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Travelling with your gear?

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  • Travelling with your gear?

    I'm going to be in Chicago later this month and I was thinking about taking my gear with me and hopefully looking up my old group to attend a practice. Do any of you guys travel, and if so, have you ever tried getting your gear on a plane? I'm not sure if they'd allow me to check even a boken or a shinai, let alone am iaito.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    FOLLOW UP: Found this on the TSA website:

    http://www.tsa.gov/interweb/assetlib..._8_23_2004.pdf

    It says that swords and "martial arts weapons" (which I assume includes boken and shinai) are permitted in checked bags, but I wonder if anyone has actually had any direct experience with this? Did you experience any unusual delays in getting checked in because of this? Anything else people that have done this would suggest?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by ImagoX; 5th March 2005, 02:00 AM.

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    • #3
      No problem at all in the countries I've travelled with gear (Canada, US, UK, Australia).

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      • #4
        I travel (inside the US) by air with my Kendo gear about every other month. I check my bogu in a flight case, and my shinai and bokuto in a soft bag. Sometimes I have to pick up the shinai in the "odd size" baggage area instead of the regular baggage carousel.

        I used to fly with my shinai and bokuto in a fairly indestructible container I made from 4-inch diameter PVC pipe. On a flight back from Seattle, the TSA boys, failing to note the screw cap on the end, broke the container into pieces.

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        • #5
          Would you recommend locking the zippers of my case together? I'm worried about theft of course, but on the other hand I don't want them slicing open my bag...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ImagoX
            Would you recommend locking the zippers of my case together? I'm worried about theft of course, but on the other hand I don't want them slicing open my bag...
            The only time TSA would slice open the bag would be if they couldn't contact you to open it for them. As for the broken PVC pipe, I would have asked to see a supervisor, then if I still got no satisfaction, would have gone higher, especially if my shinais were damaged or broken, or anything was missing.

            I wonder if they'd have let me bring my shinai bag in carry-on baggage. When I fly (which is damned seldom!), I have no trouble at all letting them paw through my carry-on stuff. My ex-wife used to bring her knitting needles onboard international flights.

            I guess I'd have to get a clarification on the definition of "weapon" from TSA.

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            • #7
              Things are stricter than they used to be but in the past year I've brought boken on several flights. If they ask you what they are, you'll have to go back and check them.
              I've also brought shinai bags on the plane in the past, but they usually ask what they are and tell you to check them.

              Personally I'd suggest just tying your kendogu bag zippers with string. I've taped or emptied front small bag on the kendogu bag usually, since it often pops open during transport.

              The toughest memory I have of travelling with kendogu is being a a crowded Japanese bus or subway with a heavy dogu bag, shinai case, and boken.

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              • #8
                Yeah - being the foreigner on a Japanese subway with kendo gear is no fun.

                I haven't had a problem with shinai bags or bogu bags on flights. Some airports have the cellofane (sp?) tape to wrap things up. This can be useful for bogu bags with tricky pockets in the front - or when travelling in a group where its easiest to wrap several shinai boags together and check it in as one peice of luggage (the airport in Ft. Lauderdale doesn't have the wrap, and we had to duct-tape the bags together, which of course left sticky gooiness all over any of the bags that were leather or synthetic leather).

                Travelling as a team or dojo is the way to go - at least to events anyway. TSA won't botch about anything if you are a team.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by joekc6nlx
                  The only time TSA would slice open the bag would be if they couldn't contact you to open it for them.
                  You can avoid this entirely. There are a number of TSA-approved locks that you can now buy. They have a special key hole that allows the TSA baggage inspectors to unlock them with a master key if they need to. Some locks even have an indicator that shows you if someone has used the TSA master key on your lock.

                  http://www.tsa.gov/public/display?co...000519800a5a8e

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                  • #10
                    Hey, that's really cool... Gotta get one of those. They're not expensive, either. Thank you for that!

                    http://www.magellans.com/store/Safet...apsSL927?Args=

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                    • #11
                      I've been able to my shinai bag as handluggage. It all seems to depend on who you're talking to. But I guess swedish airport security isn't quite as strict as in other places. I've acctually managed to get my pocketknife onbord even though it was found by airport security.

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                      • #12
                        Do Not Lock Your Bogu Bag

                        For Security Reason, You Are Not Allowed To Lock Your Bag Or Luggages. If They Think Something Suspicious, They Will Open Your Bag And They Have Right To Break Or Cut Your Bag. So When I Travel Thesedays, I Do Not Use Any Locking Device. They Will Even Break Your Luggages Lock. Airport Securities Will Open Your Bogu Bag. They Always Does. So Do Not Use Any Locking Devices....

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rainmaker
                          For Security Reason, You Are Not Allowed To Lock Your Bag Or Luggages. If They Think Something Suspicious, They Will Open Your Bag And They Have Right To Break Or Cut Your Bag. So When I Travel Thesedays, I Do Not Use Any Locking Device. They Will Even Break Your Luggages Lock. Airport Securities Will Open Your Bogu Bag. They Always Does. So Do Not Use Any Locking Devices....
                          Hmm. I guess I didn't make myself understood the first time. You CAN lock your checked luggage. Just have to use TSA-approved locks. Check out the following site.

                          http://www.tsa.gov/public/display?c...9000519800a5a8e

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