Carryon Bahamas Warning [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Carryon Bahamas Warning


Swalt
11-17-2010, 09:54 AM
Word of warning. Just got back from a Bahamas trip to an out island with a layover in Nassau. It was my third trip this year and 9th since 2002. Never had any problems with carryon of rods and reels inside the Bahamas before. Not even in March and August of this year. This time the Bahamas TSA would not let me carryone loaded reels on a flight from Nassua to Great Inagua. Had to either strip 200 yards of line and backing off 4 reels or go back and check them.

KMcFly
11-17-2010, 02:15 PM
I just got back from Acklins and had no problems,on the return to the states I checked everything as usual.

Swalt
11-17-2010, 04:12 PM
I just got back from Acklins and had no problems,on the return to the states I checked everything as usual.

That had been my experience before and I have been checking on the return flight for years. The woman running the machine when I went through to get on the Bahamasair flight said I couldn't carry them on but she didn't seem 100% sure. She called others over and they just kinda looked and stood around. None of them seemed to know for sure. Then she finally said I had to check them or strip them so I checked them.

GMflyfish
11-19-2010, 10:13 AM
I've had one instance in the past of TSA trouble. Did not have any difficulty in taking rods and reels with line from Nassau to Acklins. However, on the return, was once forced to unload reels for the flight from Nassau back to the states. Acklins to Nassau was no problem. I had brought a couple empty plastic spools, so unloaded the reel at the airport once. I did not want to check my good reels, so carried them empty, and checked the less expensive reels.
I wish the TSA in Nassau was more consistent, and that you could get a straight answer. Needless to say, a minor pain to have to take line and backing off the reels. Makes no sense at all.
GMflyfish.

JR SPEY
11-20-2010, 08:57 AM
You actually go through two securities at Nassau. It used to be that TSA/USA was first and then Bahamas security was after that. These days it's been reversed. Did you have trouble with the actual TSA/USA people or from the Bahamian security? It wasn't that long ago that getting a flyreel as carry-on (unless totally empty) was near impossible with Bahamian security. I've been told that it's much less of an issue these days, but just like with TSA/USA anywhere you never know for sure.


I've had one instance in the past of TSA trouble. Did not have any difficulty in taking rods and reels with line from Nassau to Acklins. However, on the return, was once forced to unload reels for the flight from Nassau back to the states. Acklins to Nassau was no problem. I had brought a couple empty plastic spools, so unloaded the reel at the airport once. I did not want to check my good reels, so carried them empty, and checked the less expensive reels.
I wish the TSA in Nassau was more consistent, and that you could get a straight answer. Needless to say, a minor pain to have to take line and backing off the reels. Makes no sense at all.
GMflyfish.

GMflyfish
11-20-2010, 09:03 AM
JR SPEY,
I don't recall exactly, but I think it might have been the first security check - Bahamian. This was about three years ago at Nassau airport. I still had my duffle bag (to be checked) with me, so I was able to unspool the line and backing and put into the main bag. Carried on empty reels, and they got examined at the second security - TSA?
As a precaution, in the future I will plan on empty reels for carry on for the return trip.
GMflyfish.

flatsfisher
11-20-2010, 11:06 AM
Went thru Nassau 2 days ago there was one security check, Bahamian. Then the usual US Customs. TSA does not operate outside USA. I separated spools from my reels and put them in my checked bag.

Flatsfisher

JR SPEY
11-20-2010, 03:54 PM
Went thru Nassau 2 days ago there was one security check, Bahamian. Then the usual US Customs. TSA does not operate outside USA. I separated spools from my reels and put them in my checked bag.

Flatsfisher

That's not an accurate comment. It may have changed VERY recently, but TSA has operated in Nassau since shortly after it was formed, in addition to US Customs. And that's not the only airport outside of the US that has a TSA presence. I've flown out of Nassau over a dozen times since Homeland Security was established and there's ALWAYS been a TSA presence there. Like I say, that may have changed within the last year or so, but it absolutely was there prior to this year.

Swalt
11-20-2010, 05:24 PM
That's not an accurate comment. It may have changed VERY recently, but TSA has operated in Nassau since shortly after it was formed, in addition to US Customs. And that's not the only airport outside of the US that has a TSA presence. I've flown out of Nassau over a dozen times since Homeland Security was established and there's ALWAYS been a TSA presence there. Like I say, that may have changed within the last year or so, but it absolutely was there prior to this year.

