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Author Topic: Question about bowling equipment and air travel.  (Read 18443 times)

axeweldr

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Question about bowling equipment and air travel.
« on: May 10, 2015, 11:00:03 PM »
Topics says it all.  I'm wondering if you can carry on a two ball tote?   I don't want to check them, due to one of them being unreplacable.  You input is greatly appreciated. 
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billdozer

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Re: Question about bowling equipment and air travel.
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2015, 11:39:46 PM »
You should be able to take two double totes, one that you'd have to keep under your feet, one up above in the luggage shelf.

Most of my crew does 3 ball tourney totes, and we fly southwest...I have one regular luggage and one three ball tourney tote.  All fly free.  The tourney totes are 47 of the 50 slotted pounds. 

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lefty50

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Re: Question about bowling equipment and air travel.
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2015, 11:50:09 PM »
This one's been debated, discussed, dissected, and disagreed with over the years.
Answer is simple.... you probably can.
It depends on the airline, the city, and mostly the TSA agents you run into. Odds are about 90% favorable, and some airlines have a better record than others, but that's really a TSA co-incidence, not the airline itself unless you are going thru security at a checkpoint that only serves that particular airline (like Phoenix for example). Agents won't stop you... They won't even know. There are no airlines that specifically prohibit bowling balls.
Personally, I've been stopped only one time, San Diego outbound to Nats, because TSA said they couldn't see thru the object. After 2-3 minutes of insulting his heritage, he let me thru.
With all the success stories, you've got a great chance of having no trouble at all, but it is, based on all reports, not a 100% percent lock....

livespive

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Re: Question about bowling equipment and air travel.
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2015, 12:08:00 PM »
If you fear damage, I would ship it fed ex or UPS straight to the hotel.  I did that when I bowled nationals on year, and they were fine.  Mark them as fragile on the box, and tell that to the clerk.

Gene J Kanak

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Re: Question about bowling equipment and air travel.
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2015, 12:43:26 PM »
I've heard all of the same; it's really a toss up. Many people seem to have been able to do this with no problems, but I've heard of issues concerning the TSA when the balls go through the x-ray. If it were me, I wouldn't want to risk it because you're pretty much screwed if you happen to catch that one batch of agents who want to give you grief about it. As such, I'd either put them in a 3-ball tourney bag and check them (Southwest), or I'd ship them ahead using BBE. Then again, maybe you're more of a risk taker than I am.

Jorge300

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Re: Question about bowling equipment and air travel.
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2015, 01:00:11 PM »
Why carry them on. Ship them. You can use BBE if you want. But you might find it cheaper to just use FedEx or another carrier and ship them to your hotel. You can insure them, track them, and make sure they get there. I did that and mine were waiting in my room for me when I checked in. Then just use your bowling bags to pack your clothes and off you go. I brought 6 balls and got all my clothes in the two bags....and flying Southwest, the bags were free. If you only ship 3, use one bag and suitcase. You are inviting issues if you try to carry them on. And while the shipping carriers aren't the greatest in regards to taking care of things, I trust them more then the people loading airline luggage, if you do or have to check them. And being 6'4, there isn't room under the seat in front of me for them, that's where my feet and legs go, lol.
Jorge300

txbowler

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Re: Question about bowling equipment and air travel.
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2015, 03:01:11 PM »
As all of the replies above have said, it all boils down to money and timing.  If you are still bowling leagues and need your equipment, shipping may not work in time for you or be too costly.  BBE is a good option but there are fees on top of the shipping fee USBC adds to pay their shipping employees who work at the tournament.  Not a lot but be it there.

As far as carry ons, if you live in a mid-size city or larger the TSA has probably seen bowlers and bowling balls many times and will not have any issues.  They may scan your balls for bomb materials.  They wipe them with a swap and stick it in an analyzer.  Maybe an extra 3 minutes through security.  The ones I have heard about having issues with TSA is small town airports where TSA just isn't used to dealing with bowling equipment.  Either be prepared to negotiate with TSA or leave yourself enough time and have the money to go back to ticketing and check the bowling balls.

