Check luggage

I just read that there are many companies that will ship your
suitcase for you – they pick it up at your house and when you get
to your hotel, the suitcase is in your room. Most of these services
use another carrier, such as Fedex. The cost was $100.00 and up per
bag. The article noted that you could ship a duffle bag yourself for
$36.00 with UPS.

Andy, I’m sure you could box and ship your tools and send them
directly to Arrowmont. Please don’t let the airlines stop you from

Elaine Luther
Chicago area, Illinois, USA
Certified PMC Instructor

Hi Andy, re traveling with your finely tuned tool cases. I’ve found
flying with my jewelry that they will indeed go through EVERYTHING
very carefully, but they have been careful and considerate. You are
not allowed to touch anything while they are taking things out and
inspecting them, but you may comment on what needs careful handling
etc. they will allow you to repack your things yourself . this is
for carry on baggage. I suggest you call the airports in question and
speak with their security people. Seems to me that they might be
very cooperative and have you come a little earlier and have your
checked baggage hand cleared in your presence so that you can be sure
your tools are not damaged or lost. I’ve found the security people
happy to be helpful when i tell them up front that i know i have
high-value and suspicious looking baggage that they will want to
inspect carefully. Rather than setting up roadblocks and inviting
argument, I’ve found people wanting to keep things smooth and calm.
Good luck! marianne hunter

I have been reading with interest the postings on airport security
and shipping tools. I have a workshop to teach in Tucson in a couple
of weeks. I haven’t packed tools in my luggage since January 1, when
the “search every bag” thing went into effect and I share Andy
Cooperman’s nervousness.

I have often flown with my jewelry as a carry on many times since
9/11. This has gone fine for me, but one of my collectors was not so

He was flying from Newark to Seattle for the opening of the new
glass museum, and his carry on bag was searched in Newark Airport.
When he got to his hotel in Seattle he discovered that the small box
with my glass and gold brooch and his prize cufflinks made by
Richard Marquis and Devda Doolan was missing. He called the airport
to report it and was sent a claim form to fill out. He told me that
he was not only shocked to have his possessions stolen, but also
that it happened frequently enough that they actually had a form
ready to fill out. Needless to say, he never got the work back.

We make small objects and someone with good sleight of hand can rip
you off. Keep you eyes open when being searched.

I always give them a card saying I’m a jeweler, and they take me to
a private room with two guards. That way, at least not everyone
knows what you are carrying.

Happy travels,
Don Friedlich

Don, sorry to hear about your collector’s experience, but not

I have not bee following this thread so I may be repeating advise.
I would ship anything that you can’t carry on. This doesn’t assure
it will be there, but your chances are better. I would not put
anything in my luggage now that I couldn’t replace without much
hassle, and in short time.


You don’t have to identify yourself as a jeweler. Request a private
search. There will be two people present; perhaps to avoid anything
suspicious. You also will be present to keep an eye on your things.

I would like to caution everyone that it is not realistic to expect
safe shipping of anything via checked luggage! My wife works for one
of the major airlines and post-9/11 there has been an exponential
increase in checked luggage theft & the airlines are not responsible
for any losses. Certain airports are much worse than others. LAX is
especially bad. One recent event was the loss of over 150 CD’s that
were removed from all their plastic cases in a locked checked bag. I
would recommend sending valued items through an insured carrier such
as Fed-Ex, UPS, etc.

Norman Kimes

I have been sitting on the side lines for a while but felt I would
throw in my two cents. My wife and I have been going down to Tucson
for years and usually we fly. We didn’t go last year because of
Sept. 11th. We will be going this year but we will drive. The
hassle of air travel is just too much to bother with, as well as the
possible looting of unlocked luggage. We are looking forward to the
drive and the Bed and Breakfast we will be staying at. Just my two

J. Bowersmith

I’m done trusting airlines to handle luggage with due care. I’m
using FEDEX DVX (Declared Value, insured for more than $500) or for
bigger jobs Brinks or similar. I have even used UPS to forward
personal luggage to avoid the lines. Insured and on time is what we
used to get from the airlines, now its FEDEX for me.