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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk
Thread started 19 Nov 2017 (Sunday) 10:36
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Anyone have recent TSA / Camera Experience?

 
cutwater
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Nov 19, 2017 10:36 |  #1

I'm hoping those of you that travel by air frequently can help me -

With the new rules about removing your camera from it's bag and putting it in screening tray, I'd like to know if the TSA is requiring you to remove all bodies and lenses, and do they make you separate a lens from a body?

I'm flying to FL this winter, an annual trip, and I usually have a ThinkTank backpack with 3-4 lenses and two camera bodies. I'm concerned about putting them in trays together where they could get knocked around or individual trays where it's hard to keep an eye on everything.

If that's the case, then I think I will apply for the PreCheck program.

But since I haven't flown since last winter, I was hoping some of you would recent experience can share that.

Thank you in advance!


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Lt ­ Colonel
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Post has been edited 29 days ago by Lt Colonel.
Nov 19, 2017 11:35 |  #2

I recently took a trip from Raleigh-Durham to Newark and one from Raleigh-Durham to Phoenix with a full camera bag and had no issues. Not sure if using the TSA Pre-Check lane made any difference. There were 12 or so of us on the PHX trip and no one mentioned having any issues.


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Wilt
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Post has been edited 29 days ago by Wilt.
Nov 19, 2017 12:36 |  #3

cutwater wrote in post #18499729 (external link)
I'm hoping those of you that travel by air frequently can help me -

With the new rules about removing your camera from it's bag and putting it in screening tray, I'd like to know if the TSA is requiring you to remove all bodies and lenses, and do they make you separate a lens from a body?

I'm flying to FL this winter, an annual trip, and I usually have a ThinkTank backpack with 3-4 lenses and two camera bodies. I'm concerned about putting them in trays together where they could get knocked around or individual trays where it's hard to keep an eye on everything.

If that's the case, then I think I will apply for the PreCheck program.

But since I haven't flown since last winter, I was hoping some of you would recent experience can share that.

Thank you in advance!

Have you heard of a recent change (within the past month)? We know only of the fact that there is a proposal that all 'large electronics' be pulled out (tablet, laptop) but zero mention of cameras! The falsehood of 'pull out your camera' was created by a Petapixel article in which the WRITER (wrongly) INFERRED what had not been explicitly stated on a TSA website! Also, the new requirements are NOT yet rolled out in all US airports. Only recently were the Washington DC airports activating the new requirements, in addition to a small handful of airports which were used as early test sites.


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cutwater
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Nov 19, 2017 12:58 |  #4

Wilt wrote in post #18499787 (external link)
Have you heard of a recent change (within the past month)? We know only of the fact that there is a proposal that all 'large electronics' be pulled out (tablet, laptop) but zero mention of cameras! The falsehood of 'pull out your camera' was created by a Petapixel article in which the WRITER (wrongly) INFERRED what had not been explicitly stated on a TSA website! Also, the new requirements are NOT yet rolled out in all US airports. Only recently were the Washington DC airports activating the new requirements, in addition to a small handful of airports which were used as early test sites.

Yes, I was referring to the article on Petapixel (and other news sites) and I did read the TSA press release. You are correct, it does not mention cameras and lenses specifically, only "electronics larger than cell phones".

I just want to make sure my gear is safe and if fellow photogs recommend PreCheck, I'd do it. If most are not experiencing any issues, then I will feel less concerned.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Nov 19, 2017 13:01 |  #5

In August I flew with rolling carry on bag stuffed with camera gear rolled up in underwear and t-shirts. Lot's of it, 3 bodies, 500mm lens etc. No issues with US TSA.


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ThreeHounds
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Nov 19, 2017 17:24 |  #6

I fly quite frequently with a LowePro Roller bag. 2 Bodies, 4 lenses, iPad, 2 flashes, light meter and lots of filters, chargers, batteries and other junk. I'm TSA Pre and have never had to do anything other than put the bag on the conveyor.


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PineBomb
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Nov 19, 2017 17:36 |  #7

I fly monthly USA. Waiting to board right now. I don't have to remove liquids, cameras, lenses, or laptop. They didn't even want me to remove my shoes on the last flight, but the shoes tripped the screening. A couple of nylon guitar picks tripped the scanner on this flight. Go figure.


