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Author Topic: Tripods & Airports  (Read 14465 times)
daleeman
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« on: August 05, 2008, 09:39:39 AM »
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In my future trip in November I am hoping to bring a tripod. I have a large and sturdy Induro C313 with a ball head and I also have a much smaller A014 Induro.  What I wonder is has anyone had great experiences and poor experiences in traveling with a tripod… for this time only in the US.

I wonder about putting my C313 into a suitcase that is checked and how hungry a TSA agent is and will they take it home for their point and shoot camera. Additionally can one take such a monster 29” without head on it, into the cabin of a plane as carry on? Will the smaller A014 go as carry on? Does the TSA think these things are weapons and steal them from you? (I would say confiscate but it really is Government stealing in my mind)

I imagine I will take my Nikon D300 with a 17-70 and a 80 – 400 zoom. Additionally I believe I will take my Mamiya 645 1000s. Still love B&W. the smaller Induro is a bit weak for these but it packs well into a small place.
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NashvilleMike
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2008, 12:12:36 PM »
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A large tripod/head may be an issue.

While expensive, I prefer to ship my tripod/head (a Gitzo 5530S and RRS BH-55) via UPS to my location ahead of time, usually by 2 days (so there is a backup day in case it gets misrouted). I also call the hotel I'm staying at to make sure they're cool with the idea, and of course, I insure the cr*p out of the shipment as well. I've done this at least a half dozen times now and it's just easier than dealing with the TSA (think what would happen if one airport allowed your tripod but another wouldn't and how rapidly your day might go downhill at that point) or with checked luggage and the issues there. When I travel, I try to minimize the things that can go wrong in terms of getting my gear there, so shipping the tripod (and whatever spare clothing I might need as well) while carrying the rest onboard works best for me. Makes for less stressful flying in my book.

-m
« Last Edit: August 05, 2008, 12:13:32 PM by NashvilleMike » Logged
ruraltrekker
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2008, 12:38:44 PM »
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I think you will be fine checking in one of your bags. I travel often with typically four light & stand bags and always get the "TSA Love Letter" saying they went for a look. Not one thing has gone AWOL. One recent trip was 12 flights over 14 days out & back from Atlanta. Yeah, only two overnights! Got the love letter every time.

The TSA people are not thieves like some the baggage handler gangs that were common in yesteryear. They are doing that incredible crazy job of looking for stuff that could harm an aircraft. Give them some credit.

I have not taken a tripod into the cabin in a long time so I can't tell you if you can. I know that the Louisville, KY airport does not allow any Louisville Sluggers in the cabin, even the little one they give you after taking the factory tour. They have a display at security with the little bats that have been collected - oh, I can see the very upset little kid! Seems a ball bat & tripod might be considered cousins?

I like to just take the cameras & computer in the cabin and save my back by checking everything else.

Ken
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tsjanik
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2008, 03:20:15 PM »
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A large tripod/head may be an issue.

(think what would happen if one airport allowed your tripod but another wouldn't and how rapidly your day might go downhill at that point)
-m
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213219\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
That happened to me: no problem carrying on a small Gitzo from US to Osaka, but I was not allowed to carry it on  for the return flight.  It ended up in baggage, unpacked and was subsquently disassembled by customs and not reassembled very well.  I recently  took a  larger tripod in checked baggage to France and back with no problems.
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JDClements
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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2008, 06:16:43 PM »
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I've flown between Canada and US with a tripod in checked luggage, no problem.
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Dale Allyn
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« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2008, 08:19:48 PM »
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I carry the head and check the legs.
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daleeman
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« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2008, 05:49:08 AM »
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The TSA people are not thieves like some the baggage handler gangs that were common in yesteryear. They are doing that incredible crazy job of looking for stuff that could harm an aircraft. Give them some credit.
.......
I like to just take the cameras & computer in the cabin and save my back by checking everything else.

Ken
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Ken,
I believe I do need to lighten up on the TSA. They are in fact doing a job, one I wished they could have been doing a year earlier than when they started and maybe just maybe 9/11 would not have happened.

I'll follow up on your example of checking everything else and taking the computer and camera in the plane. In this thread is a comment about packing the legs and taking the head onboard. I think this is a good idea too.

Lee
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daleeman
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« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2008, 05:51:06 AM »
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I carry the head and check the legs.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213304\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Very Good Idea. I think I will go out and buy a 3/8 16 nut or wingnut to protect the threads while in the suitcase.

Lee
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DonWeston
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« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2008, 08:33:08 AM »
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Very Good Idea. I think I will go out and buy a 3/8 16 nut or wingnut to protect the threads while in the suitcase.

