0
malooper

Traveling with a Rig

Recommended Posts

Opie

***................

On a serious note, know the rules for TSA (as they were told to me, I haven't confirmed these independently):
1. A supervisor is required to be present if they want to open your rig;
2. They must provide a secure area big enough for you to repack your main;
3. They must provide an FAA licensed rigger to perform the repack (emphasize "FAA", this tends to help);
4. If this causes you to miss your flight they will have to rebook your flight and they incur the costs.



On a serious not I call b.s. on every one of those. Do you have a TSA link to back any of them up?

I think you could be leading a new guy in a seriously wrong direction here.

-

I know somebody who had to pop their reserve (freshly packed at that) not more than a year ago while traveling. Sorry, but you're shit out of luck as far as I know. You'll be lucky if they can get you a trash bag to daisy chain your stuff in to before you have to put it back in your suitcase (which, FYI, this by itself is a good reason to travel with your rig in a rolling bag.. just the lack of attention on your rig is good enough, IMO).
Apologies for the spelling (and grammar).... I got a B.S, not a B.A. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
evan85

Fair point, but it's not just something I said on the internet, it's something I said and specifically mentioned I had no evidence for. Since no one has shown that it's not true, I don't think it's unfair to say.

Providing a rigger may be a stretch, but again just reporting what I heard. Rebooking you if they make you miss your flight I do not think is a stretch -- they do that if they make you miss a connection because of delays on your first leg of a 2-leg itinerary, right?



I highly doubt TSA is going to go out of their way to rebook you. I've almost missed a flight out of PHL because I got pulled off the line, had to wait for a supervisor, and get the reserve flap opened and swabbed. Want to know who's fault that was? Mine. I should have showed up with enough time before my flight to account for any nonsense I encounter in the TSA line because of my rig. I didn't that day and I happened to get pulled out of line for a closer look at my rig (and possibly a reserve pop). That's on nobody but me at that point.

So... tip to any of you passing through TSA for the first time with your gear-- show up a little earlier in case anything happens in the security check. I've had everything from a quick looksie, to a quick looksie with a few questions, to a swab and wanting to see the documents from USPA and AirTec on the AAD, to holding me up and threatening a possible reserve pop until the supervisor finally comes over and tells the TSA minion that he is indeed an idiot and should have been trained on what an AAD looks like. Allow enough time for the worst to happen. If nothing, then sweet-- go have a few beers with your extra time. Do NOT show up an hour before your flight and expect TSA to rebook you.
Apologies for the spelling (and grammar).... I got a B.S, not a B.A. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

FYI, this by itself is a good reason to travel with your rig in a rolling bag.. just the lack of attention on your rig is good enough, IMO



This is more of a regional conversation. I travel a lot, my rig has either been in a carry bag or out of a bag. In a bag, on average it still has to be taken out of the bag. Out of the bag, it's nearly always swabbed. Once set off alarms, and we figured it was likely fertilizer from the grass at the DZ.

I also carry a very thin stashbag in my carryon bag in the event a reserve is popped. An AAD sheet is included, and I also have a copy of the TSA's own manual (now outdated) on the topic. 95% of keeping things good with the TSA is the attitude, not the way it's carried or what's carried with it. Stay cool, smile, nod, be informative, it really makes all the difference. I've never once been asked for a USPA ID, but have on rare occasion shown my PRO card as a means of identifying myself as "knowledgeable."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I used to travel a lot both in and out of the bag. I think it does take a little attention off of it going through the TSA line, but you're completely right that once it's in the xray all bets are off whether it's in the bag or not. Regardless, I like having it all packed away and tidy for the trip now a days. Nobody is staring at me walking around with a parachute on my back, I don't get the wuffo questions that spark from people seeing it, and it's easier to get up/in/out of overheads with the handles being less of a snag hazard.

Thank Matt for getting me on the rolling bag kick. He's a stickler about it. :)
Apologies for the spelling (and grammar).... I got a B.S, not a B.A. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I can't speak for the other newbies that will read this, but as for me I've learned to take things pretty lightly here so no need to worry I'll be led astray here. I like to verify facts myself. Appreciate the lookout.

I don't even have my A License, I was just thinking out loud when I asked about this. My brother and I had briefly talked about it before and he was sure that if carried one on the plane that I'd get kicked off. Maybe if you're a girl you get less scrutiny? ;) I'll definitely plan for extra time when I do have one of my own.

So, when the plane dipped on the initial descent, my stomach lurched a bit!!! I'd forgotten that sensation!
Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.
-Raymond Lindquist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
malooper

My brother and I had briefly talked about it before and he was sure that if carried one on the plane that I'd get kicked off.



