Air travel with photo equipment

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Cynicor, May 7, 2006.

  1. Cynicor

    Cynicor Guest

    Interesting. Did not know this. It seems that if you are carrying
    photographic equipment, you can make it a third bag on a flight, subject
    to space. Can anyone confirm whether this is really what this says?

    http://www.tsa.gov/public/interapp/editorial/editorial_1248.xml

    Photographic Equipment

    You may carry one (1) bag of photographic equipment in addition to one
    (1) carry-on and one (1) personal item through the screening checkpoint.
    The additional bag must conform to your air carrier's carry-on
    restrictions for size and weight. Please confirm your air carrier's
    restrictions prior to arriving at the airport.
     
    Cynicor, May 7, 2006
    #1
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  2. Cynicor <> writes:

    > Interesting. Did not know this. It seems that if you are carrying
    > photographic equipment, you can make it a third bag on a flight,
    > subject to space. Can anyone confirm whether this is really what this
    > says?
    >
    > http://www.tsa.gov/public/interapp/editorial/editorial_1248.xml
    >
    > Photographic Equipment
    >
    > You may carry one (1) bag of photographic equipment in addition to one
    > (1) carry-on and one (1) personal item through the screening
    > checkpoint. The additional bag must conform to your air carrier's
    > carry-on restrictions for size and weight. Please confirm your air
    > carrier's restrictions prior to arriving at the airport.


    I've seen the same statement in various contexts, and heard it from
    airline employees. So far I've been traveling on business with
    photography as a sometimes sideline, so I haven't actually pushed past
    two bags, legal without the special rule, myself.
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/> <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, May 7, 2006
    #2
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  3. "Cynicor" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Interesting. Did not know this. It seems that if you are carrying
    > photographic equipment, you can make it a third bag on a flight, subject
    > to space. Can anyone confirm whether this is really what this says?
    >
    > http://www.tsa.gov/public/interapp/editorial/editorial_1248.xml
    >
    > Photographic Equipment
    >
    > You may carry one (1) bag of photographic equipment in addition to one
    > (1) carry-on and one (1) personal item through the screening checkpoint.
    > The additional bag must conform to your air carrier's carry-on
    > restrictions for size and weight. Please confirm your air carrier's
    > restrictions prior to arriving at the airport.


    I've done this for years and no one has ever said anything.
    1 One carryon like a small backpack.
    2 1 Camera gadget bag containing 2 cameras and various lenses and bits and
    pieces.
    3 1 camera hanging around my neck.
    4 1 plastic bag containing purchases eg crockery from Stoke-on-Trent.
    I was pretty loaded on that occasion. :)

    Gerrit - Oz
     
    Gerrit 't Hart, May 7, 2006
    #3
  4. Cynicor

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Gerrit 't Hart wrote:
    > "Cynicor" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> Interesting. Did not know this. It seems that if you are carrying
    >> photographic equipment, you can make it a third bag on a flight, subject
    >> to space. Can anyone confirm whether this is really what this says?
    >>
    >> http://www.tsa.gov/public/interapp/editorial/editorial_1248.xml
    >>
    >> Photographic Equipment
    >>
    >> You may carry one (1) bag of photographic equipment in addition to one
    >> (1) carry-on and one (1) personal item through the screening checkpoint.
    >> The additional bag must conform to your air carrier's carry-on
    >> restrictions for size and weight. Please confirm your air carrier's
    >> restrictions prior to arriving at the airport.

    >
    > I've done this for years and no one has ever said anything.
    > 1 One carryon like a small backpack.
    > 2 1 Camera gadget bag containing 2 cameras and various lenses and bits and
    > pieces.
    > 3 1 camera hanging around my neck.
    > 4 1 plastic bag containing purchases eg crockery from Stoke-on-Trent.
    > I was pretty loaded on that occasion. :)
    >
    > Gerrit - Oz
    >
    >

    Interesting choice of words: 'crockery' and 'loaded'. Grin.
     
