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5 Days Ago   #1
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Anyone experience any difficulties getting through Airport Security with camera gear?

Greetings,

My wife and I are hoping to shoot down to Lost Wages, Nevada in approximately two weeks. I have read some articles as to how the TSA is making screening more difficult for traveling photographers.

Here is a copy of an article I recently located: Would like to hear of any experiences in this area. Many thanks, Tonytee.


Bad news, photographers: your airport experience in the United States is now more tedious if you’re planning to carry a camera onto the plane. The TSA just announced that all electronics larger than a cell phone need to be placed into a bin for separate screening.

The move is part of a rollout of “new, stronger screening procedures for carry-on items.”

If you’re bringing a camera bag or case onto the plane to keep it with you, you’ll be required to pull the camera(s) out of the bag and place them inside a bin for X-ray screening while passing through the standard security lanes. The camera will need to have nothing above or below it, similar to how laptops have already been screened at airports for years now.

The stated goal of this new measure is to give TSA security officers a clearer X-ray image of electronics than if those gadgets are left inside carry-on bags.

“It is critical for TSA to constantly enhance and adjust security screening procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats and keep passengers safe,” says acting TSA administrator Huban A. Gowadia. “By separating personal electronic items such as laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles for screening, TSA officers can more closely focus on resolving alarms and stopping terror threats.”

“It is possible that passengers may experience more bag checks,” the TSA says, “however, through extensive testing, TSA identified ways to improve screening procedures with quicker and more targeted measures to clear the bags.

There’s no change to what can be brought through checkpoints, so you’ll be able to still carry the same camera equipment onto your flight. Also, if you are enrolled in TSA’s PreCheck program, you won’t be required to remove cameras and other electronics from your bag.

The TSA has already tested this new security plan at 10 airports across the country, and now the agency is rolling the same measures out to every single U.S. airport over the coming weeks and months.

5 Days Ago   #2
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Don't sweat it. I've been through a number of airports in foreign countries with these kinds of rules. At worst, it's an inconvenient 30-seconds to put stuff in the bin and repack it at the other end.

If you are worried about theft (although with all the security surveillance at these check points, theft can't be too common), then let your wife go through first. Once she's been screened and is on the other side of the x-ray machine, then send all the camera stuff through.

Last edited by photoptimist; 5 Days Ago at 06:54 PM.
5 Days Ago - 1 Like   #3
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Just be aware of the policies and plan ahead. Get enough bins, etc. when you get in line. I recently learned about this policy the hard way. I came up to the line, asked the TSA rep at the front of the area if I needed to pull out all the camera gear, and he said nope. So on through we went. Well, the screener at the X-ray had a few unkind words for me, so I politely told her I asked the other TSA agent, and she still had unkind words for me, and for the other TSA agent, also. I complied (what else could I do?) and went on my way. But realize that even TSA doesn't know all their own policies, so you might get chewed out, even if you do things how they tell you.
5 Days Ago - 1 Like   #4
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I went through security today. They were keen to ask if I had taken all electronics out of my bag before they even ran it through the
scanner, but otherwise no issues. They just wanted the gear out and in a separate bin but otherwise didn't care about it. You will
have to take your cameraout of its bag like you do your laptop but otherwise shouldn't have a problem.

Now, if only I could convince TSA a jar of kimchi isn't a liquid....

5 Days Ago - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by dubyam Quote
Just be aware of the policies and plan ahead. Get enough bins, etc. when you get in line. I recently learned about this policy the hard way. I came up to the line, asked the TSA rep at the front of the area if I needed to pull out all the camera gear, and he said nope. So on through we went. Well, the screener at the X-ray had a few unkind words for me, so I politely told her I asked the other TSA agent, and she still had unkind words for me, and for the other TSA agent, also. I complied (what else could I do?) and went on my way. But realize that even TSA doesn't know all their own policies, so you might get chewed out, even if you do things how they tell you.
I once asked the TSA agent if I had to remove my shoes. He said no. Naturally I get pulled aside and searched for not taking off my shoes.

Either they say no because:
  1. supposedly it's a way of catching people wanting to hide something
  2. they are poorly trained
  3. it's a boring job and that's how they get their kicks.
  4. power corrupts
5 Days Ago   #6
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Yup, cameras have to come out now along with anything bigger than a cell phone. I won’t say that I don’t mind having to unpack and then repack my carry on in the airport, it actually really irks me, but the attitude of the TSA agents makes or breaks the security experience. We actually won’t fly in to Phoenix anymore when we visit the relatives in western New Mexico because we’ve consistently had to deal with bad, rude, and borderline mean TSA personnel on several occasions there. I’d put up with it if it was just me, but when it’s me, the wife, and our two kids under 3yo I don’t need abrasive security people on top of it.
5 Days Ago   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tonytee Quote
Greetings,

My wife and I are hoping to shoot down to Lost Wages, Nevada in approximately two weeks. I have read some articles as to how the TSA is making screening more difficult for traveling photographers.

Here is a copy of an article I recently located: Would like to hear of any experiences in this area. Many thanks, Tonytee.


Bad news, photographers: your airport experience in the United States is now more tedious if you’re planning to carry a camera onto the plane. The TSA just announced that all electronics larger than a cell phone need to be placed into a bin for separate screening.

