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Flying with avalanche airbag systems

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@On the rocks, My reply was:

Quote:
I can confirm, only one avalanche rescue backpack, is permitted per
passenger. This must contain a cylinder of compressed gas in Div. 2.2,
and may also be equipped with a pyrotechnic trigger mechanism containing
less than 200 mg net of Division 1.4S. The backpack must be packed in
such a manner that it cannot be accidentally activated. The airbags
within the backpacks must be fitted with pressure relief valves.

If your rescue backpack does not meet the above requirements, you will
not be permitted to bring the item onboard.

For more information on our Dangerous Goods Policy, click here [1].
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Yep that's my previous response
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@On the rocks, EJ have been OK in the past when I have contacted them. I'd try again, give the IATA regulation reference number (see the top of this thread) and hope it gets through to someone else.
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@On the rocks, So what response are you looking for ?
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Just the same as the previous normal one
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EasyJet phoned me today in response to an unsatisfactory customer service form I had submitted. We had a good chat and it seems the main website has been updated. Scroll down in the link below. I'll still take a print out of the previous correct e-mail I received in relation to a previous trip (but date or flight no not specified in it)
https://www.easyjet.com/en/terms-and-conditions/dangerous-goods
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@On the rocks, So did their previous replies count as confirmation that you had informed them and they were happy to fly your pack ? (Which seems to be the crux)
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Interestingly, on the Alpride System debate (I have just bought a Scott avalanche rescue pack!) - Easyjet's website does not include reference to "self-inflating safety device such as a life jacket or vest" (which would have left it open to hopefully arguing that the airbag falls within the "gas cartridges, small, non-flammable" category in Table 2.3A).

Easyjet just include the following text on the Dangerous Goods section of their website: "Small non flammable gas cylinders, containing carbon dioxide or other suitable gas in Division 2.2. Up two (2) small cylinders fitted into a life jacket, and up to two (2) spare cartridges per person, not more than four (4) cylinders up to 50 ml water capacity for other devices."

Also, from what I understand, each of the Alpride gas cartridges have a water capacity of 85ml ...

I think I might leave my cartridges at home and buy a set in resort!
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I travelled with my ABS as hand luggage on BA last weekend, LHR to GVA return. I had emailed the customer service in advance, and was carrying a copy of the email, the IATA guidelines, and the spec for my ABS canister (from the ABS website). In LHR, I was asked to unpack the bag and explain myself. The security attendant called his supervisor, who was familiar with the regulations, and happy to let me through. Other than thinking Chamonix was in the Himalayas, it all went smoothly. On the way back, I tried to pre-empt a search by advising the attendant what was in my my bag. She dismissed me, simply telling me to put it through the scanner. My bag went through with no challenge at all.
I'll be doing the same route with Swiss next week, I'll post if there's a problem.
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I travelled LHR-ZRH last week with my Mammut bag in hold luggage and having e-mailed for permission several weeks prior, all went through with no issues either end.
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Got a Pieps JetForce mainly because air travel is in theory much easier than other options. However does anyone know if you should disconnect the battery before travelling or not? Also can one use it for hand luggage?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Alpride. BHX > GVA - Easyjet.

Basically Easyjet are cool, just tick the boxes by informing them.

For the outward leg I popped the canisters in my hold luggage. Informed the check-in who sent me to put the bag through oversized baggage where the chap got somewhat 'not here mate'. Turns out that the EZ check in person needed to go around to say its OK and they took her details. I think a bottom covering exercise.

On return I took the canisters as hand luggage, installed (but trigger not set, as per the manual) and got pulled up at security who very nicely asked me to uninstall them. I popped them into the packaging and all was well. Interestingly I know someone who when through with them installed as per the manual without a problem only a couple of days before. Swiss apparently ask that you travel with them installed but safe.

The lesson for me is that the crux is who you get on airport security.
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@jabuzzard, The battery cannot easily be disconnected on the Jetforce, I guess they don't want the added risk of a potential connector misconnection. The Arcteryx Voltair does have a battery connector however, so make of that what you will.

The Jetforce battery is well within the IATA Lithium battery rating limits, so does not need to be declared. I pack mine as hold luggage, and don't even mention it at checkin (I've flown 4 times with it now). By taking it as hand luggage you are dealing with the airport security, not the airlines, and security might be concerned by a large battery with wires running to a trigger handle.

