Carry-on or checked?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by default, Dec 2, 2005.

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    kashe Guest


    AU customs officer to incoming passenger -- Do you have a criminal

    Passenger -- I didn't know that was still required.
    kashe, Dec 4, 2005
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  2. This is *very* true. Considering the (actually) low rate of
    theft for most air travel (which is true in the US, but may or
    may not be the case in any other given part of the world), there
    can't be many criminal baggage handlers. Of course that is
    mostly because they are video taped, as most airlines have long
    since learned that preventing theft is essential, given the
    already bad reputation they have.

    But the "conveyor belt" / rough handling problem is now *many*
    times worse than it once was, simply because of the TSA
    inspections. It is hard to pack miscellaneous items well enough
    when a TSA employee unpacks them and then more or less puts it
    all back into the bag...

    I just spent 3 hours on an Alaska Airlines 737 earlier this
    evening. On my outgoing flight a week ago I was able to
    actually watch the TSA inspection of my baggage (in small places
    like Barrow it is done right in the ticketing area in full sight
    of everyone). I carried on as much as was possible, but 3
    lenses and two flash units, plus miscellaneous
    batteries/tripods/paraphenalia went into a large padded hard
    case. The lenses were rolled up in bubble wrap and individually
    placed into cardboard boxes. The boxes were positioned, with
    additional foam to make everything a very snug fit in the foam
    cutout. Much of this method was purely designed to make it easy
    and obvious how to put each piece back the way it had been (or
    at least close enough to provide adequate protection for each
    individual item).

    Naturally the TSA people did *not* repack it as neatly nor as
    carefully as I had. But wrapping each piece individually and
    then putting each one in an individual box (open at the top for
    easy inspection) at least provided an end result that would
    indeed have survived a 6' drop (even after the TSA inspection!).

    I haven't unpacked yet from the return trip, so I'm not sure
    everything survived. I did happen to see that bag go onto the
    airplane too. Every bag was being tossed onto the conveyor
    belt, and the same happened as they came off. That 50.2 pound
    loaded hard case took at least several instances of being
    dropped from 12" to 18" today.
    Floyd Davidson, Dec 5, 2005
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    Ron Hunter Guest

    We get that during the summers. I wouldn't brag about that kind of
    temps, though. Not very likely to get a white Christmas under those
    conditions, huh? Grin.
    We have snow flurries predicted for Wednesday, but I will be very
    surprised to see a single flake.
    Ron Hunter, Dec 5, 2005
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    Ron Hunter Guest

    I rather suspect the subject is 'bush airlines'. Small prop aircraft
    with limited space, and weight limits.
    Ron Hunter, Dec 5, 2005
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    Ron Hunter Guest

    Good ONE!
    Ron Hunter, Dec 5, 2005
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    Ron Hunter Guest

    Baggage at DFW is loaded in clear sight of passengers, and (except in
    the case of 'containerized' bags) is tossed from a tram onto a conveyor
    belt, and usually a few fall off on the ground (3-8 feet). It's enough
    to make you want to carry ALL your baggage on, which we did on our last
    trip. Sure makes getting on, and off the airport a quicker aspect of
    Of course that approach isn't workable for everyone, or for all trips,
    but is nice when we can do it.
    Oh, btw mentioning our last trip reminds me, San Antonio airport also
    required taking the laptop out of the bag and sending them through the
    xray machine unpacked.
    Ron Hunter, Dec 5, 2005
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    ASAAR Guest

    Oh what a setup. So many ways to go.

    Nah, I'll let you use your imagination. :)
    ASAAR, Dec 5, 2005
  8. I think this describes a very typical situation, not just for
    photographers but for many travelers carrying expensive
    equipment. (Before retiring I traveled with electronic
    equipment and tools that typically had similar value, and
    weighed in at 200-300 pounds. Sometimes we would air freight it
    all back home, but that trip wasn't usually time critical
    There is an exception that some people might experience, if they
    come to Alaska. In Alaska once you get away from places served
    by jet service (which is to say, flying any airline other than
    Alaska Air), things change. Carry on is either "none", or one
    small bag at most. Which means you can take a camera... on a
    strap around your neck!

