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Do's & Don'ts When Flying With Dance Regalia

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  • Do's & Don'ts When Flying With Dance Regalia

    It's been a while since I've flown to a pow-wow. The last time I did .....I know we didn't have to deal w/ all the restrictions of today. I'm mostly nervous about my eagle feathers.If you've taken your outfit through the airlines lately I would sure appreciate some input here............
    "I'd rather be @ a POW-WOW!"

  • #2
    Flying as a Native

    Gosh I have not flown without my outfit. I have been to Hawaii, Alaska, and up and down the west coast with all my feathers and gear.

    I would recommend that you don't take any hard pointy things on the plane in your carry on baggage. Generally, the airport officials frown on that type of behavior.

    I pack my outfit in a sturdy suitcase that is free of any type of pointy objects. Generally most baggage is xrayed or dog sniffed. I would emphasize that you have a sturdy suitcase for your regalia and in fact I have gone to the extent of duct tapping it after it is closed. Additionally, airport baggage handlers are not the most careful when loading the baggage onboard. Next time you fly watch the baggage handlers and see how they handle the baggage.

    In all my flying around I have no problems with tampering with my luggage. I do check my checklist and you need to check everything before and after landing.

    Don

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    • #3
      Originally posted by dmoccasin View Post
      Gosh I have not flown without my outfit. I have been to Hawaii, Alaska, and up and down the west coast with all my feathers and gear.

      I would recommend that you don't take any hard pointy things on the plane in your carry on baggage. Generally, the airport officials frown on that type of behavior.

      I pack my outfit in a sturdy suitcase that is free of any type of pointy objects. Generally most baggage is xrayed or dog sniffed. I would emphasize that you have a sturdy suitcase for your regalia and in fact I have gone to the extent of duct tapping it after it is closed. Additionally, airport baggage handlers are not the most careful when loading the baggage onboard. Next time you fly watch the baggage handlers and see how they handle the baggage.

      In all my flying around I have no problems with tampering with my luggage. I do check my checklist and you need to check everything before and after landing.

      Don
      Hey thanks for the advice....even tho' I'm not gonna fly to Red Earth like I thought I was. I'll keep these things in mind if I ever have to fly w/ my outfit. I guess not many dancers fly w/ their outfits(assumption made in reference to the # of responses to this thread).
      Last edited by Furiously-Fancy; 05-31-2007, 11:30 AM.
      "I'd rather be @ a POW-WOW!"

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      • #4
        Just got back from flying with my stuff and had no problems whatsoever. But, then again, I'm grass dancing now and didn't have the bustles to pack up like you would.

        I flew once with my bustles and just put them in a separate carry-on suitcase and it worked pretty well. I figured they would give me fits about my backboards seeing as how they were metal and all, but they didn't even give them a second look. But, that was pre-9/11 so I'm sure things are different now.

        My suggestion to flying with your outfit would be to take photos of some of the parts that an airline security person might find questionable such as your bustles on their backboards or possibly any dance sticks or staffs...if they have a photo of the item and particularly you dancing the item they might give you less trouble. Just a thought.
        I think everyone on this rez is addicted to Harry Potter...lol...

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        • #5
          Flying with regalia

          I fly for a major carrier and have had Ndns on board with their dance outfits and had to explain to my flying partners about why we don't check our major pieces of regalia. So here's a few tips.

