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Author Topic: What to Expect at the Airport  (Read 6128 times)
BlasR
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« on: December 11, 2004, 09:25:26 AM »
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I travel alot and only in Los Angeles they looked very my camera other then that they never ask me to take everything out...So just check in your tripod and be safe in your travel...Don't worry about security..But you need to count that they maybe look a your equipment...So give extra time for that.


BlasR
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Sabercat04
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2004, 10:00:47 AM »
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I haven't had any trouble with carrying camera equipment, including tripod. For film shooters, the US airports are required to hand check film on request even if it is less than 800 speed. I frequently do that because the film will sometimes go thru several checkpoints. I was quite irritated once recently when I asked them to handcheck my 120 film and they insisted on opening every aluminum-wrapped roll of film.
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mikebinok
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2004, 11:15:03 AM »
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Incidentally, I always pack my carbon-fiber tripod in checked luggage.  I've heard reports of tripods being prohibited from the passenger compartment, and don't want to deal with it.  I'm not sure if it is the tripod, or the battery charger (which also seems to always end up checked), but that bag is INVARIABLY opened and checked (TSA leaves a little card to show they've been in the bag).  Never caused a problem, but it increases slightly the risk of pilferage or accidental loss of an item from the bag.
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PhotoPops
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2004, 05:36:24 PM »
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Thank you all for the replies and info. I haven't flown since 9-11 and it's good to know what to expect.
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DiaAzul
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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2004, 11:28:44 AM »
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Quote
Very interesting, but how do they deal with medication? I am a diabetic and use insulin via a pen dispenser with removable/disposable needle tips. The thought of losing a checked bag with all of my medications is enough to make me paranoid. How will the insulin pen and needle tips be treated?
Most airports are quite reasonable with respect to medication. I would suggest that you get a note from the doctor explaining the situation and that you have to carry your insulin kit with you at all times. Check with any national diabetic associations in your particular country for specific advice as they will know what the current situation is with respect to airport security and any specific identification you need to take with you.
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
Jay Kaplan
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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2004, 04:31:41 PM »
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Thank you both, I was at my doctor's office this afternoon and he gave me much the same answer.
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PhotoPops
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2005, 10:45:29 AM »
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I didn't have any hassles at the airport like I thought. I just went through the security line and that was it - no delays and I didn't even get wanded.

They did wipe down my 300 2.8 lens case with those detection devices on the way home from Jackson Hole but it only took a second. I was pleasantly suprised. From the hubub in the news about patdowns and such I was expecting big hassles and delays but the staff was very polite and efficient and didn't even make me open my gear bags with my photo gear and digital stuff.
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bopbop
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« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2005, 08:44:15 PM »
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Just returned  from  mexico.  The  tool  rule  bit  me.  I  left  a  12 cm flat wrench  for tightening my tripod legs  in   my  carry  on even though  I  took   my  other  tripod.  In  addition  my  allen  keys  were  in  the carryon Lowepro  also.  The TSA supervisor made  me   bin  the  flat  wrench  since  I  could  not  retrieve  my checked  bag  to  transfer it.  Interestingly  the  allen wrenches  were    ignored/missed both directions  and  on  an  earlier round trip within the states Mem  to Phx.  The  arbitrary nature  of  this  had  me  livid at  the  time.  I  could  more   likely hurt someone  with my 70-200 than  this  wrench.  ( I  did  not  point  out  their folly of  missing  my hex wrenches  to  prove  my superiority).  By  God  why  don't  they  use  the anthropolgists definition of a  tool  and take  my camera  and  my lenses and  ...
In sum  depend  on  them  to  be  arbitrary not rational and  certainly not persuadable(sic) Know  the rules  and  they will  liberate you.
George
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PhotoPops
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2004, 09:11:42 AM »
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Hi,

I haven't flown in quite a while(pre sept 11) and am going to be heading to Jackson Hole for some skiing and photography next week.