Lee
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I have carried my tripod and head dozens of times in this fashion, nationally and internationally, and never have had any issues. I don't use any special protection of the 3/8 bolt, I figure whatever trauma might come to that to damage it, would most likely destroy the luggage piece anyway, it would have to be pretty major damage. It is a steel bolt!! The head on the other hand is in my camera bag and more protected as it is more delicate, but still I have been lucky. I have only broken an old head due to over tightening by yours truly...my newer head is an RRS model BH40, and doubt much could damage that ....
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framah
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« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2008, 09:50:50 AM »
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I usually put the tripod leg setup into a leg of one of my pants and the head used to go in one of my boots. Now I'll keep the head with me if I can find a place amongst everything else.
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ah100m
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« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2008, 10:09:07 AM »
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I usually put the tripod leg setup into a leg of one of my pants and the head used to go in one of my boots. Now I'll keep the head with me if I can find a place amongst everything else.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213405\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

'must make you walk funny.

Sorry.
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MarkKay
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« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2008, 10:09:23 AM »
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I have traveled quite often and place a Gitzo CF tripod with an RRS-55 ballhead. I have never had trouble carrying this in my carry on suitcase whether national or international travel.

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I usually put the tripod leg setup into a leg of one of my pants and the head used to go in one of my boots. Now I'll keep the head with me if I can find a place amongst everything else.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213405\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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ruraltrekker
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« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2008, 10:27:53 AM »
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In this thread is a comment about packing the legs and taking the head onboard. I think this is a good idea too.

Lee
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Lee,

I used to do that - take the head on board but...

The screeners would see this big solid glob that didn't make them at ease. They had to see it and this meant opening the bag it was in. Too much for me so it goes with the legs checked.

Ken
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Dale Allyn
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« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2008, 10:40:05 AM »
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Lee,

I used to do that - take the head on board but...

The screeners would see this big solid glob that didn't make them at ease. They had to see it and this meant opening the bag it was in. Too much for me so it goes with the legs checked.

Ken
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213412\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I fly fairly often, domestically and internationally, and as my bag enters the x-ray unit I mention to the screener that there is a tripod head in the bag. They typically nod and it goes through fine. A mini-mag flashlight gets far more attention normally.

In Tokyo (Narita) I don't mention it and the screeners never comment on it (several times each year). In Bangkok sometimes I mention it and sometimes I don't, but they are usually interested in other, smaller types of things there. Traveling within Thailand I just carry it on as if I own the plane and they have never commented about it. Who knows how it will go with the next flight though?

I leave a set of legs in Bangkok now, so I don't have to carry legs to that destination at least.

Cheers,

Dale
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Bradley Proctor
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« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2008, 01:51:50 PM »
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I fly fairly often, domestically and internationally, and as my bag enters the x-ray unit I mention to the screener that there is a tripod head in the bag. They typically nod and it goes through fine. A mini-mag flashlight gets far more attention normally.

That's a good way to handle it as they might not know what they are looking at.  Once you tell them what it is, it may become more obvious to them.
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framah
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« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2008, 05:51:46 PM »
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'must make you walk funny.

Sorry.

Yeah... I pretty much walked   right into that one!!   (Is that a tripod in your pants or are  you just glad to see me??)

That'll teach me to post before my morning caffeine. Thanks for the laugh.
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Paul Sumi
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« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2008, 06:25:29 PM »
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I've only flown domestic U.S., and have had no problems putting the tripod legs (Gitzo 1348) in my checked luggage and carrying-on the ballhead in my photo backpack.

Others I know have carried-on tripods with no problems, so YMMV.

Paul
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2008, 06:54:17 PM »
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In the US the maximum length of a carry on item is 26" so If I do not check the tripod I take the ball head off and make sure the collapsed length is 26" or less. The same diagonal dimension of a 22" roller suitcase. In other countries it is approx the same length expressed in cm's
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
daleeman
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« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2008, 11:10:18 AM »
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I almost hate to admit this, but here in the US, before I picked up a worthwhile tripod, upon entering my destination city I would go to Wal-Mart and purchase their best tripod and use it where ever I went. I would keep the box safe in the rental car trunk and the night before my return, I would produce the receipt back at the Wal-Mart and return it in the original box. Always did it with cash, so “Ole Sam” would not roll over in his grave seeing me buy and return 9 to 15 tripods a year.

I’m really selling me down the river here guys. I just had to share it to cleanse my soul.

8 months clean and sober in tripods anonymous  
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iCrop
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« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2008, 02:25:51 PM »
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... I would go to Wal-Mart and purchase their best tripod and use it where ever I went.
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That’s brilliant!  I’d never have thought of renting a tripod from Wallmart!  
Mike
« Last Edit: August 08, 2008, 02:26:53 PM by iCrop » Logged
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