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Thread: Taking fish etc. in coolers on airlines

  1. #1
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Default Taking fish etc. in coolers on airlines

    These strong straps...Northwest River Supply, are perfect to keep your cooler secure and latch closed. I will cut the extra in half (6' strap) leaving about 10" to pull tight in buckle and tuck behind. Screws show on top and front...there are two more screws securing strap to middle of back and bottom. Placement allows cooler to fully open. AND...TSA can't "lose" your strap and let your cooler come open! #8 pan head sheet metal screws with #8 flathead washers.

    cooler with strap attached by screws.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Ron View Post
    AND...TSA can't "lose" your strap and let your cooler come open
    I don't wish to sound like a pessimist, but I worked for over a decade on the ramp & got to watch TSA employee work habits close up. The average TSA employee down in the lower 48 wouldn't bother to buckle the strap back in place after searching the cooler. Then the strap is free to get caught up in baggage transfer belts ... that gets ugly.

    Still, your work looks good and I'm sure it would be good with TSA folks in Alaska, as the ones I've talked to up there seem to understand the importance of correct handling of fishing gear, coolers and the like.

  3. #3
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Hmmm...
    I never seem to need to take fish on an airline.
    Guess being a year round Alaskan is a good thing.

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    I've done a similar setup several times Cap. Only difference is that I put the strap the other direction so it covers and holds down the handles. Those seem to get the most abuse. Overall its worked well with no TSA problems.

    Scott

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    If other people want some fish they can pay for FED-EX. When I fly if it is not a carry on I don't take it.

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    That is a great idea, I have just been using duct tape for years. It seems that I take a cooler fish or crab to the lower 48 about every time I go (usually during the holidays). We wind up having a cook out with friends and family. I have never had a problem with checked bags in AK. However, they always feel the need to search each of my bags (except gun cases) when returning, especially the coolers, doesn't matter what is in them or how sophisticated their scanners are now.

  7. #7
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    I've been using the straps for over 10 years, but without fastening them until last year. TSA seemed fine for awhile then in 2011 and 2012 they started leaving my straps off. The cooler shown here is one of the new Igloo Super Tough Sportsman 54 qt. Handles are bolted thru the body which is 4 times stronger than normal...TSA and my boys been busting handles off for a long time! Strong hinges and latches too, lots of them got broken. Never thought about the other direction, as Fin Chaser pointed out, but then baggage handlers would be po'd that they couldn't use the handles, and either take the strap off or toss the cooler by the strap! My first coolers like this which came out last year were yucky, dirt-magnet white, but this year after looking everywhere for two more, including the igloo factory, I found these nice green ones, tan top, orange interior, at REI in Spokane. You can order online, but it would have been $70+ the "free Shipping" so I drove up and took the opportunity to visit Cabelas in Idaho on the way and buy a bunch of stuff I really didn't need...maybe should have just spent the $70 I wish I was consuming all these fish in AK too, but eat my share when there. Most if not all of it is to feed my family---still have 3 boys in college and a high-school junior girl, plus my wife so won't be moving to AK more permanently for awhile!

  8. #8
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Ron View Post
    I've been using the straps for over 10 years, but without fastening them until last year. TSA seemed fine for awhile then in 2011 and 2012 they started leaving my straps off. The cooler shown here is one of the new Igloo Super Tough Sportsman 54 qt. Handles are bolted thru the body which is 4 times stronger than normal...TSA and my boys been busting handles off for a long time! Strong hinges and latches too, lots of them got broken. Never thought about the other direction, as Fin Chaser pointed out, but then baggage handlers would be po'd that they couldn't use the handles, and either take the strap off or toss the cooler by the strap! My first coolers like this which came out last year were yucky, dirt-magnet white, but this year after looking everywhere for two more, including the igloo factory, I found these nice green ones, tan top, orange interior, at REI in Spokane. You can order online, but it would have been $70+ the "free Shipping" so I drove up and took the opportunity to visit Cabelas in Idaho on the way and buy a bunch of stuff I really didn't need...maybe should have just spent the $70 I wish I was consuming all these fish in AK too, but eat my share when there. Most if not all of it is to feed my family---still have 3 boys in college and a high-school junior girl, plus my wife so won't be moving to AK more permanently for awhile!
    run the straps inside the handles then the handles will still hinge and the apes can break them.

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    Dumb question, but why take a cooler? Wouldn't a waxed fish box be cheaper and lighter? The fish simply need to be frozen solid and they can last almost 2 days still quite frozen. That's good enough for a flight and the ground time. They sell them everywhere, Fred Meyer, Walmart, etc... If the box itself gets damaged, no biggie. I usually tie mine with plenty of poly rope and duct tape and it's still intact upon arrival.


  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by nyclad View Post
    Dumb question, but why take a cooler? Wouldn't a waxed fish box be cheaper and lighter? The fish simply need to be frozen solid and they can last almost 2 days still quite frozen. That's good enough for a flight and the ground time. They sell them everywhere, Fred Meyer, Walmart, etc... If the box itself gets damaged, no biggie. I usually tie mine with plenty of poly rope and duct tape and it's still intact upon arrival.

    Can't speak for everyone, but I know a lot of people are looking for something that serves multiple purposes. They want a cooler for food/etc... during the trip, so they use it for gear and such on the flight up, then fish/meat on the return trip and get to use it on the trip to carry their perishable goods. If you are going on a fishing trip and flying up from out of state, you need something to put those bags of ice in or to put the fish in on the way back to town and don't want to have to buy a new one when you get there and toss it in the trash when you leave.

  11. #11

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    Coolers just seem to work. My brothers are flying up from Montana to go fishing with me and I told them to put waders, boots, bulky items in the cooler on the way up with a duffle bag stuffed in as well, then on the way back it will have some vacuumed sealed fish, caribou and some moose if they are lucky... Since they have the cooler up here we will surely fill if with ice and beer and use on the trip.

    The Mrs. and I did this a few years ago going to Hawaii. Roller cooler with tent, sleeping bags, stove, knives, hatchet, etc... Landed and went to the store to get ice, food and beer for our trip.

    I like the idea with the strap though, I will definitely do that for my raft coolers.

  12. #12
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Pretty good idea. I always use coolers. They travel back and forth from the lower 48 with friends and family and me. We had salmon and halibut and shrimp for 7 meals when I went back for xmas last year. I was sick of it, but the family loved it everywhere we visited. When friends come up to play they bring coolers with stuff for me and they go back home with fish if we are lucky and good. Hot roasted frozen vac packed Colorado chilli's, Freshies Margie mix, maybe a little crown, a few elk steaks, maybe some antelope steaks...all welcome in my freezer!

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