View Full Version : Looking for some guidance

10-20-2011, 09:32 AM
We are counting the days (well at least I am - 182 days to go) until we go to Bonaire. We are taking the red eye out of Newark on a Friday night.

Looking for any suggestions to make the trip less stressful. Hints for Newark airport, how long before flight should we arrive, that type of thing.

Also, we both have canister lights we would like to take. Any suggestions? Checked baggage or carry on. I can't seem to find anything on traveling with this type of light.

Thanks in advance

10-20-2011, 11:33 AM
Can't help you on Newark, but on the lights if you put them in the checked you have a high probability of exceeding your weight limits. Also the baggage checkers get very concerned about batteries in dive lights for good reasons, an inadvertant slip can turn on the light in the bag and cause a fire in hold (not good at all).

We have pretty much stopped bringing big dive lights to Bonaire, due to the weight and safety concerns but just as important we find we do not need them. A smaller light while night diving seems to work better, less loss of your night vision. The other point is dive lights are easily rented from any of the dive shops for a very small fee. YMMV.

10-20-2011, 01:36 PM
Technically if the batteries are acid mat or gel type and they are placed in checked luggage undeclared and not in a certified liquid proof container it is a blatent violation of the cfr for checked luggage liable for a $10,000 fine. Yes I kid you not this is true.
I cannot remember the cfr number but if you want to find out quickly just how much fun this is try checking a scooter with the batteries in it and see what happens.

If you really want the light with you put the battery in your carry on and when you get to the screening pull it out with the computer and have a little discussion with the nice tsa person about what it is. Be prepared to leave it behind either at security or back in the car.

I give you one guess how I know about this and believe me it was not pretty.

For the big lights at night we now use the big 3 led ikelites which have at least as much punch as the the uk hid canons with out the bulb issues and much longer battery life. You can get an entire trip from the simple d cells that you can puchase when you get there to save weight if that is an issue.

10-20-2011, 03:54 PM
Sandman -- I'm guessing that you're flying down to Newark from Canada, but not on Continental.

If I were in your shoes, I'd make absolutely sure that I was in Newark at least 3/4 hours before the departure time of the flight for Bonaire. A couple of reasons -- Newark is notorious for flight delays due to weather, and it sounds like 182 days puts your trip in March. Then, luggage has to transfer from your carrier to Continental.

As for the red-eye -- just go into Zen mode. Remember that at the other end of the trip is paradise! I would recommend ingesting a substantial amount of beer in Newark, but that means you can't sleep on the plane because you'll be peeing every fifteen minutes.

Seriously, we (I'm now 70, my wife is 63) have taken the red-eye out of Houston for our past 4-5 trip. We try to zone out as best we can, and cope with the vagaries of flying these days. As I noted, when we get to the other end, we can be at our hotel by 8:00 AM, take a nap on the beach, and be snorkeling before lunch.

Sounds like the canister lights might be a PITA. Does anyone know if he can rent them there?

10-20-2011, 04:28 PM
We take canister lights everywhere, including Bonaire. They are not an issue. TSA knows that they are just flashlights. We take them as carry on along with all our regs.
Canister lights are great. Easier to hold and no dangly. Don't leave home without them.

10-20-2011, 05:39 PM
I carry a large NiteRider canister light, and have never had a problem with TSA...I carry it in my backpack, and have never even been asked about it. Now my Spare Air gets me pulled out of line every time.

10-20-2011, 06:18 PM
The fact that you guys are using cannisters is irrelevant its whats in them thats the problem. If they are nicads or nimh they could even be checked BUT if they are lead acid batteries in ANY shape or form and they are in checked luggage they are specifically covered under the code of federal regulations of the USA. Check your contracts of carriage. If you are getting them thru TSA in carry on that is covered under a different part of the CFR. The problem one runs into is if any TSA supervisor throws a fit one is going to either miss the flight or loose a battery.

Also interesting is that the return flight is not covered by the CFR but by the regs of the departing country. Anyone who has tried to get computers through Heathrow Bonaire or a number of other countries in a TSA approved and certified bag will know exactly how security reacts to anyone questioning their interpretation of the regs.

Enjoy your well illuminated travels but understand the potential implications of your actions. If you put ANY of these in your checked luggage be prepared to arrive without the light, have a little note in the luggage and then have a summons from a US District AG show up months later as certified mail. Thats when the fun starts.

Vann Evans
10-21-2011, 12:40 PM
my biggest suggestion has to do with Continental---we have done the red-eye many times. Two important things to know:
1) Continental has changed our reservations on at least 3 occasions where we were to leave the US on Friday night(Houston or Newark), but got to the departing airport on Saturday night. If one flight doesn't fill, they will switch nights or departing airports--check your reservations carefully every week or so.
2)there are ONLY 2 flights a week to Bonaire on Continental-Houston and/or Newark. sometimes they are on Friday night and sometimes on Saturday night depending on season, traffic and Continentals whims. Be aware that if Newark is socked in , make an immediate switch to Houston. Again, if for whatever reason you miss the flight from Newark/Houston to Bonaire you will lose an entire week of your vacation. Continental is not responsible for weather delays-only mechanical problems-but you lose either way. Trip insurance may be a good option.

I know these things first hand-they have happened to us!!

As said earlier, once you get on the plane, just relax-you are on the way TO PARADISE.

Vann Evans
Sand Dollar A4