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Dolls on a plane?

Mar 30, 2017

    1. Excuse me while I giggle at my own joke...

      Anyway, I'm going on a trip this summer and really want to bring at least one doll with me! But I'm wondering over the logistics of bringing a doll on a plane and everything. So my question is, have you ever brought a doll on a plane or long trip with you? How did/would you go about it? I really don't think I want to put any of my boys in checked luggage, but even a carry-on seems a little dubious... I wonder if a doll carrying case would count as a carry-on itself. I'm not sure! But this trip is too good a photo opportunity to pass up.

      Any experience/advice? It would be greatly appreciated! :3nodding:
      • x 1
    2. I've taken my pukipuki with me on an airplane, as well as my Littlefee, Stella. Small dolls tend to pass without comment from TSA, and I made sure to have a hard case with me so if I had to pop them into my bag, I could. I have a little hard cardboard case box that fits a small doll easily and it's well padded. I'd never travel with a doll without a hard bag- the one time I moved an MSD in a soft bag on a plane flight, he broke a hand by being squished.
      For a smaller doll a hard case is easy to find- you can repurpose and line any sufficiently tough box that will fit and stay closed. I carry my Puki with me in a steel, leather covered glasses case, and my LTFs travel either in a wine bottle box or the cardboard "suitcase" box. An old hard lunchbox may also work.
      You just have to be totally certain not to misplace the doll box! Putting your contact info and an address, and a reward ad if it's lost and returned, inside your case (and maybe on a paper inside your doll!) might be a good idea just in case.
      • x 1
    3. I've flown with two SDs in a Volks SD carrier and the bag fell within the Virgin America carry-on restrictions, so I had no trouble at all! The bag fit in the overhead compartment. I mention the airline, because if memory serves correct, Southwest's planes were smaller and may not be able to accommodate the length of an SD carrier where the dolls are lying down.

      The bag did count as one of my carry-ons though, so for my trip I did check my suitcase and had the dolls up with me. I would be way too worried if they were in checked luggage, the way they throw that around :shudder
    4. I tend to travel overseas, so "travel-size" 1/6 dolls is what I choose to bring. :3

      I've never had issues with bringing one in my carry-on, though I do mention to the people doing the screening that I have an "artist doll" in my case and I politely request careful handling if it needs to be examined. I pack extra eye putty and S-hooks/elastic in my check-in bag, just in case security decides to restrict those items.
      • x 1
    5. I just brought two SDs and a Dear SD in a Volks carrier bag with me on a plane (Japan Airlines). No-one opened the bag or anything, I had no problems.
      And it's not my first time to bring SDs with me on a plane. I never had any problems and having them close to me made me feel more comfortable about flying :)
    6. I've brought MSDs and SDs on planes about... 3 or 4 times now I think? I always bring one with me and just carry them. I've never been questioned about it. Then I pack the others carefully in a backpack. I've never had them examined or anything, they just go through the little security conveyor belt and it's been fine every time. Even the time when I was kept for extra screening due to not having a gov-issued ID on me, and they had to go through my bag and examine my doll, the examiner was actually really careful and asked me to tell him if he was handling the doll too roughly.
      It's important to note that I've only traveled within the US, though, I have yet to take a doll on an international flight. I imagine it wouldn't be a problem but some governments might have more strict security, I'm not sure.
    7. Never flown with mine but if I was to I'd put her in a solid polycarbonate case which complies with all of the airlines regulation sizes for hand baggage. I wouldn't want to put her in the hold as temperature and pressure may affect the resin in some way. You can pad out the free space in the bag with a few of your clothes for good protection.
      • x 1
    8. Thank you all so much! I'm planning to take an MSD, but I don't have a hard box for him that isn't enormous... Maybe I'll look for one in the meantime, because I feel like that would be the best way to keep him in my carry-on and still feel like he's safe. I always bring a backpack on planes, so I'll look for something that would fit in mine!
    9. I've flown with both my on-topic Planetdoll MSD Riz and an off-topic SD (Pullip Isul/Hujoo Io hybrid) as a carry on in my backpack. I prefer the doll in carry ons, because I can ensure that the doll isn't bumped when I slide it under the seat in front of me (in the bag, of course!).

      I sit them down in the bottom so that their feet are parallel to the bottom of the bag, and cross their hands upward toward their face. I usually then wedge something soft on either side of their hands (to prevent their arms from moving from one side of the bag to the other), and wrap something around their feet.

      I generally remove wigs because it's easier to take a peek to see that they are OK if there isn't a furry octopus sticking to the zippers and velcro of the bag.

      I've had zero problems, although, if I had eyelashes in my doll, I might add a face protector.
    10. I've brought SD dolls with me on Delta flights before. I very carefully pad, fold and pack the doll (or dolls) into a backpack, and bring them with me as a carry-on. My backpack actually fits an SD pretty easily, even with lots of padding.

      The Security checkpoint people barely bat an eyelash. I was super nervous the first time I brought a doll with me, but Security really doesn't care, from what I've observed. I have to believe they've seen muuuuch weirder things than dolls pass under those x-ray scanners.

      On the airplane itself, I store the backpack at my feet, to prevent it from getting bumped by random luggage in the overhead compartment. It works surprisingly well.

