Ever flown with your Mac Pro?

bengle3rt

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 11, 2008
45
0
I am heading home from school next week (BOS-SFO) and am unfortunately in the middle of a bunch of consulting projects so I really can't afford to be away from my Mac Pro for a week or more while FedEx ties it to the back of a truck and drags it across the country... so I'm thinking about taking it on the plane.

I still have the box and all the packaging material, and I always pack it up in that when I move... Has anyone taken a boxed Mac Pro as checked luggage before? Will the airline be kinder to it than FedEx might, or will they just pack the same amount of damage into hours instead of days?

Thanks for your insights.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,783
2,073
Tenba might make something. I know they make a number of display flight cases.
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,145
1,166
Risky. I wouldn't necessarily trust them to treat in gently.

I know Amtrak is so worried about liability they won't even check computer equipment boxes.
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,973
3,892
Have you consider getting a small sachel or briefcase and taking it as carry on?
I think he or she is talking about a Mac Pro, not a MacBook Pro. :D

I'd probably take the hard drives out; they are the one thing that is irreplaceable. And make sure it is properly insured, in case you are making some luggage handler a very happy person.
 

wonderspark

macrumors 68040
Feb 4, 2010
3,047
100
Oregon
Ha! I worked for an airline. One of the major ones... scratch that, the most major of them all. Of the two years I spent there, part of that time was handling bags.

*** No, they won't treat it nicely. ***

That's about all I have to say on that subject.
 

wonderspark

macrumors 68040
Feb 4, 2010
3,047
100
Oregon
Looks pretty nice, but I hope one of those tests include a height of nine feet onto concrete. It was a ~regular~ occurrence to see boxes and bags tossed out of the pit onto the belt and miss, essentially being thrown directly from 9 feet high if it at least bounces on the belt. When they miss the belt completely, well then we're talking being thrown onto concrete from more like 11 feet high. That's just the pit of the plane. After that, it goes through the baggage carts and their human counterparts. They fall off at 20mph when they whip a sharp turn, and I've even seen other tugs drive over them.

I'm just saying, an airline would be my last choice for transporting a Mac Pro.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,783
2,073
Damn that's expensive, but they do make nice stuff. Their typical claim (I haven't tested this) is that it outperforms the original manufacturer's shipping boxes and foam. If I needed a case it's most likely what I'd buy. I came across them a while back looking for display cases, but I haven't been traveling much.
 

mobilehaathi

macrumors G3
Aug 19, 2008
9,353
6,296
The Anthropocene
I'd buy something like that and then insure it. They won't treat it with care. I'd take the drives out and carry them on with you. Or you could overnight fedex it there and back. Either way, this will be expensive.

I'd trust fedex more than the airlines. I shipped my 27" iMac from MI to CA recently by fedex ground. I used the original box and packaging plus original shipping box, and everything arrived (5 days later) in perfect condition.

I looked up approximate shipping costs for you. Doesn't seem too bad. How much is continuing to work on your consulting work worth?
 

R3k

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2011
922
788
Sep 7, 2011
Multiple Times with different Mac Pro's

They're pretty sturdy, cant think of a better desktop to handle the journey.

I actually had a G5 get damaged in transit, the liquid cooling sprung a leak, and shorted out the motherboard when it was booted up.

Otherwise, my colleagues and I have have made 10 + journeys with Mac Pro's between the US and Germany in the last few years, with no damage. No Major damage that is, there may have been some rubbing on the case here or there.

We have been hung up in customs in Germany a couple of times, its better if you travel with the computer and walk it out of the terminal with you, so you can explain to customs that its your system for work, and that you're not planning on selling it. Once my baggage was delayed, so I couldn't walk out with the unit. When it finally arrived a day later, customs kept it until I went back to the airport and explained the situation.

The above reason is also why i wouldn't recommend using Fedex or USPS- more likely a problem at customs, not to mention it's probably more expensive.

ATA Carnet's are a pain, only go that route if you're traveling with a large amount of gear, imo.

So yeah, just travel with your MP inside the original box as luggage. Cost about $150 USD in excess baggage on Delta when I travelled in July 2011.

Make sure its packed securely in the original box. You may want to take out the drive sleds and put them in your suitcase. Also, make sure you make backups of any precious data- we usually take a copy with us inside our carry on incase our main luggage and or MP Box are lost somewhere.

After arriving and before powering on, make sure to open her up and make sure all cards, drives and memory are seated correctly- you may want to re-seat everything just incase.

Cheers!

p.s. One Last thing. When our G5 has broken, the equipment insurance for our studio covered it. If you currently have insurance for your equipment while its at work, you should check with them to see if they cover it when you're traveling.
 
