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Thread: Cooler Help! First trip to Alaska.

  1. #1
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    Question Cooler Help! First trip to Alaska.

    I am going crazy looking for a cooler that I can fly with that supports the Alaska Airline guidelines. Not sure if i need one without a drain plug and to fit there size requirements of 62". Can anyone out there share with me what coolers they have used in the past? I dont want them to be turned away or cost me money to take on the plane! Thanks for your help in advance.

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    Default Cooler help

    Call the Airlines and see what they say. Last time we went up we just used a regular cooler with a plug, you just can't use ice. You have to use frozen ice packs. If you are going to bring fish back put a layer of news paper around the fish and ice packs to help insulate it.

  3. #3

    Default coolers for planes

    we ship 48 quart to not exceed the lenght regs but my buddy recently measured a cube that held 60 quarts and met the regs. I have not verified this so try it.

    sahunter

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    Default 60 Quart Coolers

    Just bought two of them, I will definately let you know how we make out. We got the Igloo 60, 5 Day cooler. It fell about a half inch under the 62" . MAybe I am thinking to hard about it... Just didnt want to have more cooler than i can fill.

    My biggest concern is that this one weighs more and that with the math I would in the end only fit less fish because this cooler weighs 5 more pounds. If that makes any sense!?!

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Another problem

    Quote Originally Posted by brian2000boston View Post
    Just bought two of them, I will definately let you know how we make out. We got the Igloo 60, 5 Day cooler. It fell about a half inch under the 62" . MAybe I am thinking to hard about it... Just didnt want to have more cooler than i can fill.

    My biggest concern is that this one weighs more and that with the math I would in the end only fit less fish because this cooler weighs 5 more pounds. If that makes any sense!?!
    Brian,

    There's another issue with the larger cooler that you may not have considered. If you fill it you will likely be well over the 70# limit Alaska Airlines has for heavy bags. I agree with whomever said 48 quart coolers. They're the optimum size for rafting, and they fit even in small Bush aircraft very well. I have been using them for years on flyout hunts, and as baggage on airlines and commuter carriers all over Alaska.

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Default

    I use Fish boxes. As we speak I'm getting ready to pack a fish box with Halibut for my sister in law. I use the one with a stro cooler inside. light weight so I can pack more fish. Also these box are very sturdy and keep the fish frozen. I have used this during the summer and shipped fish all the way to Miami and it was still frozen.
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    Gary Keller
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    Default

    You cannot fill a 60 qt cooler with fish and get under the 50# restriction without having to pay another $50 in overweight baggage fees.

    A cooler that big is gonna weigh at least 15-17 pounds, leaving you only enough for at most 33-35 pounds of fish. You won't be able to fill even half of that 60 qt volume with fish, not to mention that the extra dead space will allow your fish to warm up.

    Find a smaller lighter cooler in the 35-40 qt range or less. When you fill it SOLID with fish, it will weigh under 50# with more net contents of fish, and NO wasted dead space to warm your fish.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    Smile cooler as luggage

    We are flying Sun Country this yr. Last yr NW. I have the baggage requirements. You may ck 2 bags, each weighing 50# 1st bag may
    be up to 62 inches combined linear measurement (length plus width plus height) The 2nd bag may be 55 inches ( length plus width plus height)
    Last yr with NW the bags could both be 62 inches. Also there is the carry on which is 48 inches, measured the same way. The only cooler requirements they have it can not be styrofoam . We took a soft-side insulated bag as a carry on with frozen fish last yr. We also have large soft-sided bags that we ship as luggage. Fish was frozen solid when we arrive in Mpls, MN. Also we have had it packed by fish processors in the boxes as someone stated, & packed some ouselves in them. They seem to be all the correct size for shipping.If you have an extra box it is only $40.00, to ship as luggage with you, far cheaper the shipping UPS. As you see there are many options, just be sure you measure & weigh. If you have access to a comp. go to your airline web sight and find Baggage Policies. Hope you have luck fishing as we have.
    Hope this helps.