      If you're staying at a hotel during your trip, I would also suggest bringing at least one standard luggage lock, so that you can store and lock your dolls away in your suitcase or similar while you're out. My biggest fear on trips is that the doll will be stolen.
      #10 Ashvolt, Mar 31, 2017
      Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
    11. I've traveled on planes with all three of my boys at one time or another-- it was just a question of having a carry-case for them that fit under my seat (easier with MSD and smaller), and distributing all of my purse stuff between that and my laptop case so that I was at the limit of how many bags I could have with me as carry-on.
    12. I've brought an MSD on domestic and international flights. I had a small suitcase as my carry-on and put her in that so that she sat on the bottom. I had a face protector on her and I cushioned her with soft items. I had no issues with bringing her on - TSA has seen much weirder things.
    13. I flew with four SDs, two in a Luts carrier bag and two nicely wrapped into a SD box (which was huge) in Europe and changed planes. I flew with Lufthansa and behind the last seat row there was (is) enough space for the big box and the carrier bag was in the overhead compartment. I had my suitcase put to the luggage, but besides the carrier bag and box I still had my handbag. I'm very good in explaining, so that's why I could take the extra box inside. Changing planes was a bit tricky because I was alone, so I had to carry everything with me ...
    14. Never travelled with a doll but I used to travel with toys all the time and they were in a backpack. Nobody batted an eyelid. The most searching I ever got was because my old 80s walkman of oldness shows up weird on xrays and isn't something any of the staff are used to seeing, so they're all "wth is that!??" and then are even more baffled when they find the beaten up tape player and i'm all "yep, i'm totally that hipster lol". (not really, I just loved that tape player and it was cheaper than losing my mp3 player going to dodgy parts of the world)

      You definitely want them carry on, never ever ever check anything you can't stand to lose or that's breakable. I mean yeesh, they are horrible to checked luggage. I've had bags come back with literally BOOT MARKS on them.
      If you can, don't check anything. We used to travel a lot and my dad was paranoid about checked luggage so it was "only what you can carry"
      We traveled the world with only hand luggage, it takes some crafty packing but it's doable.
      You'd have to check the allowances, it's been a while since I flew but last I went you were allowed one small case that could fit in the overhead compartment and a small backpack/carry bag. I'd want to keep the doll as close to me as possible. If it's small enough I might even just carry the thing. I'm paranoid.
    15. I'm surprised by all your answers! I wanted to take my Momoni girl with me on a plane (because I will leave France and go to England for a year; I don't want to leave her behind) but I remember last time I went to an airport. Because of the emergency state in France, they check everything very carefully and don't joke around. Since my doll has metallic parts, I don't really know what to do. Maybe I should take her out and put her with the electronic and metallic things, when they check shoes, computers, etc. and then gently put her back in my backpack, what do you think?
    16. I've traveled with dolls plenty of times. I've never had issues with security or the size of the carrier. For larger dolls I use a carrier, but for 1/6 I just use my regular carry on bag. I do use the pillows from the inside of the doll boxes to make sure they're safe, or wrap my doll in something like a scarf before putting in my carry on.
    17. I'm going to the PNW BJD expo coming up here in May, and I want to bring my 65cm IH SID with me... last year I just put him in a scrunched (and terribly uncomfortable I'm afraid :/) position and wrapped him in some spare upholstery foam, and put him in my rolly carry on.... this year I'd like to treat him a bit nicer, and since Migidoll will be at the convention, there's distinct possibility that I will be bring home another big doll, so... any thoughts on how to carry on two 65cm dolls? Plus I have my 60cm whom I just hold, or sit in my totebag...... and maybe my MSD, because I can't leave him out! I'll be flying Southwest Airlines.

      Oh and last year I did have to go through extra screening because I only had a temporary ID while the new one was in the mail, and they were very gentle and careful around the dolls :)

      @KiyoshiSenshi I'm giggling at your joke too :)
      • x 1
    18. This is an EXTREMELY helpful thread, as I will be flying across the US for family vacation in May and then going to Japan in July! I had never considered bringing a doll with me on a trip, but after seeing on DoA that others have done it, I'm like "Why haven't I thought of that before??"
      My dolls are all around SD size (two 65's and a 55 cm), so I anticipated flights with them would be tricky. Ultimately, I will have to check carry-on guidelines for the airlines, but I'm thinking that, since I'm only bringing one doll with me on my family vacation, maybe I could just carry him with me on the flight, instead of in a bag? @TheBodyVolcanic Am I right in thinking that's what you did on your flight?
      Traveling with all three, though (and on an international flight), I would definitely want them all together in a bag or a case. So, I have a similar question to Ellidyr's: Any recommendations for something that would fit 3 SD's--even if they have to sit on top of each other? :P I'm worried an actual bjd case would be too long as a carry-on.
      • x 1
    19. I did this the first few times I traveled with a doll (once with an SD and once with a MSD). It works pretty well, in my opinion. I'm just terribly shy and the doll draws attention and people like to ask hahaha. But it's also cute because you can take vacation photos of the doll wherever you go much easier since they're already out!
    20. Hi, I have a couple of trips planned and I want to bring two of my SD's with me but I am scared they will get damaged. Any advice or suggestions for carryon luggage or something that can be checked but that will keep them safe? Anyone flown with large BJDs before and had a good experience? thanks!