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Bonefish, Tarpon, and other Obsessions Turquoise water, silver demons on the fly

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Old 04-13-2008, 12:38 PM
GMflyfish GMflyfish is offline
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Airlines-flylines

I wanted to report my recent experience on a trip to Acklin's Island, Bahamas, relative to carrying loaded reels in carryon luggage. Thanks to information in a recent thread titled TSA Locks from March 2008, we were somewhat prepared for the hassle.
I've elected to start a new thread, rather than attach more to the prior discourse.
The trip there via Atlanta to Nassau was OK with loaded reels and three rods in tubes allowed in carry on. I had some of my flies in carryon, and that was questioned, but allowed through.
The trip from Nassau to Acklin's was OK, even some flies getting through. I removed a couple of lines from reels as a precaution.
The return to Nassau was no problem, with essentially no security check; one passenger in fact had a shotgun and shells along on board.
The flight from Nassau back to Atlanta provided a problem. I packed away all my flies in checked baggage, but still had the rod tubes with my carryon backpack. I left backing on one reel, and they would not let that through in carryon. I fortunately still had access to my checked bag, so rather than place the reel or spool in that, I opted to rewind the backing from my reel onto a spare plastic spool I had brought along for the purpose. I used an empty spool that new fly lines come on. It took quite a while manually, but I was not pressed for time. That way I was able to keep my good reels, without line or backing, in my carryon. I did put two full spools in my checked bag, but had the reel frames for those in carryon. Keeping the frames with me reduced the possible loss.
I was fortunate that I still had my checked bag with me when I found they would not allow the backing, otherwise I would have had to strip it off and lose it.
So be prepared when departing from Nassau. Again my thanks to those who provided information on this forum, which prepared us for the possible security hassle. Why flylines or backing represents a security issue is beyond me.
GMflyfish
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:52 PM
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Trevor B Trevor B is offline
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I think it is beyond all of us as to why there is a problem with lines, In all my travels I have so far never had a problem but like you say it's best to be prepared for it rather than lose an expensive line and Backing.
I am flying in and out of Cancun in not too many weeks and I wonder if anyone has had any experience with that airport ?
Thanks for the update I think we all appreciate it

Last edited by Trevor B; 04-13-2008 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 04-13-2008, 04:26 PM
formula1 formula1 is offline
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Good to know that removing the backing did the trick...I've been told by some (but it was speculation that was never proven) that they don't like reels because they think the reels themselves can be used as a weapon (why anyone would think of using a fly reel to bludgeon someone is beyond me). I'd always asked whenever someone brought up such a post as to whether or not they tried taking the backing off and never received a reply. My guess is that they were purely speculating and never tried to take the backing off. Of course this could change but your post was much more clarifying than the speculation I've heard on other boards.
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Old 04-13-2008, 05:15 PM
nmbrowncom nmbrowncom is offline
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i just came back fro m freeport and had no problem with lines either from US or bahamian customs, both of which are located in freeport. GM, was it US or bahamian customs. i swear, they make it up as they go along.
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:43 PM
GMflyfish GMflyfish is offline
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nmb
The trouble spot in Nassau airport for me was security, not customs. After checking in at the counter I hauled my checked bag to security and was stopped by security and asked about fishing reels. They likely noticed my rod tubes on the backpack. At that point I had backing on one reel, so I got out of line and proceeded to remove it and put the backing into my checked bag. I then went through the same spot, with different personnel, and no questions were asked. However after depositing my checked bag on a conveyor where it would soon disappear, I was into another security station with xray, and I had to open my backpack to prove there was no line on the reels I had in my carry on.
Last year we had no trouble carrying loaded reels aboard. There is a great lack of consistency, and no straight answers.
For the trip down, one fellow in Nassau suggested to not even ask a question, because that was likely to provoke a NO answer.
I had plastic rod tubes, but my buddy had a couple metal tubes, even longer, which he got through without difficulty.
Thanks.
GMflyfish
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Old 04-14-2008, 12:35 PM
Tim D Tim D is offline
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Trevor,

I too am flying into Cancun a week from this coming Friday to fish Pesca Maya. I know someone that had been going there for years, including a trip two weeks ago, and he has never had a problem carrying on his reels with line and backing.

