View Full Version : Plastic footlocker for check luggage
May 30th, 2011, 10:34 PM
There is a group of three of us going to Cozumel this summer. I was thinking of using a plastic footlocker to carry all our dive gear in. Has anyone used these for checked luggage? Can these be used w/o having to pay for over sized luggage?
May 30th, 2011, 10:43 PM
Most (all) airlines take checked luggage up to 62" L+W+H without adding oversize fees. Which can be really substantial - Continental for example charges $100 for oversize luggage up to 115" In addition to the $25-35 per bag charge most have also implemented.
Most airlines also restrict the weight to 50lbs. or 70lbs. International before extra charges apply. Some even have changed to 50lbs. International this year. IIRC CO is one of them.
The best thing to do is look at the website for the carrier you're flying - they will have a baggage allowance/restriction section somewhere.
May 30th, 2011, 10:47 PM
moved to General Travel...
May 30th, 2011, 11:15 PM
The one I was looking at measures 61.5" according to the tag anyway. I just don't want to show up at the airport and their tape measure wasn't as exact as mine.
May 31st, 2011, 12:21 AM
I have a Plano Sportsman model # 1819 that is stackable and has wheels built in. According to the labeling it is airline approved and weighs just under 10 lbs. with a 3.7 cubic ft/ 27.4 gallon capacity.
If diversteve is corect with the 62" spec this however doesn't make it at 70" (37.75" x 18.25" x 14') I do however remember reading about the size requirements for military footlockers and duffle bags. I'm thinking this is considered a plastic footlocker and would pass based on that fact.
Although I haven't flown with these I have taken 2 of them on a cruise and both the stewarts and other passengers complimented the choice.
They are lockable in 3 places but keep in mind a sharp knife or pocket saw could get past locks through the plastic in a matter of seconds. In consideration of that fact I decided that colored zip ties were enough to keep honest people honest and the chests from accidentally opening.
May 31st, 2011, 08:34 AM
I'm not sure what Airline Approved means. Googling it only returns links to Airline Approved Pet Carriers. It's possible it's some durability rating maybe coupled with a size they can easily handle through their baggage handling systems without human intervention.
The really huge Pelican cases you see Pro photographers with are all airline approved. IIRC all of them above a model 1620 are also too big to fit within the "free" guidelines.
62' is the size restriction for most airlines. Here's a quick reference - note that this probably is a domestic only chart:
Detail on all major U.S. carriers restrictions can be found at the bottom of this webpage: Airline Luggage Allowance Policies and Guidelines (http://www.thetravelinsider.com/travelaccessories/airlinecheckedluggageallowances.htm)
If you ever fly with your Plano chest, the TSA will cut the zipties to look inside. And may/may not replace them if you put some in an obvious place on top. (friends experience with his gear in a Storm case) Or you could buy TSA locks. TSA Silver Luggage Lock With Indicator discounts on sale McNett (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=TSALOCK)
I don't think I'd chance it on Delta either:
$175 for 63"-80" What a ripoff...
June 1st, 2011, 10:29 AM
For civilians, 62 inches is indeed 62 inches.
...Plano Sportsman model # 1819 ..... According to the labeling it is airline approved .... this however doesn't make it at 70" (37.75" x 18.25" x 14')
Plano and their factory outlet is 20 minutes West of me. Nice folks, excellent products, but it doesn't surprise me that they are not up to code on the newest airline regulations. All those plastic fumes can make ya' kinda' goofy.
Those plastic footlockers used to make a lot of sense, but no longer.
This is the best I have found. Been using them over forty and more airflights. It is the maximum dimension and very light- plus it has rollers....
High Sierra 81031 at High Sierra Rolling Duffel Bag #81031- 36" Drop Bottom (http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/317,81031_High-Sierra-Rolling-Duffel-Bag-36-Drop-Bottom.html)
There are many similar looking bags out there, but none are as good.
June 1st, 2011, 10:54 AM
Seems rare that they measure, especially squishy bags that aren't obviously way oversize, where the dimensions are a little fuzzy anyway. A footlocker type thing might invite measurement (and other attention), but if it's ok it's ok.
I'd worry more about weight, if you really want to try this I suggest a dry run well before your trip. And the durability - plastic box type things are prone to cracking when they get dropped or whatever, unless they're made for that sort of abuse - in which case they'll likely be heavy enough that it's hard to imagine getting 1-2 sets of gear in there and not be overweight, never mind 3. For regular dive gear I'd stick with regular luggage of some sort. Rolling duffles like the one RoatanMan suggests work well. We have Eagle Creek ORV trunks that are similar, though no backpack straps.