Baggage on ATN - dive equipment really free?

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#1
Thousand Oaks, CA
4,587 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
I've been reading various threads about baggage allowance on Air Tahiti Nui trying to figure out what we can pack. We plan to bring our own dive gear, but are concerned about the weight limits. I read in a thread somewhere that ATN will actually allow you to bring your dive gear in a separate bag at no extra charge! I checked ATN's website, and that seems to be what they're saying, but I hope I'm reading it right.

It states that we're each allowed 1 suitcase of up to 50 lbs at no charge...any additional bags incur a surcharge. But then further down the page it says this:
SPECIAL ALLOWANCE FOR SURF**, GOLF & DIVING EQUIPMENT

One (1) bag allowed free of charge, IN ADDITION TO the published free allowance if;

1. It is presented for carriage in a single appropriate & secure package
2. It does not exceed 23kg maximum weight
3. In all cases the second and any subsequent items of sporting equipment are subject to published Excess Baggage Charges (Extra Piece/Oversize and/or over weight as applicable)
While it seems pretty clear that we can each bring our dive gear (up to 23kg/50lbs) at no extra charge, I'm going to be pretty bummed if, when I go to check in, they want to charge me for a second bag.

Have any PG Cruisers done this? Brought their dive gear in a 2nd bag at no charge?

If I have to leave my CLOTHES home in order to bring my dive gear, that would be the choice I'd make! After almost being killed by defective rental gear in the Galapagos, I will never trust my life to rental dive gear again. Heck I'd go to dinner in my wetsuit if I had to! But I'd sure like to avoid paying that 75 buck 2nd-bag fee.
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LeeAnne
#2
338 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
We were allowed the extra weight for dive gear - regs, fins, BCD. Everything was in one suitcase and we had to show proof of certification (PADI dive card) at check in.
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#3
Thousand Oaks, CA
4,587 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
THANK YOU! That is really good news. I especially appreciate the tip about having my cert card readily available. I'll make sure I have it out where I don't have to go digging for it at check-in.

We were surprised (and thrilled!) to see that ATN allows this. Ever since that debacle in Galapagos we've had problems trying to balance bringing the dive gear with packing the other stuff we need. I went on a dive trip to Cozumel last year that was a real challenge - the weight limits were so low that I ended up bringing barely any clothes, and had to do laundry several times. And I had to leave my jet fins home - which REALLY stunk, as the rental fins were horrible.

And the worst part was, due to the weight of my suitcase I ended up having to carry on my reg and computer, which meant that I had to bring them through the TSA checkpoint. The TSA screeners went nuts - I kept trying to tell them what it was but they just shushed me and wouldn't let me talk. They pulled it all out of the bag and were actually messing with the knobs and stuff! Yeah, real smart, boys...go ahead and change the settings on my LIFE SUPPORT EQUIPMENT! I never want to have to put my sensitive dive equipment through the pawing of untrained hands again.

Yay for ATN!
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LeeAnne
#4
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
2,123 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
I never check my regs! No way would I chance diving with regs or computer that could have been cracked or who knows what other damage from my luggage being thrown around. I would like to know if my first leg of my flight is with a different airline, like Delta, are they going to charge me for that scond bag anyway as they don't have that allowance?
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#5
338 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
We were supposed to pay for our luggage (all 3 pieces) from our home airport to LAX. For whatever reason, the agent didn't charge us, and we didn't bring it up. Our luggage was checked through, all the way through LAX to Tahiti but we still had to show proof of certification when checking in with Air Tahiti Nui (no luggage, but with our luggage tags).

We have checked regs and carried them on. No issue with either, most security screenings have recognized what they were right away.
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Vantage MS Tolstoy - Russian Waterways & Baltic Capitals; July 2012 Sailed!
Holland America Noordam - Southern Carribean; March 2012 Sailed!
Paul Gauguin - Tuamotus, Society Islands and the Marquesas; November 2011 Sailed!
Celebrity Summit - Southern Carribean; November 2010 Sailed!
MV Emperor - Three Gorges, Yangtze River, China; April 2010 Sailed!
#6
338 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
We were supposed to pay for our luggage (all 3 pieces) from our home airport to LAX. For whatever reason, the agent didn't charge us, and we didn't bring it up. Our luggage was checked all the way through LAX to Tahiti but we still had to show proof of certification when checking in with Air Tahiti Nui (no luggage, but with our luggage tags).

We have checked regs and carried them on. No issue with either, most security screenings have recognized what they were right away.
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Vantage MS Tolstoy - Russian Waterways & Baltic Capitals; July 2012 Sailed!
Holland America Noordam - Southern Carribean; March 2012 Sailed!
Paul Gauguin - Tuamotus, Society Islands and the Marquesas; November 2011 Sailed!
Celebrity Summit - Southern Carribean; November 2010 Sailed!
MV Emperor - Three Gorges, Yangtze River, China; April 2010 Sailed!
#7
Thousand Oaks, CA
4,587 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Originally posted by psyfi
I never check my regs! No way would I chance diving with regs or computer that could have been cracked or who knows what other damage from my luggage being thrown around. I would like to know if my first leg of my flight is with a different airline, like Delta, are they going to charge me for that scond bag anyway as they don't have that allowance?
Yeah, that's how I felt - until I had two doltish TSA agents twisting the air-flow knobs on my 2nd stage, turning on and messing with the settings on my computer, and shoving the whole thing back in the bag putting harsh bends in my hoses that almost broke them! So which is the worst of the two evils? Do I pack my regs well-padded in my checked luggage so they won't get damaged from getting banged around? Or do I carry it on and put it at risk of getting screwed around with and brutalized by uneducated, ill-trained "security" screeners?

