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  • Shinai in plane

    Have you traveled by airplane with your shinais or bokuto?
    Do you have any problems because of it length ? Was it treated as handle baggage (is it allowed to take it to plane?) or you had to put in with main baggage (is it safe for shinai ?).

  • #2
    you will have to check it. i haven't heard of anyone yet taking it on board as carry on luggage. as long as you have a decent shinai case, they will be ok as checked luggage. also, having about three shinai together will decrease the likelihood of damage. if you're traveling with your shinai, you'll want to take a few shinai anyway, just in case one of them gets damaged during practice and/or shiai.

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    • #3
      You have to check it in, I think due to its length. It usually doesn't count as an extra item of checked baggage due to its small dimensions. If you have a crappy shinai bag the airline counter will probably help to bag it properly with one of their long plastic wrappy things for oversized items. It seems safe enough, I don't think they will stack suitcases on top of long packages like that.

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      • #4
        Before 9/11, they let me take shinai as carry-on.
        Not anymore though....

        I've seen broken shinai, or crushed shinai coming out of plane cargo
        Also, I suggest you use waterproof shinai bag too. I know a guy whos shinai bag got wet due to storm (guess it got wet while they are unloading) and all his shinai were over 600g so that he had to borrow shinai to compete and to test.

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        • #5
          Check the shinai in and tell them it's fragile. They will put a fragile sticker on it.

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          • #6
            beware tsa

            Originally posted by Kirin
            Before 9/11, they let me take shinai as carry-on.
            Not anymore though....

            I've seen broken shinai, or crushed shinai coming out of plane cargo
            I built two shinai carriers (one for me and one for my wife) out of 4-inch PVC tubing. I glued caps to one end of each tube, and placed screw tops at the other end. They were all but indestructible, or so I thought.

            When I flew from Seattle to Boise last month, a TSA person, apparently unfamiliar with the unscrewing operation, ripped the screw tops off both containers, breaking the PVC tubing and ruining them. They arrived in Boise in pieces. It was obvious that they were not crushed, but intentionally torn apart.

            I have to make new ones now, but that isn't what really bothers me. What really bothers me is knowing that the safety of the skies I travel may depend on a person who cannot figure out how to unscrew a cap.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JByrd
              I built two shinai carriers (one for me and one for my wife) out of 4-inch PVC tubing. I glued caps to one end of each tube, and placed screw tops at the other end. They were all but indestructible, or so I thought.

              When I flew from Seattle to Boise last month, a TSA person, apparently unfamiliar with the unscrewing operation, ripped the screw tops off both containers, breaking the PVC tubing and ruining them. They arrived in Boise in pieces. It was obvious that they were not crushed, but intentionally torn apart.

              I have to make new ones now, but that isn't what really bothers me. What really bothers me is knowing that the safety of the skies I travel may depend on a person who cannot figure out how to unscrew a cap.
              The wolves are always more intellegent than the sheep. Thought the guy they caught with the shoe bomb might be the exception..." eh, mate. Ya got a match? My shoe bomb won't detonate."

              One solution I've seen used is to buy a cheap gun case to transport shinai.

              I always thought marking something you use to smack people over the head "fragile" kind of ironic but, also thought baggage handelers might take it as a challenge... like, "if I drop this 1,000 lb crate on it will it break?" kind of a thing.

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              • #8
                The only problem with marking it fragile is that depending on the airport, your shinai may be the LAST piece of luggage to come off the conveyor belt.

                Last time I checked my shinai, I waited 2 hours before they took it out of the side door for "oversized, fragile" baggage when I got to the other side.

                This was an international flight, but I don't know if that makes a difference.

                FWIW.

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                • #9
                  Probably a lot of people travel in and out of Japan with their kendo gear so at Narita Airport, they provide you with cardboard box for your shinai and you can check it in as oversized/fragile ltem. I think Incheon airport (korea) offers the same service if I remember correctly. Shinai is regards as oversized item and most airports usually handle oversized items and fragile items with same procedure so I think your shinais should be fine as long as you pack them properly. I've got a hard clarino (fake leather) case and my shinais came through without any damage at Australian Airport. I travel with my camera equipment often and I treat my tripod and light stands the same way and havent' had any problem until now....touch the wood.

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                  • #10
                    I've just checked it as normal baggage, used a normal shinai bag (either fake leather or nylon) and never had trouble. Other than temporarily losing track of it, of course.

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                    • #11
                      Yeah, flying with your kendogu is so much fun, but what the air port doesn't know doesn't hurt them (in this case). I went out to my moms house for labor day weekend, and when I checked my bogu and shinai, I made the mistake of telling them that I had "martial art equipment" when they asked. So I got to sit at security for 30 minutes when I was going to my plane gate, for a very un needed inspection. I later found out that they marked my ticket with a "SSSS" marking and that meanes to scan at security. What I dont get is they did it both ways, to and from my moms house, and I didn't even tell them "martial art equipment" the second time. In the end, just say "sports equipment", and it will save you alot of time, and a definate body search.

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                      • #12
                        just put the shinai in a shinai bag and check it in as oversize baggage....i did this when i was bringing my shinai from korea to the states. There were no problems.

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                        • #13
                          The invention of a collapsible shinai would come in handy now

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ishii
                            Have you traveled by airplane with your shinais or bokuto?
                            Do you have any problems because of it length ? Was it treated as handle baggage (is it allowed to take it to plane?) or you had to put in with main baggage (is it safe for shinai ?).
                            Yes regularly five countys in five days last month. Another one next month.
                            why on earth would you want to take it on the plane with you as hand luggage?

                            Its "Sports equipment". Then again a rather officious Canadian official complained that I should have declared bokuto as weapons? I disgreed. He then said he would confiscate them as he didnt like my attitude. I offered to take the stuff out but he stopped me. That would have meant he would have to do "paperwork"

                            There is no winning with these guys. Best just keep quite put it through as sports equipment and hope for the best.

                            Japan even supplies special boxes for swords.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Hyaku
                              ...why on earth would you want to take it on the plane with you as hand luggage?
                              Because I was afraid they would crack my shinais in the cargo bay.
                              Thank you all for your help.

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