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A stupid question about baggage

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  • A stupid question about baggage

    Every ship I've joined so far has been in the UK so I have never worried about how much my bag weighs (other than the fact i'd have to carry it). However tomorrow I join a ship and my company has given me a 40kg allowance for my flight. I just weighed my bag and its only 20kg. Does this mean am not taking enough stuff?

  • #2
    Depends how long you're at sea I would presume..

    Hatchorder wrote a good piece on what to take to sea for 3 to 4 months which is here:

    If your previous trips had the same duration and you took the same amount of stuff then I imagine you will be fine.


    • #3
      Previous trips were 2 months this one is 4. I have everything on hatchorders list apart from prescription for my glasses, never thought of that. And no PPE as have been told will get it on ship


      • #4
        Lucky you! My company only gave me 20kg baggage allowance. 20kg is managable but if you have to take a lot of books or your own PPE then it would be a bit difficult.


        • #5
          My company usually only usually books 30 but tickets say 40


          • #6
            40kg is the standard allowance for seafarers, it is a limit not a target. So long as you have the stuff on Hatchorder's list and enough suitable clothing to last a week in whichever climate you will be in then you should be fine. You shouldn't need any more for a 4 month trip than for a 2 month one.

            Have a good trip.
            Go out, do stuff


            • #7
              Clanky is right. I believe that ALL of the schedule Airlines have a unilateral agreement to allow seafarers to have a 40kg baggage allowance. It was thus in my day and so shall it remain to my knowledge! I believe that the only stipulation from the airlines is that the seafarer must show joining papers or their discharge book at check in.

              The one thing that has changed was that when we joined, if you were joining with crew, then there had to be a class distinction and therefore Officers got booked into business class. It was only some companies that had the policy, but we used to love it when we turned up at the airport and were told we were traveling Business Class!

              Funnily enough number one son is off to sea on Friday at short notice so a quick print out of the list and packed in 12 hours - so even I use the list! Just a shame the lazy little bar steward does not sort it himself! Just wish there was an article for that as well!

              "Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester.
              "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear." - Buzzy Trent

              "Careers at Sea" Ambassador - Experience of General Cargo, Combo ships, Tanker, Product Carrier, Gas Carrier, Ro-Ro, Reefer Container, Anchor Handlers.


              • #8
                It is worth noting that while your total limit is 40kg there is also a limit for the individual bag, which I believe is 26kg, might depend on airline though. So you have to take 2 bags which can be a pain if you are just over the limit.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by gadget123 View Post
                  It is worth noting that while your total limit is 40kg there is also a limit for the individual bag, which I believe is 26kg, might depend on airline though. So you have to take 2 bags which can be a pain if you are just over the limit.
                  23 kg with British Airways! (I know, I had to transfer a couple of boilersuits to my carry on luggage).

                  Plus, the weight allowance comes because normally you're ticket is not a normal ticket, but a marine fare ticket. These usually include the higher baggage allowance and are as flexible as a very flexible thing....
                  I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

                  All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.


                  • #10
                    Yes, to clarify, just because you have a discharge book or are a seafarer does not entitle you to the 40kg baggage allowance. The 40kg is applicable to SEMN fares which are offered by some airlines and can be booked upto 3 months in advance and are fully flexible (they cost more then your non flexible cheap tickets from expedia, but less then a fully flex ticket normally offered). Exceptions occur with some airlines and some aircraft when it comes to the baggage allowance (for instance Eastern Airways on the Jetstream only allow 20kg).
                    You need to go into 'Manage your Booking' on the airlines website or or and see what it specifies for your baggage allowance. You can take two bags of 20kg for instance, but even if the airline normally has a '23kg' policy, they will normally allow you to take a single bag of upto 30kg on a seaman ticket.
                    When flying on a SEMN ticket you may need to present your discharge book or joining letter at checkin (even if you've checked in online), failure to do so can result in your being denied boarding. I was booking flights for a crewmember at the last minute and didn't get chance to send a letter and in Singapore BA made me fax through a letter at the very last minute.

                    One thing about the PPE, just because you've been told it will be available for you onboard, doesn't mean it will be. Seriously, I have joined several ships where I have been told this and it's always been utter bollox. Either the stuff hasn't been delivered, or they have the wrong sizes onboard. At the least I'd take a boiler suit and boots to be on the safe side. You tend to need a lot less then you think you'll need.