    Ron Hunter, May 7, 2006
    #4
  5. Cynicor

    Bill Hilton Guest

    > Cynicor writes ...
    >
    >It seems that if you are carrying photographic equipment, you
    >can make it a third bag on a flight, subject to space. Can
    >anyone confirm whether this is really what this says?


    As someone who flies a lot with heavy photo gear I remember when this
    was first announced a couple years back. But read the fine print ...

    >Please confirm your air carrier's
    >restrictions prior to arriving at the airport.


    So TSA is leaving it to the airlines ... so far as I know, in the US
    only ONE carrier agreed to let you carry on a third bag with camera
    gear and that was United (this was when the rule change first occurred
    .... if other airlines are on-board with this could someone name them
    and give a URL to their policy?). No European companies I've flown on
    allow a third carry-on and several have very low weight restrictions on
    the one or two bags you can carry-on, like say 7 kg (15.4 lbs).

    Last time I flew United (without extra camera gear) I asked the counter
    agent about this 3 carry-on policy and she said they only allowed it if
    the flight wasn't full and there was extra space, so I guess you can't
    count on it 100% of the time. I haven't asked for this service (we
    usually fly Continental for various reasons, United has only a few
    flights from where we live) but would be interested in hearing from
    those who often fly from say Denver or Chicago (where United is the
    main carrier) ...

    Bill
     
    Bill Hilton, May 7, 2006
    #5
  6. Cynicor wrote:
    > Interesting. Did not know this. It seems that if you are carrying
    > photographic equipment, you can make it a third bag on a flight,
    > subject to space. Can anyone confirm whether this is really what this
    > says?


    I would not count on it. Getting thought security is only one step, you
    also need to get on the plane.

    >
    > http://www.tsa.gov/public/interapp/editorial/editorial_1248.xml
    >
    > Photographic Equipment
    >
    > You may carry one (1) bag of photographic equipment in addition to one
    > (1) carry-on and one (1) personal item through the screening
    > checkpoint. The additional bag must conform to your air carrier's
    > carry-on restrictions for size and weight. Please confirm your air
    > carrier's restrictions prior to arriving at the airport.


    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
     
    Joseph Meehan, May 7, 2006
    #6
  7. Bill Hilton wrote:

    >>Cynicor writes ...
    >>
    >>It seems that if you are carrying photographic equipment, you
    >>can make it a third bag on a flight, subject to space. Can
    >>anyone confirm whether this is really what this says?

    >
    >
    > As someone who flies a lot with heavy photo gear I remember when this
    > was first announced a couple years back. But read the fine print ...
    >
    >
    >>Please confirm your air carrier's
    >>restrictions prior to arriving at the airport.

    >
    >
    > So TSA is leaving it to the airlines ... so far as I know, in the US
    > only ONE carrier agreed to let you carry on a third bag with camera
    > gear and that was United (this was when the rule change first occurred
    > ... if other airlines are on-board with this could someone name them
    > and give a URL to their policy?). No European companies I've flown on
    > allow a third carry-on and several have very low weight restrictions on
    > the one or two bags you can carry-on, like say 7 kg (15.4 lbs).
    >
    > Last time I flew United (without extra camera gear) I asked the counter
    > agent about this 3 carry-on policy and she said they only allowed it if
    > the flight wasn't full and there was extra space, so I guess you can't
    > count on it 100% of the time. I haven't asked for this service (we
    > usually fly Continental for various reasons, United has only a few
    > flights from where we live) but would be interested in hearing from
    > those who often fly from say Denver or Chicago (where United is the
    > main carrier) ...


    As one who flies United a lot out of Denver, I can say I have
    never tried the 3-bags thing, but I do see many people, especially
    women business travelers with a carry-on suitcase, a laptop
    bag ands a purse about the size of a laptop bag and are not
    hassled. I have also seen men with 3 bags, and not camera
    gear and are generally not hassled (although in my opinion they
    should be ;-). But you are really at the discretion of the
    flight crew. I have also seen people have to check their bags
    if they are last on board and there is no room.

