Traveling to Boston--Flying with Gear...

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by TheSolicitor, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. TheSolicitor

    TheSolicitor TPF Noob!

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    Good Evening, gang!

    I'll be flying to Boston, MA this Friday from Charleston, SC and I have a couple of questions.

    Largely, while I will be there for work and school (non-photography related), I fully intend on traveling with my camera bag and equipment. I have a D5000 and a number of lenses in an old Tamrac bag that I lifted from my parents.

    My gear, as it were:
    D5000
    18-55mm
    55-200mm
    70-300mm
    10-24mm
    50mm prime

    As it relates to security, how do I need to package the bag as to make my journey through security as easy as possible? I really don't want to have to pack and unpack the bag when I'm in security because it's a pain in the neck.

    Can I pack my Gorilla-Pod in the bag or does that need to be checked? I don't intend on checking luggage, but will if I have to.

    If there was a list of locations in Boston to shoot, what's the top three as viewed by the membership here? I'll be in the vicinity of the Suffolk University School of Law.

    If there's anything I've missed, please let me know!

    Thanks for the time to look and respond. I'm really glad to be a part of this community, and I thank you all for having such a great forum!
     
  2. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've been though airports a number of times with a similar gear list and they've never given a second look at it.

    I would suggest leaving either the 55-200 or 70-300 at home; there's no sense in that focal length overlap.
     
  3. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    I've never had trouble with traveling with the equipment as a carry on. That being said, sometimes airlines do pull the bags and check them.

    One thing I've heard is that a lens looks like a lens in a scanner, but when it is surrounded by cords and batteries it looks a lot more like a bomb or something. So, the idea is to put everything other than lenses in their own plastic bags (batteries all in one bag, cords in one bag etc.) that way they can just look at it, see what it is and move on.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Air travel rules have been changing a lot in recent years, security was really high around Christmas, but has cooled off a bit since then. Sadly, a lot of it still seems to depend on the particular airline, airport and even security personal on duty at the time.

    You might be in good shape because you are not crossing international borders, but who knows?

    I think that the usual rule is that you are allowed one carry-on bag and one personal bag. Camera bags usually fall into the personal bag category. Of course, it still has to fit the size constraints and can't be too heavy. As for having to unpack it at security...there is always a possibility of that, so just make sure you get there with enough time to get through all the security checks.

    One tip is to wear a vest or jacket with good sized pockets. If your camera bag is too big or heavy for them, you can take some stuff out and put it into your pockets.
     
  5. TheSolicitor

    TheSolicitor TPF Noob!

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    I'm planning on leaving the 70-300 at home because it's heavy, and I likely won't have much opportunity to use it. I'm also considering leaving the 50mm prime as well because it's MF and I just won't have time to manually focus it on the go.


    Good call. I didn't consider that! I'll likely travel with no chargers and just go with three, fully charged batteries just to save on space. I'm also going to travel with my laptop (handed gleefully to one of my partners so that she can pack it in her backpack) and the additionally required peripherals.


    Finally, @Big Mike, thanks for the good words. I'll be wearing a blazer to travel and it's got lots of pockets, and I'll have access to my partner's backpack if things get sticky. And we're flying a puddle jumper from Charleston SC to Charlotte NC and then getting on a larger plane, so I doubt there should be any problems, but I just like to be sure, and having never flown with (a) camera (or the equipment that goes with it), I just like to be sure.

    Thanks to all who have responded, if there's anything else I should be aware of, please send the good word my way!
     
  6. dhilberg

    dhilberg TPF Noob!

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    Two weekends ago I flew to Phoenix for a wedding. My camera bag was my only carry-on and it wasn't a problem at either airport. But random bag checks do occur so be prepared for possible delays.

    Other advice:

    Don't take liquids or aerosols in your carry-on AT ALL. I know the restrictions allow a 3.4 ounce bottle or smaller in a clear bag in a carry-on, but from my experience this makes the TSA nervous. And then they stop the security line for an inspection and this only pisses the people off behind you. Put liquids and aerosols in your checked luggage, if only as a courtesy to those waiting behind you in the security line. :D
     
  7. Andrew Boyd

    Andrew Boyd TPF Noob!

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    Just plan on having the bag hand-checked. I've travelled extensively with lots of gear and you never know whether they'll want to hand-search it or not...just be prepared for it.

    Andrew
    The Discerning Photographer
     

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