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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 21 Aug 2015 (Friday) 17:01
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Have You Ever "Checked" Camera Gear

 
Bogino
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Aug 21, 2015 17:01 |  #1

When traveling on an airplane? Is that absolute "no way" or would you pack a lens or 2 in checked baggage?


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rdalrt
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Aug 21, 2015 17:27 |  #2

Regular checked baggage? No.

Last time I flew with my gear (couple years ago) I had to gate check my Think Tank Airport Intl. with a couple 1D4's, 400 2.8, 70-200, 24-70, 16-35 and misc. other stuff. Was none to happy about that. But at least since it was gate checked, I was able to actually stand and watch the handlers load the bag on the plane before I boarded.


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Archibald
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Aug 21, 2015 17:32 |  #3

rdalrt wrote in post #17677995 (external link)
Regular checked baggage? No.

Last time I flew with my gear (couple years ago) I had to gate check my Think Tank Airport Intl. with a couple 1D4's, 400 2.8, 70-200, 24-70, 16-35 and misc. other stuff. Was none to happy about that. But at least since it was gate checked, I was able to actually stand and watch the handlers load the bag on the plane before I boarded.

Then it goes up a steeply inclined jiggly conveyer belt without sides. Most of the bags reach the top without issue, but I have seen some fall off. Scary.


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rdalrt
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Aug 21, 2015 17:35 |  #4

Archibald wrote in post #17678003 (external link)
Then it goes up a steeply inclined jiggly conveyer belt without sides. Most of the bags reach the top without issue, but I have seen some fall off. Scary.

Heh, true. But this was at a little regional kind of airport and we were out on the tarmac. So stood right there watching it get put on the little conveyor and taken off at the top. Thankfully everything worked out. And thankfully, I very rarely need to fly with my gear.


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Aug 21, 2015 18:07 |  #5

The airline aren't going to accept any responsibility for loss or damage by baggage handlers, or if they do the totals are limited to a few hundred $ and certainly won't cover the cost of a bunch of photo kit. So it better be insured up the wazzo and in a bomb proof pelican case.

Canadian handlers dropping cases down a stairway - https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=t8EBjRkqUp0 (external link)


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Aug 21, 2015 18:12 |  #6

It is generally not the baggage handlers that are the problem, it is the conveyor system with steep drops inside the airport where most of the banging and crashing of luggage goes on.


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Aug 21, 2015 18:36 |  #7

Dan Marchant wrote in post #17678043 (external link)
The airline aren't going to accept any responsibility for loss or damage by baggage handlers, or if they do the totals are limited to a few hundred $ and certainly won't cover the cost of a bunch of photo kit.

Travellers can certainly make claims for lost luggage, and for quite a bit more than a few hundred dollars. However, it is a big hassle for the traveller and success is not assured.

But lost luggage is a big hassle for the airline too, and can be very costly if there has to be a big payout or if there is litigation. Obviously if you have valuable items, take them as hand luggage. Then if the airline for whatever reason demands you check the bag containing the precious goods, inform them of what is in there and the value. It is in the airline's interests to accommodate the traveller and avoid the risk.


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Aug 21, 2015 18:51 |  #8

I used to work at O'hare airport for one of the bigger airlines there. I didn't load the planes but I was outside and have seen some horrible circumstances with luggage going up and down those belts.

Example: an entire case of small circuit boards fell off the belt at the top. Hundreds of little circuit boards were laying on the ground being stepped on, ran over by ramp service vehicles and no one picked them up until they were done unloading the plane. I started to pick them up but someone told me something else could fall off and I could get hurt.

There should be less strict rules for carrying on camera gear especially if the airlines are not going to take responsibility for it.


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Aug 21, 2015 19:17 |  #9

I myself have taken "sensitive" photo gear as "carry-on"...

Some things, such as tripods and monopods, I've checked in, no hassles there...

One time some checked in luggage was misplaced from a cross-country flight. Fortunately, the found it and got it to me. And fortunately there was no needed photo gear, just clothes, but I would definitely stow valuable stuff in the carry-on!


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Jon
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Aug 21, 2015 19:31 |  #10

I'll check tripods, monopods, chargers, tools and extra batteries. Anything else is in bags sized and styled (clearly soft-sided and non-rolling) to be used only as carry-ons.


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tdlavigne
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Aug 21, 2015 19:43 |  #11

No way. I've read far too many horror stories of the schemes and tactics baggage handlers or TSA agents have for theft of valuable items. I also know a pair of people who've had items stolen (one a dslr, another a macbook). If I ever needed to travel and transport a lot of gear (that couldn't all fit on the plane with me), I'd try the old "Transport a gun/claim it at check in" thing. Supposedly that helps a smidge since there needs to be more strict policies in place for the transport of firearms. Even then though, there was a study that showed even then firearms and equipment packed with firearms was still stolen, albeit less often than regular luggage.




  
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Aug 21, 2015 19:47 |  #12

Never. I ALWAYS carry my camera gear with me.


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Aug 24, 2015 03:36 |  #13

Here is my test to decide which gear can go in the hold and which comes in the cabin.

Put the piece of equipment in a bag and throw it out of a 2nd floor window - twice. Then run over it with a truck. Finally, leave it unattended in a busy street for two hours.

If it survives that lot intact and unstolen, then it's safe to go in the hold.


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Aug 24, 2015 05:43 |  #14

hollis_f wrote in post #17680711 (external link)
Here is my test to decide which gear can go in the hold and which comes in the cabin.

Put the piece of equipment in a bag and throw it out of a 2nd floor window - twice. Then run over it with a truck. Finally, leave it unattended in a busy street for two hours.

If it survives that lot intact and unstolen, then it's safe to go in the hold.


A friend of mine takes the rubbish home from his shop, so that he doesn't have to pay commercial refuse prices. One evening he put the box, all taped up so it didn't spill, with the day's trash on the ground outside the front door of the shop. He had to step back inside for something and as he did so someone took their opportunity grabbed the "parcel" running off at top speed. I would have loved to see the thief's face when he got to open his prize. Would have been even funnier if the thief had been caught in the act, the consequences would be the same regardless of the contents of the stolen package.

Alan


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Aug 24, 2015 07:20 |  #15

No freaking way. It comes with me as carry on. Which leaves not much space for other carry on, like books and food and stuff. But I'm happy to suffer for my art ;-)a


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Have You Ever "Checked" Camera Gear
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