    I would guess that if your bags are not too large you will not
    be hassled if you are an early boarder, do not try and take
    all the overhead space and do not look like you are carrying
    a lot of bulk and weight.

    I have traveled a number of airlines with a Lowe Pro AW photo
    backpack with 500 mm f/4 lens plus other lenses, 2 camera
    bodies, and a laptop bag with no problems, but only 2 bags.

    I have been on international flights where the airline stated
    that US FAA rules require a maximum of 1 bag, and I have
    had to scramble and get all my stuff in one bag. I have not
    seen this rule.

    Roger
     
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), May 7, 2006
    #7
  8. Cynicor

    One4All Guest

    I would like to know, from anyone, how they travel with a tripod & what
    kind of container they use for it. I see tripod bags being marketed.
    Probably the tripod would have to be checked. (I have a Tiltall.) But,
    I'm worried it could be stolen if I check it, since the bag couldn't be
    locked.
     
    One4All, May 7, 2006
    #8
  9. Cynicor

    Bill Hilton Guest

    > One4All writes ...
    >
    > I would like to know, from anyone, how they travel with a tripod &
    > what kind of container they use for it.


    We've hand-carried Gitzo CF tripods before (they count as one carry-on)
    .... never had a problem when doing this and I even wrote TSA asking
    specifically if tripods were OK as carry-on and their reply was that if
    it didn't have sharp edges it was OK with them.

    Now that we are shooting digital and need the second carry-on for a
    laptop we just put the tripods in firm-sided luggage. When we did a
    lot of big-game fishing and traveled with heavy fishing reels, lures
    etc we used the "Action Packer" from Rubbermaid, which is hard-sided
    and looks like a cooler and offers good protection, but is hard to lift
    and carry. Now we have good sized rolling suitcases that are big
    enough to carry the Gitzos and that's what we use. I'd avoid a soft
    bag for fear the tripod might get warped or bent.

    > I'm worried it could be stolen if I check it, since the bag couldn't
    > be locked.


    Buy a couple of TSA approved locks and use them ... if TSA x-rays your
    bag and needs to open it they have the master key and will open it,
    hand-inspect and re-lock it. Apparently our bag with batteries, power
    cords and flashes looks suspicious to the US agents because it's almost
    always opened and inspected (they leave a note behind) ... funny thing
    is we just flew from the US to Holland to Africa and back twice the
    past four months and every time the Dutch and Tanzanian guys can figure
    out there is no danger and pass it thru while the TSA guys are always
    befuddled and open it.

    Bill
     
    Bill Hilton, May 7, 2006
    #9
  10. Bill Hilton wrote:
    >>One4All writes ...
    >>
    >>I would like to know, from anyone, how they travel with a tripod &
    >>what kind of container they use for it.


    I put together a little braided wire lock (like a bicycle lock)
    that locks the CF tripod in the suitcase and uses TSA locks
    inside the case. Like Bill's suitcases. mine are usually
    inspected by TSA but no evidence of international
    inspections in multiple travels from US to Europe, to Australia,
    and New Zealand in the last two years.

    Roger
     
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), May 7, 2006
    #10
  11. Cynicor

    Cynicor Guest

    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:
    > Bill Hilton wrote:
    >>> One4All writes ...
    >>>
    >>> I would like to know, from anyone, how they travel with a tripod &
    >>> what kind of container they use for it.

    >
    > I put together a little braided wire lock (like a bicycle lock)
    > that locks the CF tripod in the suitcase and uses TSA locks
    > inside the case. Like Bill's suitcases. mine are usually
    > inspected by TSA but no evidence of international
    > inspections in multiple travels from US to Europe, to Australia,
    > and New Zealand in the last two years.