They did change it this year. Only one security check point when entering the International Airport. Its much more streamlined and easier now. You hand in your Bahamas card and get your passport checked, throw your checked bag on the roller, go through the TSA check point, right into customs and then up the stairs or escalator into the waiting area. They changed it between March and August. They were however randomly doing the new body searches just before boarding the plane.

JR SPEY
11-20-2010, 06:09 PM
So was it TSA/USA or Bahamian security that survived?

They did change it this year. Only one security check point when entering the International Airport. Its much more streamlined and easier now. You hand in your Bahamas card and get your passport checked, throw your checked bag on the roller, go through the TSA check point, right into customs and then up the stairs or escalator into the waiting area. They changed it between March and August. They were however randomly doing the new body searches just before boarding the plane.

wrke
11-20-2010, 06:38 PM
It's always Bahamian. TSA recommends you put your reels in carry on.

JR SPEY
11-20-2010, 08:03 PM
It's always Bahamian. TSA recommends you put your reels in carry on.

But says nothing about the line and backing. Bahamian security people have not seen a problem with the reels so much as the line, either. That's why some guys strip their reels before carrying them on. Although not as much recently, there are incidents where TSA/USA people have done the same here. Personally, I think the diameter of a flyline makes a few of security agents nervous. Although it was a couple of years ago now, a friend of mine could not get through security with loaded reels at the Newark Airport.

wrke
11-21-2010, 06:02 AM
Although it was a couple of years ago now, a friend of mine could not get through security with loaded reels at the Newark Airport.

I wasn't aware of that. The only time it happened to me was Bahamian security in Nassau . . . the reels went into my checked luggage (they went and retrieved it for me) which ended up with two stolen reels and one spool, plus three fly lines and backings stolen. I fish the Bahamas at least once or twice a year, but have never flown through Nassau since. I've flown through Newark many times without a problem and many other foreign airports as well with reels and spools load with line and backing.

JR SPEY
11-21-2010, 08:23 AM
I wasn't aware of that. The only time it happened to me was Bahamian security in Nassau . . . the reels went into my checked luggage (they went and retrieved it for me) which ended up with two stolen reels and one spool, plus three fly lines and backings stolen. I fish the Bahamas at least once or twice a year, but have never flown through Nassau since. I've flown through Newark many times without a problem and many other foreign airports as well with reels and spools load with line and backing.

It's much less likely to happen these days, but I keep trying to impress upon people that you still have to be prepared in case it does. I also try to avoid Nassau which is why I didn't know the security system there had changed. My last time through there was fall of 2009 and it will, indeed, be my last time. I've written this here before and on many other forums, but I'll write it again:
The regs say to bring on your rods if they will fit in the overhead, but say nothing of rod tubes. In general, they're not real fond of hard aluminum tubes (Sage, Winston, T&T, etc.) so you're better off with Cordura covered sewer pipe tubes. They say bring on your expensive reels, but say nothing about line or backing. They say bring on your delicate flies, but are referring to trout flies and not your 6/0 Billfish flies. There's also several places on the site where the fishing regs are that say that the final decision in all cases rests with the agents on duty at that time. In other words, the regs are a "guideline" and not definitive rules. Again, it is inconvenient for us, but TSA needs that kind of flexibility to deal with threats they may be aware of that haven't been reported to the press. Thankfully, it is way better today than just a few years ago and your chances of having your reel refused at a US airport because it has line and backing on it is probably around 1%. I have had reels with line rejected at Cancun, San Jose, Costa Rica, Guatemala City, and Nassau in the past, but those were by their security agents. I'm told that things have gotten better in some of those airports as well, although Guatemala was still refusing them as of this past February. In general, I just check through everything these days when I fish internationally, and I ship via FedEx all my tackle when fishing domestically.

Swalt
11-21-2010, 12:21 PM
So was it TSA/USA or Bahamian security that survived?

I am not sure but it is run by Bahamians. They have told me that they do go by TSA/USA regulations.

JR SPEY
11-21-2010, 05:15 PM
I am not sure but it is run by Bahamians. They have told me that they do go by TSA/USA regulations.

Supposedly every airport that flies to the US is to have a certain amount of security in place as directed by the TSA. However, many of them add additional restrictions on their own. That's why it used to be be nearly impossible to carry-on a loaded flyreel through Nassau and other airports in this hemisphere, and why it still is in Guatemala. My memory says that the TSA security area was run by people who looked and sounded like native Bahamians, unlike the US Customs area which always seemed to be mostly manned by Americans.