No not at all. I normally tell the TSA people at the X ray machine what it is and what to look out for. I even have a card from Vigil that shows what it looks like in an X ray machine. Never any problems most are interested in it, show their boss, give it a swab with the bomb tissue paper, and send me on my way.

T shirts procured at boogies with threats of violence on the back of them do not go over as easy with the TSA, or the head of Jet Blue security, don't ask me how I know...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
About storing the rig in a bag, my rig is huge (230 main/260 reserve) and a little older, so it packs pretty wide. Definitely wont squish down into a carry-on sized roller bag. Just tie handles down, throw it on my back and hope for the best? I was at least going to get a thin duffel type bag to throw in my clothing bag in case they asked me to pop it open (fingers crossed they don't).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I carried my old rig on over my shoulder many, many times for the same reason. It wasn't quite that big (189/176R, M5 sized Mirage, just a tad smaller than a student rig) but I didn't have anything it would fit in.

I just tied up the leg straps, shoved the hackey all the way into the BOC, removed the hook-knife (not sure if they even care anymore due to rule changes), and carried a few extra pull-up cords for emergencies. It was pretty plain as far as colors go so I'm certain 99% of the public didn't even know it was a rig, just a goofy backpack with rings on the shoulders.
NSCR-2376, SCR-15080

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've both checked my gear bag and carried it on. There are pros and cons to both. I've found that airports near big-time DZs where TSA agents are accustomed to seeing parachutes will wave your through pretty quickly. At other airports, where they haven't seen them, they look at the AAD card, compare it with the X-ray screen, and have a team meeting while you try to convince them you're legit. Frankly, it's easier to just check it. Tape all your handles tightly if you do. If they want to inspect it, they must ask you to observe the inspection. Usually, they will open up your gear bag, insert a card saying they checked it out, and that's it.
SCR-442, SCS-202, CCR-870, SOS-1353

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The problem with checking it is the airlines will only insure it up to about 1200 bucks. That's a huge loss if they lose the bag. So I always carry the it on the plane and never put it in a gear bag. This is because it looks bigger in a bag and sometimes they will try and make you gate check it. I gate checked my parachute once and they actually lost it.
Now, the big problem for me is I really like to bring two rigs. In that case I ship the gear in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

The problem with checking it is the airlines will only insure it up to about 1200 bucks.



My renter's insurance covers it even if it is stolen at a DZ, or from a car, or during travel with an airline...For me, adding on renter's insurance to my car insurance policy somehow lowered the total cost.
People are sick and tired of being told that ordinary and decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just did a month around the States and carried by sky and BASE rig carry on no dramas what so ever, Just a PD Gear bag and stash bag. TSA knew what it was gave the sky rig a swab about ever second airport

They seem to target oversized \ overweight wheelie bags more than back packs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
malooper, I actually traveled down by you a couple weekends ago with my rig. It passed right thru security, no issues.

I do also recommend pre-check and Global entry. The TSA security on those lines is much lighter. I only was stopped on my second time because I had a 4oz can of axe which was half used... they let me keep it :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good to hear! Better watch out for that axe! :D They must've thought you needed it! Ha!

Thanks for the advice everyone! I'll definitely be prepared when that time comes and I can travel with my own rig. Can't wait! :)
Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.
-Raymond Lindquist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I recently travelled from Nice to Barcelona and had my rig as a carry-on. I assumed (rightly or wrongly) that the airport security people in Nice would not be used to seeing a rig, so I did my best to avoid any hassle. Had the rig in a discreet bag with nothing else in it... I had my AAD xray card, and a letter I found on the FFP website explicitely stating that travelling with a personal parachute does not pose a security risk (I'm paraphrasing, but here is the link: http://www.ffp.asso.fr/voyager-en-avion-avec-un-parachute/). I believe the USPA and BPA have similar documents you can print out. I arrived VERY early.

You know what? The guy sitting in front of the xray machine was chatting with his colleague... Seemed to me like my bag went through and he didn't so much as glance at his screen! Happy days!!

I prefer to be cautious, though, because I've seen and heard all sorts when it comes to travelling... I once was forced to check in my motorcycle helmet... Quite randomly, under the pretext that it could be used as a "weapon". Seriously. BTW, yes, you absolutely are allowed to bring your helmet in your carry-on.

My personal experience/assumption is that if they feel like being a twat, they can pretty much do what they want. You can protest, but you can also miss your flight... Better to cooperate and stay cool. Most of the time, they are actually just doing their job and they simply don't know what they are looking at. Thank goodness they take the time to properly screen if in doubt... What a waste of time and money if all that security were just for show!!
"There is no problem so bad you can't make it worse."
- Chris Hadfield
« Sors le martinet et flagelle toi indigne contrôleuse de gestion. »
- my boss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account. It's free!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0