handluggage problems

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Alex_B, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ok, here comes my problem:

    due to recent developments in handluggage restrictions combined with some expansion of my photographic gear, my usual way of transporting my gear on planes in Europe and around the world has become impossible.

    Things I would never want in my checked in luggage include:

    - at least one Canon SLR Body (more on the large side here)
    - 17-40mm 4 L lens
    - 24-105mm 4 L lens
    - 300mm 4 L lens
    - 50mm 1.4 lens
    - 1.4x converter
    - close up lens and 5 filters
    - hard drive based image storage
    - 14' laptop (1.9 kg)

    the rest would be fine to check in, but the things above are just too fragile in my eyes.

    so what do you guys use to transport a maximum amount of camera and glass in your handluggage without facing problems regarding size and weight?

    was anyone of you ever forced to leave something behind since you were told you had too much handluggage and your main luggagge was checked in already? for me this would be a nightmare!

    I have about 2 flights a month, and it never happened to me, but i am about to stretch the limits now but don't want to get into trouble ....

    any advice welcome
     
  2. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    I wish I could help, unfortunately I can't really say what I'd do, as the last time I flew was last August at the time of the big scare at Heathrow. I was actually due to fly home into Heathrow on the day it happened, and when I heard about the restrictions on hand luggage I panicked since I thought I would have to check my camera bag in with the main luggage. As it happened, Vienna and Brussels airports did not at the time have the same restrictions so I was able to take my camera bag as hand luggage. However I wasn't carrying a laptop with me, nor any lens the size of your 300mm.

    I agree that it's not worth risking checking the valuable stuff in. Personally I don't have enough faith in the airlines and airports to be confident that my gear be both present and intact on arrival. I guess all you can do is to pack what you can into a bag or case of acceptable size. If it is still possible to also carry a camera around your neck, filters (cased) in jacket pockets etc then that might be necessary though clearly not very convenient.
     
  3. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    if you leave the uk, flybe seems to be pretty relaxed with handluggagem they allow for 10kg! :) but with everything else it is complicated these days .
     
  4. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    no further advice? :(

    noone got the perfect solution for me? ;) .. well , I guess there is no perfect solution then ....
     
  5. dgs

    dgs TPF Noob!

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    I've heard of people wearing a photovest with the pockets loaded . . . it's not carry on . . .it's outerwear <g>

    The most ingenius solution I've heard sadly won't help you as it only works on U.S. domestic flights. A gentleman reported researching the issues concerning flying with firearms in checked baggage. Turns out on domestic flights there is a rather formal ritual which includes presenting your carrying case to an airline official who then inspects it and witnesses you placing YOUR padlock on the case (retaining the key yourself) This luggage is then watched by suspicious hawks selected because they don't particularly like each other. On the destination end the firearm containing luggage is hand delivered to the traveler who signs for it.

    Not photographic, you say? <grin> Here's the kicker . . . . further research revealed that no U.S. state or federal law defined a starter pistol . . . a small quasi handgun used to start trackmeet races . . . as a controlled firearm, BUT the airlines did consider the blank firing pistol as a firearm. He now carries a starter pistol in each and every camera case and reports no problems.

    Getting practical it would seem that your only solution is insurance.
     
  6. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, all I can tell you is that I was facing problems with a young official at Stansted on my return from the UK on 3 September of last year, for she felt she had to return me to the check-in counter for me to check in my (not very large!) camera rucksack, even though I had already squeezed my "kangaroo bag" (I know they are "officially" called "bum bags" in some parts of this world... do you all know what I mean?) into the check luggage as not to have TWO (albeit two small) handluggage items on me. But since I had to then squeeze my purse into the front part of the camera rucksack, that became a bit bulkier than normal, so it would not fit in the "test if your handluggage fits in here"-device. (Designed for attaché cases ... LARGE attaché cases, with lots more room for things than my much smaller - sideways - but now bulkier - frontways - camera rucksack). So she wanted to set an example. And I started a scene!

    You will rarely see me get angry or loud, very rarely.
    But on that occasion I did! I had done EVERYTHING to avoid getting into problems, and suddenly she was telling me to return to the check-in desk to check in my CAMERAS?

    "Never!" I replied.
    "You must, it does not fit in here, so you can't bring it on board!"
    "I brought it HERE on board!" I replied.
    "Well, German rules may be different, from here you must check it in!"
    "And I won't - over my dead body only!" I shouted. "I came in here only a week ago with the very same hand luggage, and left from here to Newquay with the same constellation of check luggage versus hand luggage, i.e. went on a domestic flight from THIS VERY airport, and a week ago I was allowed to bring my cameras on board and now I am not!?!? This is ridiculous. Silly it is!"

    She went all uppity and said, "OK, pass, you'll get returned by the x-ray people, just you see!"
    And I even went as far as to retort: "Just you see that I won't!"

    And I wasn't!
    But I fought with nails and teeth to bring that rucksack on board.

    I say that in case you get yourself a real (quite rectangle) hard case with plastic foam linings into which all your gear can go, so that that case definitely meets with the size of those devices, you should be safe.

    After all that ruckus I was really miffed to see what size hand luggage other people were still allowed to carry on board! Only was theirs rectangle ... :madass: (<- still - when I think about it).
     
  7. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Funny to imagine you angry :)

    I know i would fight very hard myself not to check in my camera and lenses.

    was that air berlin by any chance? i often go with them from stansted and never had any trouble (except them being late, very late ;) ).
     
  8. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    hmm, if there is a guarantee this always works ... then it might actually be an option.. at least to get all thwe smaller items onboard on your body, and the rest using a rectangular container.

    the firearm thing would in europe mean that you go to jail and not to your intended destination ;)
     
  9. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, it was Air Berlin, but I had the trouble long before I ever got near the plane, you certainly know, where.
    And yes, I was very late, too. Very, very late. Like over one and a half hours or so? My poor husband had to walk empty Hanover Airport for all that time waiting for me to finally arrive ....
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That's the problem with airport security and personnel. The rules will vary from person to person and day to day. I've travelled around a bit with my camera gear in a Lowepro Computrekker AW...which is a little bulky, but not too big. A bag that size could hold all your stuff...except, I would think, the 300mm.

    I think dgs has a good idea. If you have to, you can probably get away with 'wearing' some of your gear on you person. Probably best to keep the 300mm in the bag and just pocket the other lenses or body.
     
  11. Alex, I've taken more than that on a plane in the last few months, but you will need to purchase a proper camera back-pack. (two SLR bodies, three L lenses, a hard-drive, and a ton of support gear like filters, chips, remote triggers, etc.) I have to mention though that it was long-distance international (LAX to FFM) and they usually allow bigger carry-on than some of the intra-European city hoppers.

    If not, then you will need to buy a hard case to check it. To be honest, until the camera is yours, the manufacturer and distributors just pack them nicely and throw them around the back of a truck like any other box. A professional hardcase is just that - made to protect great gear. However,it's relatively expensive.

    And as an aside, I would be more concerned about luggage theft by airport handlers than breakage. Make sure you get a plain black one, not a stainless-steel shiny one that might as well say "Expensive."
     
  12. BAB

    BAB TPF Noob!

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    I have not traveled by plane with that much photo gear in years, but I would consider a Pelican, Halliburton or equivalent hard case and since such cases scream "expensive", consider placing it in a duffel bag or other inane nondescript bag. Goodluck and report back what you end up doing and how it worked out.
     

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