Travel with cameras in the "new age"

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Chip NoVaMac, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #1
    A little background. I was ready early this week ready to push the submit button on a Labor Day Weekend trip back to London (Sept 1-4). It was going to be on BA (British Airways).

    Lets say for discussions sake that the events of this past week did not happen till Monday, Sept 4th. There I am with with my carry-on and my camera bag. Prior to Sept 4th there would have been no issue. But now BA does not allow any carry-on baggage. What are my options for my camera gear? None of the bags I planed on will survive IMO the baggage handling.

    Fast forward to the reality of what we have now. So far US carriers have not gone as far as BA has. But could they not be far behind? Could there be enough of a "threat" to cause US domestic flights to go to the extreme of what BA has done for flights to the US?

    What do we as photographers do to protect our gear? I did talk with my insurance agent this morning. And it seems that I am protected on loss of my gear by the airlines. But not damage.

    My current thoughts are to get a Pelican 1510 case and a camera bag that will fit it. It meets the carry-on standards. Limits to a degree what I may want to have at hand, but it does allow me a certain comfort if I do have to check the gear in.

    I know of the advise of shipping things forward. In my case I am still waiting to hear back if this is possible for my Oct cruise.

    Just wanted to hear from others on the current state of affairs.
     
  2. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #2
    Wouldn't a well-padded hardcase survive baggage handling?
     
  3. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #3
    That is my current thought. But even with TSA approved locks - what assurance do we have as as a traveling public that our belongings are safe? It was just 2 years ago that my ex had his bag "lost" for three days on a single hop flight to Las Vegas.

    By the time he got the bag back it had been rifled through. A carton of cigs was missing. So was many pieces of "designer" clothing.Not to mention almost 3 days without his belongings.

    In many ways I am looking for validation that placing my gear in a Pelican case will be the best option regardless if I can carry it on, or have to check it.
     
  4. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #4
    I share the camera issue as well - but what about laptops? That to me would be even worse not being able to travel with one. I just don't see it happening here - just no liquids.

    D
     
  5. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #5
    I gave up on traveling with a laptop computer since I got my Epson P-2000.

    The places I traveled to have had Internet Cafes that met my needs. But you raise an issue for those that have greater "Net" and computer needs than what the Cafes can provide.
     
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #6
    I find what they are doing over there a bit over the top, BUT, I also find it necessary. 24 people and a small child to boot? I mean seriously!
    I do hope that my trip on the 17th will not result in me having to check my carry on which will be camera, ipod, laptop and phone. I am not at all happy about the idea, but if it came to me checking it or me not getting home, I'd check it. HOWEVER, if I got there ok and then they started, I'd hop a train. End of story.

    Your case in question is probably your best bet if you have to check your gear. In the end, that is the best case available and if something is going to happen, then let it happen in that. Anything else will simply not do imho.
     
  7. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #7
    I guess my question is more along of the lines do we prepare for the worst? Do I buy a Pelican case that meets the carry-on standard just in case that I might have to check it in as regular baggage?

    And is that enough to insure general safety?

    IMO the airlines need to address this issue more clearly than hiding behind the current rules. BA as an example needs to state publicly their willingness to address issues of loss and damage due to their own actions in this "crisis".
     
  8. ibilly macrumors regular

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    #8
    I'm going to college in England for my first year, and I want to bring my pretty, bug, new 23" display, along with a laptop. I don't know how I'm going to manage it all. If I'm not allowed to bring my camera on with me, I might die. I was thinking that I might take my camera bag (slingshot 200) and the display in its box on with me. The laptop should survive if it's deep within my bag with its own bag protecting it...
     
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #9
    One word: Point and shoot.

    Sorry, I wouldn't risk my expensive stuff flying in/out of England at this time, especially not my laptop. I have a backpack that would protect my DSLR and laptop, but it's not meant to protect against the weight of 13 other carry-on sized bags stacked directly on top of it. Actually, I think my Nikon would be OK and be more scared about my MacBook being crushed, particularly the screen. Sleeves aren't going to do it, either, not even the ones that compress and uncompress --- not with the chances of there being lots and lots of other bags stacked on top.
     
  10. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #10
    A friend and his wife are planning to go to England in mid-September. Because he also wanted something sturdy for trekking around town (DC), a short time ago he bought some sort of wheeled cart and then just recently bought a Pelican 1550 case with camera insert. He is planning to use the case on the cart going around this area, but when they fly to England he's going to put the camera insert thing (which is apparently like a tray that can easily be lifted out of the Pelican case) right into his roll-on carry-on sized bag for protection and take that as his carry-on. Now that all of this has happened he is thinking he'll probably take the actual Pelican case, too, realizing that when they leave the UK that he might need to put his camera gear in that and send it through as checked luggage rather than carry-on.

