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Thread: Letters to baggage handlers?

  1. #1
    Thinker n Tinkerer Sparedone is an unknown quantity at this point Sparedone's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
    Waskaganish, Canada
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    Bp240/bmr500, BG174

    Letters to baggage handlers?

    In a couple weeks I'll be flying with my pride and joy for the first time.

    The topic has been discussed to death.

    However, any of you willing to share your notes you leave for TSA or anyone else who may be poking around your checked luggage?

    I've seen it recommended a few times.

    Has it worked well for you?


    Ps. I'll carrying on as much as I can to minimize the damage and to keep it in my sight if negotiations are needed.

  2. #2
    Not Admin Mr_C is a splendid one to behold Mr_C is a splendid one to behold Mr_C is a splendid one to behold Mr_C is a splendid one to behold Mr_C is a splendid one to behold Mr_C is a splendid one to behold Mr_C is a splendid one to behold Mr_C is a splendid one to behold Mr_C is a splendid one to behold Mr_C is a splendid one to behold Mr_C is a splendid one to behold Mr_C's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Vienna, VA, USA
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    rEvo Mini III, Optima

    Re: Letters to baggage handlers?

    I have tried carry on as well as checking. Since, I cannot guarantee (this has happened ) that my carry on will aways fit, I have taken to just checking the rebreather (rEvo). I know this might be crazy, but have had the plane changed to be a puddle jumper for the 1st or last leg and they gate check the "big" bags.

    I print and put the manual for the CCR on the top of my unit. The box usually contains my CCR, 2 carbon tanks (valves removed of course) and a wetsuit (for cushion). I also have marked with a white sharpie my name and mobile # on the inside lid of our storm case.

    To date my experiences have been fairly good. Lots of TSA love notes letting me know they have been inside. No CCR damage (to date). Nothing missing. Well- tanks once, but got them back. I had a plug instead of a clear piece of plastic.

    We recently came back from Mexico Friday (12/30/2016) and were actually selected by a customs agent to look inside the boxes in Atlanta. First time. He had more questions about how deep we go and what do we see at that depth than the contents of the box. But he did first thumb through the manual and then ask questions. Would rather that, than the random love note

    Only issues we have had are with batteries. Actually happened this past Friday. The FAA rules are put the batteries (Lithium) in your carry on out of the devices. We did going. But Mexico has different rules it seems. Lost the batteries on the way back. Their version of TSA wanted to me to have them in our checked bags or in the devices I was told. After a bunch of googling, seems it is a common confusion.

    Hope that helps.


  3. #3
    RBW Member diverchris is an unknown quantity at this point diverchris's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Inspiration with Vision

    Re: Letters to baggage handlers?

    I agree with Mr. C it has become easier travelling with CCR. This is the letter I've been using, I have it laminated so it does not get damaged:


    This baggage contains SCUBA DIVING equipment and may include some small cylinders, (SCUBA TANKS), under water light systems and a HIGHLY SENSITIVE re-breather LIFE SUPPORT diving computers.

    As per TSA regulations:

    All of the cylinders are EMPTY and the valves have been removed and placed in another bag.

    The batteries have been disconnected and removed from the light systems.

    Some of this equipment is not made to be disassembled.

    The components are sealed for underwater usage. If you attempt to disassemble them you will damage or destroy them.

    If you have questions regarding this equipment, please page me over the public address system or call my cell phone XXXXXXXX

    Thank you for making our air travel safer,



  4. #4
    RBW Member whynot? will become famous soon enough whynot? will become famous soon enough whynot? will become famous soon enough whynot? will become famous soon enough whynot?'s Avatar
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    May 2006
    CA, NY
    MK15.5, MK25

    Re: Letters to baggage handlers?

    These are all good points and letters.

    But as a caveat I have to mention when it comes to airport security (at least in the U.S. and countries that have U.S. bound flights) TSA will error on the side of caution rather than a letter taped to your bag. That is, some 19 year old who just happened to finish training gets your bag, calls a supervisor over for help, neither knows anything about the equipment, and it looks suspicious, it will get a thorough going over. No letter or phone number will stop that, especially at a busy airport such as JFK, Atlanta etc.

    So, if you have special equipment and can carry it on, DO SO. At the very least you will be present if/when it gets searched and can answer questions that may thwart an invasive and potential costly review of your gear. Believe me, I have too many friends that have learned this the hard way.

    And then there are the airline baggage handlers which hump insane pounds of luggage daily, no kid-gloves there... conveyor belts you ask? How many times have you been at baggage claim and seen the "yard-sale" of toothbrushes, underwear, jewelry etc on the belt and a bag or box that's open?

    You have invested a lot of time $$ in your gear, protect it like a trust fund.

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