          1. Pack all sharp pointed items in your checked luggage and ask for a 'Fragile' sticker, get at least 2 for each bag.

          2. I'd keep eagle feathers in your carryon, try to stay with the standard 20-22" roller boards as they will fit in all Boeing aircraft over heads. Fit them in your feather box if you have one then put them in your roller board.
          3. Most Purser will allow you to use the FC closet it you ask them in a nice way. We usually accomodate bridal dresses and other 'special' things.
          4. Try to book on a 'wide body' aircraft if possible there's more storage areas.
          5. The tip on taking pictures is a good one as a lot of americans don't even know what a PW is. It also comes in handy for any claims you may have.
          6. Keep heirloom bead work with you also in your carry on.
          7. If there's more than 1 person traveling spread carry-on evenly so no one has more than 2 items. Kids count too so you can allocate 2 bags per child. My daughter came to GON this year and had 5 bags, she and 2 of her kids. She checked 2 and had 3 carryons.
          8. Most important! verify WHERE your checked luggage has been sent to. The top city on your tag is the FINAL destination of the bag. A gate agent can check your luggage to the wrong city inadvertantly or on purpose so always, always look at the tag they staple to your ticket sleeve.
          9. Join the mileage club even for short trips when you check in, cause in the event of an oversold flight mileage members usually get on. If you do get 'bumped' from a flight, demand your checked luggage be returned to you, they'll try to get you to allow them to send the luggage on, so the flight won't be delayed, but remember they bumped you. Use your number EVERY time you fly, it adds up
          10. Oh, put stuff in clear plastic that you don't want the TSA to touch, they have huge bags out now, use them for your bead work. and make sure they have gloves on, as a flight attendant I usually don't get search, but when I did, I ask them to please put on clean gloves before going through my things. I said it nicely and reminded them that they have handled peoples shoes etc.
          11. Last but not least:

          Be ready for all the grandmother stories from those that can tell you're Ndn and the 'what's a PW?' Swear to
          God, a fellow flight attendant asked me if I still had a Teepee.
          Last edited by veritasxl; 05-31-2007, 11:38 AM.
          Civilzation has been thrust upon me..and it has not added one whit to my love for truth, honesty, and generosity Chief Luther Standing Bear

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          • #6
            in flying with my "ndn stuff" (haha)... i haven't ever encountered any problems - just a few random searches, but nothing outta the ordinary.
            tsa have soooo many people to check and monitor it seems like half the time they aren't even paying attention to bags! when tsa conducted their searches, i just asked them not to touch this or that or would show them rather than having them handle it and they respected my belongings.
            i don't think i've ever checked my stuff because i would be DEVASTATED if i ever lost anything... so i'd rather keep my belongings w/me and carry them on.
            i usually travel w/my fan in a tennis raquet (sp?) case and haven't once been stopped or questioned...
            and i've managed to find a carry-on suitcase big and durable enough to hold my things - cedar case and all... so it's worked out well. and believe it or not, my carry on has sometimes even been more than 50lbs!!! thank goodness they don't weigh carry-ons!

            i think like dmoccassin said - just as long as you don't pack pointy things, you should be aiiiiiight.
            "i don't like to walk fast man - i like to strut!"

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            • #7
              Thanks for the input. These all sound like great ideas that could make traveling with an outfit successful.I sincerely appreciate the feedback.
              "I'd rather be @ a POW-WOW!"

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              • #8
                Once I git back up on muh hoofs folks are gonna HATE ME...LOL. Cuz i'mma have my panel belts. one for each outfit....so basically a whole BUNCH of belts with a bajillion brass studs in em :-P
                "Out greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us."

                "Never Compromise yourself, Your all you've got"


                "An eye for an eye will only lead to a blind world."

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                • #9
                  Furious,

                  I have flown with eagle feathers twice within the last two months, once overseas, once domestic.

                  When flying overseas, I have never had a problem. I usually travel with other dancers. One time in Dallas, the customs official opened a box of regalia and saw my hoops. He said, "Oh! You're a hoop dancer?" I cautiously laughed and said, "yeah." He told the other custom's officers to let us through. (The custom's officer didn't appear to be Indian... go figure?).

                  I also travel domestically with feathers. I always pack my feathers on top so that will be the first thing someone sees if they inspect my luggage.

                  Now, every counter is electronic. You go to a machine, type in how many luggage items you will be checking or carrying on. The customer service agent tags your baggage and you give it to them or take it around to a special luggage area.

                  I have no idea if they do or don't go through it once it is checked in?
                  Last edited by WhoMe; 06-01-2007, 11:04 AM.
                  Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

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