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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I was curious if anybody here has ever done some air travel and taken their raft with them by checking it as a life raft? I've been looking around for ways to take my boat with me, but most are pretty expensive. The most feasible way that I had found up until now was to ship the boat air cargo, but I have to be a TSA approved shipper to do that. Then in my looking under sport equipment that they allow you to take, I saw that Southwest allows a life raft for $50. I haven't called to ask them if there are weight limits for my life raft, but I'm just going to guess that they are not going to take a 150# avon as a life raft, since it is big enough that as normal baggage it would have to be shipped air cargo.

Just thought I would check if anybody has tried this route before. Or does anybody have any tips for how to become an approved shipper. Or any other ideas for a way to get a boat from Cosco (Colorado Springs for the majority of people who aren't me) to Sacramento?

Thanks for the input.

RPJ
 

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Boy Howdy!
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try ground shipping methods like Fed Ex or UPS. If not you can make arrangements with a freight fowarder and they can arrange for the boat to go. 1 thing to do though is insure the boat just in case something(and it just might happen) happens
 

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try BAX global Burlington Air Express BAX, I have shipped lots of things like lasers and such and found that they are cheaper than Fed Ex and are very conscientious about handling.
 

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Ask teleboater5.13. He took a raft to costa rica. However his boat weighs just under 50 lbs so he didnt have to pay any extra. But i still think he looked into it and may be able to help you out. I would love to know what you end up doing, cause i would like to travel with my boat, just havent started looking into it yet. Best of luck.
 

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There is nothing that prohibits shipping a uninflated raft by air. For checked baggage the usual limit is 62 inches (length+width+height) and 50 lbs(over 30 is usually extra fee).
You can ship it as cargo on your airline which will be very expensive or via a cargo carrier which is not as expensive but still pricey.
The catch is that most airlines strictly prohibit shipping dangerous materials, and most idiot airline agents will think a raft contains compressed gas or has a compressed gas bottle with it. That is the issue you will face: Convincing the agent that there is no compressed gas - hazardous material, with your raft.
Southwest saying they will take a life raft sounds fishy since they won't take hazardous materials. Once you buy the ticket on them and then find out you really cannot take the raft you will have fun trying to get your money back.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This is the line that made me wonder about the idea. It comes from their sport equipment luggage page:

Southwest Airlines Travel Policies - Sports Equipment

"Life rafts may be transported as checked baggage for a $50.00 charge. If the life raft meets the carryon sizing criteria it may be carried onboard, but will count as a carryon bag. Cartridges associated with a self-inflating life raft must be removed and are not allowed on Southwest."

I've looked into UPS, and may go that way, I was just thinking that if I could do it with the plane and save $100 that would be nice. Thanks for all the ideas.

RPJ
 
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