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    Default Soft Coolers

    What I have used many times to take both fish and game home on the airlines is a soft cooler. They sell them at Sams only cost about 10 dollars. I blast freeze the fish and wrap it in newspaper and into the cooler with no ice. This method has stayed frozen for over 37 hours. The cooler folds up and is easy to bring back home, or for the cost you could give or throw it away. I'm talking the large type that when packed is close to the weight limit.

    Steve

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    Default

    Soft sided is what we use a lot. Work great and as you said are easy to store. Got ours from Sams also. They have been back & forth several times. Remember to mark your luggage some way. We tye the same color piece of rag on each one, although there are not too many of the soft sided used, YET.

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    Default

    Many things will work. I have sprayfoamed a cardboard box and packed with fish. Lasted the flight to Chicago and a 5 hr drive in 90 degree temps.

    I just helped a friend pack his fish last weekend in small coolers. Had a little airspace left over after removing fish to meet the 50 lb restriction so we packed with newspaper. For some reason he was concerned the fish wouldn't keep so he put 4 lbs of dry ice in the bottom of the coolers to help keep them cold. Apparently some airlines allow up to 5 lbs of dry ice if that is also your concern. Both of his coolers had drain plugs as that was all he could find and they didn't have any complaints.

  12. #12

    Default Wheels

    I use a 48 qt, i recommend one that has wheels, that has saved us a lot of hassle moving around the airport & to the vehicle, coolers weigh about 10 lbs so you can pack 40 lbs of fish.
    this year i'm bringing a 1/2 " piece of strofoam to put on the top of the fish, last year they started to thaw at the top & a lot of the coolers lids are not insulated, long flight to Logan

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    Default Thank you

    Thanks everyone for your feedback. I am going to return these coolers and get a couple of the 48 Quart coolers instead with wheels ! Too bad the regs at the airline are so tight, really miss the days of taking whatever you want.

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    Default

    I just spoke today to the charter folks (I will be going fishing on 8/1) and they said not to bother with a cooler. They told me to buy a fish box and bring it home that way. Do you guys think this is a good idea? I live in colorado so it will be around 24 hours from flight to my doorstep.

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    Default

    We think the boxes work as good as coolers. Seem to be made the right size for flying.

  16. #16

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    I plan to pay a $50 fee to bring an ice chest back weighing about 100lbs. Will a 48quart chest hold 100lbs of fish? I would think so but not 100% sure.

    Also, does United allow dry ice?

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cfwilkins View Post
    I just spoke today to the charter folks (I will be going fishing on 8/1) and they said not to bother with a cooler. They told me to buy a fish box and bring it home that way. Do you guys think this is a good idea? I live in colorado so it will be around 24 hours from flight to my doorstep.
    no problem it will still be frozen.. You don't even have to add gel packs or anything.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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    Default

    I weighed a 120qt cooler last weekend completely full of halibut and ice @ 190lbs if that gives you any idea. Of course it wasn't frozen so it packed pretty tight.

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    Default Cost?

    Anyone know the cost to get the boxes and have them packaged? Do you know roughly how many pounds of fish a box will hold and stay under the 50 pound per bag limit?


    Quote Originally Posted by Greatdane View Post
    I plan to pay a $50 fee to bring an ice chest back weighing about 100lbs. Will a 48quart chest hold 100lbs of fish? I would think so but not 100% sure.
    I was told by that a 48 quart holds enough fish to keep me at the 50 pound rule on alaska airlines. The downside i was having with the coolers is the fact that they weigh so much, I would rather more fish!

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    Member AKRoadkill's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cfwilkins View Post
    I just spoke today to the charter folks (I will be going fishing on 8/1) and they said not to bother with a cooler. They told me to buy a fish box and bring it home that way. Do you guys think this is a good idea? I live in colorado so it will be around 24 hours from flight to my doorstep.

    Shouldn't be a problem. In July 1995, I took a frozen King cut in 3 large chunks, from Fairbanks to Colorado only wrapped in a garbage bag inside my normal luggage. It was still frozen solid on arrival. My Father in law just took about 15 lbs of Halibut in a small soft-side cooler with no ice, to Utah. They lost his luggage for about 12 hours, but when he got it, it was still frozen solid.

    I'd just get a cheep cooler to carry your beverages and snacks in while up here then ship the fish home in it. But, a fish box will be a bit lighter and cheeper.

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