    Like when I was traveling through Heathrow last year and asked if I
    needed to take my shoes off at the checkpoint. The inspector said "No,
    why would you need to do that?"
     
    Cynicor, May 8, 2006
    #11
  12. Cynicor

    cjcampbell Guest

    Cynicor wrote:
    > Interesting. Did not know this. It seems that if you are carrying
    > photographic equipment, you can make it a third bag on a flight, subject
    > to space. Can anyone confirm whether this is really what this says?


    Sure. It is exactly what it says. TSA has a set of regulations that say
    what an airline can allow you to carry on to a flight. This is the
    maximum. Most airlines have their own regulations which are far more
    restrictive. In all things aviation, the airline and even an individual
    pilot can be more restrictive than what the FAA or TSA allow, and they
    usually are. In the end, the pilot is in command of the airplane; what
    he says, goes. If he does not like cameras, he could prohibit them
    entirely. Of course, you also have the right to complain to his
    employer if you think he is unfair or dicriminatory. But he would be
    within his legal right and even obligation to prohibit cameras if he
    thought they were an unnecessary hazard to a particular flight.

    Regional carriers and foreign carriers not subject to TSA regulations
    may also be a lot more restrictive. Here in the Philippines carry-ons
    must be very small and the total must weigh less than 7 kilos. That
    rules out all but the tiniest camera gadget bags, no matter how
    insistent you are on never checking your camera gear. You always have
    the option of buying a seat for your gear, if you wish. The guys who
    raise fighting cocks often do that for their prize birds or even a
    crate of eggs, and I would not be surprised to find photographers who
    think that their cameras are worth a lot more than a chicken.
     
    cjcampbell, May 8, 2006
    #12
  13. Cynicor wrote:
    []
    > Like when I was traveling through Heathrow last year and asked if I
    > needed to take my shoes off at the checkpoint. The inspector said "No,
    > why would you need to do that?"


    One of the many reasons which would put me off from flying to the USA any
    more - the paranoia!

    David
     
    David J Taylor, May 8, 2006
    #13
  14. Cynicor

    Mark² Guest

    David J Taylor wrote:
    > Cynicor wrote:
    > []
    >> Like when I was traveling through Heathrow last year and asked if I
    >> needed to take my shoes off at the checkpoint. The inspector said
    >> "No, why would you need to do that?"

    >
    > One of the many reasons which would put me off from flying to the USA
    > any more - the paranoia!


    I don't think its paranoia.
    Personally, I think it's a sham and a "show"...to give the impression to the
    "viewing public" that we are checking carefully. In reality, most of the
    checks are mindless and pointless because they are not based on logical or
    statistical information which would actually point toward likely suspects.

    While I was checked (shoes, and elsewhere) with my blue eyes and curly
    hair...two guys resembling the 19 walked right through because they weren't
    "randomly selected." Call me crazy...but so far, no blonde/blue-eyed
    hi-jacking terrorists have been discovered.

    -M
     
    Mark², May 9, 2006
    #14
  15. Cynicor

    Cynicor Guest

    Mark² wrote:
    >
    > While I was checked (shoes, and elsewhere) with my blue eyes and curly
    > hair...two guys resembling the 19 walked right through because they weren't
    > "randomly selected." Call me crazy...but so far, no blonde/blue-eyed
    > hi-jacking terrorists have been discovered.


    They just have to recruit one, and all bets are off.
     
    Cynicor, May 9, 2006
    #15
  16. Cynicor

    Mark² Guest

    Cynicor wrote:
    > Mark² wrote:
    >>
    >> While I was checked (shoes, and elsewhere) with my blue eyes and
    >> curly hair...two guys resembling the 19 walked right through because
    >> they weren't "randomly selected." Call me crazy...but so far, no
    >> blonde/blue-eyed hi-jacking terrorists have been discovered.

    >
    > They just have to recruit one, and all bets are off.


    Same goes for little 90 year old ladies...

    We still need to use our brain...
     
