View Full Version : Tripod in bad and camera bag allow onboard?

13th of October 2008 (Mon), 05:47
Hi to all forumer,

I would like to ask does big tripod packed in manfrotto MBAG80 bag and another camera bag like lowepro minitrekker allow on flight as hand carry? or need to on board in cargo? interm of domestic flight and oversea flight.

Would like to hear from those experienced user thanks.

13th of October 2008 (Mon), 07:41
Your camera bag should be ok with regards to carry on. Ive taken my minitrekker a number of times without problems.

As for the tripod, i dont think it would be a problem. It should be pretty apparent when the bag is xrayed what it actually contains.

13th of October 2008 (Mon), 07:55
I would consult the airline before hand if possible. They may not allow two bags as carry on so a quick alternative would be to strap the tripod to the bag.

Some airlines can be pretty strict about number of bags per person. I just came back from Mexico (International flight) and the airline on the way bag were extremely strict about weight and hand luggage size. You maybe lucky. I had to throw my tripod in my suitcase.

13th of October 2008 (Mon), 22:09
I'd think the tripod bag would count as your carry-on and your minitrekker as your personal item. I carry a rolling carry-on and laptop bag regularly on domestic flights. YMMV with international.

14th of October 2008 (Tue), 22:51
I addressed this in detail on Flying With Fish in this entry, it should answer your question

Be aware some countries specifically disallow tripods as carry on, top of the list for enforcement (and they do it in a random manner) is Italy. Other than that, you should be fine, as long as you follow the info in the post on Flying With Fish (http://www.flyingwithfish.com)

18th of October 2008 (Sat), 08:05
I contacted TSA for a recent trip to Alaska. Could not get them to approve a tripod. They quoted the "any tool over 7" long can not be in carry on" rule. I suspect if you try to take a tripod through security, you will be forced to go back and check it.

Be sure to pad your tripod well in your checked bag. I had my Bogen 190 break on my recent trip to Alaska. The joys of flying...

19th of October 2008 (Sun), 15:25

Tripods are specifically considered photographic equipment and expressly allowed for carry-on by the Transportation Security Administration.

When you go to the airport, if you are stopped ask for the checkpoint supervisor. I travel with light stands on the exterior of my backpack regularly, not only within the United States,but around the World.

As mentioned above some countries prohibit tripods as carry-on,however the United States is not one of them.

19th of October 2008 (Sun), 15:58
I am glad to hear this. But all I can report is what TSA told me.

19th of October 2008 (Sun), 16:41

Have you checked out www.flyingwithfish.com ?

I cover topics related to the TSA on a very regular basis. I cover them often enough that I have been featured on Good Morning America and quoted in quite a few major newspapers and magazines (including Popular Photography, which has had me answer reader mail in regard to travel issues).

I have stood my ground with the TSA. I had no where to be, so I waited a few hours to bark up the food chain when I was told my Pocket Wizard were not allowed as carry-on when flying from Orange County (CA). My favourite though was having gaffers tape confiscated at Miami International by the TSA being told I had to much of it, and it could be used as a weapon.

......they are such a fun agency to deal with.....why just last week the Dept of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration publicly announced that the common items used while celebrating the Jewish Holiday of Sukkot were not to be considered a national security risk to commercial airline travel .... you can this brilliant info here:

Happy Flying!

19th of October 2008 (Sun), 19:55
I read over the blog you have. Nothing official from TSA on there. I have heard first hand accounts of several people that were not allowed to pass through TSA with monopods and tripods. And myself having contacted TSA on two different occassions, could not get them to say that I could carry a tripod. They say the same thing they always say, "it is ulitimately up to the TSA agent" and "any tool over 7" long is not allowed" blah, blah, blah. That does not offer much confidence. I trust the TSA agents ability to do the right thing very little. They can be wrong and still be right. What can you do about it? You can let them keep the tripod or go back and pay $50 to check it as a piece of luggage. Both are poor options. If you can fly with a tripod as carry on luggage, why don't they list it on their website with everything else?

Another example is fly reels. Approved on their list. But I personally know people flying to Alaska that had to take all the line/backing ($60+) off their reels before TSA would let them pass through. Said it could be used as a weapon to strangle someone. How do you trust someone that stupid?

19th of October 2008 (Sun), 20:22
Hi Dan.

