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Thread: Dry Ice

  1. #1
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Question Dry Ice

    Who sells dry ice in Anchorage? Looking to keep fish frozen for a trip to the lowe 48.
    Thanks in advance.
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  2. #2
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Looks like I answered my own question. It's in the ODD archives.
    However, I see some discussion on it being hazmat. Is it allowed in checked baggage?
    Thanks again.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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  3. #3
    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    My wife checked a cooler with dry ice on Alaska Airlines a couple of months back. There may have been an extra fee, I'm not sure. And there was a 4 or 5 pound weight limit on the dry ice itself. You may want to call your airline to get the skinny on how they handle it.
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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Use the gell packs. Airlines kinda frown when you use dry ice. If for some reason your cooler leaks. You will be charged with a chemical clean up. And I'm pretty sure this isn't cheap. Freeze you fish geta couple gel pack and you will be ok. Duck tape around the lid to seal the top.
    I have taken fish frozen during the summer from here in Anchorage to Miami with out any gel packs and when I got there the fish was still soild as a rock
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    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Default Dry ice allowed

    My parents took home about 65 pounds of halibut and salmon last week. We got a 55 quart cooler (or thereabouts) and packed it with fish that had been vacuum packed and frozen. I have heard that you can only do 5 pounds of dry ice but the lady at Fred Myer's where I got it said she heard it went up to 7. I ended up putting about 6 pounds in just because that was the size of a block they had, I figured the airlines wouldn't weigh it anyways, and also figured some of it would evaporate. Wrapped it in 3 brown bags, duct taped around the bags to keep it sealed, then threw that on top of the fish in the cooler, and duct taped the lid shut. This was on Delta - no problems whatsoever. Have also done the same thing on Alaska Airlines and Frontier. The cooler was checked as baggage. The only extra charge was $25 because it was over the 50 pound weight limit.

    Also, their baggage got redirected because they happened to be flying with a baseball team. Instead of going with them, it ended up on another flight that went through San Francisco (which they did not go through) and arrived about 10 hours later than when they got home. There was still about 2 pounds of dry ice in the bag and everything was frozen solid.

  6. #6
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Dry Ice as baggage

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Gray
    Use the gell packs. Airlines kinda frown when you use dry ice. If for some reason your cooler leaks. You will be charged with a chemical clean up. And I'm pretty sure this isn't cheap. Freeze you fish geta couple gel pack and you will be ok. Duck tape around the lid to seal the top.
    I have taken fish frozen during the summer from here in Anchorage to Miami with out any gel packs and when I got there the fish was still soild as a rock
    Alaska Airlines allows five pounds of dry ice per package in checked luggage. DO NOT tape the lid of the cooler shut, as this is a violation of regulations! Dry ice emits carbon dioxide gas, which must be allowed to escape the cooler. If you tape the lid shut, the cooler could explode. Gel ice is an acceptable alternative and carries no HAZMAT restrictions. Regular ice is not an option, as it can leak and get other passengers' belongings wet or cause damage to aircraft electrical systems. Styrofoam coolers are also prohibited because they're too fragile for air transport (but you can bring a styrofoam-lined (insulated) fish box.

    Hope this clears this one up. (I'm an Alaska Airlines employee)

    Remember, other carriers' policies are different. Check with yours for details.

    -Mike
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  7. #7
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Delta's Dry Ice Regulations, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmg
    ...I have heard that you can only do 5 pounds of dry ice but the lady at Fred Myer's where I got it said she heard it went up to 7. I ended up putting about 6 pounds in just because that was the size of a block they had, I figured the airlines wouldn't weigh it anyways... Wrapped it in 3 brown bags, duct taped around the bags to keep it sealed, then threw that on top of the fish in the cooler, and duct taped the lid shut. This was on Delta - no problems whatsoever. Have also done the same thing on Alaska Airlines and Frontier. The cooler was checked as baggage...
    I see a number of problems with what you're saying, and I only point it out because you don't know the regulations. Unfortunately most folks' awareness of airline regs are limited to "tribal knowlege" as in "...the lady said the limit went up to 7...". Folks traveling with dry ice are responsible to know the legal limits and abide by them! In a post-9/11 world, I can assure you that your baggage is being checked out! If you get caught with a violation, it could spell big trouble for you. Currently, Dry Ice (Carbon Dioxide, Solid) is a regulated substance, however most air carriers allow passengers to carry it with certain restrictions. Here are the violations I saw with this post.

