Air Travel with Photo Gear Post 9/11

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Designer Dale, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #1
    I'm going to be flying to Kalamazoo, Michigan next week and want to take some gear. Just my XSi and Tamron 28-75 2.8. Maybe a flash. I haven't flown with a camera since 9/11 and don't know what to expect. I have a Crumpler 7MDH. I also have a small camera bag that will do for what I'm taking. I could pack the camera loose in my carry-on or fit the small bag into the somewhat larger flight bag I have.

    Are the TSA folks going to strip my gear? Copy my SD card?

    I'll be in Michigan for four days.

    Suggestions?

    Dale
     
  2. Stratification macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    #2
    Don't worry about it, travelled to Ireland recently with a camera slung around my neck and a bag full of lenses, no-one gave anything a second look. So don't worry about it mostly.
     
  3. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #3
    they will just make you put your bags through the xrays. Kind of a pain if you methodically packed your bag, but other than that, it is fine.
     
  4. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #4
    I had my Tenba crammed with the 40D, four lenses, extenders, hoods, and the flash. They couldn't have cared less.

    At most they may want you to open the bag and look at the particulars depending on how you're packed. As long as everything can be individually ID'd in the x-ray, you'll likely just grab 'n' go.
     
  5. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #5
    Very nearly every time I have flown since I've owned my DSLR I've taken it with me. Never had a problem. They have never even asked me to open my bag and verify the contents- I think they see a lot of DSLRs these days and can identify them pretty well. I hear you can get grief for bringing a tripod as carryon but that the grief comes more from the airline not the TSA I don't know exactly though as I have never carried on a tripod it's too big and I put it in my checked luggage.

    Actually, now that I think back, I did have one problem once when I was returning from a China trip. I had brought my tripod along and also brought the hex wrench I need to add/remove the L-bracket from my camera. I remembered on the outbound to put those tools in my big backpack which got checked, but forgot to transfer them back into the large bag when I returned. The security at the airport picked up on it via the x-ray (of all the other things I had in the bag!) but let it slide.

    Ruahrc
     
  6. Designer Dale thread starter macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #6
    Thanks a lot for all the info. It's great to ask a question of you folk and receive
    thoughtful replies. I had this vision of some clam handed TSA guy pulling the lens off my camera and looking through it. Silly me.:p

    I now know to just relax and get ready for my trip.

    Dale
     
  7. AxelMonkey macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere between Heaven and Hell, Oregon
    #7
    Hehe I got a funny story about the airport not about camera though Kinda off subject. So like I was coming home from the military and had all my padlocks and keys in one pocket, they put my bag through the xray like 5 times then told me to unpack my whole bag to see what it was EVEN THOUGH I WAS IN UNIFORM... Airports are so dumb, I took out my three padlocks and keys(all locked together) and showed them. They made me miss my flight and I hate airports...
     
  8. oblomow macrumors 68020

    oblomow

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    Apr 14, 2005
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #8
    So the next terrorist will fly in a uniform and can bring whatever he wants.
    I agree that most security measures on airports are mainly theatre and give a false sense of security (body scans, fluid bans etc) , but just having a uniform does not make you reliable.
     
  9. gnd macrumors 6502a

    gnd

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    At my cat's house
    #9
    I just returned from a trip to USA and I had no real problems anywhere. The most detailed security was flying into USA. They wanted to look through the camera and every lens. I have a LowePro camera backpack so showing them my gear presented no real problems. Nothing like that happened on the way back, just the usual shoes off, belt off, coat off, empty pockets, X-ray everything ... :eek:
     
  10. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    #10
    For some real fun, bring an external hd (or two). If you're lucky, they'll swab your bags for chemical residue.

    The TSA has never had a problem with my camera gear, though.
     
  11. gnd macrumors 6502a

    gnd

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    At my cat's house
    #11
    Well, I had one HD in my photo backpack on the way there and two on the way back. They never got mentioned, a case of YMMV I guess.
     
  12. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #12
    I've traveled with my camera with flash and a lens or two in the US and in Asia, never had to take my gear out of the bag, just my laptop. :)
     
  13. Ish macrumors 68000

    Ish

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    I flew to Denver last year with a DSLR and no-one asked to look at it. It went through the x-ray machine and that was that. Haven't been able to post much this week, I've got visitors!
     
  14. mdatwood macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #14
    I should have replied to this earlier...you won't have any problems in the US. I travel and bring my laptop and camera everywhere I go. It's always just the basic take it out show them whatever. I have a friend who travels with a full kit and also never has any issues.

    The one caveat to the above is if you're leaving and returning to the US. If you have expensive stuff customs will sometimes ask where you bought it because they want you to pay taxes on it. On my way back from Tokyo (interestingly enough, on my way in I wasn't even stopped) it was just simple questions. Did you buy any of this in Tokyo, what's the value, etc... A friend of mines dad does a lot of travel photography and brings cases of kit and always brings all his receipts to avoid customs hassle on his way back into the country. In this case, I think it depends on just how much stuff you have, ie, a camera and a few lens shouldn't be an issue.