Hopefully we will have the same luck.
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:06 PM
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Trevor B Trevor B is offline
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Tim
Thanks, like I said I have not had a problem yet, yet being the the word. I really think for the most part it's who ever you get at security on the day.
Flying out of Canada has so far not been a problem for reels, lines or Rods.
Best of luck on your trip, look forward to hearing how you made out.
Tight lines Trev
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:06 AM
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petevicar petevicar is offline
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Since I lost a rod case with 4 Scott rods on the way back from the Seychelles a few years ago I pack all my tackle in a large suitcase. The new model I bought beginning of last year has TSA locks on it.
It is made from very lightweight polycarbonate and is practically indestructible.
I carry all my clothes and 4 piece rods, packed in a piece of plastic drainpipe, and reels inside the case.

I have not, as yet, touch wood, had a problem.
Even when the airlines fail to get the case on the plane and this has happened only on the return journey, I have not lost anything from the case.

Pete
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:01 PM
doctorsteve doctorsteve is offline
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Going to the Seychelles, we flew JFK to Paris to Mahe. Taking rods and reels TO Paris was ok, but they made us check them LEAVING Paris to Mahe. There really seems to be no rhyme or reason. 3 of us had to check our reels, but one guy that went through before us with a whole crapload of stuff got through no problem (you know who you are, Eric!) On the way back, I threw everything into my suitcase to avoid hassles. I just wish the airports were consistent.

Steve
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:16 PM
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Trevor B Trevor B is offline
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That's the word right there CONSISTENT ! then we would all know where we stand and it would make it that much easier to deal with.
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:37 AM
JR SPEY JR SPEY is offline
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And it would make things so much easier for the terrorists as consistency equals predictability. While we all might wish for it, as I've stated before on this board and others, it'll never happen. That lack of consistency is intentional and it's not to drive us nuts, but rather to help keep us safe. Again, as I've said before, if you stop to think about it while putting your own needs for consistency aside, things really are very unlikely to get better over time. They are almost assurely going to get worse. I see a time in the very near future where virtually nothing will be allowed as carry-on unless it is a medical necessity. Don't laugh, there are many who are pushing for that already. Also, consolidation will minimize actual competition which will mean airlines will be far less accomodating regarding ignoring of their own rules for the size (especially length) of a carry-on article. Almost every airline has a maximum length rule that is thirty inches or less (at least one has a 22" maximum length---at least it did a few years ago.) In the spirit of customer satisfaction, a lot of times these are ignored by gate and flight attendants. When there are fewer airlines going to each destination, that need for customer satisfaction isn't as great. I think Air Canada is an example of that.
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Old 04-18-2008, 12:55 PM
figen figen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR SPEY
And it would make things so much easier for the terrorists as consistency equals predictability. While we all might wish for it, as I've stated before on this board and others, it'll never happen. That lack of consistency is intentional and it's not to drive us nuts, but rather to help keep us safe.
I find it difficult to follow your logic that occasionally banning a potentially unsafe item is safer than consistently banning it? Changing threat levels and constant evaluation of what constitutes a safe item aside, at any given time an item is either deemed safe or not. Sure there might be different assessments, or more accurately practices, at various locations, but the notion that this inconsistency in itself is a safety precaution is ridiculous. Especially since geographically locations are usually fairly consistent, although not similar to others. It would take a terrorist of monumentally idiotic proportions to fail in learning the policy of any given airport. Not to mention the level of dexterity required to take over an airliner using a fly line.

