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macrumors Core
Original poster
Feb 9, 2008
I'm moving to the other side of the world, so I'm thinking of picking up a Pelican case so I can check it. Then I remembered I still have the original box for the computer.

Any thoughts on this? I will be pulling out the hard drives for obvious reasons, but will ship with the PCIe cards, processors, etc. installed.

I'm a bit weary about this since I just bought a PowerMac G5, but it was broken in transit. That ones pretty much a loss.

Anyone check their Mac Pro in a Pelican case or their original box?


macrumors 68040
Feb 4, 2010
I worked as a ramper for SkyWest/United/Continental, and part of the time I handled bags. Having handled bags myself, and having seen how unbelievably reckless those bags were treated by *all* airlines when behind the scenes (or even right on the ramp), I will never check my Mac Pro unless it's in some sort of anti-gravity über-darkmatter box.

I've never had to put mine on a plane, and instead transported mine back and forth from Colorado to Texas for a big job in my own car. However, I do foresee the possibility of transporting it to the UK one day, and I probably won't go by sea, so I think about this from time to time.

I've decided that if I had to take it on a plane, I would get one of those padded luggage bags made just for the Mac Pro... something like this. I'd wheel it to the gate with me as carry-on, despite what any airline employee told me as far as "that's too big." Then, shortly before the boarding process begins, I'd ask for a gate check of the bag, so that they hand-stow it in the pit, and pull it out by hand for return at the gate when you land. At least that way it doesn't move on those open carts (the ones with plastic curtains that don't stop anything from falling out, LOL) pulled by little tugs around the airport. *That* is the *last* place you want that box, because they fall out and get run over by other tugs, dropped off the cart, thrown onto metal belts and my god, you just wouldn't believe how they're treated in the baggage areas... particularly heavy-as-all-get-out boxes like your Mac Pro would be.

There's still a chance that it will fall off the belt loader as it goes in and out of the plane's pit, but you have no choice, since they all ride on that belt loader one way or another, because no lazy bagger is going to carry that heavy box up the belt by hand. :(

My other thought was shipping via some insured method, like FedEx or something, so that it would be covered in case of damage.

I have to say that if you can rent, swap or buy a Mac Pro on the other side of the world, it might be worth saving the hassle. You could remove your CPU tray, GPU(s) and drives, and transport those in hand luggage pretty easily, and just insert them into another Mac Pro of the same year. For the price of that padded bag I linked, you might even find a base Mac Pro for use as a shell.

Lastly, if you really strip it out and wrap it nicely, and pack all the internal parts separately, I bet the empty Mac Pro case is fairly light, and would check ok through luggage. It's the weight of a loaded Mac Pro, falling from ten+ feet onto solid concrete that will kill it, but lightened, it would be ok in the Apple box, in my belief.

I feel for you, and hope you find a good solution! Let us know, because I would love to hear about it!

ZZ Bottom

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2010
Edit: took too long to post and someone beat me to the punch.

Honestly I would check the cost of having it shipped via FedEx/UPS. They are not necessarily more likely to baby it, but they are accountable for damage to an insured item. Just make sure you document it well, as in photograph the serial numbers, condition of the Mac and box. Having worked for TSA I feel as though there is too many opportunities for it to be tossed or dropped traveling as checked baggage.

You could ship it out the day before you leave and easily make it to your destination in time to sign (or not sign) for the package. If you do go this route, be advised that its in your best interests not to sign for a package that appears damaged. Instead refuse and contact their offices for a proper documented resolution. Also, don't be concerned about shipping it in the oem box. Apple and third party sellers ship them that way all the time.


macrumors newbie
Jan 11, 2013
Where ya goin?

I would FedEx it with insurance, or pack it up good in the original box and get some luggage/travel insurance one it before you check it.


macrumors 68020
Apr 16, 2008
Phoenix, AZ
Yeah, the Pelican case for the G5/MP is around $800 new. That's a lot of money to spend on something that you might only use once or twice.


macrumors 68020
May 15, 2008
Weymouth, UK
I shipped mine in its original box from Gibraltar (via UK hub) to Malta. then three months later back to UK.

I pulled the drives but that was all. Mac survived intact completely fine.

The only thing I didn't know was to disconnect the battery on the RAID card. dont know about non-apple but the apple one when its left for ages it drains so completely that a replacement is needed.

I was ok and Apple replaced mine without any issue (they shipped me just the battery and I had to return the duff one after).

If you had to buy a flight case for only a couple of uses; you would probably be just as well of selling it and buying another as flight cases are expensive.


macrumors Core
Original poster
Feb 9, 2008
Thanks everyone for posting replies. I never really got around to this yet. I'm having visa issues with my move…

Thanks for posting suggestions. I never ever check my camera equipment (in a Pelican case), so I don't know why I would check this. I have looked up prices for FedEx/UPS… as it's pretty sad AKA they want like $500 to ship this. :eek:

Anyways I might sell my old Mac Pro (as costabunny suggested) and just buy a new one… assuming they ever release a new one… I'm not going to need the processing power and expandability of the Mac Pro either, so perhaps I'll get a loaded 27" iMac. :eek:

This would save me the hassle of having to ship a Mac Pro, a 30" monitor, associated drives… so many things to break.
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