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Hokie ­ Jim
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Post has been edited 28 days ago by Hokie Jim.
Nov 19, 2017 17:48 |  #8

Frequent domestic traveler, though mostly smaller airports (RDU, DCA, Hartford, etc). Never had to remove anything from the camera bag other than the laptop, even when they're being sticklers about shoes, running everyone through the body scanners, etc.


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Scottboarding
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Nov 25, 2017 19:07 |  #9

I flew to London and Sweden in July, and I did have some problems. I had a backpack with my laptop, jacket, etc. and I put my camera messenger bag inside that to save space. Arizona to London was no problem, but London to Sweden they pulled me aside, made me take every single thing out of the camera bag and they swabbed it all. Took some extra time, but nothing too bad. Now, on the way back from London to Texas, I went through the x-ray just fine, but when I used to passport to get on the plane, they pulled me aside and did a full inspection of everything I had. I had to take every single electronic out of my bags and pockets. Laptop, cameras, lenses, portable charger, everything. They did a full pat down on my and closely inspected my 7D and Ricoh GRii. I went on my way, but it did take an extra 15 or 20 minutes.

So essentially just show up early and you should be fine. The US transfers were no problem, so you should be fine, but just be prepared if needed. I don't know if any laws have changed since then, but that's what happened with me.


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Wilt
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Nov 25, 2017 22:36 |  #10

Scottboarding wrote in post #18504086 (external link)
I flew to London and Sweden in July, and I did have some problems. I had a backpack with my laptop, jacket, etc. and I put my camera messenger bag inside that to save space. Arizona to London was no problem, but London to Sweden they pulled me aside, made me take every single thing out of the camera bag and they swabbed it all. Took some extra time, but nothing too bad. Now, on the way back from London to Texas, I went through the x-ray just fine, but when I used to passport to get on the plane, they pulled me aside and did a full inspection of everything I had. I had to take every single electronic out of my bags and pockets. Laptop, cameras, lenses, portable charger, everything. They did a full pat down on my and closely inspected my 7D and Ricoh GRii. I went on my way, but it did take an extra 15 or 20 minutes.

So essentially just show up early and you should be fine. The US transfers were no problem, so you should be fine, but just be prepared if needed. I don't know if any laws have changed since then, but that's what happened with me.

You may simply have been tagged for the 'random inspection' chosen at random from the passenger list. On return from Prague back to SFO, our plane was delayed from Prague to Frankfurt, so my wife and I were literally the last people to get on board the Frankfurt to SFO flight. Nevertheless, after rushing from our arrival gate to our connection departure, I was wisked away five gates away, where the conducted a thorough search of carryon, wanding, etc. before I was allowed to board.


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intence01
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Nov 27, 2017 23:40 |  #11

I fly domestic in the US pretty often but have TSA-Pre. My Sony RX1 or A7R2 is usually in my backpack. If i'm in a non-precheck lane they'll ask me to remove my laptop. Nobody's ever asked me to remove the camera yet.




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Columbia
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Post has been edited 20 days ago by Columbia.
Nov 28, 2017 01:03 |  #12

It seems that every airport has different protocols when it comes to security. Whether it is a variation in training or something airport related like total daily capacity I'm not sure.

But I think the most important thing in the case of photographers and their gear is to expect you will be pulled aside and prepare to be friendly no matter how rude the TSA employee is.

I have been pulled aside more than I'd like. Using the mentality of friendliness and explaining the fragile nature and the contents of my bags, I haven't had an issue yet.

First I give them a smile when they ask me to carry my bags. Before I open the bag, I tell them what is inside and that it is expensive and fragile. After that I ask if I can be the one to handle the gear and place it into the buckets. They haven't said no yet.

Their job is to detect unexpected conditions. When you lay out (figuratively) everything for them so they know what to look for there is much less hassle.

Edit: I also carry every battery I own in ziplock bags for my carry on so my checked luggage doesn't get flagged and searched.




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cutwater
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Nov 28, 2017 15:32 |  #13

Thank you everyone for the responses and thoughts.

For this upcoming trip, I think I will just fly as always and see how it goes.


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Anyone have recent TSA / Camera Experience?
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