I believe you would be very hard pressed to find any significant correlation between carry-on allowance and the airlines market-derived necessity of providing customer service. The regulations come into place for a variety of reasons, most of originating in practical and safety concerns as far as I can tell. Luckily in the US one can still bring on board the kitchen sink, at the airline's discretion.
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Old 04-18-2008, 01:50 PM
JR SPEY JR SPEY is offline
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I agree that setting up a consistent policy where most everything that could conceivably be used as a weapon is banned would be best. It's just not politically viable---yet. As I pointed out, it's likely to come along sooner than most of us wish. Figuring out one airport's policies and routine is fine, but the trouble we have here is that each terminal in one airport may operate differently. In fact, it's not unusual for two different aisles of TSA security at the same terminal to be different. That is intentional and it's not my idea that it is. I've read several articles to that effect and it is clearly stated that that's the intent. The best terrorists can get by anything, but a lot of klutzes exist and some of them have been caught in their tracks before they could do any harm. It is the job of security to make it as difficult as possible for the terrorists and if that makes it incovenient for the rest of us there's really not much that can be done. I don't think the experts agree with you that inconsistency as a safety precaution is ridiculous. Of course, you're entitiled to your opinion, but after making a similar post on speypages a few weeks ago both an airline pilot and a TSA agent PMed me to say that I was on the right track.

I also disagree with your assessment of carry-ons and customer satisfaction. In fact, those dots are easy to connect. As an example, the closet designed for use by the crew does not necessarily have to be used by them for customers bringing two-piece rods on board. In fact, in the US, there is a specific federal policy discouraging its use for that purpose. However, many airlines will allow passengers on board with rod tubes well in excess of the stated limit and they often store them in that closet. They want to avoid the customer frustration that would come by being told it would have to be checked. I see many, many people come on board with well over the limit of carry-ons. In the US, you're allowed one carry-on and one small item like a purse or laptop computer. It's not unusual at all to see people walk on board with four and five pieces. I just came back from Belize this week and one lady had five carry-ons with her. I'm sure the training encourages that if it does not appear as if there is a saftey risk, that it's better to ignore a rule than risk a customer deciding that next time he/she will fly a different airline. You seem to think I meant the regulations themselves are determined by customer satisfaction. If you go back and re-read my post, I was referring to the exceptions to the rules that are made prior to and during boarding. I think, in fact I know, that those exceptions have everything to do with minimizing customer angst. They are trained to just more or less pretend they don't notice that you have too many carry-ons, but I don't think in reality most of the flight attendants miss very much.
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Old 04-18-2008, 05:09 PM
figen figen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR SPEY
I don't think the experts agree with you that inconsistency as a safety precaution is ridiculous. Of course, you're entitiled to your opinion, but after making a similar post on speypages a few weeks ago both an airline pilot and a TSA agent PMed me to say that I was on the right track.
A complete and consistent ban on a given item = 100% chance it gets stopped.
A 50/50 spread on checkpoints on same item = 50% chance it gets stopped, but a slight increase in that a bad guy will attempt to carry it on.

How the latter is the better safety approach is simply beyond me, as half the time the item will get through, and if the terrorists operate in groups going on separate checkpoints, they are almost guaranteed success. I must be missing a major logical, or at the very least causal, mechanism here. Care to enlighten me? You don't suppose they utilize these tactics with firearms as well? Perhaps every third Thursday checkpoint 2 in terminal 3 will allow loaded guns? Oh my, how the terrorists will be confused by the cunning TSA...

It's obvious that transparency can be a security issue, there are many components that they like to keep close to their chest, such as air marshals, armed pilots, procedure for cargo/luggage scanning and whatnot. That's very different than inconsistent enforcement of carry-on items. Another key element is the ability of the local TSA personnel (and others) to put two and two together and see things/persons/situations in context which can trigger scrutiny beyond the norm. Perhaps this is what you're talking about, and I'm reading you wrong in that inconsistency for inconsistency's sake helps safety. Capacity might be an issue, so that 50% scans is better than 0%, but still inferior to 100%, but then it's a matter of random inspections, not inconsistency.


