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 Post subject: Camera Equipment on a Plane
PostPosted: March 11th, 2011, 5:35 pm 

Joined: August 1st, 2010, 11:48 am
Posts: 22
Location: SE Pennsylvania
Seeing Bart's post about tongs on a plane reminded me that I also have been wondering about something. How about camera equipment on a plane? I usually carry a nice-sized camera bag with a video camera, digital camera, spare batteries, memory cards, and a camera cleaning kit (with cleaning solution). I don't know which items I should carry on, which I should check in, etc. I'm sure they won't be happy if I carry on the cleaning solution. So, I was wondering how you guys handle this when you fly (I haven't flown in years). Should I just carry on my cameras and check the rest in? And will my cameras set off the metal detectors? I just went on a cruise and had no problems at all and carried on the whole camera bag with all the contents, but I know that they are not as strict on a cruise. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If it matters, I don't plan on leaving the country.


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 Post subject: Re: Camera Equipment on a Plane
PostPosted: March 11th, 2011, 6:06 pm 
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Joined: August 28th, 2010, 4:55 am
Posts: 57
Location: Northeast Texas
The camera stuff, as in bodies, lenses, etc.. should not be an issue. You may be asked to turn them on and they will have to go through the the x-ray scanner. They might have a issue with cleaner depending on the container and quantity. Best bet to contact the airline and ask about fluids I know they are supposed to be sealed in a zip lock bag.


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 Post subject: Re: Camera Equipment on a Plane
PostPosted: March 11th, 2011, 6:32 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:37 pm
Posts: 1207
Location: Ft. Smith, Arkansas
Cameras are not a problem to get on a plane, and I would HIGHLY suggest keeping them with you at all times and not checking them in. I'd check everything else I was taking with me before checking photo gear.


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 Post subject: Re: Camera Equipment on a Plane
PostPosted: March 11th, 2011, 6:36 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:36 am
Posts: 590
Location: Sydney, Australia
ABSOLUTELY carry your camera with you, no matter what.


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 Post subject: Re: Camera Equipment on a Plane
PostPosted: March 11th, 2011, 7:53 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:08 am
Posts: 663
I travelled around the country (and outside of it) with television news gear for many years. This involved a ton of gear at times. The camera itself was (until the last few years) huge, and then the lights, tripod, etc. All of it took up a ton of space, but I got it to work quite well when I used the tripod tube as my main checked item. I used the tube for all of the light stands, mic stand(s), fanny pack (with batteries, extra lav mics, etc) and the other packable items.

The rest of it (camera, lights, more mics, more batteries, etc) was fit into a camera case and put in the overhead.

So I would suggest a really good camera bag (that measures out to fit in the overhead compartment) and then a checkable "tripod tube". I actually got it to where I could even pack all of that and my clothes! A camera bag and tripod case (tube)......and you're set.

Make sure you pack the tube with some cloth or bubble wrap, to keep things nice and tight.

Have fun!

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Camera Equipment on a Plane
PostPosted: March 11th, 2011, 8:57 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 am
Posts: 3420
Location: Illinois
I would never check my camera bag, never. Take it carry on.


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 Post subject: Re: Camera Equipment on a Plane
PostPosted: March 13th, 2011, 12:32 pm 

Joined: August 1st, 2010, 11:48 am
Posts: 22
Location: SE Pennsylvania
Thanks for all your feedback. It has been very helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: Camera Equipment on a Plane
PostPosted: March 13th, 2011, 12:42 pm 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 11:17 am
Posts: 1078
I would never check my camera bag and I've never had a problem carrying it on. There is no reason you would have a problem carrying on your equipment... as long as it is carry on size.

...oh... I work for an airline.

PAHerper1 wrote:
Seeing Bart's post about tongs on a plane reminded me that I also have been wondering about something. How about camera equipment on a plane? I usually carry a nice-sized camera bag with a video camera, digital camera, spare batteries, memory cards, and a camera cleaning kit (with cleaning solution). I don't know which items I should carry on, which I should check in, etc. I'm sure they won't be happy if I carry on the cleaning solution. So, I was wondering how you guys handle this when you fly (I haven't flown in years). Should I just carry on my cameras and check the rest in? And will my cameras set off the metal detectors? I just went on a cruise and had no problems at all and carried on the whole camera bag with all the contents, but I know that they are not as strict on a cruise. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If it matters, I don't plan on leaving the country.


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 Post subject: Re: Camera Equipment on a Plane
PostPosted: March 13th, 2011, 5:28 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:36 am
Posts: 193
Location: Monticello,AR
American's website says never to check your camera gear. With that I have and it was scary.

I bought a camera gear pull bag that said it was the correct size for all airplanes, wrong. I bought it specifically to carry a F4 500 and the rest of my gear. The bag was oversized for the Embraer or Canadair. The flight crew was very cool on the way out and put it with their luggage and I could see it all flight. It then fit fine in the overhead of the Airbus or Boeing that I was on next. The flight crew was not as cool on the way back and made me red tag it on the way back. I had to watch about 15k in camera go out of sight, scared the crap out of me. All ended just fine, but I will never be in that position again. I sold the 500 in favor of my F4 300 that was shooting more anyway. If you only fly in and out of large airports you will never have this problem. I thought if I ever did this again I would drive to DFW.