    I don't know anything about the various Pelican cases and sizes/models (guess I"ll have a look next time I'm in the store), but it seems to me that this would be the most practical approach aside from shipping your gear over ahead of your planned arrival, but if the destination point is a hotel or a cruise ship, the latter might be a bit "iffy."

    It is really unfortunate that we all have to worry about such things but I guess that is the reality of the times we're living in.
     
  11. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #11
    I've taken gear in luggage (checked) overseas in a Pelican case - double zip tie the thing closed and make sure you have insurance (my renter's policy [only 80 a year] covered it back then, supposedly my business insurance covers it now).

    You are welcome to use my 1550 if you want it.

    Someone with a lot fo money is figuring out a way to sell laptop/electronic baggage insurance as we speak. I wish it was me.

    The days of carry on are coming to an end, I think.
     
  12. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #12
    Surprises of surprises the bag for the 1550 is listed as discontinued in our in-store catalog by the vendor! Not sure if it is due to a new product, or Pelican not having demand till now. I sold the last two we had today.

    My goal is to try to find a bag that works with the 1510 which is their only wheeled case that is official as carry-on. The reason for focusing in on the 1510 is the wheels. The case itself weighs 14#'s. So far only two camera bags seems to fit the 1510. The LowePro SlingBag 200 and the Bogen/National Geo 2475 bag. Evidently Pelican has some bags that might also work, unless they discontinued those too.

    Just want to b e prepared if the US airlines take the British Air approach as of now, no carry-ons at all. Would have been very upset to having to check my photo gear at the last minute this past week if I had been in London.
     
  13. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #13
    Great minds think alike. Called my agent yesterday. Here in Virginia I needed to have a separate rider for the camera gear (at least with Nationwide). Good news is that I am covered for "unexplained losses" - meaning the goons at the airport "lose" my gear. But it is better to have a police report, and you can bet that if I check my gear and it is not there - the police will be called! Just wish that it was that cheap on this side of the river.

    The zip ties are a great idea. Added security with the TSA locks that Pelican has that works with their cases. An added level of comfort in knowing that the bag was opened.

    Thanks, will keep that in mind. I really want to try to find something that will meet the carry-on requirements. It may end up meaning that I stick with my travel kit from this past February (updated of sorts) - The D70s, the D50IR, the 18-200VR, the 10.5 fish-eye, the Epson P-2000, an SB-800. Thinking about getting the Pelican i1010 for my iPod

    So true. Flight insurance will soon give way to having baggage insurance that you can buy at the airport. Or maybe a rider from the likes of Nationwide. For me my iPod would not be covered unless MAYBE I had a police report of theft. My agent is checking in on this.

    As to the end of carry-on bags; lets hope that we don't end up like BA even banning books and newspapers on the flight. What is next hospital type gowns when we fly? Or dare I say free prostate and colon exams? :eek: :eek: :eek:

     
  14. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #14
    I think your comment gave TSA ideas on doing exactly those in the near future, given the current knee jerk reaction on the whole airline security situation. Maybe the entire world (or just USA) might as well ban the airline travel altogether so that no one has to worry about those issues anymore.
    As far as banning liquid at the airport, they could have used some discretion to have the passengers take a few sips at the security check to prove his/her liquid is a actual drink.
    My guess is airlines will go down hill when the government put in a permanent ban on a carry-on baggage, as business travelers would think twice before taking a trip (business travelers are the cash cow for airlines). I already avoid air travel as much as possible if it can be avoided. I can drive and have driven non stop (except for filling up a tank) for up to 600 miles quite often.
     
  15. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #15
    What would frustrate the heck out of me would be taking a long flight and NOT being able to carry on a book or two.... WTF????? Maybe I don't WANT to watch their stupid in-flight movie!! And, hey, as it happens, in order for me to be able to hear the thing I would need to be able to carry on my audio adapter, which presumably, since it's electronic, would not be permitted. I cannot use the earphones that the airlines supply. Therefore, I would not be able to hear the stupid movie..... And if I can't read a book of my choice or listen to and enjoy my iPod while in flight while knowing that my camera gear and MBP are right with me in the cabin I will not be a happy camper on the next flight I take! Fortunately, I'm not planning any trips for a while. Maybe by January things will have settled down and this will all be sorted so that we can travel with some modicum of comfort again.....

    Yes, if our government and other countries' governments put a permanent ban on carry-on luggage, I don't think this will bode well for the airliines. Too many business travelers carry their briefcases on in order to do some work while in flight, too many have become reliant on using their laptop on the plane as well.... And in many instances carry-on luggage is the ONLY luggage they have, if it's just a short overnight business trip.
     
