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Flying with avalanche airbag systems

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Has anybody taken their avalanche rescue backpack on Jet 2 recently? Did you notify in advance or just at check in? it took me ages to get through check in last year while the desk crew phoned head office (at 06:00!) as the check in staff had not been instructed re this

This year I see thy mention avalanche packs on a pdf buried in their website
https://www.jet2.com/faqs/baggage/#gsc.tab=0
(click on dangerous goods, then the link to a pdf)

Hopefully the check in staff have been appropriately trained/informed this year - what are people finding?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
It's an IATA requirement to pre-book them in advance so if you don't they have the right to refuse you. Email customer services and advise them that you'll have an avi pack in your hold luggage (with a copy of the IATA regs attached of course) and request they email you confirmation of such and then take a copy of that email to the check-in desk. Simples!
ski holidays     
 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?
Thanks Jon, that doesn't actually happen, for example Easyjet customer services phone line (when you eventually get through to someone) say you don't need to inform in advance , just declare it at check inn. Easyjet's website has the most comprehensive information on avalanche packs too..

Previously I have emailed Jet 2 just as you advise. Taking a copy of the email to check in didn't help matters, they were still totally ignorant until they managed to get hold of somebody in the know on the phone. By contrast Easyjet's check I staff always seem well informed and helpful.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
T'was a couple of seasons since I last went with Jet 2 (from East Mids) but I had no problem then with the method I detailed.
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I have given up trying to fly with airbag canisters, I have left mine in the resort I ski at most. Although the airlines 'may' allow them the local airport security staff can have completely different ideas.

We had two canisters confiscated in Basel Airport even though I showed them all the IATA docs and email from Easyjet. I left them in lost and found and collected the next month when I flew back out. Milan Malpensa I have had loads of issues with the local security as well. Geneva also had some strange looks and phone calls had to be made. Strangely never had any problems flying from Edinburgh airport but the staff there seem to know what avi airbag are.

I had thought about the Jetforce packs, but there are issues with the Lithium batteries in those as well!
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Good old bca float and a hand pump.... ritual on the last run home to pull the trigger!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
On the rocks wrote:
Thanks Jon, that doesn't actually happen, for example ...

Also true with Air Canada. You can ring them up and tell them, and they really don't care. So you may as well just tell them that you rang them and that they didn't care, if they ask. Which they don't. I just stick mine in the hold baggage with the regs and stuff and it's fine, with AC.

--
Which reminds me that I rode with another Euro the other day who'd chopped the leg strap off the bottom of the air bag pack. Ha ha ha.
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Edinburgh asked me the other day at EJ check in if I had an airbag system in my bags so they clearly are up to speed.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
So I'm going out from GLA to GVA with EJ this weekend. Weeks ago I called the airline (central call centre) who said it was OK with them but that it was up to the airport staff. So I called the airport and got to speak to the airport baggage manager. He checked with the airline local manager too and they both said it's all OK. He suggested that I pack the avy bag as checked luggage. But take the gas on as hand luggage with the IATA paperwork. Then I can talk to them at security (as opposed to me not being present if they find in the checked luggage). This all sounds sensible - as does keeping the gas away from the firing mechanism when in transit. Any comments?
snow conditions     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Read the regulations, which suggest you should not do that, but it's a personal choice of course.

A year ago I flew back through YVR and had about 30 airport staff look at my air-bag as I checked it in, because I told them about it.

Later again that season, and last night, I just checked it.
The hold-bag was inspected by security and they left a polite note to say they'd been, but that was it.

Internal flights in BC/ AB are similar, in my direct recent experience.
=> The check-in people may not know the rules, but the security people do.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@interpaul, i Have flown Bristol > Munich over Christmas where myself and wife have had pieps jetforce bags as our hand luggage and never had a problem. As far as i know the lithium battery is no different to a laptop battery

Also flown Bristol > Geneva with them several times and never once had even a quizical look at them
latest report     
 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.
What is people's recent experience with removeable airbag systems like Mammut Snowpulse? In recent years I've packed the whole thing inc backpack in my hold luggage after reports of GVA requiring the whole kit to be packed together, however recently I've seen fellow passengers using the Snowpulse pack as hand luggage, presumably with the bottle, trigger and airbag assembly in hold baggage. if this is now (always was?) ok then it would make life a lot simper to use the Snowpulse bag as hand baggage.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
With the Snowpulse system there's three ways you can travel:

- complete pack in hold luggage
- complete Snowpulse system in hold luggage with completely empty pack as carry on bag
- cylinder only in hold luggage with pack containing the airbag/mechanism/trigger as carry on bag

All three methods require prebooking with the airline and a copy of the IATA regs in with whatever is in the hold luggage.

I've done all three without issue both in & out of Geneva, Turin & Toulouse.
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I always do email EasyJet in advance (not tried Jet 2 yet) and also Monarch and BA. Never had a problem at all. Take the backpack as carry on and pack the cylinders (x2 as have the Alpride system - CO2 & Argon) in my hold luggage.

However, and I don't want to tempt fate here, I also (purely for safety you understand) stick them to my avalanche shovel so I would imagine that they don't show up noticeably under x-ray !
ski holidays     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@spyderjon, according to TUI you're missing one. They will also allow complete Snowpulse bag and system with cylinder as carry-on bag.

I called them up in March last season to inform them I was packing an avvy bag in hold luggage, and had a conversation with a very switched-on sounding member of staff (knew what an avalanche rescue bag was, and went through the options with me). She was also certain that Gatwick security wouldn't have a problem with me doing this...though I can't remember if she said anything about the return via Innsbruck. I didn't try it out - mainly because I can't fit my helmet and Snowpulse system in the bag at the same time, and don't want to put my helmet in the hold - but I did find some info online supporting her explanation (no. 17 on here, I think).
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
It all looks very unclear doesn't it!!

I have a BCA Float System. Try getting that sucker filled in Europe! It ain't going to happen. I have a special adapter to fill it at dive centres in the UK. Not a lot of call for dive centres in the Alps.

So advise DO NOT empty the cylinder and remove the head if travelling in Europe. I have travelled with it to Europe and Canada. This is the first time I have bothered to make a proper effort to prewarn the airline or al least as far as I can remember, I think I usually mention having one at booking.

I just had to pay £58 for adding the pack to my luggage after contacting the airline through NATWEST who I booked the package deal with. What a faff at the airport on the way back. So far, depending on the carrier, I have had in in the hold, then in carry on luggage. I have had to have it disconnected, and I have had to have it all connected up? Its very confusing and god only knows what I'd do if I had to deploy in half way through a trip. The companies who sell these packs really should have a clear system set up with all carriers especially BCA its simply not good enough
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
https://backcountryaccess.com/services/air-travel-regulations/

I have never heard of a airline charging extra for carrying a airbag (apart from being a extra bag to your allowance).

I carry a hand pump, so my cylinder is always empty and the head is removed, not worth the hassle with security or airline. Big down side is hand pump fairly heavy so not good for baggage weight allowance. Will prob upgrade to a electric one in a few seasons.
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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?
a little update on Venice (Marco Polo) airport... they absolutely dont permit ABS canisters in hand-luggage, despite evidence of airline permission and IATA docs. After some heated discussion, I was allowed back through to check-in to re-check my bag with both my and wife's canisters and handles... despite having flown _in_ to Venice with them in hand baggage. Nothing obvious on their website to that effect...
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