Quote:
You seem to think I meant the regulations themselves are determined by customer satisfaction. If you go back and re-read my post, I was referring to the exceptions to the rules that are made prior to and during boarding. I think, in fact I know, that those exceptions have everything to do with minimizing customer angst. They are trained to just more or less pretend they don't notice that you have too many carry-ons, but I don't think in reality most of the flight attendants miss very much.
The main difference, as I see it, is whether or not the aviation authorities or airports introduce and enforce regulations, as is the case in the EU, now topping the idiot-scale in aviation by a handsome margin. It has nothing to do with the airlines desire for customer satisfaction, you will not get a chance to charm the FA into fondling your rod in the closet (heh) since you'll never get your stuff through the security checkpoint. Doesn't matter if you're flying intl. F and get three super-sized overhead bins to yourself, the dickwads at the checkpoint will ruin your day. The regulation-zealous central authority is by far the greatest factor determining what we're allowed to carry on. Of all the denied items we experience and hear of, they are almost exclusively related to airport checkpoints, not airlines. In a nutshell, get your stuff to the plane and you're golden.

The enforcement of the rules is critical as you say, but even here there's a clear difference between what's airline based and what are really central regulations that must be enforced, regardless of what the airline might think. Yes, it's possible that the airlines might start to enforce less/smaller carry-ons on their own, but who really cares when we got an 800-pound gorilla in the room disguised as aviation authorities. It's an entirely different matter to break strict FAA regulations than gently bending the airline's own policy, or even ignoring a federal requirement that is rarely enforced anywhere (since it's more or less ignored even by the inspectors). The in-cabin rules are pretty similar between the US and the UK, yet the cabins are run very differently with significantly different levels of enforcement. It's unlikely that one side of the Atlantic has conspired to lower customer satisfaction due to less competition (your dots connected), it's all about the rules, enforcement practices and penalties. Customer satisfaction concern of the airline might not be completely irrelevant, but its significance certainly pales when compared to rules with serious penalties.

Another reason why I don't automatically agree with your statement is whether or not the airline actually would prefer to have less carry-on. I don't see that is clear cut in any way, I'm not sure on the real cost for the airline in terms of checkpoints vs. luggage handling, but I'd be surprised if the latter was cheaper. It will certainly come with some extra expenses in terms of check-in service, delayed luggage, customer care and of course a drop in customer satisfaction. What's the incentive of going down that path?

I do understand the difference from my take on your first post and the follow-up clarification. I think your dot connections may be a little far fetched to describe carry-on allowance in general, especially globally, although your reasoning is sound and might apply to the North American market. In reality either $$$$ or central government are far more likely to change both the rules and the enforcement of them. Different set of rules, different players and different motivation.
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Old 04-19-2008, 06:12 AM
JR SPEY JR SPEY is offline
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It amazes me sometimes. Your entire first two paragraphs were answered in the first sentence I wrote in my last post. You really should go back and read it.

Since I have neither the time nor the will to continue this, let me just make a couple of quick responses and then I'll gladly let you have the final say.

There are many things in the US that will go through TSA security but which violates the carry-on policies of the airlines and the FAA. Heck, TSA couldn't care less if you have ten carry-ons. Unlike before 9/11 they aren't there to check to be sure you're following airline policies. Our airlines consistently ignore their own rules in order to keep customers content and flying with them. I don't think there's anyone in the US who flies pretty regularly who doesn't recognize that. It may well be different in the EU. The fact that we have dozens of airlines means that customer satisfaction is critical to each airline.

I never said the airlines would be the ones to choose to eliminate, or at least seriously curtail, carry-on baggage. There was a very thorough article in the USA today covering this issue about a year ago. What amazed me was how many people wrote letters to the editor agreeing that all carry-ons should be banned. Besides, many US airlines now charge $$$ for more than one check-in piece. Eliminating carry-ons could even be a money maker for them, though I still don't believe that would cause them to be the ones to initiate the policy.
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