For those of you who travel a lot in the US I was wondering if you could give any tips on what to expect in terms of any hassles you get with your photo equipment carry-on articles when going through security. I heard on other forums that people with camera gear and digital equipment like image tanks etc often get delayed because sometimes they have to open up everything and strip down all their gear for inspection etc. I heard one story where a guy claims they wouldn't let him bring his digital wallet onboard because they couldn't inspect it properly and had to pack it in his checked baggage.
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2004, 09:48:53 AM »
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In my experience, carrying normal photo gear (I don't know about anything exotic since I don't have any) is no problem.  Sometimes they will want to open your gear bag and look at what's in it, but only briefly, with a minimum of fuss.  When I went digital, I was originally concerned about the mess of cables, battery chargers, etc. that came with it, but they didn't turn out to be a problem.

Of course, if you give them other reasons to be suspicious of you or be annoyed with you, they may make a big deal about everything, photo gear included, so avoid looking for trouble.  

Lisa
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mikebinok
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2004, 11:11:52 AM »
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I've flown repeatedly with a digital kit including lens up to 300/2.8, and never had any serious problems.  Once they wanted to open my kit up and look under the 300/2.8.  They let me pick the lens up myself while they looked (while with an armed guard discreetly watching).

As a general rule, I think the airport security people are decent people managed decently, trying to do an extremely difficult job.  That said, there are individuals out there who do stupid or abusive things sometimes.  I have heard reports of such behavior from people I trust, but have never seen any myself.

Incidentally, the rules prohibit taking tools in carry-on baggage.  When the scanner noticed them, I've had this interpreted as prohibiting the allen wrenches I carry to adjust my arca-swiss plates and tripod.  I try to put them into checked luggage, but sometimes forget.  If you have anything that could possibly be interpreted as a tool, put it in checked bags!

I've never had to do it, but I'd be sure batteries on any cameras or laptops or storage devices were charged, so you could show that it is a functioning device and not a fake shell for a bomb.
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kaelaria
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2004, 12:50:40 PM »
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I flew a few weeks ago, and put my tripod in my checked. Carried everything else, no problem. They inspected the latop briefly, that's it.
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Akiss
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« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2004, 06:27:18 AM »
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I suggest that everything goes in to the plane not as a carry on bagagge needs to be carefully packed. they dont handle the equipment  very well even if there are fragile stickers outside.. Peli suitcases are ideal and extremely durable.

Bonne voyage  :cool:
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Jay Kaplan
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« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2004, 11:20:13 AM »
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Very interesting, but how do they deal with medication? I am a diabetic and use insulin via a pen dispenser with removable/disposable needle tips. The thought of losing a checked bag with all of my medications is enough to make me paranoid. How will the insulin pen and needle tips be treated?
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Akiss
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« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2004, 12:15:32 PM »
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[Very interesting, but how do they deal with medication?]

In this case contact the airline you are flying with and they will be happy to assist you in all manners. Nothing to worry about anyway..
take care Akiss
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jwjohnson
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« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2004, 02:39:44 PM »
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If you have a letter from your doctor you can hand carry meds and diabetic supplies including needles and lancets.  I write these for patients all the time and they seem to do fine.
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sieracki
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« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2005, 05:19:30 PM »
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Just returned from a major month long shoot in Canada. What surprised me was US Customs at Calgary Airport. They detained me and questioned me quite a bit about my equipment. They also ran it through the scanner a couple of times and they held my passport for a long time, and looked me up on computers. I think I set them off by being in Canada for a month alone with extensive equipment. I guess if you don't fit the typical profile of the moronic tourist who is only interested in spending big bucks on fancy hotel rooms then you can get tagged as a potential terrorist. Once I explained to them why I needed a laptop for photography and to explain why I had what I had, they kicked me out.

First rule is to arrive early. I would have missed my flight home if I hadn't. Second is to cooperate fully and answer all questions with no hesitation or evasion. It might not be any of their business what you did while you were there but your goal is to get home. I offered to personally remove each and every item I had in my bags, lay it before them and describe what each thing does. Once I did that they lost interest.
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Sabercat04
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« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2005, 09:09:27 PM »
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As a pilot friend of mine stated, "Airport security is not designed primarily to increase true security, it is designed primarily to identify and remove small sharp objects". Until there is a fundamental paradigm shift, the airport security measures will continue to be arbitrary and capricious, and hopefully by accident, they will also be somewhat effective.
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