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|| News Item: Posted 1998-12-13

Travel Tales
Part 2

By Ron Vesely

I've recently experienced very similar whoa's with regard to airline baggage "definitions".

Up until this fall, United never once (well once, in SFO!) questioned my cart as being "part of the bag count" when traveling, due in part to my being either a Premier or Premier Executive.... This fall, the topic of the cart being "extra baggage" was brought up, but twice supervisors cleared the way without problem.

The past two weeks, however, were very different. It seems what happened to you in SFO happened to me (United hub city... hard line enforcement??). Not only was I basically told it would cost me $50 by the ticket agent, the supervisor on duty supported her ticket agent. When I asked specifically what "the rules" were pertaining to carts, she found carts were not addressed specifically. I suggested that then, perhaps, carts were a judgement call... I made mention that I was seated in a bulkhead, and that since United will not allow carts to be stored overhead, why couldn't it be checked N/C ? She said the aircraft had a closet, put it in there... gets better. I could not fit my cart thru the "template" at xray... about an inch too wide! Luckily, the guy working my xray machine helped me by walking it around...

But there is hope. For those who use the "Versa-Flex" long lens cases (Roberts Distributors and Calument carry them), Larry Nolan, the owner of Versa-Flex, has constructed a slip over (attaches with velcro and quick release plastic clasps) cover with a padded, built in, zippered enclosure that holds beautifully a "RuXXac" Extra Long fold flat cart!! Now, when you get to check in, just slip the cart into the enclosure and you now have "one bag"! With a 400 and a 600, w/cart, you will still be under the 70 lb limit.

Bob Rosato has been using this set-up for a few months and reported to me that he likes it very much. I just got mine and it goes on the road this weekend.

For details, I suggest giving Larry Nolan a call at 800-837-7235. He can give you additional information on price, how to order, etc. I am a big believer in his long lens cases. I have used mine for over 4 years and it has held up well, as well as my lenses! Please let him know I referred you to him. I have helped beta test many versions of his cases and assorted peripherals. He will also custom build anything you want. Very good to work with and small enough to personally get involved.

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