    1. Delta Airlines' limit in checked luggage is currently 4.4 lbs. Not 5 or 7. Here's the link to their regulations; check page 28, under "Restricted Articles". The limit for Alaska Airlines is five pounds, and the limit for Frontier is 5.07 lbs. (see rule 190).

    2. Taping the lid of the cooler is not acceptable. Dry Ice emits Carbon Dioxide gas that must be allowed to escape the container. Leave the drain open and the lid loose, or you risk damaging your container and passenger belongings.

    3. Taking someone's word for things as important as airline regulations is not a good idea! These are not "general guidelines"; they are in most cases extrapolations of federally-mandated regulations involving the safety and security of air travel.

    For travel nearly anywhere in the United States from Alaska, regardless of the time of year, you can ship frozen fish and meat without any ice at all, and it will still be rock-hard when it gets to the final destination. I have tested this many times with shipments to both coasts and points in between. The key is proper packaging. If you're using a non-insulated fish box, line it with wadded newspaper and pack the frozen items in the middle. Insulated fish boxes are expensive but may be the best alternative on some routes; especially if you're shipping it overseas. If possible, vacuum pack your fish in advance. It lasts longer in the freezer and it for some reason it is lost in transit, it won't leak all over the place. Yes, things are occasionally lost in transit and no, most of the time it has nothing to do with theft. I remember one fish box that somehow came off of the airport's conveyor system in Seattle and sat under the belt in a tunnel in the bowels of the airport for over a week before it was detected by the smell. Yes, the passenger requested that it be shipped to them anyway (they thought they could salvage some of it, but... pheewwww!). If you're REALLY concerned, just use gel ice and you don't have to worry about the restrictions at all.

    Not getting personal here, just trying to set the record straight. We cannot afford to be cavalier about the airline regulations. If we are, it won't be too far down the road that they won't let us ship Dry Ice at all!

    -Mike
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  8. #8
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info so far folks
    I'm curious about not taping coolers shut. Most coolers just have a pressure fit. No latches or such, like a suitcase does. I just can't see the normal coleman cooler going thru normal airline handling, and NOT popping open. Mike's instance of the box under the conveyor is an example. A cooler falling off a conveyor, or getting tossed around is likely to spill open, dumping your frozen fish, etc, all over the ground, etc.
    The archived thread I read spoke of containers exploding (popping open was the term preferred). If the melting of dry ice builds up enough pressure to pop open a cooler, then a normal coleman cooler would definately "pop open" if the dry ice warmed enough. Not having tape on the cooler would almost guarantee the lid would be opened and insulating value compromised.
    Can TSA tape coolers shut after it is inspected? I would prefer to use a cooler as it is the better insulation.
    Thanks again.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  9. #9

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    MT, I would keep close track of your fish cause chances are pretty good that some of it will disappear. I know, it's happened to me twice.

  10. #10
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    I posted this earlier on another thread but I will say it again for the sake of those who might have missed it. We were up just a couple weeks ago and brought some salmon back to Maine with out a hitch. We picked up a cleapo cooler with a handle at Walmart along with some duct tape. The cooler could only hold the fillets from three King Salmon. We froze then in ziplock baggies and put then in the cooler then taped the cooler shut and put the cooler in the freezer overnight.

    The next day we arrived at Anchorage Airport at 2 PM. We left at 4:10PM (Alaska Time) traveled back home via Las Vegas, Philly then to Bangor, Maine then a four hour drive to where I lived( 6PM east coast time the next day). Just over twenty six total hours. Only the top couple fillets where just slightly thawed the rest was frozen solid. No Gell pack, or ice or dry ice.

    Just make sure what you have is frozen before you leave and like Mike said earlier it should make it coast to coast no problem.
    If you take the woods out of the woodsman you have nothing left but a man in the woods.

  11. #11
    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Default I did not know it was so complicated

    Michael,

    Thanks for the info on the dry ice. You are right, I did not know the regulations. The interesting thing, however, is that when I did this for the first time up here, I called Delta and they told me it was 5 pounds, so obviously some of their employees did not know their own regulations either. I actually did not know there was a set of regulations out there to find on something like this. The piece I got this last time was a bit over 6 pounds when I purchased it, and I am sure it was more when packaged because of the bags I wrapped it in.

    As for taping the lid shut, my thought on this has always been along the lines of MT's in that many coolers' lids can just pop open on the conveyor belt and out comes the fish/meat. Every time I have taken fish this way, though, the airlines have always cut the tape, opened it up I assume (b/c of post-9/11), and then RE-TAPED the cooler. It seems like if it is unacceptable, why would they re-tape it shut? Would leaving the drain valve open provide enough relief to prevent explosion?