If you are going to take it as hand luggage, I would print every bit of documentation you can find, and be prepared for a 'discussion' with security.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
We're just back from a week of off-piste course within Snoworks in La Plange. Mammut Snowpulse bags for both of us.
Called BA Flight Security (0208 7388357) a couple of weeks before our flights between EDI and LHR, left a message on their answering machine with all the details and was called back the next day to confirm that the bags had been noted on our booking. For the Mark Warner BA charter between LHR and Grenoble, we called MW Customer Services and they contacted BA.
On arrival at EDI, we were checked in by a "novice" who hadn't come across Avalanche Rescue Packs, but saw the note on our file and after a brief chat with his Supervisor, we duly checked our bags via Outsize baggage. At LHR, similar process, advise the desk and luggage went off, to be next seen on arrival at Grenoble. This was the same for the return leg to EDI.
At Grenoble check-in the clerk wasn't too sure, so consulted her supervisors. They asked to see the bags and carefully inspected the cylinder to check the weight, satisfied, we then checked our luggage.

We carry our backpacks in our hold luggage with the cylinders uncoupled and capped within the backpack sleeve. I strongly recommend that you pack the backpack on top so you can access it in the check-in queue without having to unpack your smelly kit.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
For removable airbag systems is it necessary to pack the whole backpack with bottle (disconnected) and airbag in hold luggage, or is it possible just to pack the airbag with disconnected bottle in hold luggage allowing the backpack to serve as cabin luggage SPECIFICALLY FOR GENEVA AND LIVERPOOL/MANCHESTER? (I understand some airports are strict about including the backpack but not sure on Geneva). Thanks
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've flown out of both Liverpool and Manchester to Geneva several times using my ABS bag as hand luggage (trigger and cylinder in hold luggage) with no problems.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I just disconnect ABS canister, put it inside hold bag with trigger and canister in original box and IATA/ ABS paperwork and tbph don't bother telling carrier, seems nobody bothers about it anyway, and it works fine.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@GlasgowCyclops, Re Scott Alpride Airbag.
Hi, I see you emailed someone at Scott about the potential issues flying with the Scott Alpride system. Who is Marc Antoine within the Scott organisation? Is he in the Swiss Head Office? Do you have a contact email address for him?

Or, if MA is reading this then perhaps he could let me have his own email address.
Thanks
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@letitsnowagain, If you use the contact form \ email address on the Alpride web site it's Marc who will likely respond. Very helpful.
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RE SCOTT ALPRIDE AIRBAG.
Mmmmm. I tried that on 28 Jan. No response from any part of Scott. I ended up phoning Scott UK on 6 Feb 2017 (after 9 days of silence from the Scott 'contact form' approach) who have this week forwarded my emails back to the Swiss Head Office of Scott to deal with. There seems to be a reluctance to give me any contact details at the head office notwithstanding that Scott uk say it has been forwarded to the Swiss.
Don't you just hate being ignored / fobbed off.........
When Marc replied to you did he use a personalised email because he seems to be the man i need to contact.
Thanks.
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@letitsnowagain, There is a separate web sire for Alpride, and looking at the contact form Marc's address is listed directly:

http://alpride.com/contact.html
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letitsnowagain wrote:
@GlasgowCyclops, Re Scott Alpride Airbag.
Hi, I see you emailed someone at Scott about the potential issues flying with the Scott Alpride system. Who is Marc Antoine within the Scott organisation? Is he in the Swiss Head Office? Do you have a contact email address for him?

Or, if MA is reading this then perhaps he could let me have his own email address.
Thanks


MA is the owner and designer of Alpride (who license it to Scott).

http://alpride.com/contact.html
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thanks. I hadn't realised Alpride is a separate company to Scott and that it's in other people's bags too, IE Millet, ferrino, etc. As I bought a Scott product I think I need to get answers from Scott in the first instance. If that doesn't work at least I can go straight to the manufacturer now I have contact details, so thanks again. Very useful.
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@letitsnowagain, To be fair I've emailed him a number of questions regarding my Scott system and Marc has answered my questions directly.

It's a shame the documentation for the pack isn't a little more ride ranging.
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Just from my point of view - having previously participated in this thread.

I went to Venice Airport at the end of the birthday bash with my Scott / Alpride bag packed in my holdall. As others have said it's wise to have it right at he top of your suitcase, if they want to see it you don't have to toss your dirty skids all over the terminal.

Anyway the girl at check in had never done an airbag before (which I thought was surprising, in February at the main airport for the Dolomites, but anyway) I got the bag out and showed her the cylinders inside, I showed her the line on the IATA regulations that relate to the Alpride bag (IE the self inflating safety device), she called a colleague over who agreed with everything and gave her the nod. Bag went through fine and came out the other end just as I'd packed it. I think security had been through the bag because the zips had moved since I did them up, but everything was as I'd left it.