  16. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #16
    Hope not. But happens if we have a terrorist stuffs their bum like a drug mule does - but with explosives? How do we protect against that?

    The issue is with reports of bottles that were said to be found with false bottoms. But how does a clear bottle of water become dangerous if it is sealed/unbroken cap? Let me swig a gulp then. Either that offer me a bottle of water as I board so that I might have something to drink as I sit on the tarmac for almost 3 hours on my last flight a couple months ago to LGA. Let alone newspapers and books as BA has done in recent days.

    Do we now enter in to what the movie "The Fifth Element" showed, where we are induced into a sleep state? Maybe it would allow us to have everything "Green". :)

    I know we are going OT, but you did hit a nerve with me. I want to be safe in my air travel (safe from terrorist acts). But I also want to have comfort for myself, and security (preventing loss) for my belongings.

    As I mentioned before I had the opportunity in the past week for a great deal on BA for a short weekend in London. Needing only three days of clothes and my camera gear; I was looking forward to hitting the ground running in London with just carry-on stuff.

    I have decided not to do the trip (which was on BA for Labor Day weekend for just $550 total for the airfare - a super deal IMO) Why? Because I don't want to waste limited time by checking in and picking up my bags. I also do not want to give up my iPod and noise canceling headphones in order to get some sleep time (the only way I can sleep on an airplane). Add to that the issue of "lost baggage". It is not worth the hassle for a short weekend.

    I am not sure that a permeant ban on carry-ons would have that effect. It will just end up costing the public more. Whether it is through added cost insurance as iGary mentioned, or through people shipping their bags via UPS or FedEx.

    The airlines may be hurt most by those of us that take frequent short breaks rather than longer trips. I have a cruise planned for October with my sister. I have already decided on a game plan of a Pelican carry-on case that can be checked if needed, as well as one checked bag.

    But my search for 4 to 5 day trips may come to an end if some of these restrictions continue.
     
  17. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #17
    Hey I feel for you more than my personal comfort needs.

    In the end productivity levels of those that travel will show a major hit IMO. And that will show in the GNP for the nations involved IMO. Heck, just look at the use of cell phones on our highways (which is illegal in many states while driving a car).

    In the end I am more concerned about the banning of newspapers and books on some BA flights....
     
  18. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #18
    Yes, Pelican cases are as good as you can get

    I have seen first hand gear inside a Pelican case go down a class four white water rapid. This means little four foot drops landing onto bolders and basically getting knocked around. The gear was being carried in an open canoe that took a spill on one of the drops. We had two cases of video equipment on that trip. It worked fine after. I don't thing we even bothered to put the tripod in a case as t was fresh water

    The case itself in indestructable and water proof but you have to pack the gear right. For a case you handle yourself putting a bag inside the case in enough but for one that is to be kicked down a flight of sairs you need the "pluck foam" and make a fitted "ole" for each piece of equipmet. Be sure to leave t wo inches of foam between the gear and the case and one inch between each piece. This mean you need a huge case. But if you do this you can litterally toss the case down a flight of stairs.

    I have now problem loading gear into to the back of my pickup truck. I also sometime stand on a full case too. I'm not so tall and I can shoot over other peole in a crown if I stand on the equipment case.

    Also these cases are warranted for life. No mmatter what they will fix it. I live close to the factory in Torrence CA. I've been in there last time for a broken handle and they noticed some other word parts and swapped them out. They gave me one of their waterproof flash lighs for my trouble. All wait I waited for about 20 minutes.

    I use the cases two ways. I have some that I just toss the stuff I'm going to use in. and I use a Domke or Calumet "wrap". As long as only me will handle the case minimal padding is enough

    About theft: Make the case look unique. People might take a black case because they all look the same and a black case dose not call attention to itself. So.... Paint a bright stripe in the case or ut some big stickers or "bumper stiickers all over it No one is going to walk off with a case that says "Nuke the Whales" and a day glow green stripe on it. They don't take the stuff that can be identified from across a room.

    Buy insurance for anything you can not afford to loose.
     
  19. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #19
    I am looking at going with the tan 1510 case. Wish they offered the other bright colors for this case.
     
  20. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #20
    Just had a look -- gee there are lots of Pelican cases! Anyway, I notice that there is something called the 1554, so maybe that's replacing the 1550? Ooh, bright orange and bright yellow -- yummy colors! The 1510, the one with wheels looks neat and if I didn't already have my Think Tank Airport Security roller bag, I'd be really interested in that one. For you it might be just the thing since you wlll be traveling soon and you do need something of this sort, and then you'd be covered if you DO have to check it through instead of being able to carry (roll) it on.....

    Chris' idea about marking the case so that it is distinctive is a good one. With my (black) luggage I use large bright green tags and also bright green locks to make my bags readily identifiable, and it does help when standing at the luggage carousel and black bag after black bag comes around.