    By "insulated fish boxes" do you mean those cardboard boxes they sell at Fred Myers that have a styrofoam liner in them? If so, can you tape those up? I assume the answer is yes because there is no dry ice in there. But, it also seems that the airlines these days will open up and inspect every single piece of luggage even where nothing suspicious shows up on the x-ray monitor. Personally, I would be concerned that an airline employee would not re-package it right. Call me synical, but after having heard of several people complain about losing fish (like AKHunter45 here), as well as having several suitcases full of socks and underwear gone through thoroughly as if there might be something more there, I don't really have all that high of a confidence level in airline employees/baggage checkers. No offense to you if that is your position with AK Air, just my own feelings on it.

    Thanks for the info though. You always provide helpful comments.

  12. #12
    Member AKArcher's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Shippping meat through the airlines.

    My mother and grandmother just left with moose/halibut/salmon in coolers and we didn't use ice. I asked the TSA to seal the cooler once the checked it for bombs and dry ice. They zip-sealed it three times in front of me when they were done checking. Both relatives reported the meat was frozen solid and all accounted for. Just ask them to inspect in front of you, and seal it when they are done.

    Know your airlines restrictions, but work with TSA when it comes to getting your cooler/box sealed.
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

  13. #13
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Theft of fish?

    Quote Originally Posted by AkHunter45
    MT, I would keep close track of your fish cause chances are pretty good that some of it will disappear. I know, it's happened to me twice.
    Sorry if I seem a little defensive on this one, but I know of no instances where someone's meat or fish was stolen in transit. Saying that the "chances are pretty good that some of it will disappear" is a pretty bold claim, but one that's hard to prove or disprove. I'm sure anyone who has lost any of their luggage in transit has considered the possibility of theft, but with all the cameras around airports these days, coupled with the reality of both airline and TSA employees being fired on the spot for such things, I would say the exact opposite, "chances are pretty remote that any of it will disappear". Sorry, I just have to disagree on that one. Alaska Airlines ships literally millions of pounds of fish and game meat out of the state of Alaska, and I have not heard of a single verified incident of theft of this stuff. I'm not saying it could never happen, just that insinuating that there's a better than even chance of theft is at best an exaggeration of the facts. That's a serious accusation.

    Just my opinion.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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    Default cooler opening

    Is it illegal to wrap the cooler with bungies? If you get the proper length, you can take one of the S hooks off and hook both ends of the bungie to one S. Never used this on an airline, but it sure works well otherwise. later. j

  15. #15
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    MS is correct about sealing the cooler with dry Ice. I do it only with gel pack or just frozen fish
    Living the Alaskan Dream
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  16. #16

    Default Dry ice

    The few times I've used dry ice, it's been with the cardboard box that has the foam insert. I taped it and had no problems, but I didn't tape everywhere so that it was airtight so any pressure building up inside could escape.

    If shipping dry ice in a regular cooler, many people use way more tape than is probably necessary to keep the lid closed. I'd think that just a couple of wraps near one end would be enough to keep the lid closed and allow any pressure inside to escape since you've got most of the lid surface without tape on it. I think what you don't want to do is to tape the drain plug and tape all around the seam of the lid.

    As far as TSA miss-handling or not correctly re-packing coolers of fish, have you seen the volume of fish shipped from Alaska during the summer at the airport? I'm sure TSA has LOTS of practice. Also, I've had many relatives check fish at the airport and none have reported any missing fish when they got home.

  17. #17
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    I have taken out probably close to 200 pounds of fish and king crab out of state when taking trips to the outside over the last two years. I have never lost a single pound. My brother has taken lots of caribou and halibut out and never lost any. The only verified story I know of is the one last year (or the year before) where the passenger complained about losing his caribou. They then found most of it under a conveyor belt by the smell as it rotted. The thought was that the box opened during the trip and dumped the meat out. It was in the ADN.

  18. #18

    Default re: dry ice issue

    ... we have friends and family that take home moose, cariboo and salmon each summer to places like California and Arizona and Mexico. Just pick up a cardboard box lined with styrafoam, freeze your meats and fish in vacumm-sealed bags and put in box and relax. Don't seal the box or boxes until security has checked them, then have them tape them in front of you. I know Alaska Airlines does everything it can to work with you. I can almost guarantee that the other airlines are the same. Pay the extra cost if box is overweight and and enjoy your trip home. It's a priviledge not a right to take home meat or fish products from Alaska. No-one from our house has ever needed dry ice or ever packed with ice of any kind and their meats/fish have arrived still frozen and undamaged. Good fishing ... hope you have enjoyed your trip!

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