    On my way into Jamaica I got fully shaken down and had to pay $50 in 'duty fees.' Although, I didn't just have a camera and had a bunch of other stuff that they wanted to say I was trying to sell (he specifically pointed out that I had more than 1 camera lens so obviously I was selling them /sigh). Anyways, long story short it was a shakedown and I just had to negotiate what I was going to pay. Third world countries FTW! lol
     
  15. NeGRit0 macrumors 6502a

    NeGRit0

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nv
    #15
    I was the same when i flew to San Francisco for new years. I was worried about me camera, and my skateboard. Surprisingly I got more hassle cause i wasnt finishing my Vitamin Water fast enough, than i did for any of my electronics(My XTi, and Macbook) or my skateboard.
     
  16. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #16
    Go to Bell's Brewery cafe and drink lots of good beer. That's the only way you're gonna get through four days in Kalamazoo. :D

    I'm kidding. Kalamazoo is actually a nice college town with a pretty cool arts and music scene. Have fun.
     
  17. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    #17
    I just flew with a Canon DSLR, lens attached, two hard drives in a bag, and a lighting umbrella, along with transmitters and receivers. The only question I received on the packed bag was "do you have electronics in there?" To which I said "Yes, two hard drives."

    That was all.
     
  18. TheSVD macrumors 6502a

    TheSVD

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    Sep 3, 2008
    Location:
    The Jolly Ol' Midlands, England
    #18
    what?
     
  19. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    #19
    Apparently external hard drives, with their circuit boards and accompanying wires, screamed "bomb!" to the X-Ray machine operator, and my bag was subsequently taken over to a table, opened, and swabbed. The sample was placed in some sort of chemical analysis machine to verify that I didn't have a bag full of C4 or anthrax, or whatever they look for (and surprise! It didn't).

    It was a while ago and I can't remember the airport, which I'm sure makes the anecdote all the more believable.

    I don't know if that is better or worse than the time I tried to sneak a large bag of chips (crisps) in my coat into a movie theater and the police there thought I had a bomb.

    "He's got Sun Chips!"
    "Sweet mother of God! Drop him!"

    I guess I was lucky to walk away with only a stern lecture about 9/11.
     
  20. TheSVD macrumors 6502a

    TheSVD

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Location:
    The Jolly Ol' Midlands, England
    #20
    Oh right haha, thats madness! security really is tight after 9/11 it would seem! I dont travel via airplane very often so i guess i wouldn't know, haha :)

    Bloody hell though, a bag of crisps? And they thought it was a bomb? Jeeesus. And yeah haha, your lucky you didn't get a stern lecture from a gun rather than some cop!
     
  21. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #21
    I've traveled several times by air within the US with my Canon T1i and several lenses, spare batteries, charger, etc. in a camera bag. TSA and security is not an issue; I've never been asked to take the camera out of the bag and it passes through the x-ray machine without problems at all.

    What HAS been an issue lately is taking it on as carry-on. If you can manage to fit your camera bag underneath the seat in front of you, do that. If you end up having to stow your bag up in the overhead compartments, then until the plane takes off, watch that bag like a hawk.

    There are lots of passengers trying to skirt around the checked bag fees by trying to take their luggage on board and jamming them into the carry-on compartments, so you will have to vigorously defend your gear against overzealous cheapskates ramming their overweight, oversized, overstuffed luggage in there, not caring about whether it crushes anything that's already in that space. Fortunately my camera never suffered damage because I kept it with me at all times, buy my macbook pro had to go up there, and once got more than its share of dents from some idiot who felt he could defy the laws of physics.
     
  22. thedigitalfox macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #22
    One thing I'd check before you pack all your things is your airline's luggage policy about electronics. Why it possesses people to put DSLRs in their check-in luggage is completely beyond me; when I was traveling in Japan the ticket agent asked me three times if there were no cameras in my check-in luggage. Apparently they aren't only discouraged, they simply aren't allowed in check-in luggage at all on the airline I was flying.
     
  23. mtbdudex macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    #23
    How about travel with tripods? Going DTW to BNA (Detroit to Nashville) this Sunday, back Friday.

    I'm taking my FEISOL CT-3441S tripod with me, any issues from TSA?
     
  24. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Location:
    Where am I???
    #24
    Holy old thread, Batman! ;)

    I've never had an issue with a tripod. A TSA agent at Newark did give me stress about the gaffers tape I use to cover portions of my equipment (just to prevent/hide srapes), but I've never had an issue with a tripod.
     
  25. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #25
    If you want to take it onboard with you, it will probably count as your one carry-on item. I always check my tripod in a large suitcase. It's a bit nerve-racking to check expensive items, but the items I want to carry on are always even more expensive (cameras, lenses, and laptop). ::::sigh::::
     

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