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Old Aug 5, 11, 1:07 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Does United allow boxes as checked 'luggage' on international flights?

We are spending year in Geneva and will be flying UA from DEN to IAD to GVA. When I called the UA Premier Exec line, they said no but I've seen boxes come through the baggage claim area before. Any experience with this recently would be very helpful. Thanks!
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Old Aug 5, 11, 1:09 pm   #2
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Remember with interlining, UA may be forced to accept boxes that they normally would not have allowed to be checked in.

I see no restriction against boxes - apart from the obvious size requirements, and the note about very fragile items.

http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6867,52482,00.html
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Old Aug 5, 11, 1:14 pm   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aacharya View Post
Remember with interlining, UA may be forced to accept boxes that they normally would not have allowed to be checked in.

I see no restriction against boxes - apart from the obvious size requirements, and the note about very fragile items.

http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6867,52482,00.html
Thanks, what's 'interlining'?
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Old Aug 5, 11, 1:21 pm   #4
 
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Last week I checked in a box from MEL-SYD-LAX-ORD. No problems at all. Picked it up and LAX and redroped it for the flight to ORD.

It was about the size of a copy paper box.
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Old Aug 5, 11, 1:22 pm   #5
 
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I've done it before, although maybe 4-5 years ago, FWIW.
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Old Aug 5, 11, 1:48 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acousticbiker View Post
Thanks, what's 'interlining'?
Where bags checked with one airline are 'inter-(air)-lined' onto a connecting flight.

I like the fact that there is still a United Air Lines sign on a shed at ORD Anyone know if CO has any facilities still branded as "Varney Speed Lines"?
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Old Aug 5, 11, 1:51 pm   #7
 
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In 2010, I checked a cardboard box full of wine (12 bottles in styrofoam) from EZE to LAX. Other than having to sign the "fragile" waiver, we had no problem.
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Old Aug 5, 11, 3:49 pm   #8
 
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Done it quite a few times on domestic and international legs - it shouldn't be a problem. Mine was like a small box you get from either the UPS store or Home Depot.
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Old Aug 5, 11, 3:59 pm   #9
 
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I pretty much moved my apartment half-way across the country.... one flight at a time. You'd be amazed at how fast 3 x 70 lbs per trip can get your stuff moved.
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Old Aug 5, 11, 5:39 pm   #10
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I've checked boxes to Brazil a number of times and have seen many others, usually every trip, and I travel that route monthly.
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Old Aug 5, 11, 5:42 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobo13 View Post
I pretty much moved my apartment half-way across the country.... one flight at a time. You'd be amazed at how fast 3 x 70 lbs per trip can get your stuff moved.
I have furnished my house in Granada, NI (excluding furniture, although many floor fans and lamp and tables) this way. With 3 people with 3 bags/boxes x 70 lbs, it was easy. Mostly packed in large suitcases but many boxes as well.
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Old Aug 5, 11, 5:53 pm   #12
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I often have done it on UA, LH, and LX, when taking gifts for friends or bringing home souvenirs/gifts. Never been a problem in over 30 years.
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Old Aug 6, 11, 3:05 pm   #13
 
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Boxes on UA

We brought a bunch of boxes back from MUC to ORD. No problems at all. Just seal them well, make sure you have your details on them and the UA gate agent will put one of the baggage tags on it.

You can ask for the fragile stickers as well but we all know what that means to a ramp rat......................
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Old Aug 6, 11, 4:47 pm   #14
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I think the only thing to be careful about is wine and other alcohol, they require it to be

Quote:
When placed in checked baggage, glass bottles must be in a Styrofoam-type insert that is molded to the shape of the bottle and completely encloses the bottle
so that some of the new packaging with cardboard separators may not be accepted, though I have personally never seen them actually check.

Other than that, as long as the size and weight is OK, there should not be any issue.
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Old Aug 6, 11, 5:00 pm   #15
 
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Have checked boxes on international TPAC trips (all on UA or mixed metal) successfully over the past 5-7 years. No issues whatsoever as long as you observe the weight and size limits. My record includes stuff like small weber grills, PC, color printer and a lamp.

As far as the airlines are concerned, there is little difference between a suitcase and a box. Some advice I have been given is to i) use original packaging where possible, ii) avoid wrapping string/rope around the box to make a handle or loop, iii) seal with proper pressure sensitive tape.

The string thing always seem to catch people by surprise but apparently these can be caught on baggage handling equipment and will rip the entire thing.
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