                    Also, always take a spare pair of clothes and toothbrush in your hand carry (in addition to all important paperwork/computer), because if you end up with an unexpected delay or your baggage is delayed on arrival, at least you'll have something to change into.


                    • #11

                      finally a thread where I can actually offer significant information!!!

                      First of all you OBVIOUSLY need to have you discharge book with you when doing (what's known in the airline industry as) "duty travel"... (if you only say you are a sailor doesn't really help anyone with anything! think about it!)

                      first of all you need to understand that seafaring and airline work share a lot of common principals and terminology but most importantly a shared understanding of certain situations

                      thusly please let me reassure you that -at least- when on duty travel no sailor is considered as "a member of the herd" but more as a peer of sorts! (as far as I was concerned when working for one anyway, I can't attest for the rest of my former colleagues!)

                      now to the actual point of the conversation!!!

                      shipping companies being a major source of income and a rather valuable customer for airlines enjoy certain -substantial!- discounts

                      when on "duty travel" the check-in clerk can immediately tell so by looking at what is known as "fare basis" (a short aplhanumerical code you don't need to concern yourselves about!) that can immediately provide them with that information so all they need to do before they grant you the proper baggage allowance is to take a look at your discharge book (not actually examine it, they don't know what to look for other than your name on it anyway!)

                      so once your "sailor status" has been confirmed provided you are polite enough you "CAN GET AWAY WITH MURDER"!

                      so, to the best of my knowledge, most airlines nowadays employ the 2pc/pax rule (with an extra weight allowance per piece on top of that!) totaling

                      2 pieces per passenger of 32Kgr each

                      PLEASE keep in mind that even though this is the general rule there could be a tiiiiiiiny chance to come across an airline that for whatever reason doesn't follow that rule so please double-check with your carrier air line!

                      (I'll come back with a list of airline contact numbers to further assist!)
                      Do or don't, there is no try...


                      • #12
                        Good post Giorgos, but I'll just clarify again to prevent confusion. The increased baggage allowances does not relate to the discharge book or seafarer status, it relates to the fare category that your company has booked you on. Without accessing your booking on one of the aforementioned websites you booking you could be in for a surprise.
                        The requirement to show a discharge book and/or letter of guarantee is simply proof that you are entitled to a Seaman fare, however is rarely carried out.


                        • #13
                          also I should point out that call-center/information-center employees tend to be better informed that airport/check-in people!

                          MORE OFTEN THAN NOT! many airlines simply out-source this job to underpayed contractors that can completely ruin your day!!!

                          so if I may please let me offer you the following tip!

                          call your airline AT LEAST! a week ahead and have them confirm your baggage allowance, once you do that have them insert a comment/remark in your reservation so as to be clear that the rest of the people that also handle your air-ticket KNOW SO TOO!!!

                          IF you happen to come across a -to put it mildly- less that competent employee that tell's you that "in is not possible to use such remarks sir, due to data protection legislation" (or whatever nonsense!) INSIST!!!!!

                          and calmly remind them that even-though someone else payed for the ticket (the sipping company more like!) you are in fact the passenger and it is weeeeeeell within your rights!!!
                          Do or don't, there is no try...


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by YoungMariner View Post
                            [...]it relates to the fare category that your company has booked you on.[...]

                            most of the time this is not the case I'm afraid, the only distinction on that matter most of the time is between different "seat classes" ECO/BUS/FIRST etc

                            the "seafarer status" DOES matter believe me, I used to sell tickets and to the best of my knowledge this is how it is.

                            in recent years airlines have become a bit more flexible on the matter and offer variety of baggage charging options (that may also appear on your fare basis too*)

                            but the BEST advise I can offer on this is double-check with the carrier DIRECTLY!!!

                            try to make sure you are not talking to a contractor but a "direct-employee" and politely insist on having your fare conditions double-checked!

                            *pleeeeeeeeeeeeease do yourselves a favor and refrain from trying to interpret your ticket regulations just from a 5or6 letter code, it can take skilled professionals several minutes to do so and keep in mind that they have access to specialized data-bases with all the relevant information!!!!
                            Do or don't, there is no try...


                            • #15
                              Giorgos, if the ticket is not issued in the seaman fare category (occasionally when not available the agent will book a fully flex fare for last minute departures) or on a smaller aircraft, then no matter what remarks are out in the booking the airline is entitled to charge you excess baggage over and above the normal baggage allowance. In this case I personally would pay it and reclaim on expenses if possible.