Monopod or Tripod on an Airplane?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by NeutralNovice, May 11, 2008.

  1. NeutralNovice

    NeutralNovice TPF Noob!

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    I am going to be traveling soon, bringing my equipment with me on board the airplane. Has anyone had any success bringing on a tripod or a monopod in a carry-on?

    TSA does not specifically ban either of the two but I think they might be gray area, especially a monopod since it can be used as a blunt force weapon.

    I'd prefer not to check in any luggage since I usually travel really light.

    I've searched the forum for an answer to this; however, each search came up empty.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Samriel

    Samriel TPF Noob!

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    Flights in Japan have a limit for tripods and monopods in the carry-on luggage. Everything up to 60cm in it's compact shape is fine, over that it has to be registered. Not sure about other countries though.
     
  3. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    I doubt you'll have an issue but you could always call your airline to ask. I always just check my tripod in my luggage rather than lug it around. Not like I'll be using it on the plane anyway.
     
  4. Snap Happy

    Snap Happy TPF Noob!

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    I had this same question this week. Couldn't have cared less about my old crappy tripod but I've got a new Manfrotto coming in this week, and I don't trust the 8-buck-an-hour guys at Southwest not to mangle my bag.

    Maybe I'll just smile sweetly and hope TSA thinks a small-framed female wouldn't think of using a tripod as a blunt-force weapon. Until the drunk passengers on my flight to Vegas start to get really loud, that is.
     
  5. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    :lol: Paints quite an interesting picture. I'm sure if you Google around you can call the airline or even TSA directly to ask. I'm sure you won't have any problems though.
     
  6. cdanddvdpublisher

    cdanddvdpublisher TPF Noob!

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    Airlines could give you an answer, but, I guess I'll just throw this out there for what it's worth: have you tried just searching online for "carry on restrictions for tripods"?
     
  7. lockwood81

    lockwood81 TPF Noob!

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    I've carried my monopod and had no problems. Just a question or two. "What is that for?" and similar.
     
  8. Valethar

    Valethar TPF Noob!

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    If you check the tripod, be sure to use a well padded case for it, or a hardshell. When I flew to Washington state from South Carolina, the monkeys in baggage really tore the hell out of mine.

    In fact, I watched the retards drop the bloody thing from the side of the aircraft to the tarmac and send it back up the conveyor. Unfortunately, the airline had policies that photo equipment isn't covered against damage, so I wasn't able to file a claim.

    I would also check your airline for limitations on liability for checked baggage, just to be safe. If you were planning on checking any of your equipment, it's better to know ahead of time if they don't cover loss or damage.
     
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    All my equipment goes with me as a carry-on in a Pelican 1510 EXCEPT my tripod. It gets packed inside my check-in in the middle-top of the luggage. There's not much you can do to damage a solid tripod. The reason why I say top is that I don't want them digging through my cloths if they choose to inspect the tripod in transit.

    All other valuable and fragile equipment goes with me on the plane. btw.. make sure you are not over weight limit and be ready to open and show. I once had a TSA person ask me to open each and every lens so they can look through.

    i think most TSA personal have seen or been trained to identify tripods. I think they are pretty commonly seen in X-ray. I also have a Culmann Magic 2 tripod that folds completely flat... it's unique design (folds completely flat) seems to set of red flags... though.
     
  10. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    I hate to tell you this but, once TSA makes a decision to open your luggage, they won't look for the suspect item and then stop. They will go through everything. The person that originally got suspicious is not the person that opens your suitcase.

    By the way, tripods are one of the items that are fairly easy to recognize with the cat-scan machines. Don't EVER pack bar soap. I looks the same as C4 plastic explosive!
     
  11. NeutralNovice

    NeutralNovice TPF Noob!

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    Yeah I was thinking about that with the Magic 2... I'm guessing pipe bombs or whatever. crazy ish. have you ever been stopped with those?

    Also, to the person who commented on googling it up. Yeah I've tried that and I've gotten different answers. Asking here would allow me to get answers from a first person perspective. Also, it's a more fun this way too.
     
  12. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That's fine with me... I could care less...

    I've watched them inspect my baggage at the check in area (it was quiet and no backlog of luggage). In that case (Newark international), I literally watched them open my baggage, pull out the tripod, examine it, place it back and close up everything. Pretty much counter to what you are saying but on the other hand there are hundreds of airports with slightly different procedures.

    In the end... it doesn't HURT to pack it up top if that will be the most scruitinized item.
     

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