Hello Everyone! Long time no see, it's been a while since I've visited the site and had a peek around.
I have some questions in regard to travelling with my equipment, the dos and don'ts and how to keep everything safe.
I'm not looking at transporting a lot, here's what I've got:
All in my LowePro bag.
Now, I live in Alberta, Canada and I'm going to Florida, then to Toronto and back home. What have your experiences been travelling with gear? Any tricks or tips? How's security with all of this? Anything I should avoid that could wreck my gear going through TSA and whatnot?
I only use the Thinktank Airport rolling camera bag. It will easily hold your equipment and you can take it on board as hand luggage.
As I said it is the only bag I use when flying and I have heard people say it is the only bag designed by a photographer.
All your equipment is safe going through all security checks
Security is not a problem as you take the bag into the plane and place it in the overhead compartment. I use this bag about six times a year, best bag I have ever bought
WestJet let you carry on two bags but each can only weigh 10 Kg/22 lbs, and at Vancouver and Calgary, they weigh the carry on. The Thinktank bag is 3.9 Kg to over 6 Kg depending on the bag! They are heavier than my large suitcase! They may be well built but you can't put much in them before exceeding the weight limit.
For walking around, I like the LowePro StealthReporter bags. If I am not taking a lot of gear, I just put what I think I will need in the bag and carry it on. If I am taking a couple of bodies and more lenses, I put socks, underwear, battery chargers, outlet adapters, cables and so on into the StealthReporter bag and put it in my suitcase. I pack the camera gear into a Computrekker Plus backpack and carry that on. In Vancouver, WestJet was upset with the weight of my backpack, so I took out the cameras and carried them on separately, which they were fine with. Flying out of Toronto, no one paid any attention to me. Digital cameras can go through the scanner with everything else. Sometimes they want to open the bag and look inside.
The gear you listed is not that heavy, you should be fine on any of the larger jets. We took a regional jet from Toronto to Winnipeg and they wanted to check my briefcase because that plane had no storage space in the cabin.
If you are concerned, pick up a photo vest and put it in your camera bag. If anyone complains about your camera bag, put the vest on, fill the pockets with lenses, and put the camera around your neck. Wear the whole thing on as a coat.
Enjoy your trip!
Thanks for the tips guys!
U.S TSA are a bunch of dipsticks (polite term). They are a bunch of self important buffoons who like to strut their power over you and will make your life and travel miserable if possible. They may not all be lack that but there certainly are a sizable group of them who are. My best suggestion is, if possible, send all your stuff ahead via UPS and don't check anything or carry anything on except possibly a book to read etc. I have had no issues traveling internationally but the U.S. TSA efforts like to strut their power.
Like I said. Send it by UPS if you can. TSA are a bunch of jerks.
Funny TSA story. I was flying home from Juneau and had to pass my bag off to the TSA for screening. I was called over and quietly told that "cylindrical" objects were detected in my bag and would be subject to further search. I, of course, had 3 lenses in my bag that apparently looked like pipe bombs. So he goes through and pulls out JUST ONE lens and passes the bag through the x-ray again only to inform me that more objects were detected. This dog and pony show went on until all of my lenses and camera body were removed. They were removed ONE AT A TIME! After that I was informed to remove my camera and all of my lenses, my tripod, and all of my filters next time in order to avoid an intrusive search. We got some geniuses working in the 'ole TSA!
I was flying out of Lubbock, Texas to Madrid, Barajas with a connecting flight in Miami. As many of you know I use film for most of my work, which should not be x-rayed. I asked for a hand check, as the law says they must do if you request it. They removed each item, item by item, from my brief case and scanned each one with their fairy wand. Then they removed each item, item by item, from my camera bag and scanned each one individually, forcing me to break the Kodak seal on each box of film. Fortunately not opening them. Then I had to go back through the full body scanner. I had arrive 2 1/2 hours early. As it was I finally got on the plane, 50 ft from the security station, as it was on final boarding. IMHO each one of them should be fired.
In europe I never get these problems. I carry the bag with me and when they want to look inside it is just opened up and everything is laid out in front of them, their usual reply is OK zip it back up.
Maybe because we get so many stories from America about flying and inspections that people in Europe are now holding back from going to the USA
The one and only time I traveled with my gear, I used it as my carry on. I wouldn't dare check my photo gear. No way! Never had any problems in security.