Travelling with camera gear
navigator72 Banned Posts: 96 Big grins
edited October 7, 2006 in Journeys
I am going on a cruise to the caribbean next week and I am taking my camera gear with me. What's the best way to get the gear through TSA, security and all the other hassles of the airlines? I don't want to check it as luggage. What can I expect?:D
SmugMug Technical Account Manager
Travel = good. Woo, shooting!
I have a photo backpack that I carried all my gear in, as well as my laptop, and various other carry-on accesories.
When you go through the security check, you'll have to take the laptop out of the bag and put it by itself in a tray. All the camera gear and whatever else can stay in the bag. It'll go through the xray machine, and you can pick it up once its gone through after you're through the metal detector.
The most that will happen is they ask you to stand to the side while they search your bag, which will entail them unzipping every compartment in the bag and running a swab around the edges. I had this happen to me as well, and they were very polite about it and even let me assist...they realize its expensive equipment and will be respectful of that.
Once I'm on the plane, instead of stowing it in the overhead compartment, I place my bag on the floor under the seat in front of me. That way its always by my feet and within my view. I know nobody is moving my bag around or pushing on it trying to shove their bag in the overhead.
I basically do what SpeshulEd does. Laptop out, camera gear in. I wasn't thinking and had to toss my lense cleaner one trip. But just beware that at times, some of the stuff we carry around might be confusing to TSA troupers.
Once, they asked me to stand well over to the side, and the national guard troops came over to watch me. The dude went thru my backpack, he was carefull, until he found a mechanical shutter release. He held it up and asked, "What's this?"
When I replied it was a mechanical shutter release, he then said kinda hotly, "Do you know what this looks like on the x-ray?" My only possible response was "Uh, a mechanical shutter release?"
I had to demonstrate it, put it on the camera and snap a photo with it. But they let me keep it. Still, it is a funny story to tell.
I never did find out what it looks like on the x-ray. The imagination runs wild though.