Neither option is good...but after what I saw last time, I'll take my chances in packing it well-padded in the middle of my suitcase, and pray it makes it there unscathed.

Originally posted by Hibiscus13
We have checked regs and carried them on. No issue with either, most security screenings have recognized what they were right away.
I have not been so lucky. When this happened to me, I kept thinking this can't be the first dive equipment these guys have seen! But it must have been...and they wouldn't even let me explain to them what it was. I guess it's the luck of the draw. Most of my TSA screenings have been uneventful and benign in general, but I also had a horrible incident in Oklahoma City once that can be characterized as nothing short of assault. Win some lose some, I guess.
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LeeAnne
#8
Boston Area
8,009 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
LOL! A dive suit to dinner...you sound like my DH, except with him it's his photo equipment. When he gets a weight allowance for the small planes, most of it goes to photo equipment and he tosses a few light weight pants and shirts into a back pack to wear!
#9
Thousand Oaks, CA
4,587 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Originally posted by Familygoboston
LOL! A dive suit to dinner...you sound like my DH, except with him it's his photo equipment. When he gets a weight allowance for the small planes, most of it goes to photo equipment and he tosses a few light weight pants and shirts into a back pack to wear!
The funniest part about your comment is that I've got the photo thing going on too - I'm into underwater photography, and I just bought a whole new rig which I can't wait to use in FP!

Which is another reason why I've got "baggage issues" - which do I check and which do I carry on, the Pelican box with all my photo gear? Or the padded bag with my dive equipment? I can't carry both - too big and heavy. The question is, which one is more likely to inspire suspicion among the TSA screeners at the checkpoint, resulting in a detailed bag check - the camera equipment, or the dive gear? I think most TSA agents would recognize cameras, so I'll carry that one and pray my dive gear doesn't get too beat up in the luggage.

And we also have to worry about theft in checked luggage! The incidences of theft out of checked bags by TSA have increased exponentially in the past few years - hundreds upon hundreds of documented cases (agents actually charged with theft), and thousands more reported but not charged. I figure my brand new, expensive-looking camera equipment has a greater chance of getting swiped by sticky fingers than a bunch of odd-looking gear that doesn't have a quick resell market.

Stinks that we even have to think about these things, but given what I've seen at checkpoints lately, I'm just trying to minimize my risk!
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LeeAnne
#10
Manitowoc, WI
285 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
From another therad
Hibiscus13
Sorry so long reposting to your Jan25th post. Step mother is ill and we have been doing the 140 mile trip down to help out two days each week. Also working on my Baltic cruise on Oceania Marina Aug. 1 to 11th. Got the idea from the Doctor I met on the PG cruise. He is on the Aug 24th cruise. We talked about him maybe being on the same cruise as my brother. I talked to my brother about that, but he was on the Aug. 1 date and asked me if we would like to join him on that cruise. Where does the Noordam going? Lost the paper with all the groups email addresses on it! ! Do you have that list yet? jkuehnle at sbcglobal dot net.
John & Arlene
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#11
338 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
I do have the list with the email addresses, I'll send it to you tomorrow. We can catch up
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Vantage MS Tolstoy - Russian Waterways & Baltic Capitals; July 2012 Sailed!
Holland America Noordam - Southern Carribean; March 2012 Sailed!
Paul Gauguin - Tuamotus, Society Islands and the Marquesas; November 2011 Sailed!
Celebrity Summit - Southern Carribean; November 2010 Sailed!
MV Emperor - Three Gorges, Yangtze River, China; April 2010 Sailed!
#12
Boston Area
8,009 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by Leejnd4
The funniest part about your comment is that I've got the photo thing going on too - I'm into underwater photography, and I just bought a whole new rig which I can't wait to use in FP!

Which is another reason why I've got "baggage issues" - which do I check and which do I carry on, the Pelican box with all my photo gear? Or the padded bag with my dive equipment? I can't carry both - too big and heavy. The question is, which one is more likely to inspire suspicion among the TSA screeners at the checkpoint, resulting in a detailed bag check - the camera equipment, or the dive gear? I think most TSA agents would recognize cameras, so I'll carry that one and pray my dive gear doesn't get too beat up in the luggage.

And we also have to worry about theft in checked luggage! The incidences of theft out of checked bags by TSA have increased exponentially in the past few years - hundreds upon hundreds of documented cases (agents actually charged with theft), and thousands more reported but not charged. I figure my brand new, expensive-looking camera equipment has a greater chance of getting swiped by sticky fingers than a bunch of odd-looking gear that doesn't have a quick resell market.

Stinks that we even have to think about these things, but given what I've seen at checkpoints lately, I'm just trying to minimize my risk!
I'm thinking you are making the right choice. I think the dive equipment is less likely to be messed with or stolen in checked baggage. The camera is more at risk for theft in checked luggage. My DH buys and sells cameras frequently and they have very high value used.