Bags make it on flight from US to Naiobi?

Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 10:41 AM
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Bags make it on flight from US to Naiobi?

Trying to decide if I want to check my bag. Flying KLM airlines from LAX to NBO with an 8 hour layover in Amsterdam. I know enough to not put anything of importance in the bag that I would check but just want to hear peoples experience on flights like mine and the chances their bags made it. I am leaving for Arusha as soon as I land so my bag catching up to me would be quite the hassle. Thanks!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 11:28 AM
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If there is any possible way to carry it on, I would. Every time I fly through Amsterdam, someone in my group has delayed baggage, the last time for 5 days. Things also have a way of disappearing from bags when they go through AMS.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 11:42 AM
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I'm 3 out of 10 for baggage delays traveling from US to Africa or vice versa. However, 2 of those instances were attributable to last minute flight cancellations and rerouting resulting in very short connections (I fully expected them to be delayed) and the bags arrived on the following day's flight. Since I was either not moving around or already home, it wasn't an issue to wait for the bags. I always pack enough in my carry on to get me through the first few days.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 11:45 AM
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We've done Toronto to Amsterdam and Nairobi three times. Three hour transfer going and seven hours returning. Haven't lost any bags yet. And we usually travel in a group of 4 or 5.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 11:46 AM
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Afraid to jinx myself, but have never had a problem with my bags deplaning with me when flying KLM, whether arriving NBO or JRO.

However, I've never had to make an immediate connection to JRO. How much time between arriving (what time) NBO/JKIA and ongoing flight (time)to JRO? How long will you be in Arusha before commencing safari?

Carry-on would be great, but do check baggage limits - size and weight on the KLM flights, both from LAX/AMS and then AMS/NBO.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 12:21 PM
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Our layover in Amsterdam is for 8 hours which almost seems worse that a short one because then my bag has that much more time to get lost. We are in Arusha for one night before starting our safari and then are returning 4 nights later (short safari, low on funds).

I think I am going to try my hardest to carry it on unless they make me check it. I think I will also make sure my boyfriend and I split our belongings between both our bags in case one makes it and the other doesn't. I just wanted to hear what people's experiences were so I knew what to expect. I have heard particularly bad things about bags going through Johannesburg. My cousin had all of her shoes stolen! I am taking a flight through there from Livingston to Cape Town so I hope to carry on there too.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 02:08 PM
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Cross packing is a very good idea! We do that too.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2008, 02:08 PM
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We have a similar layover in Heathrow. I was told that our bags will not be checked through and that we will need to retrieve them and then reboard for the LHR to NBO. If so , then your bags will basically be on two non-stops. If so then there should be less of a worry. If not then I agree that there could be a concern.
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 08:14 AM
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So potentially customs may make us pick up our bags to go through...I have had that happen before. If so I probably will check. That way I don't have to have a million 3 oz bottles.
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 11:19 AM
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There's no customs at AMS when flying from the US to Africa. You simply walk from your arrival gate to your departure gate. If you check bags, KLM will tag your bag to NBO and you won't see it until then. If you prefer, you may be able to ask them to check it to AMS only. You would then need to clear immigration at AMS, retrieve your bags, clear customs and recheck your bags, although with 8 hours you have plenty of time to do this. I'm unsure of the specific reason why lbodem is unable to through check bags unless it's a carrier issue (BA can be reluctant to through check when connecting to a non-Oneworld carrier on separate tickets).
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 01:13 PM
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Actually our layover is longer than I remembered. We fly AA BOS to LHR arriving in the evening and have a 14 hour layover and then BA LHR to NBO. We were told that we would need to pick up out luggage. We plan to leave the airport and sleep in a hotel before boarding our BA flight to NBO the next morning.
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 02:05 PM
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Poo,

Not to change the subject - but how much do you need to pack for a 4 day safari? We will be on safari for 12 days then another 2 days in the Mara. We are taking carry on only. We always want a quick trip to our next plane. Yeah it is a hassel with all those 3oz bottles. I did find a good option on the internet - Packinglight.net we bought tons of these dry slips that melt when water is added for - shaving cream,shampoo,conditioner soap, body wash, etc. They are pretty cheep as well! So all I have to worry about is the suntan lotion and insect repellant.

Happy travels,
SD
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 03:42 PM
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Ha good point! But my safari is only the first part of my trip. We are going to be in Africa for 3 weeks.
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 03:43 PM
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SD, are you in South Dakota?

Poosaymeh,
Carry as much as you can and if you can take it all, do so.

I wear my binocs as an accessory and don a couple pairs of trousers. I have a safari vest that I cram full of stuff. I never wear the thing on safari, just use it as wearable luggage. All the discomfort is worth having my essential gear with me. But when restrictions are really tight, you may have to check some stuff anyway.

For 4 nights, you should be able to make it with a carryone. Have a good trip.
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Old Apr 25th, 2008, 06:30 AM
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Ann - we are in San Diego
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 12:18 PM
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via amsterdam i would definately travel with carry on luggage!
friends of ours who flew to ruanda got their luggage when they got back from gorilla trekking in entebbe 1 week after arrival!
i often hear there is a luggage problem in amsterdam doesn't matter how long the transit has been.
 
Old May 5th, 2008, 02:34 PM
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I have another angle on this thread. For those of you whose baggage was delayed and or riffled through, did you have TSA approved locks or other deterrents on your bags? I am wondering if they do any good in causing possible looters to leave your bag alone or if it doesn't make a difference and your bag was still delayed.

That said, I am planning on bringing locks with me for inter Africa travel but I have heard stories about locks being cut off at the airports so I don't want to loose said locks before I get there or have to bring a whole bunch of them.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 02:58 PM
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I use TSA locks. My bags were delayed but not rifled through. I don't think having or not having locks has any bearing on whether your bags are delayed though.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 02:28 AM
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I had no problem in Amsterdam. But I am only one for one. It was more likely that they wouldn't make the connection in Houston when I had to run through the airport to make it. I was going all the way to Arusha, but they could only check it through to Nairobi. So I did have to recheck it there.

Good luck and have a great time.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 03:57 AM
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Given the performance of the airlines, we would recommend taking what you need for the safari in carry-on. Your luggage for the remainder of the trip can be checked. On our recent trip that we took to Jordan, 2 out of 8 travelers had their luggage delayed, 1 for 1 day and 1 for 3. The were on BA and AF. A friend and his family just returned from a safari, Their luggage was a week catching up with them. For your return, you can pack everything into your checked baggage. We are going on a safari in September and fully intend to go carry-on only.

Jack and Ann
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