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Jan 20, 2014 10:25 PM

How to transport le creuset on plane?

Hi, I have bought a 5.5 LC dutch oven for a friend. She will fly to the US from England and I will surprise her with the gift. I hesitate to mail it because of the huge fee, and she will get tariff charges. LC is more expensive on UK ebay so I got it here in the US. She will like it but will have to lug it from the airport to her home. Any suggestions on how to make the trip bearable for my friend? Thank you.

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  1. Pack into a box, with a handle. It can travel as additional luggage piece. Will the tariff for extra baggage be worth the price difference?

    2 Replies
    1. re: KarenDW

      Thanks for your response. I will look for a handle. :) I don't know how much she pays for extra baggage. I hope it'll be worthwhile for her! Maybe will have to warn her in much for surprises!

      1. re: lafondu

        International baggage fees are pretty high and vary depending on your ticket "rate class" and the airline.

        $60 ship plus VAT may be cheaper if she can't fit into her luggage. Definitely warn her so she can plan accordingly. With strategic packing in a piece of luggage which isn't overstuffed, they don't take up as much volume as might think if you put underwear and shirts in and around the dutch oven.

    2. Hi, lafondue:

      Unfortunately, the only predictable way to make your friend's life easier is going to be to put the pot in her checked baggage. You never know if/when the helpful TSA screener is going to call a carry-on item a "bludgeoning weapon". I once tried to carry on a small sacred rock, and was told I could not board with it. And they will not tell you in advance.

      If you know your friend is checking bags (and is at least 10 lbs shy of the weight limit), checking might not cost anything. But if you're the least bit unlucky, you might be ahead to pay the postage.


      1. You should also find out whether the U.K. will make her pay duty on the kettle when she goes through customs upon her return home.

        2 Replies
        1. re: John E.

          That's true. If it is a gift I hope they will not be so strict! Thx :)

          1. re: lafondu

            True gifts are generally exempt but, proving it was a gift can be difficult at times. A discreet receipt might be helpful here.

            I also know a lot of Europeans, especially British/Irish/Scottish citizens, come to New York to buy clothes because it is so much cheaper. H&M might be starting to change this but, before school starts, around holidays, etc. you would often see Europeans arriving with lightly packed bags only to depart with the same bags overstuffed and testing zipper integrity.

        2. Use the pot and leave it slightly soiled.Put in a plastic bag,
          That way it will be "used" and hopefully not subject to duty taxes.

          2 Replies
          1. re: subal

            Thanks, well at least we can pour water in it....she will be in a hotel! US customs are usually nice about gifts and used things; I have no idea about the UK.

            1. re: subal

              Oh I just researched. The cost of one 5.5 LC pot is under the limit for UK tariff. Of course if you are bringing in lots, that is another story! :)