DFW - PLS: Can I Check a Cooler?

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Old Apr 27, 16, 1:12 pm
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DFW - PLS: Can I Check a Cooler?

Traveling with a group to PLS in 2 weeks. We wish to check-in a cooler for on-island use. We will not have any food, ice or drinks inside the cooler at check-in, just random dry goods.

I have heard conflicting information from the PLT desk. One says you cannot check a cooler into the Caribbean/Mexico, while another said no problem, just close it with a TSA approved strap.

Anyone here with direct knowledge/experience in this matter??

Thanks
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Old Apr 27, 16, 1:21 pm
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You can.

AA imposes an embargo on overweight (over 70 lb) and oversize baggage and boxes as baggage (including plastic tubs and coolers) during the peak winter and summer weeks and PLS is typically on the list of embargoed destinations, but the embargo generally doesn't start until mid June so a trip in two weeks would be fine.
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Old Apr 27, 16, 1:24 pm
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Observe the baggage carousel at MCO for 5 minutes and you'll have your answer. Yee-hawww!
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Old Apr 27, 16, 2:03 pm
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So long as it's within weight and size dimensions, it won't be a problem. But, make sure that anything in it doesn't violate local Customs/Agriculture restrictions or you will have a mess on your hands on arrival.

AA will likely ask you to sign a waiver against it being cracked as these things get tossed around and aren't designed for it.

Are you sure you can't purchase a cheap one for use down there and then toss it at the end of your trip?
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Old Apr 27, 16, 2:11 pm
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I would buy one there. Why mess with it. Put a bathing suite a couple pairs of shorts and shirts in a carry one and be done with it.
We've done carry on a couple times to PLS and we're on our way to hotel before the rest of the plane gets their luggage
You're with a group, you can all chip in a couple of bucks and buy one there and leave it. Where are you staying? Did you check with them? They may have one can use.
Just a thought...
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Old Apr 27, 16, 3:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
AA will likely ask you to sign a waiver against it being cracked as these things get tossed around and aren't designed for it.
I've never seen AA do this for a cooler. I've actually read that a cooler is an excellent container for transporting fragile items because they're virtually indestructible versus a box.
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Old Apr 27, 16, 4:23 pm
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Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
Observe the baggage carousel at MCO for 5 minutes and you'll have your answer. Yee-hawww!
This!

Make sure you get one with wheels 'cause then you can use it as a trailer park rollaboard
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Old Apr 27, 16, 8:09 pm
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I have checked a cooler on aa to central america. No issues. Just be careful what you bring back with you, and be prepared to find it opened, and in the oversized luggage area. And some funny looks in the airport
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Old Apr 27, 16, 10:15 pm
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I live in Medellin, Colombia and lived eight years in San Jose, Costa Rica prior to that. The policy has always been that outside of embargo dates (this year's next posted embargo period is June 18 through September 1) you may carry a cooler that does not exceed the size and weight restrictions of any other checked bag.

After reviewing AA's "clear-as-mud" checked bags policy details, a phone call seemed in order to confirm that there has not been another change while I slept last night. Tonight's agent confirmed that a cooler is allowed for my May 1st flight, but she also said I'm limited to three checked bags, even though I am EXP with a ticket purchased prior to the reduced baggage allowance announcement. I know she's wrong about that.

When I checked in at MDE on Sunday with 4 bags, they tried to tell me I could only take 3 or pay for a 4th, but a quick call solved it. I'm praying I don't have to go through that every time I fly on my remaining pre-change purchased tickets.

As an alternative suggestion to taking a separate cooler, I carry three large B&R rolling duffle bags. When traveling on airlines with a 3 bag limit, I have a good sized cooler that will go inside of one without a problem. Although I can't take back as many things per trip using that option, it sure is better than nothing. I need my favorite Gringo food, and very little of that is available in Latin America. Less in Colombia than Costa Rica.
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Old Apr 28, 16, 6:49 am
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Originally Posted by KenInEscazu View Post
I need my favorite Gringo food, and very little of that is available in Latin America.
You can't just leave us hanging like that...you gotta name names. What are we talkin' here? Cheese curds?
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Old Apr 28, 16, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
You can't just leave us hanging like that...you gotta name names. What are we talkin' here? Cheese curds?
Number one indispensable (for me) is breakfast sausage. There is nothing even close down there.

Local cheese goes bad after about 3 days. I can buy some at PriceSmart, but not all.

Claussen Pickles, Marie's Salad Dressing, barbeque brisket, Polska Kielbasa... All of these things must remain cool. There are a few other things I may toss in on any given trip to fill the open spaces and keep things from being loose and broken.

I "could" live without these things, but I sure would miss them.
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Old Apr 28, 16, 7:50 am
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Originally Posted by KenInEscazu View Post
Number one indispensable (for me) is breakfast sausage. There is nothing even close down there.

Local cheese goes bad after about 3 days. I can buy some at PriceSmart, but not all.

Claussen Pickles, Marie's Salad Dressing, barbeque brisket, Polska Kielbasa... All of these things must remain cool. There are a few other things I may toss in on any given trip to fill the open spaces and keep things from being loose and broken.

I "could" live without these things, but I sure would miss them.
Sounds like the flip side to when I lived in N. Europe and would return from the US with a bag full of chili peppers, salsa, tortillas, ...
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Old Apr 28, 16, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by rjw242 View Post
Sounds like the flip side to when I lived in N. Europe and would return from the US with a bag full of chili peppers, salsa, tortillas, ...
I did that, too, when I lived in France. Lots of funny stories about Velveeta (queso dip is an expat party favorite).
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Old Apr 28, 16, 8:09 am
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Originally Posted by KenInEscazu View Post
Number one indispensable (for me) is breakfast sausage. There is nothing even close down there.

Local cheese goes bad after about 3 days. I can buy some at PriceSmart, but not all.

Claussen Pickles, Marie's Salad Dressing, barbeque brisket, Polska Kielbasa... All of these things must remain cool. There are a few other things I may toss in on any given trip to fill the open spaces and keep things from being loose and broken.

I "could" live without these things, but I sure would miss them.
Mmmmm, those sound like good choices to me. Especially the Claussen pickles. Love those. The shelf-stable brands just don't compare.
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Old Apr 28, 16, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
Mmmmm, those sound like good choices to me. Especially the Claussen pickles. Love those. The shelf-stable brands just don't compare.
Thanks for the affirmation. I saw a post in another thread referring to Diet Mountain Dew as "stupid stuff." Well, I guess that makes me stupid. I shudder to think about life without my Caffeine Free Diet Dr Pepper. I can't even find that in many parts of the US, but I am originally from TX, don't drink sugar and caffeine after 5:00 PM keeps me awake.

Like those living in Europe, I also take back salsa from TX or Green Chiles from New Mexico. Although I love and eat Colombian aji picante, flavors from "home" - no matter where one's home is - make a noticeable difference in quality of life.
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