Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-10-2007   #1
COUNT's Avatar
Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,085
Send a message via AIM to COUNT
Flying American

Just booked a December trip to Chile to paddle the Futaleufu (I really can't put enough smileys on that statement).

The guys at Expediciones Chile sent me a recommended travel itinerary which includes a number of flights on American Airlines.

Okay, so I know all about all the tricks and pitfalls of flying with boats and I've searched past threads on the topic. It sounds like people have had a large variety of experiences with American: everything from no problem at all, to lied and got away with it cheap, lied and got denied, told the truth and paid, etc., etc.

So, what I'm specifically looking for is: has anyone flown American with a boat in the last year? I'm figuring there's no way in hell I'll get my creeker down there, so I'm taking the playboat and hoping they have something that works down there if I decide I want a big boy.



"The world would be a better place if everyone kayaked."-Brad Ludden (Valhalla)
"You only get one chance to run a drop blind."-DD
COUNT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2007   #2
Ketchum, Idaho
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 9
Definitely take your kayak in a bag. Don't tell them it's a kayak. Don't fly out of Salt Lake City or Denver on American. Several years ago I flew on American to Equador with no problems on American, $75 bucks for the boat unwrapped. Two years ago two of us got rejected on American hands down in Salt Lake. Luckily we got our tickets refunded, but a bummer to lose out on a trip. A few other friends got rejected in Denver on American in the same season, and rebooked on site with Delta on-site. Truly the best bet is to fly out of a major airport on an airline that isn't US based. I've had great experiences with Lan and Air France. Good Luck.

munter_hitch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2007   #3
COUNT's Avatar
Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,085
Send a message via AIM to COUNT
Yeah, well flying out of DIA is really my only choice and getting rejected on a Chile trip with several G's invested is not an option. I've had good luck with Frontier and United (the extra fees are no big deal when compared with the cost of trip like this). Because people have had such a wide variety of experiences with American, I was hoping for a recent TR that might shed some light on their current policy (I have a feeling that they've been changing it over the years and that's why people have had so many different experiences with them). I may try and switch to one of the other airlines but that will complicate the flight switching process in Fort Worth and Santiago.

"The world would be a better place if everyone kayaked."-Brad Ludden (Valhalla)
"You only get one chance to run a drop blind."-DD
COUNT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2007   #4
Ketchum, Idaho
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 9
yeah i don't mean to give you too much heebie jeebie, but getting your boat on the plane is always the most unpredictable and stressful part of any trip. Frontier is good, although one time when i put my big burn on with frontier they didn't want to take it (they did though) even though they advertise that they fly kayaks (just about every other american company says somewhere in their literature "no kayaks" period). i know that in the future, I'm going to rent a car and drive to a major international airport somewhere--i.e. DFW, LAX, and then fly on a major international airline. Last fall Air France apologized for having to charge me $42 dollars to check my boat to africa, and another time LAN charged two of us $25 per boat for four boats and let our paddle bag on for free. I've been completely rejected with Northwest and American (although a few years ago they were easy at $75) and i've heard of charges up to $300 on American and Delta. And anytime you are trying to check something like a kayak on one airline through to your destination via multiple different airlines (common if you're going to asia, for example) you're asking to get hosed. The bottom line is that it's a bit of a crap shoot with any airline these days. I do know that since the major US companies have been having so much economic trouble they have been trying harder to sell their cargo space for freight, so an enormous hollow item isn't worth it for them to carry. Seems like a playboat in a bag would be easier than a creek boat, but either way a good bag is pretty essential. Also, it helps to be well versed in the airline cargo policy before going to the know exactly how much your stuff can weigh and don't go over. Maybe before switching airlines, try to get some kind of official permission from some higher up; it seems like every time we have issues at the desk the clerk will ask something like, "You mean you didn't call ahead of time?" A couple of other tips--maybe have a fake tape measure or some aerosol roofies. Good luck...
munter_hitch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2007   #5
oh yeah
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 535
i flew between DIA and Pitt this past spring on United. my boat, small playboat, was in a bag and i told everyone it was a wave ski. i wasn't charged either time. i've heard all the stories as well; this is a promotional item for my business; i'm teaching a group of underprivileged, legless, blind children from the projects to kayak, etc.

good luck and report back.
danger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2007   #6
Oopps's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 85
I fly American almost everytime I go in and out of the country - they tend to be the cheapest. I've gotten my boat from Denver to Japan (with stopovers) and back in the past year with only minor hassles. Wrap it up good (bubble wrap or a big surfboard bag tend to be the best, cardboard if you can't find anything else) and tell them it is a surfboard - their policy is not to take kayaks. Sure, the guys checking you in will know it's not (I even slipped once and said it was a kayak, then quickly corrected myself) but since you're lying to them, they have no responsibility if it gets damaged, which is the only reason they don't take boats in the first place. There will be an extra charge, once it was $80 and once $200. The $200 trip was most reacent, but that was also when I was flying out of Japan, not the US.

Hope that helps - envious of the Chile trip. And thanks again for taking me down Gore on the weekend.
Oopps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2007   #7
kayakchile's Avatar
pucon, chile
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 8
Flying to Futa Leafu with a kayak

I am sure you have already checked this but if you are flying from Peuto Monte to Chieten the plane is to small to carry even play boats. I would contact Expeditiones Chile and make sure they have a method of transporting you and your kayak to the Futa Leufu. as i do not know how much you know about your travel arangements in Patagonia. I hope you have a great trip to Chile and if you have any questions do not hesitate to email me.

kayakchile is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
American Whitewater Cataract Canyon Fundraiser Challenge PaulGamache Whitewater Kayaking 26 07-20-2007 08:14 PM
American Whitewater Fundraiser / Kayak Raffle twitch Whitewater Kayaking 19 06-22-2007 12:36 PM
Become a member of American Whitewater (AW) frenchy Whitewater Kayaking 1 07-14-2005 02:23 PM
50 Years of American Whitewater Journals Online! awben Whitewater Kayaking 0 12-01-2004 04:43 PM
American Whitewater Celebrates 50 Years awben Whitewater Kayaking 1 05-26-2004 05:11 PM

» Classified Ads
Fiberglass Slalom boat

posted by Krynn

Glass Slalom Boat. Great edges. Fast boat. Snapdragon...

Wavesport Fuse 56...

posted by SummitSurfer

Wavesport Fuse 56 "Medium" barely used in great condition. ...

Demo Jackson Karma L

posted by 4CRS

Used 2016 Jackson Karma LG whitewater kayak - lightly used...

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:15 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.