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Author Topic: Bag is too big for the overhead bin in a plane! What to do?  (Read 2238 times)
haring
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« on: October 09, 2012, 10:30:59 PM »
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What do you do when your camera bag is too big for the overhead bin in a plane or all of the bins are taken?

I am sure I am not the only one who experienced the problem. Lot of times the crew already announces that all overhead bins are full and that no more larger carry-ons can be brought into the plane. What is your tactic to avoid your camera bag being put in the main luggage area of the plane where it can be smashed or stolen...?

I usually do the following:

1. Try to be in the A or B boarding zone. Board the plane first! The chance that you will find empty bins is higher!
2. Try to stand behind somebody who has a bigger bag and the crew will pull out the person in front of you and will be asked to hand over his/her luggage to be put in the main cargo area of the plane. Usually, they are busy with that person in front of you and you can bring my carry-on camera bag on board.
3. Once on board, I try to take out my laptop and larger lenses to make my bag smaller. Hopefully, it fits!
4. I also try to put under the seat of the person in front of me...

Have you ever experienced this problem? What did you do you could share with us? This always stresses me out when I fly somewhere so photograph a destination wedding.
Thanks!
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Colorado David
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2012, 10:40:57 PM »
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When I arrive at the gate I go straight to the gate agent and VERY politely ask if I can board when they announce pre-boarding.  I have only met a couple of rude gate agents who wouldn't let me.  I have also VERY politely asked the cabin crew if they would stow my carry-on with their gear.  When you explain what you have and ask for their help before the rush of people boarding the plane, you have a much better chance.  I've had very good luck being polite.  I had a friend who used to say "the harder I work, the luckier I get."  I guess my corollary is "the nicer I am, the more cooperative others become."
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2012, 11:13:16 PM »
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Hi,

I got a smaller bag, Gura Gear Kiboko, it fits the overhead bins on the Canadair Regional Jet. I can also store it under the seat. Not comfortable on a long flight.

You can also gate check, not glad about it, but did it a few times.

If you can, choose equipment for your travel needs.

Optimizing boarding zones is a good idea.


Best regards
Erik


What do you do when your camera bag is too big for the overhead bin in a plane or all of the bins are taken?

I am sure I am not the only one who experienced the problem. Lot of times the crew already announces that all overhead bins are full and that no more larger carry-ons can be brought into the plane. What is your tactic to avoid your camera bag being put in the main luggage area of the plane where it can be smashed or stolen...?

I usually do the following:

1. Try to be in the A or B boarding zone. Board the plane first! The chance that you will find empty bins is higher!
2. Try to stand behind somebody who has a bigger bag and the crew will pull out the person in front of you and will be asked to hand over his/her luggage to be put in the main cargo area of the plane. Usually, they are busy with that person in front of you and you can bring my carry-on camera bag on board.
3. Once on board, I try to take out my laptop and larger lenses to make my bag smaller. Hopefully, it fits!
4. I also try to put under the seat of the person in front of me...

Have you ever experienced this problem? What did you do you could share with us? This always stresses me out when I fly somewhere so photograph a destination wedding.
Thanks!
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Petrus
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2012, 12:18:39 AM »
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Sometimes I pack non-critical gear like spare body and lenses, extra flash etc in the check-in luggage. They have never been stolen so far, but I do this only when flying between first world destinations. It is even safer on the return flight, when theft would not be as big a problem (I have company gear, you guessed right...). This keeps the main bag, at least if crushed a bit, within the carry-on size limits. Some airlines/classes still have the rule "one (or sometimes two) carry-on bags + camera, binoculars etc", so in theory you could put a flash and the longest lens on the largest body and take that as your "camera"...
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PDobson
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2012, 10:25:54 AM »
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I've never had a problem with camera gear, but I have had to deal with slightly oversized climbing packs. In the winter, I just wear all of my jackets and stuff the pockets with equipment. This allows me to compress my carry on to a suitable size. It's hot, and it makes my look a lumpy sort of obese, but I have little shame when it comes to air travel.

Phillip
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joedecker
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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2012, 01:30:38 AM »
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Quote
Sometimes I pack non-critical gear like spare body and lenses, extra flash etc in the check-in luggage. They have never been stolen so far, but I do this only when flying between first world destinations.

I've seen flashes, lenses and laptops stolen from checked bags in first-world travel, JFK is well-known for their checked baggage theft rings.

The only camera gear I'll check anymore are tripods and battery chargers, and I'm getting less sure about the battery chargers.
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Joe Decker
Rock Slide Photography
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francois
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2012, 01:40:17 AM »
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…The only camera gear I'll check anymore are tripods and battery chargers, and I'm getting less sure about the battery chargers.

FWIW, I take chargers with me. It seems to me that situation is not getting better and I prefer to limit my gear so everything crucial stays with me.
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Francois
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« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2012, 09:59:32 AM »
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I always travel very light as far as camera gear goes when I'm flying: usually one body and two lenses with a few filters and the charger. Plus the usual cleaning cloths spare batteries, media cards etc I course. I pop a small compact in, just in case the main cam packs up and that's about it. My travel camera bag is a small black rucksack that doesn't look like at all like a camera bag.  If theres' no room in the overhead lockers, I just shove the bag under a seat. It's so small the cabin crew don't even notice it. I don't even take a tripod on a plane as I rarely use one anyway and there's usually some other solution if needs be. I learned many years ago not to carry superfluous it with me, it's more trouble than it's worth.

D
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NickyTaylorphoto
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« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2012, 10:20:16 AM »
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Lowepro computrekker aw plus I will tell you now you will be surprised how much equipment you will be able to fit into this little bad boy. I quite often have 17kg worth of gear in this bag. Camera body, 3x lenses, flash, 2-3 hard drives, Wacom tablet, 15 inch laptop, iPad etc. etc. you can imagine they hate me at airport security but I travel 6 months in Europe, 6 months in USA so When I go it all comes with me.

Getting on fairly quickly is key but what amuses me is you have to walk through first class to get to your seat anyways Soooo I tend to always book my seat near the front and when I get on put my bag ON THE OPOSSITE side to where Im sitting (which is just normally 2-3 rows back) so I can keep an eye on it if anyone does open the bin. There is always more space in there and I have yet to have a problem fitting it in fully loaded into a big.   
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Petrus
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2012, 10:46:39 AM »
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I learned many years ago not to carry superfluous it with me, it's more trouble than it's worth.

So true. On my last photo trip I had everything (that means EVERYTHING including both clothing etc and photo gear*) packed in a 24 liter carry-on daypack, including a messenger style shoulder bag which I used as a camera cum guidebook cum water bottle bag when at the destination. Total weight was 7 kg.

*) having a X-Pro1 with its small lenses helps quite a bit, with no compromises what comes to IQ.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2012, 10:56:25 PM by Petrus » Logged
stpf8
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« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2012, 01:07:28 PM »
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Photographer vests were really made for air travel.  What won't fit into a bag goes into the multitude of pockets on a vest.  Once on the plane, an empty bag is pulled out of the carry-on bag and filled with the contents of the pockets.
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Stephen Penland
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