Now I carry I pretty standard backpack that fits all my gear and I've never had a problem. I've never traveled with cleaning fluid. I'm sure it is no problem as long as it is in a small bottle and in a plastic bag as was said before. I do check a big bag with my tongs and last time I put my tripod in that bag. The check bag fee sucks.

Glenn


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 Post subject: Re: Camera Equipment on a Plane
PostPosted: March 13th, 2011, 5:40 pm 

Joined: November 4th, 2010, 2:43 pm
Posts: 546
I have a Slingshot 300 and use it as my carryon on. I carry the tripod head it in. Can't take the tripod itself on as carryone, or at least that is what I've been told. I'm having more and more issues with getting film hand checked though. Even though by rule I can request it, I often run into a jerk TSA agent that puts me through the wringer no matter how calm and professional I am. The last time (on the way to Cambodia) the guy hand swabbed and check all 50 roles of film. Ugh.

No way I would check camera gear.


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 Post subject: Re: Camera Equipment on a Plane
PostPosted: March 14th, 2011, 7:41 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:22 am
Posts: 301
Yeah, I carry-on my bag all the time with laptop, 2 bodies, 3 or 4 lenses, Gorrillapod and a nikon cleaning pen as well as cords and batteries and such. Never had an issue. I was thinking about a full size tripod though, and wondering if it could be used as a bludgeon in the TSA's eyes as well.

Bart


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 Post subject: Re: Camera Equipment on a Plane
PostPosted: March 14th, 2011, 6:30 pm 

Joined: July 21st, 2010, 10:20 am
Posts: 1
After traveling to Africa several times as well as Australia, plus across the US I have found that by getting a standard rolling carry on case that fits in all airline overhead storage, packing it with a 500mm lens, 100-400 zoom, 28-135mm zoom, 2 camera bodies and a flash, using some of my clothes as cushioning, I have never been questioned about my carry on. I pack my camera bag and tripod in my luggage and move the equipment to it when I arrive at my destination. I also take any non-essential equipment packed iin my luggage. You just have to act like it doesn't weigh alot, and not let any stewardess pick it up, because it's always over weight for carry on. In that carry on I also pack a vest that I can put equipment in in the event there is a problem. You can always hang the equipment around your neck and they can't stop you from taking it on the plane that way. I always try to get on the plane as soon as my zone is called so there's overhead storage. In a smaller bag I carry my Laptop Computer and all the accessories for it. plus any other essentials and put that under the seat.
Hope this helps
Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Camera Equipment on a Plane
PostPosted: March 15th, 2011, 4:30 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:57 am
Posts: 144
Location: Central NY
NEVER keep your camera and lenses in checked luggage. Carry it on with you. I had a DSLR, two lenses, and thousands of pictures on 4 separate cards stolen out of my checked luggage on a United Airlines flight a year or so ago. The camera and equipment wasn't a big deal, but I had pictures that will never be replaced. They STILL have done nothing to even remotely try compensating for it. Lesson learned. Don't check camera equipment, don't fly United.


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 Post subject: Re: Camera Equipment on a Plane
PostPosted: March 16th, 2011, 5:44 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:14 pm
Posts: 3297
Location: San Antonio, TX
I agree about carrying your camera gear (and anything else valuable) on. I have had some stuff stolen from suitcases before, very likely by TSA people. Both times I was robbed it was in SFA airport during a layover.

The only extra thing to consider is the weight of your camera gear. Although I have never had it happen in the US, on several foreign airlines I have had my carry-on weighed. The weight limit is usually 7kg (15lb). Only once have they questioned me about being over (I had about 15kg in gear), and I was able to get through by putting some of my heavier stuff into my traveling companion's carry on......at least for about 2 minutes :lol: .

If you have more than a lens or two and carry a laptop, 7kg can be a hard number to get under. Add a book or two and you run into trouble.


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 Post subject: Re: Camera Equipment on a Plane
PostPosted: March 17th, 2011, 8:50 am 
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Joined: November 25th, 2010, 2:00 pm
Posts: 405
Location: Long Beach, CA
I had to chime in here because I travel a ton. I don't bring all of my photo gear with me everywhere, but when I do it's usually on long international trips about 3 times a year. I keep all of my gear in a photo backpack for a few reasons. Obviously it's a bit easier to carry and that's what I'll most likely be going out in the field with, but airline people at the gate NEVER check to see if a backpack is oversized. They're constantly checking and looking at roller bags but I've never had them look at my backpack 2 times, mostly because you can't see it until you pass them. I always have a separate backpack with my laptop inside and that is my go to plan in case I actually do get asked about the size. It hasn't happened but I'll just take out the body, my 100-400mm lense and other expensive items and they'll get a mostly empty photo bag to check.
My friend also had all his gear ripped from him in his checked bag. He was on a trip out here in SoCal from Tampa and broke his ribs skateboarding (skate photog) so he just couldn't physically put the bag on his back. Of course the only time he checks it when he gets to Tampa, his bag takes about 10 minutes longer than all the other bags to come off the belt. He immediately walks to security and tells them the baggage guys stole his gear (about $6k worth). They told him since he flew out of LAX he has to file a report at that airport since it was his departure. I didn't trust them now and for sure don't after that.


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