    Of course most of those flights are to villages, and are on
    small twin engined (or even single engine) aircraft where if you
    are at all comfortable with where you are... you help the pilot
    unload the plane (*you* are the baggage handler!). Granted that
    few visitors would be likely to do that, but those of us who do
    or have traveled regularly to villages commonly do that.
    I've never actually lost anything myself. But years ago I knew
    a fellow who spent a decade working for a federal agency. He
    traveled constantly... and "collected" just about every useful
    tool he needed. He eventually quit that job and took one in
    another location, mostly because he was tired of the rigors of
    travel. He built a really nice plywood crate for all of "his"
    tools, and shipped them air freight to the new job location.
    They never showed up! He took it philosophically, and his way
    of telling the story was that he'd spent a decade stealing tools
    from Uncle Sam, and some asshole that worked for Wien Air Alaska
    (long since bankrupt) managed to steal them all from him in one
    day. That's life... ;-)
    Floyd Davidson, Dec 5, 2005
  9. I travel quite a lot, and I would not "check" camera equipment or any
    other high value items. There are several "exposures." First is that
    baggage handling can be quite rough. Watch baggage being loaded onto a
    plane, and you will see that checked bags are routinely tossed from
    cart to conveyer and into the baggage hold.

    Second, and more serious, is the problem of theft. You must leave your
    bags unlocked so they can be inspected. The theft of valuable items
    from checked baggage is far too common, and it is very difficult to
    recover your losses from the airline.

    Finally, there is the risk of outright loss of luggage. Airlines have
    very limited liability for lost luggage. The details are in the "fine
    print" on the ticket envelopes they insist on giving you at every

    If you must transport valuables that you cannot carry on, I suggest
    you ship them to your destination via FedEx or UPS. Pack them
    carefully, and insure them.

    Leonard Lehew, Dec 5, 2005
  10. Per Father Kodak:
    Haven't done it yet - and I don't travel very much - but I'm coming around to
    the notion of FedEx-ing big and/or valuable stuff and insuring it as needed.

    1) Seeing the guys on the nite shift with their rings of luggage keys when I
    worked at Honoruru International as a baggage masher a looooong time ago.

    2) Reading the fine print that seems to apply to all checked luggage wherein the
    airline is held to only a minimal dollar amount value/replacement-wise.

    3) The thought of finding my stuff already at my accommodation rather than
    having to schlep it around the airport at both ends.

    4) The thought of security people trying to repack something they'd opened when
    proper packing is critical to the device's intact arrival.
    (PeteCresswell), Dec 5, 2005
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    RobG Guest

    OI!! I resemble that remark!

    (Aussie Aussie Aussie OI! OI! OI!)
    RobG, Dec 5, 2005
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    RobG Guest

    Here in Mackay, Queensland, they ask, nay demand, that laptops be taken out
    of bags and sent through separately. And don't even think about trying to
    get through security with steel-capped safety boots on...

    RobG, Dec 6, 2005
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    RobG Guest

    Maybe so, but it's full of Americans... (c;

    RobG, Dec 6, 2005
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    RobG Guest

    You forgot to mention the humidity... but us North Queenslanders love it!
    The real ones, anyway - it's always easy to spot a recent
    arrival/tourist/new chum/whinging Pom in the summer - they're the ones
    falling over in the heat and complaining that 'it isn't this hot at home'

    RobG, Dec 6, 2005
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    RobG Guest

    I'm not. (c:

    RobG, Dec 6, 2005
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    ASAAR Guest

    So are 49 other states. The problem with this one is that it's
    full of Texans. Been there before but my excuse is that I was
    forced. :)
    ASAAR, Dec 6, 2005
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    Joan Guest


    Sydney to Cairns is 2500km.

    I wouldn't like to fly that far on a small aircraft.
    Joan, Dec 6, 2005
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    Joan Guest

    She won't fly Virgin, so it was Qantas.
    Joan, Dec 6, 2005
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    Marutchi Guest

    Well that's a worry. I'm flying on Qantas Link in a few weeks, I carry a
    camera bag with 2 cameras + my handbag, hope they don't hassle me.
    I've been to Darwin and Cairns this year via Qantas and never been queried
    re my carry on.
    Marutchi, Dec 6, 2005
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    Ron Hunter Guest

    True, and LOTS of Mexicans, El Salvadorans, and even a few Aussies, and
    Kiwis... Seems to be a popular place to come and live these days.
    Ron Hunter, Dec 6, 2005
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