Hold temperatures for checked luggage

Old Feb 5, 19, 12:11 am
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Hold temperatures for checked luggage

Hello,
Probably not strictly for the BA forum - but it's the only forum I really use and I do normally fly with BA (hope this is ok).
I'm hoping to take some special kinds of Japanese sake back from Japan. These particular types are supposed to be kept refrigerated before being opened (at least that is what the knowledge staff in Isetan kept on insisting!)

I'm assuming that the hold temperature is quite cool - but actually I have no idea. I'm only going on the fact that often bags arrive on the baggage carousel quite cool - but perhaps that is only during the winter months. Does anyone know what the temperature would be like on a long flight from Tokyo to London?

Arigato
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Old Feb 5, 19, 12:40 am
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From memory, and a brief stint at BA Wolrd Cargo way back when, the general hold is heated to protect luggage from feezzing temperatures at 36K plus feet. But only to 10 degrees or so. Itíll be warmer than that in the baggage handling areas of NRT and LHR, though Iím sure a few hours wonít do much damage... unless left on the tarmac in the summer!
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Old Feb 5, 19, 12:43 am
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Just to add, if you are concerned about it you could always put it in a small cool bag inside your luggage to insulate further, and add one of those ice pack things as well. However (and itís long enough ago for me not to be too worried about this confession) I did smuggle some British sausage and bacon into Japan one Christmas so I could make authentic pigs in blankets, and they survived in regular checked luggage!!
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Old Feb 5, 19, 1:25 am
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Good advice on the cooler and ice pack. I would not be too concerned going winter to winter destination. A nice 40 degree day in Sydney and that’s another story.
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Old Feb 5, 19, 1:47 am
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Originally Posted by Koru Flyer View Post
Good advice on the cooler and ice pack. I would not be too concerned going winter to winter destination. A nice 40 degree day in Sydney and that’s another story.
I carried 10+ packs of Tim Tams from Australia at friends' request. I briefly considered carrying them as hand luggage but decided I found it a bit much.

So I packed them with 4 large sealed ice blocks around them, and then wrapped them all together in bubble wraps, and placed them in a chiller bag, and then in a suitcase (in an air conditioned place).

They survived Australian heat (height of summer) and Singapore heat OK, and did not have any sign of melting.

By the time I reached the destination approximately 24 hours later, the chiller blocks had melted completely, but they were still quite cold. They did the job while they were needed. No concerns at the destination - norther hemisphere winter.
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Old Feb 5, 19, 1:51 am
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Reminds me of the time MJN nearly froze a cat

From the flight deck voice recorder

MARTIN: How long can a cat survive in an unheated hold at thirty-four thousand feet?
DOUGLAS: Oh, I used to know this one. It’s always coming up in pub quizzes.
MARTIN: Yes, all right.
DOUGLAS: Now then, is it three hours and twenty-eight seconds, or is that a weasel in a submarine?
MARTIN: You don’t know?
DOUGLAS: I regret not, but I wouldn’t hold out too much hope for the answer being ‘eight hours.’
MARTIN: Oh God. I’m going to have to kill the client’s cat!
DOUGLAS: It’s looking that way.
MARTIN: I can’t kill the client’s cat!
DOUGLAS: That’s also true.
MARTIN: But what else can I do?
DOUGLAS: I suppose you could always ...
MARTIN: I can’t. I can’t divert. She’ll hunt me down. She’ll actually hunt me down with knives.
DOUGLAS: Whereas if we carry on and freeze the client’s cat to death ...?
MARTIN: Also knives. Big knives. If we ... if we did carry on and the cat didn’t make it, d’you think they’d be able to tell how it died?
DOUGLAS: Again, I fear you flatter my knowledge of cat pathology.
MARTIN: I don’t see how they could. I mean, it’s not as if it’s gonna freeze into a block of ice, is it?
DOUGLAS: Not unless it’s a cartoon cat, no.
MARTIN: I mean, it’s not as if the Cat CSI’s gonna descend on us.
DOUGLAS: I wouldn’t have thought so. They’re so busy these days.
MARTIN: I mean, I know it’s a bit rotten – for the cat – but ten thousand pounds to divert is quite a lot, isn’t it?
DOUGLAS: A fair bit. And Carolyn ...
MARTIN: ... and the knives, yes. So, what d’you think? Is that reasonable? That’s reasonable, isn’t it? Isn’t it?
DOUGLAS: It’s a command decision, Sir. All yours.
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Old Feb 5, 19, 1:51 am
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Originally Posted by LTN Phobia View Post
I carried 10+ packs of Tim Tams from Australia at friends' request. I briefly considered carrying them as hand luggage but decided I found it a bit much.

So I packed them with 4 large sealed ice blocks around them, and then wrapped them all together in bubble wraps, and placed them in a chiller bag, and then in a suitcase (in an air conditioned place).

They survived Australian heat (height of summer) and Singapore heat OK, and did not have any sign of melting.
I wouldn't be surprised if Tim Tams are practically indestructible anyway. Might you not find them stocked by ambient temperature shops way out in country areas?
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Old Feb 5, 19, 2:00 am
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
I wouldn't be surprised if Tim Tams are practically indestructible anyway. Might you not find them stocked by ambient temperature shops way out in country areas?
I get melted chocolate on my fingers if I am too slow eating it, so it does melt at approx. 37 degrees centigrade, possibly lower.

Given the Australian baggage handlers' apparent/alleged favourite activities of of leaving suitcases out in the blazing sun, and my suitcases being dark, it's possible that the internal temperature of the suitcase might reach something fairly inhospitable even to Tim Tams

(In fact, they did melt on my previous, identical itinerary, hence the preparation.)
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Old Feb 5, 19, 2:12 am
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Back when I was serving in Afghanistan, I was sent a comfort package including a pack of Haribo star mix. It was a ridiculously hot summer and the package had clearly been left in the open for some time as it had melted and fused into one big 'mega haribo block'. Best haribo ever...
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Old Feb 5, 19, 2:23 am
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I think you'll find that the Sake needs to be served cold but it won't matter if it isn't transported cold.
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Old Feb 5, 19, 2:28 am
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I used to date an American who regularly brought frozen meat over from the US. He'd pack an entire suitcase with steaks individually wrapped in foil and they arrived still frozen. Ones on the outside were starting to thaw somewhat but I figured that the hold must be pretty cool to survive that long.
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Old Feb 5, 19, 2:33 am
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It depends on the aircraft, which bit of the cargo hold your bag ends up in, and what temperature the crew set it to. Usually it's a few degrees cooler than the cabin but its not refrigerator temperatures. Insulate it.
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Old Feb 5, 19, 2:46 am
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On a flight deck visit last week I was there while the FO was discussing the manifest with the skipper and I seem to recall they were allowing for prawns in the hold. So I guess also there's some specific variance sector by sector based on cargo loads???
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Old Feb 5, 19, 4:00 am
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The hold temperature control also depends on the aircraft. The A380 and 787 have far more precise hold temperature control than the 777 and particularly the 747. Hence there is a preference for the 787 on routes with lucrative temperature sensitive cargo - seafood, pharmaceuticals, etc.
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Old Feb 5, 19, 4:03 am
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Originally Posted by flatlander View Post
The hold temperature control also depends on the aircraft. The A380 and 787 have far more precise hold temperature control than the 777 and particularly the 747. Hence there is a preference for the 787 on routes with lucrative temperature sensitive cargo - seafood, pharmaceuticals, etc.
The most valuable cargo revenue wise is tropical fish.
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