I travel several times a week. I carry on a Think Tank Airport International. It ususally has a Gitzo 1258 strapped to the side. I also carry on a small backpack. The backpack usually has a Bogen 3373 strapped to the side.

The TSA never questions this. In fact, if anything causes them concern, it has been because they cannot identify what the Epson 3000 is looking at the Xray. While I most often fly Southwest, no one at security, or on the airlines, has shown any interest in the tripod or the light stand.

That's my admittedly limited experience.

19th of October 2008 (Sun), 21:22

True there is nothing specific about tripods on the TSA website. There used to be, however those pages were removed in late 2007.

What the former pages stated, clearly, was that tripods, light stands,monopods where are to be considered photographic equipment, and were fully allowable for carry on, unless they had spiked feet or did not meet the carry on size requirements.

If you'd like further clarification you may call the TSA directly at 1(866)289-9673. If you get the standard "ummmmm, yea....uh huh" answer, ask for the public affairs office.

19th of October 2008 (Sun), 22:46
I do like the idea of carrying the tripod with me. Got a broke 190 sitting in front of me from my last flight. Can't get Bogen to email me back about repair/replacement. Wish TSA was easier to deal with. Flying from NC to Alaska with so much expensive photography/fishing/gun etc.. is always a stressful event. The joys of flying.

The Piper
24th of October 2008 (Fri), 12:11
My other hobby is stained glass and this question about what the TSA will and will not allow always comes up when people fly to classes or conventions. We recommend that prior to flying that you ship your tools to your hotel or what ever location you are staying at. The reverse would be true when returning home. I have shipped both FedEx and UPS with no problems.

Just recently I shipped some stained glass art from Chicago to Washington DC and to Atlanta using the UPS Store which guarantees that your items will arrive unbroken. Both pieces arrived fully intact. The UPS Store actually packs your items for you.

27th of October 2008 (Mon), 09:59

I work in Airline ind, most airline's are very strict. Ours will only allow 1 bag, 5kg's and 55x45x25cm's.
Some airlines will allow more weight or even 2 bags as carry-on, but BAA will only allow 1 bag through there security.

So the 2 things you should do is check with the airline, get the measuremenst and weight and then check with the Airports to see if there are any government restrictions, (in the UK most major airports are BAA http://************/5mowbf) that the most restrictive measurements/weight and you won't have a problem.

27th of October 2008 (Mon), 12:16
The BAA allows for 1+1 out of Heathrow, as well as other airports. Which airport are you at that only allows for a single bag to pass through security.

Weight is an issue, as is always discussed, however weight can be avoided by using some creative options.

27th of October 2008 (Mon), 12:50
We flew this weekend and the tripod had to go in check baggage. We found they where not to strict with the baggage weight ( Sunwing) as my bag was just shy of about 38 pounds. However i was prepared to my my mark3 and 70-200 around my neck and my lens in my pockets to lighten the load if need be.

2nd of November 2008 (Sun), 19:13
I had to put my tripod in my suitcase when I went to Mexico this last August . I checked ahead and It was to long and you are only allowed one piece of carry on .
They were very picky about the weight and size of carry on .
Then , I was told I had too many batteries and had to show them where each one went . I explained that even in this international airport , I can't buy these batteries .
I wrapped the tripod with a couple of towels [ yes it was in it's box ]
I also have my camera heaviest lens , flash around neck and the 28 in my pocket .
I have a photography book stuck in my back . Need something to read while waiting .
Good luck and remember to carry spares of small items - batteries , straps , memory cards - you don't want to spend time looking for a small item that got misplaced , lost or was given away .

3rd of November 2008 (Mon), 23:17
Mexico has specific rules related to batteries.

It has to do with customs and immigrations and is in place to prevent people from working illegally in Mexico.

4th of November 2008 (Tue), 09:16
It was in San Jose , CA . I was going to Mexico - TSA here .
The last 3 times they didn't even open the suitcases . This year was bad - the airline went from 2 76 pound suitcases and 2 carry ons to 1st 50 pound suit case free , 2nd 15 dollars 3rd 100 dollars and only one carry on - I think 23 pounds .

4th of November 2008 (Tue), 09:55
I always check my tripod in a hard sided case and hope that it doesn't get lost. Don't want to take a chance on being told at the last minute that it has to be checked, and not being prepared. I always take my other camera gear on board though.