We often get emails, from people who book on our trips, asking about how they can get a kayak on a plane. Whilst we have a fleet of new Pyranha hire boats and a selection of older boats from Liquidlogic, Dagger and Perception we also understand that people wish to paddle the boat they use at home.
We have flown out of the UK many times during the years and have mixed reports from various airlines. Biman, Jet, Emirates and Qatar appear to take boats without booking. Just make sure that you are under your allowed weight range for your ticket. Virgin also offer a good package. If you suspect that you will be in a grey area it is worth looking into the airline policy on ‘sports baggage’ as this may allow you to bring such equipment.
When packing for the trip if we have a short trip then we load all our personal gear in the kayak, snap on an old spray skirt and its a self contained unit. We fly with paddles in either a paddle bag or loose. Splits fit in our boats. Our hand luggage (about 7kg) carries our clothes and electronics.
If we have a longer trip then we pack a bag along with the kayak and paddles, but this takes us over our 2 bag per person limit, so its worth thinking about option one, as some airline charge for an extra bag. Once in Nepal, or indeed any other country ground logistics may be a challenge. In Nepal and India we use local transport when it is not possible to use our our private bus and 4×4.