to air nuigini? I am a little worried about our 2 hour and 10 minute layover...worried that won't be enough time.

So you are saying the transfer is easy? Will the hassle us for the camera gear in the security check?

 

I have status on delta which is a partner with vigin Australia, and I will be able to check everything through so I am not too worried about the carryon on VA from lax to Bne.

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I've always been able to check luggage through BNE to POM, arriving on either QF or SQ and departing on PX. One of them is an alliance partner, the other isn't, so I cannot imagine why it wouldn't be possible arriving on VA.

 

The transfer from one international flight to another has never taken me more than a few minutes, literally, so 2 hours is heaps. Security will not care about your photo gear. They might raise an eyebrow if you have an unusually large number or high capacity of Li batteries so you might check the limits on those.

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I put about US$20 in PNG kina in each front pant pocket and claim that's all I have.

These days PGK 20 (about USD 8) is unlikely to impress anyone enough to bend the rules. That's about the cost of 2 beers. I travel on short business trips without much luggage so have never tested it, but if I was hoping to get some favorable treatment, I would have considerably more in reserve.

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Another idea is to check if they offer a busines class flight to Alotau. Maybe you have more baggage allowance, and the additional cost is less than the overweight charges.

 

Jock

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Good idea, but that route (and most others in PNG except to the Highlands and a handful of the other major destinations) are serviced by their Dash 8 aircraft, which is part of the reason they are strict on baggage.

 

The routes served by their F100 aircraft, including Madang and Kavieng and a few others, have an alleged "business" class but it's not much different from economy in terms of space so I don't bother, but the extra baggage allowance might make sense in some cases.

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The simple answer is pack light! Just your dive and camera gear and a couple of T shirts and a pair of shorts. It's the tropics!. Wear your slacks and warmer clothes on the plane. You can always throw a jacket over your shoulder and put it in the overhead locker. You should be able to put most of your camera gear in a carry-on bag and keep it under 7kg.

 

The camera vest idea sounds OK until you get weighed as well! It happens with smaller regional airlines. Having your dive bag offloaded is a real pain. Keep your checked bag under 25kg.

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So I have learned that Virgin Australia doesn't have a baggage agreement with Air Nuigini. So the easy transit in BNE appears to not be able to happen. Is a 2 hour 10 minuted lay over enough time to get bags, got through immigration, and check in to the counter?

 

Since I am not on the same itinerary....between VA and Air Nuigini. And I don't make the Air nuigini flight. I would be considered a "no show". Never had that happen. What happens in that scenario?

 

Dustin

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Are you sure you can't check baggage all the way through? I've done it after arriving at BNE on at least 4 different airlines. Just go to the transfer desk, show the bag claim number, and they do the rest. Seems weird that it would require entering Australia only to check in again, rather than going to the transfer desk while in transit. But I have not had to do this myself so can't be sure.

 

If you did have to go through immigration and customs with your luggage, check in upstairs, then go back through the process the other direction, 2 hours is comfortable. BNE is not large and rarely very congested, and once you're checked in you're safe.

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Are you sure you can't check baggage all the way through? I've done it after arriving at BNE on at least 4 different airlines. Just go to the transfer desk, show the bag claim number, and they do the rest. Seems weird that it would require entering Australia only to check in again, rather than going to the transfer desk while in transit. But I have not had to do this myself so can't be sure.

If you did have to go through immigration and customs with your luggage, check in upstairs, then go back through the process the other direction, 2 hours is comfortable. BNE is not large and rarely very congested, and once you're checked in you're safe.

I called Virgin Australia, and I have seen a write up on experiences traveling to png. My question to you is, did they tag you baggage, on you original departure to go to POM. Or did the transfer desk do this for you?

 

Do you know if virgin Australia coming in from lax, and air nuigini are in the same terminal?

 

Appreciate your help. This trip is stressing me out.

Dustin

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In my travels through BNE the bag was always tagged from my origin all the way to POM. That is why the transfer desk could handle it. If VA says they can't tag it all the way then you have no choice but collecting your luggage, going through immigration and customs, checking in, and going back through in the other direction. But don't stress, there is only 1 small international terminal and 2 hours is plenty.

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Are you sure you can't check baggage all the way through? I've done it after arriving at BNE on at least 4 different airlines. Just go to the transfer desk, show the bag claim number, and they do the rest. Seems weird that it would require entering Australia only to check in again, rather than going to the transfer desk while in transit. But I have not had to do this myself so can't be sure.

If you did have to go through immigration and customs with your luggage, check in upstairs, then go back through the process the other direction, 2 hours is comfortable. BNE is not large and rarely very congested, and once you're checked in you're safe.

I am pretty sure. Though I will update this thread after my trip. Apparently air nuigini doesn't want to play nice with virgin Australia, because VA has created competition by not screwing the consumer flying into png. So they don't want to work with them at all. The more I read about the travel issues....the costs....the worrying about safety...png is really not appealing. I am excited for the trip, but I have stressed about this more than any other trip I have had. We will see if it's all for not. We are going to be about 30 lbs over each for the interior flight. So hopefully they don't charge us $2000. Which is what I read from some blogs.

 

I did learn yesterday, that there is a later flight in the day from Bne to Pom. So I am not as concerned with the 2 layover anymore. I thought it was once a day kind of deal. If we miss it they said we would just get put on that later flight.

 

Dustin

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Have a great time at Tuwali Dustin. I haven't been there myself but friends who have really enjoyed it. I like PNG diving and have been to Walindi and Tufi resorts and a couple of times to Madang. Going to Lissenung Island this October.

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Now that I am back from the trip, I thought I would update the post to help others in the future.

- our flights on air new nuigini had pre arranged baggage allowances. 46kgs for the BNE to POM leg, and 32 kgs for the POM to GUR domestics flight.

- we checked in with the 46kgs each for the BNE to POM flight. So we thought we were going to have to pay overage for the domestic. Which had heard about $5 used per kilo over for domestic. So no fees for international

- when we checked in for the domestic, I told them that we were divers and they gave us an extra 15 kilos for free. So we ended up not paying anything for baggage. Both ways, we did the diving trick. And that worked. However I think the key was getting the prearranged 32 kilos for the domestic. It's normally less than that. It actually stated it on our itinerary print out.

- carry ons. We each had a think tank back back. They weighted probably 15 kilos at least and were packed full. They didn't ask us to weight them so it wasn't an issue. I didn't see them weighing other either. However most people didn't have a huge backpack and a roller bag. I suspect this would raise some alarms.

- Virgin Australia. Will not and cannot check your bags onto air nuigini. In BNE you must collect your bags and go through customs and immigration...where we were sniffed by dogs. Then had to re check in with VA. And go through security etc...our flight arrived early so this helped. But the 2 hour layover would have been tough to hit, but we would have made it, barely.

 

Thanks everyone for their help. Btw. Air nuigjni was surprisingly not an issues at all. All of our flights were on time. I recommend taking early morning domestic flights.

Dustin

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