    I sure hope that the US doesn't say that we can no longer carry books or magazines on board! Good grief! That would frustrate me no end!!! I know I'm not alone in that, too......

    Oh, and Chip.....you also have to be concerned about the safety of your belongings on a ship, too. Last summer a couple that I know went on an Alaskan cruise. The man took his laptop and his brand-new IS-2 (?) Canon..... he had a great time shooting photos with his new camera and each night he downloaded into the laptop. (Don't know if it were Windows or Mac). Anyway, the last day of the cruise they were instructed to place their luggage outside their door and told that it would be ready for them when they disembarked. The guy, for whatever reason, stashed his laptop in with their regular luggage while keeping custody of the camera (probably in a separate gadget bag). They went to retrieve their luggage and lo and behold, it had been rifled through and his laptop was missing, along with some other things. They lost just about all of the images he'd taken because he'd cleared his memory card after downloading into the laptop (if he'd talked with me prior to that trip I would have told him that it is advisable to have more than one memory card!). So, NOT a good idea to have one's laptop or anything else valuable in the luggage that is left outside one's door prior to disembarking.....
     
  21. Deefuzz macrumors 6502a

    Deefuzz

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    #21
    I travel by plane very seldomly (once a year at the very most) but I know how bad it would be to not be able to carry on electronic devices. I wouldn't be able to trust having a laptop or camera gear in a checked bag...And having no iPod on the flight would be right next door to brutal.

    I'm actually flying to California in a week, I really hope that there are no changes to carry on rules in the US while I am over there...otherwise I will have to ship some stuff home! But I guess the best thing to do is be ready for the worst.
     
  22. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #22
    You and me both! I'm just praying that whatever they do, they do it AFTER the 24th! I'll worry about my UK trip in November later.

    I think for $300 the Pelican 1510 with the liner and the camera insert is perfect. I mean, my camera bag purchases are getting out of hand, but if someone said that I had to check my crap then $300 is worth it.
     
  23. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #23
    But in the end we are being nickeled and dimed by "fees". IMO fees are just a way to to hie profits and taxes.
     
  24. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #24
    The problem with checking luggage with airlines is they will not handle your baggage at least with a minimum respect (respect to the customers who are supporting them by traveling via those airlines). I am in the freight industry; even though I am not working for airlines (thank god for that), I deal with them indirectly. Regardless the size of cargoes (be it a simple travel luggage/suitcase or a pallet of commercial cargo), chances are very high that they would drop them, bang them, damage them, misdirect them (to other cities), misplace them for a few hours/days/weeks/months, loose them altogether, or any combination of thereof. Sorry I am being very cynical; but, I cannot help myself from feeling this way because of my actual experience.

    If I need to carry my favorite PC/Mac or valuable electronics/digital camera/expensive lens, I would think about driving instead of flying (of course, if I need to cross the big pond, then, I would do a cost-benefit analysis if it is worth taking that air travel.) Now in this age of video conferencing, I think business traveling can be trimmed down only for essential deal making trips.

    They will inspect your checked baggage. Who knows what's going on at those airline terminals. Many freight forwarders put iron mesh around their consolidation cargo, which is covered with yet another vinyl covers, to prevent the theft or pilferage at the airline terminals. Still some of the determined and experienced thieves will cut through any covers and steal expensive products (designer cloths, digital camera, camcorders, notebook, and what-not).

    Can you imagine how easy it is for them to steal your personal effects in your checked baggage now that there is TSA approved keys floating around? It's like many valets have a master car key for variety of cars.

    Even if you have the insurance, how often can you file claims before your insurance carriers will drop you?
     
  25. annk Administrator

    annk

    Staff Member

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    #25
    I agree with Clix about books on flights, it just seems meaningless not to allow them on. The only thing I can think of, is it either was a knee-jerk reaction, allowing nothing on until things settle down and they have time to work out sensible permanent guidelines, or perhaps there's some way to have certain papers absorb liquids?? If there were, I doubt the public would be informed. :confused:

    I'm flying to China on Tuesday via Helsinki. Thank God I don't have to fly via anything having to do with the US or GB, but all this made me picture a total flying time of 12.5 hours without any form of entertainment. :eek:

    Coincidently, I have my annual check-up a the doctor tomorrow. Just to be safe, I'm asking for two powerful sleeping pills. If I can't read or listen to music / books on the long flight, I wanna SLEEP.

    I've figured out a suitcase system that I think would be possible to stash my Powerbook and cameras in, and have them survive. Theft is another issue all together, I'd just have to take my chances. I have to have the laptop because I'm presenting at a conference, and the idea of spending two weeks in China with no camera is absurd.
     

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