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Old 09-02-2010, 09:21 AM   #1
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Checked Baggage - Saddle - United Airlines?

I'm trying to get stuff together for an upcoming flight (United Airlines) - and wanting to check my Western Saddle. According to United's website, the checked baggage weight limit is 50 lbs and size is 62 linear inches. Otherwises, it can be designated oversized (</=116 linear inches) or overweight (</= 100 lbs) - and will incurr additional fees. There's also a list of special sports/athletic equipment (golf clubs, bicycles, etc) but nothing about a saddle.....

My saddle weighs 35 lbs and fits in a 14"x14"x34" canvas duffel bag. So, it seems that my saddle meets the criteria without being designated "oversized". But, because the duffle bag is soft, the saddle deforms the bag and it looses it box shape (kinda looks cylindrical). I am concerned that someone at the check-in counter will classify it as oversized. It is hard to measure LxWxH for the new shape and I have no idea how the check-in agent will assess the size. If they measure the circumference and add it to the height, that will be wrong (and define it as oversized) - but that's my concern!

I phoned United three times and their only response was that it will be up to the descretion of the airport agent - and none could tell me how they would measure my item. Twice I was told to call TSA - which I did, just for kicks. TSA said they don't have any guidelines for the sizing and are completely fine with a saddle.

Sooooooo ---- anyone have any insight to this issue? I thought about taking the packaging from the duffle bag, which reflects the 14x14x34 size ..... I'm ALL EARS on this one. I could send it fedex but worry that it may not arrive in the remote area of my travel in time..... I waited a bit too long to research this.

Laura
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:28 AM   #2
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I'm trying to get stuff together for an upcoming flight (United Airlines) - and wanting to check my Western Saddle. According to United's website, the checked baggage weight limit is 50 lbs and size is 62 linear inches. Otherwises, it can be designated oversized (</=116 linear inches) or overweight (</= 100 lbs) - and will incurr additional fees. There's also a list of special sports/athletic equipment (golf clubs, bicycles, etc) but nothing about a saddle.....

My saddle weighs 35 lbs and fits in a 14"x14"x34" canvas duffel bag. So, it seems that my saddle meets the criteria without being designated "oversized". But, because the duffle bag is soft, the saddle deforms the bag and it looses it box shape (kinda looks cylindrical). I am concerned that someone at the check-in counter will classify it as oversized. It is hard to measure LxWxH for the new shape and I have no idea how the check-in agent will assess the size. If they measure the circumference and add it to the height, that will be wrong (and define it as oversized) - but that's my concern!

I phoned United three times and their only response was that it will be up to the descretion of the airport agent - and none could tell me how they would measure my item. Twice I was told to call TSA - which I did, just for kicks. TSA said they don't have any guidelines for the sizing and are completely fine with a saddle.

Sooooooo ---- anyone have any insight to this issue? I thought about taking the packaging from the duffle bag, which reflects the 14x14x34 size ..... I'm ALL EARS on this one. I could send it fedex but worry that it may not arrive in the remote area of my travel in time..... I waited a bit too long to research this.

Laura
Laura.

UPS freight might be your answer. It would be a lot cheaper than any airline baggage rates.

I hear that United is going to start charging passengers extra money, depending on how much air your inhale.

Andy
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:38 AM   #3
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Something like that, I think I would fedex/ups it to myself, rather than trust the airline to get it there in one piece. The times I have at on the tarmac, looking out of my window, to see a soft duffel bag sat at the bottom under a half ton of flight cases, hard bags and boxes... :/
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:44 AM   #4
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If it fits into an Airstream use the Airstream. Then it would also 'fit' into this Forum.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:07 AM   #5
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As an airline person (not UAL) I encourage you to ship it
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:55 AM   #6
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Amen....use a shipper. It will be waiting for you. By the way, consider that for any extra luggage on vacation trips...going both ways. Makes the trip easier and cheaper too.
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:02 PM   #7
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:27 PM   #8
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i guess you can ask united if they treat saddles like guitars ;-)

any shipper should be able to give you guaranteed delivery dates for premium shipping to any destination.

can you borrow a suitcase for it?

maybe nasa has a surplus rocket you could use ;-)
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:37 PM   #9
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Oh Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Not what I hoped to hear ..... see ...... read.... whatever.

I have waited much too long to figure this out and I cannot get it shipped in time. Well, not for under a couple hundred dollars.

Crap. Now not only am I concerned about the extra $65 that I mighta been charged by United, but now I worry that it wouldn't even *arrive alive*.

Okay - one of the girls that is going with me is a cargo pilot. I'll see if she has any ideas ....

Ricky --- will at least scavenge for some rocket part shipping crate. Maybe a nice composite of sorts will be found.

Laura
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:43 PM   #10
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You could cinch in on and wear it. No extra $.
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:45 PM   #11
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UPS charges $1.05/lb for 3 day delivery from/to most of the US, once you get over 20 lbs.
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:49 PM   #12
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:54 PM   #13
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I'm trying to get stuff together for an upcoming flight (United Airlines) - and wanting to check my Western Saddle.

Laura
Hoe are you getting your horse on the plane too? I though Saddles and horses were a match just like rider and saddle.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:14 PM   #14
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Hoe are you getting your horse on the plane too? I though Saddles and horses were a match just like rider and saddle.
The ranch encouraged us to bring ONLY our saddles, if we had one that we are comfortable in for 7-8 hrs a day. Said the horses would have too much trouble with the elevation. Yeah - that's the ticket.... if I feel a little sore or tired, or just can't keep up, I'll just say it's the elevation!

Laura
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