It was easier than I thought it might have been. I think the main thing is make sure you have the IATA paperwork printed and with you, with the relevant paragraph highlighted. For all that BA are crap at (which is most things, I am really losing interest with the airline in general), the safety bloke is a huge help and having the note on your booking is obviously something you should consider essential, since it is an item which according to IATA needs express airline approval.
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Hi. Yes. I did all that 3 times last year with no major problems, though I must say it relies upon airport staff accepting the assertions that the Scott system complies with the IATA regs. Confidence in presenting loads of documentation saying it does comply puts staff in a difficult position and my experience is that most people in an airport accept it at face value rather than looking into the minute detail of the regs. Things have not gone well this year though, hence the need to speak to Scott. I need to give them the opportunity to contact me, but I will keep this thread updated when they do. The issue seems to be flying out of and back to the UK.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@letitsnowagain, What's the problem been with the UK, and where ?
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Outbound flight from Manchester to Geneva 29 Jan 2017. Prior approval of Jet2 refused the day before the flight. Might be an administrative error/misunderstanding, might be a harder line being taken generally. Trying to get to the bottom of it. Will provide further info when I have it from Scott.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Dear Pete,

Thank you for contacting easyJet.

I am happy to hear that you will be flying with us from London Gatwick to Geneva on the 25th November.

Your avalanche airbag system must be checked-in as hold luggage and it must be packed in a manner that it does not become activated, the airbag within the backpack must also be fitted with pressure relief valves.

We look forward to welcoming you on board with us soon.

Kind regards,

Sibongile

easyJet
Customer Services
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Hi, update from my previous post. The CAA Uk have confirmed that the Scott Alpride Airbag does comply with IATA regs and therefore should be able to be carried on flights ( with gas canisters) subject to the usual prior approval from the airline concerned.

Both Scott and Alpride have been exceptionally helpful with this and in the unlikely event that any other people have problems then they have the relevant correspondence from the CAA.

Happy skiing
A
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
letitsnowagain wrote:
Hi, update from my previous post. The CAA Uk have confirmed that the Scott Alpride Airbag does comply with IATA regs and therefore should be able to be carried on flights ( with gas canisters) subject to the usual prior approval from the airline concerned.

Both Scott and Alpride have been exceptionally helpful with this and in the unlikely event that any other people have problems then they have the relevant correspondence from the CAA.

Happy skiing
A


Do you have a link to the official docs
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hi. Yes I can sort that out. I'm currently touring in northern Italy, but will do it when I get home next week. A.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
letitsnowagain wrote:
Hi. Yes I can sort that out. I'm currently touring in northern Italy, but will do it when I get home next week. A.


Cheers, no hurry. I'm in Singapore.... not a lot of snow here Happy
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I would also like that.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Word of caution.....we had both our ABS carbon canisters confiscated out of our respective hold luggage at the weekend at Munich airport on return journey, despite registering them with "that well known German airline" and having all the ABS/ IATA information available and packaged in the original ABS packaging etc. So that's about £400 I am trying to track down and its proving to be a nightmare.

First time its ever happened.
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@Markymark29, Did you declare at check-in you were carrying IATA exception items, and check it was documented on the airlines booking system.

Airport security are completely independent of the airlines, so would have expected security to have contacted the airline in the event they fine something. Then again it might have just been a half trained jobsworth without clue.
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@PowderAdict, Yes and yes, our contact details clearly shown on bags too, no call either direct for from the airline. Think the latter may be about right.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thinking of moving to the fan type backpack system for next season, cant be bothered with the hassle. My mate recently bought a BD Jetforce (?) pack, expensive but walks straight on with it as hand luggage.

Trying to get the canisters back now though, email acknowledged by Airline but that's about it, trying to contact the security people a thankless task.
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PowderAdict wrote:

Airport security are completely independent of the airlines, so would have expected security to have contacted the airline in the event they fine something. Then again it might have just been a half trained jobsworth without clue.


Or the security bloke had a alu canister and wanted an upgrade to a carbon one. snowHead

When I was on the ships somebody had their brand new Surefire torch (couple of hundred quids worth - this was when LED was quite new) confiscated by the port authority, on the basis that it could be shone at the bridge and distract them. Total fantasy really. Confiscations are meant to be handed over to the SECO (ships security officer) and they can choose whether the person gets it back. People are always getting Leathermans confiscated and security always give them back later that day. Anyway it never turned up with the SECO, but next time we went into port one of the port security bods was sporting a pretty fancy Surefire torch on his belt!! This was a country where poverty was rife and wages were low and there was no way the security lot could have afforded a £200 torch...
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I have a Pieps Jetforce 24, took it through hand luggage at Gatwick on the 5th March flying Germania to Friedrichshafen (home of the Zeppelin and Dornier) with out any issue. Flying back on the 12th security at Friedrichshafen wanted a closer look and I managed to frighten the life out the lady by turning it on (the fan fires up for a second as part of the self test). I then showed here the battery pack etc. told her it's capacity was under the allowed size and she then did some sort of test which I presume was a test for explosives. She swiped a bit of paper around the inside of the bag and then stuck it in a machine. After which I was allowed through security. I get the feeling that the security staff on duty had never seen one before. On the other hand a member of the group with an ABS had more problems but was allowed on in the end.
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