    Mark², May 9, 2006
    #16
  17. Cynicor

    Bill Funk Guest

    On Tue, 09 May 2006 06:55:17 -0400, Cynicor
    <> wrote:

    >Mark² wrote:
    >>
    >> While I was checked (shoes, and elsewhere) with my blue eyes and curly
    >> hair...two guys resembling the 19 walked right through because they weren't
    >> "randomly selected." Call me crazy...but so far, no blonde/blue-eyed
    >> hi-jacking terrorists have been discovered.

    >
    >They just have to recruit one, and all bets are off.


    The reason for the random checks vs. profiling is not for security,
    but to reassure those of us who need it that we really are nice
    people; we will not stereotype, even though our lives may depend on
    it.
    --
    Bill Funk
    replace "g" with "a"
     
    Bill Funk, May 9, 2006
    #17
  18. Cynicor

    Annika1980 Guest

    >I would like to know, from anyone, how they travel with a tripod & what
    >kind of container they use for it.


    Just put it with your golf clubs.
     
    Annika1980, May 9, 2006
    #18
  19. Cynicor

    Jim Guest

    On 2006-05-07 14:49:07 -0400, "One4All" <> said:

    >
    > I would like to know, from anyone, how they travel with a tripod & what
    > kind of container they use for it. I see tripod bags being marketed.
    > Probably the tripod would have to be checked. (I have a Tiltall.) But,
    > I'm worried it could be stolen if I check it, since the bag couldn't be
    > locked.


    I pack my tripod in the suitcase and check that. I know its not locked
    and it is subject to theft but in a couple of dozen plane flights, it
    hasn't been. Hoever if that Gitzo was missing.. i might change my tune.


    --
    Jim <jen....not....home..remvdots...@....yahoo
     
    Jim, May 9, 2006
    #19
  20. Cynicor

    Father Kodak Guest

    On Tue, 09 May 2006 08:06:22 -0700, Bill Funk <>
    wrote:

    >On Tue, 09 May 2006 06:55:17 -0400, Cynicor
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >>Mark² wrote:
    >>>
    >>> While I was checked (shoes, and elsewhere) with my blue eyes and curly
    >>> hair...two guys resembling the 19 walked right through because they weren't
    >>> "randomly selected." Call me crazy...but so far, no blonde/blue-eyed
    >>> hi-jacking terrorists have been discovered.

    >>
    >>They just have to recruit one, and all bets are off.

    >
    >The reason for the random checks vs. profiling is not for security,
    >but to reassure those of us who need it that we really are nice
    >people; we will not stereotype, even though our lives may depend on
    >it.


    A perfect example where standard "police work," e.g. build a profile
    of your suspect, conflicts with "civil rights."

    I would say this to the people who object to being selected on the
    basis of a profile. "Clean up your own act, or someone will have to
    clean it up for you." Since the former has obviously not happened,
    society must protect itself by doing the latter. Unfortunately, too
    many "nice" people don't want to acknowledge the reality.

    And comparisons with the US internment of Japanese during WW II are
    falacious. There have been numerous cases now of "profiled" types in
    the US who are guilty of aiding and abetting the enemy.


    Since someone asked ...

    By the way, to get back on topic, I never, ever, ever check any photo
    equipment except possibly spare AA batteries and maybe some portable
    power rechargers. Cardinal rule. Never observed in the breach. No
    way no how. And the photo rechargers are mixed in with the ones for
    my shaver, Palm Pilot, laptop, etc. And if I get singled out for a
    detailed inspection of my gear (has happened more than once), I am
    very polite to the TSA inspectors, who appreciate that. Being polite
    to the TSA people has never gotten me into trouble yet.

    But lenses, bodies, tripods, etc. If I can't carry it on, it doesn't
    come with me. If I'm travelling with my wife, then she too can "carry
    on" camera gear, even if I'm the one actually schlepping the stuff.

    Father Kodak
     
    Father Kodak, May 11, 2006
    #20
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