Now, I have carried on bowling balls many times and I have never had an airline let me put them in the overhead.  As I am struggling to lift them up there the flight attendant will ask me what they are and when I say bowling balls, they always tell me, under the seat.  But others above have got them in the overhead.  Maybe it's how strong you are and not drawing attention.  LOL

MI 2 AZ

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Re: Question about bowling equipment and air travel.
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2015, 06:17:14 PM »
Bowling balls in the overhead bins is a matter of safety.  No one wants a bowling ball or two falling on top of their head.  Happened to me once and believe me, that is something that you do not look forward to repeating.

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CPA

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Re: Question about bowling equipment and air travel.
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2015, 11:55:36 AM »
I have used BBE and have taken them on the plane.  I prefer BBE, but the last couple of years we were in the last couple of weeks of league and I needed the balls for league.  I have checked 3 ball totes and carried on 2 ball totes without any problems.  They will pull you aside and check the 2 ball tote.  The only issue I ever had was in Reno of all places.  The TSA agents questioned my interchangeable thumbs. 

Gene J Kanak

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Re: Question about bowling equipment and air travel.
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2015, 12:46:57 PM »
Another helpful hint is to make sure the ticketing agent zeros out the scale before you put your bags on (unless it's already reading negative, which it sometimes does). I had a Southwest agent trying to tell me that each of my 3-ball bags was over by 1 1/2lbs, but then she realized she hadn't zeroed the scale out. Had I not assured her that I had flown with those exact bags before under the appropriate weight, I'm not sure she would've thought to check that, and I know I wouldn't have.

The disparity among airport procedures is pretty laughable. You pretty much have to strip down to your underwear at Chicago-Midway, but they let you breeze right through in El Paso.

axeweldr

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Re: Question about bowling equipment and air travel.
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2015, 12:50:26 PM »
Problem solved, upgraded to 1st class for a reasonable amount.   Free bags!  Oh yea!
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livespive

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Re: Question about bowling equipment and air travel.
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2015, 01:34:39 PM »
1st Class,

Nice 8)

Problem solved, upgraded to 1st class for a reasonable amount.   Free bags!  Oh yea!

zonepro

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Re: Question about bowling equipment and air travel.
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2015, 07:31:10 AM »
I usually fly Southwest when I go to nationals.  Typically I bring 4 balls.  I check 2, as well as a piece of luggage with all my clothes, and I always carry a 2 ball tote on the plane.  Also, another tip, bring a backpack or something on the plane as well since that is considered a personal item and keep your shoes in there.  This way if for some reason the airlines do lose your luggage, you at least have 2 balls and your shoes.  The only thing I have been told is that I have to keep the balls under the seat, that I can't put it in the overhead compartment because of the weight.  Once in a while I'll run into an issue at the x-ray machine.  Once the TSA agent told me that I had to "open up the ball" because the core looked funny.  After a minute or two of attempting to explain to the woman why that isn't possible, a second agent came over, called the first agent an idiot and let me through.   

headwest

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Re: Question about bowling equipment and air travel.
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2015, 02:36:56 PM »


The disparity among airport procedures is pretty laughable. You pretty much have to strip down to your underwear at Chicago-Midway, but they let you breeze right through in El Paso.
I really respect your posts on BallReviews and the way you help members out but I have to say that their is no scenario in which you strip down to your underwear or even close.It is true though depending on the Airport as well as the Airlines themselves, different procedures to clear security.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2015, 03:44:56 PM by headwest »

MI 2 AZ

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Re: Question about bowling equipment and air travel.
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2015, 06:16:43 PM »

... a DHS attorney appeared before a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and boldly claimed DHS has the authority to strip search every airline passenger. Although it hit the news, I was surprised by the lack of media coverage.

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2469069/endpoint-security/does-dhs-have-the-authority-to-strip-search-passengers-like-it-claims-.html


http://tsanewsblog.com/12916/news/tsa-strip-searches-another-victim/

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Five and a half decades of bowling and still learning.

ABC/USBC Lifetime Member since Aug 1995.