Last edited:

JoeG4

macrumors 68030
Jan 11, 2002
2,709
239
Bay Area, Ca.
Depending on the airline, the Mac Pro would juuust fit under the carry-on size limit. In that case, I'd just carry the machine itself naked lol.

http://www.luggageonline.com/about_airlines.cfm

According to this, AmericaWest should allow it (no weight limit, the Mac Pro's dimensions are 20.1 + 8.1 + 18.7 = 46.9 ... under 51"!) Continental also would (but under 40lbs), sadly Southwest wouldn't .. awww :(

However, they do say you're permitted to carry a computer. I'd ask them if the loophole applies to humongous desktops. IT MIGHT!

I wonder if they make an overhead bin big enough to hold a mac pro XD
 

AlteMac

macrumors regular
Jul 21, 2011
117
12
New York suburb
How long home from school? Would you consider a Macbook as a temporary workstation. Not such a bad idea to have a backup anyhow. Easier to carry. If you need data on the hd's get some enclosures and take them with you.
 

SDColorado

macrumors 601
Nov 6, 2011
4,279
4,244
Highlands Ranch, CO
I don't think I would check a computer, Mac Pro or Macbook Pro, packed in anything shy of a Pelican case. I had a MacBook Pro damaged in the overhead compartment even, someone stuffed something on top of it hard enough to warp the lid. I learned my lesson, and pack it in a Pelican 1495 now.

I would invest in one of these if I was going to pack my Mac Pro

Or this one, if not packing the monitor
 

wonderspark

macrumors 68040
Feb 4, 2010
3,047
100
Oregon
Saw a lot of pelican cases. They are pretty much bullet-proof. That would be the only thing I'd trust, myself. Not with the monitor in there with it, though. I am thinking the G-forces of an 11 foot drop would push that 50lb Mac Pro right through the foam around the monitor if it landed just right.
 

SDColorado

macrumors 601
Nov 6, 2011
4,279
4,244
Highlands Ranch, CO
Saw a lot of pelican cases. They are pretty much bullet-proof. That would be the only thing I'd trust, myself. Not with the monitor in there with it, though. I am thinking the G-forces of an 11 foot drop would push that 50lb Mac Pro right through the foam around the monitor if it landed just right.
You do have to wonder how well that would work. I haven't shipped my Mac Pro anywhere yet, so haven't had to test it. I have a set of Pelican (actually Storm iM2600I) cases on my motorcycle as well. I have seen the Pelican cases subjected to being dropped off buildings, down cliffs, thrown into the water off of ships, lit on fire, blown up, run over, shot with a shotgun, etc. and they seem to survive well with the contents intact and running. You make a good point about the monitor being in there together with the Mac Pro, however.
 

tamvly

macrumors 6502a
Nov 11, 2007
567
3
The airlines? Wouldn't even consider it. Maybe ship it FedEx or UPS? Much more reliable.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,783
2,073
You do have to wonder how well that would work. I haven't shipped my Mac Pro anywhere yet, so haven't had to test it. I have a set of Pelican (actually Storm iM2600I) cases on my motorcycle as well. I have seen the Pelican cases subjected to being dropped off buildings, down cliffs, thrown into the water off of ships, lit on fire, blown up, run over, shot with a shotgun, etc. and they seem to survive well with the contents intact and running. You make a good point about the monitor being in there together with the Mac Pro, however.
Pelicans are awesome too. Shot with a shotgun:eek:? They need to do some viral marketing with that on youtube. It could be like blendtec when they were blending iphones. :D
 

bengle3rt

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 11, 2008
45
0
I'm home for about 8 months but I need to get an iOS app done before iTunes Connect shuts down on the 22nd. I have a C2D Macbook Air which is normally fine but not during a crunch like this.

I looked up approximate shipping costs for you. Doesn't seem too bad. How much is continuing to work on your consulting work worth?
Wow, thanks for the info! I think it makes sense to 2-day it since I'll spend the day of the flight packing and going to the airport anyway.
 

mobilehaathi

macrumors G3
Aug 19, 2008
9,353
6,296
The Anthropocene
I'm home for about 8 months but I need to get an iOS app done before iTunes Connect shuts down on the 22nd. I have a C2D Macbook Air which is normally fine but not during a crunch like this.



Wow, thanks for the info! I think it makes sense to 2-day it since I'll spend the day of the flight packing and going to the airport anyway.
No problem. You can fine tune the zip codes, box info, and value at the fedex website for a more accurate quote, but it should be pretty close to that.
 
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