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Discussion: Flying with your softball equipment?

Posted Discussion
Nov. 1, 2007
Rhino
Men's 55
33 posts
Flying with your softball equipment?
Any suggestions for flying with your softball equipment to ensure you get there with everything? Do you guys check in your SB bat bags with all your equipment in it? Can you walk on the plane with it? Or do you just take out a few things like your glove and shoes and put them into your clothing bags just in case? Do you do anything special to or with the Bag before checking it in?

1st flight with SB equipment and not sure how to approach. Driven to all tournaments so far.

Thanks in advance.
Nov. 1, 2007
TexasTransplant
Men's 70
420 posts
I've never had any trouble, but there's a first time for everything.

I always carry glove, shoes, and a uni with me, figuring that if the checked luggage gets lost, I'll still be able to play - may not be able to shave or brush my teeth, but I can play ball.

You can't carry bats on the plane. You'll have to check them. I usually pack a bunch of socks, jocks, and extra uni's around and on top of the bats to discourage too much curiosity. This works especially well on the way home when everything is dirty.

I don't lock mine; however, I understand that you can lock your bag if you use a TSA approved lock.

I have heard some guys talk about checking their equipment in a golf club travel case for protection.

Good Luck!
Nov. 1, 2007
Fred Scerra
Men's 80
542 posts
I have never had any problems either. I put all my equipment etc into one bag and drop it off at the gate.
Nov. 1, 2007
Rich34952
Men's 65
1 posts
I always place my bat bag containing my bats, glove, spikes, and other items into a travel golf bag that zippers. I lock the bag with those small luggage locks. If the TSA wants to inspect the bag they can break the small lock.
Nov. 1, 2007
Hacker
Men's 65
41 posts
I always lock my bat bag using the plastic "ty-wraps" ...just loop them through the zipper tabs...if security wants to check, they simply cut them open...this also let's you know if someone has opened you bag!!

You can buy a small bag of these for cheap at the local hardware store!
It's cheaper than a small lock which is worthless anyway!!

Note: Don't forget that YOU'LL need to open them after you reach your destination...if you bring a knife with you, you'll get it confiscated!

I usually put a small pocket knife or nail-clippers in an outside pocket of my bat bag or luggage, that way I'll have something to cut these with when I pick up my bags.

Rich
Nov. 1, 2007
T-44
9 posts
I usually pack 2 to 3 sets of bat bags in my golf bag. Never had a problem
Nov. 1, 2007
hitt2
354 posts
I've flown in and out of Vegas from local Airports in Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno and Merced. TSA searched my bag x's 2 and left a form stating they searched Bag. My mother is a TSA supervisor at SeaTac. She informed me that when teams travel from there, the X-ray machine reviewers’ trip out when they see extra replaceable cleat, cannon ball, tools to fix gloves or cleats even shoe insert and liquid items. I put protective sleeves on my bats due to the way the handlers toss bags around.
Nov. 1, 2007
Rhino
Men's 55
33 posts
Thanks guys. That helps a bunch. Do any of you insure your equipment against loss or declare a value before checking it in? I know you all said you've had no problems loosing anything ... but I'd hate to be the 1st.
Nov. 1, 2007
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2667 posts
I have always put my bat bag in an army duffle bag, until last year. I had a Worth roller bag and it wouldn't fit. When I got to Vegas it had a rip about 5" long on one side. Now, again, I put my gear in my Ultimate bat bag and put it in my duffle bag. I can't close it completely so I do as Hacker said, use tie wraps. I put a knife in my checked luggage and use it to cut the tie wraps. I make sure that I bring extra tie wraps for the trip home.
This year I was going to buy a TSA lock but didn't get around to it.
When I checked my duffle bag in Atlanta my wife told the agent that it held softball equipment. She seemed to have a problem for a minute or so. I told here that I never had a problem before. She finally let it go.
Last year when a teammate presented his bat bag he had to pay $60 for oversized baggage. Apparently airlines allow golf clubs, skiis etc but never mention ball equipment.
Nov. 1, 2007
Rhino
Men's 55
33 posts
Thanks guys. That helps a bunch. Do any of you insure your equipment against loss or declare a value before checking it in? I know you all said you've had no problems loosing anything ... but I'd hate to be the 1st.
Nov. 1, 2007
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2667 posts
Insurance may be a wise decision. I have never purchased it.
Nov. 1, 2007
hitt2
354 posts
When you check in they should ask if the contents of the bag exceed a certain value and if so then you could purchase additional insurance. You should also know that in most case, if your ticket was purchased with a credit card it is already insured in most cases. Check with CC company.
Nov. 1, 2007
4x4
Men's 65
597 posts
I've noticed there seems to be a lot of bat breakage after flying. I've watched the loaders toss the bags in the plane hold with no particular care. There's 20-30 tons of luggage & cargo jammed into the hold anf the temps there get to about -60'F which can't be good for the composit bats as the weight shifts with the movement of the plane. For about $30 I bought a hard plastic gun case for break down shot guns that holds 5 or 6 bats packed in the foam to keep them safely + I have "fragile" stickers from the airline I keep on the sides.
After several airline trips the case has SEVERAL places where the plastic has taken impact and changed color up to 10" long + the aluminum spine around the case has been bent by impact. I can only imagine what the bats would have had to absorb if they did not have that protection. I figure 5x$200 minimum protected is worth the $30. If only taking 2 bats I can pack misc stuff along with the bats in the case.
I take my glove, shoes, etc. in a carry on and send my clothes in the 2nd allowable check in bag. One side note - everyone is very courteous while waiting in the check in line once they see the gun case. It gets inspected about every other trip outbound. Never seems to get checked on the return of the round trip.
I used to use a roll around golf case but that's too cumbersome to drag around. This is much easier.
Nov. 4, 2007
DoubleL10
Men's 65
833 posts
Bruce-As always, excellent idea! For years, I placed my bat bag in a duffle bag with a lock; however, after the restrictions put in place after 911, I quit using the bag since I did not think of the tie-wraps. I had been placing my bat bag in one of those oversize TPS roller bags but the airlines have almost destroyed it by now. I'm going back to the duffle bag next year.
Nov. 9, 2007
Southpaw55
Men's 55
50 posts
The padded golf bag works well, and you can also put a small chair and collapsable cooler in there as well. I started usung blueprint mailing tubes (you can get them at Staples, Office Depot, etc.). I cut them down to the length of my bats and insert them into the bat compartment of my bat bag. They not only protect my bats on flights but keep them from banging in to each other, and the bats fit perfectly in them.
Nov. 19, 2007
cpope
Men's 60
160 posts
Having only made about a dozen "Tournament Flights" while being a Senior, I have always used my Coast Guard Duffle Bag, always locked and NEVER had the lock cut or question about it. On the trip back home it is a great place for dirty, smelly uniforms. :)
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