The move is part of a rollout of “new, stronger screening procedures for carry-on items.”

If you’re bringing a camera bag or case onto the plane to keep it with you, you’ll be required to pull the camera(s) out of the bag and place them inside a bin for X-ray screening while passing through the standard security lanes. The camera will need to have nothing above or below it, similar to how laptops have already been screened at airports for years now.

The stated goal of this new measure is to give TSA security officers a clearer X-ray image of electronics than if those gadgets are left inside carry-on bags.

“It is critical for TSA to constantly enhance and adjust security screening procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats and keep passengers safe,” says acting TSA administrator Huban A. Gowadia. “By separating personal electronic items such as laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles for screening, TSA officers can more closely focus on resolving alarms and stopping terror threats.”

“It is possible that passengers may experience more bag checks,” the TSA says, “however, through extensive testing, TSA identified ways to improve screening procedures with quicker and more targeted measures to clear the bags.

There’s no change to what can be brought through checkpoints, so you’ll be able to still carry the same camera equipment onto your flight. Also, if you are enrolled in TSA’s PreCheck program, you won’t be required to remove cameras and other electronics from your bag.

The TSA has already tested this new security plan at 10 airports across the country, and now the agency is rolling the same measures out to every single U.S. airport over the coming weeks and months.
The easiest way would be to get pre-check, which allows you to keep the electronics in your bag.

However removing camera gear has often been needed prior to this rule, because big lenses can block (or even refract?) x rays.

Adam
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5 Days Ago   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by tvdtvdtvd Quote
I went through security today. They were keen to ask if I had taken all electronics out of my bag before they even ran it through the
scanner, but otherwise no issues. They just wanted the gear out and in a separate bin but otherwise didn't care about it. You will
have to take your cameraout of its bag like you do your laptop but otherwise shouldn't have a problem.

Now, if only I could convince TSA a jar of kimchi isn't a liquid....

Thanks for your response. Very informative. I am curious as to whether or not you had to breakdown the camera by removing the lens and allow radiation to get in there.

As for Kimchi, it may not be a liquid, but it can surely turn your innards into liquid. (

Thanks again,

Tony

5 Days Ago   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tonytee Quote
Thanks for your response. Very informative. I am curious as to whether or not you had to breakdown the camera by removing the lens and allow radiation to get in there.

As for Kimchi, it may not be a liquid, but it can surely turn your innards into liquid. (

Thanks again,

Tony
MMMM, Kimchi! I have 2 jars in the fridge right now!
I just flew last week and left my KP and lenses in my backpack but pulled my tablet as requested. No hassles with that. On the return flight I had the Pre-check so I had no issues with the same setup going back home. Just keep them in an available spot so if you run into this policy or some slack jawed idiot working the x-ray machine, you are prepared. I was pleasantly surprised by the TSA folks this trip through. The last time I flew 8+ years ago made me want to weep for humanity.
5 Days Ago   #10
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We have to do this in European security. Just google it and pack according to the airlines guidelines, making sure the things most likely to need to be removed are easily accessible. We even have to remove over the ear headphones. Security is what it is. The easiest thing to do to ensure a smooth transition is read and prepare, unless you enjoy a good argument that is
4 Days Ago   #11
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I have not had any real hassles on either domestic or international flights. You have to take the camera body out of the bag, as I recall. I spent two months in Europe last year and the hardest parts of the trip were going through TSA lines at SeaTac and US customs/TSA on the way home. We did fly domestically from Poland to France and from Bordeaux to Bayeux in France. Compared to the US is was relatively easy. Just have all of your stuff that can be scattered around in clear bags, I used Ziploc®, so you can take it out and not have it spill all over the plastic bin.

The only lens related issue I had was on the LAX to SEA flight at the end of my 2006 trip to New Zealand. I had my 300mm sitting upright (through the entire trip) and when it went through the X-Ray machine it looked "weird" to the US based TSA guy. Now mind you that I had flown from SEA to LAX, LAX to AKL, AKL to CHC and back from CHC to WLG, WLG to AKL, AKL to LAX and LAX to SEA. It was the LAX TSA guy (last leg of the trip) told me that how I had the lens in the bag look suspicious and I should lay it on its side next time or risk having a more intense search done. Go figure, have a safe flight and a good time.

Last edited by PDL; 4 Days Ago at 12:14 AM. Reason: clarification of my circulocution ;)
4 Days Ago   #12
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Went through pre-check on the way out of Charlotte NC last Saturday with my normal travel kit of K-3II, 20-40, 55-300 and AF-201G in a rucksack (plus bean bag), and as Adam said, I didn’t have to unpack it. Same at Heathrow the week before, maybe because I was in the fast track lane. Also no issues in or out of Auckland NZ earlier this year.
4 Days Ago - 1 Like   #13
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A great big thank you to one and all for some very informative and useful information. I am looking forward to the trip to Lost Wages, Nevada, I like saying hello to my old money. ((

tt
4 Days Ago - 1 Like   #14
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Over here you have to be able to switch on any electronics to prove that they haven't been modified into something nasty. Apparently this has caused problems for people carrying pre-electronic film cameras, confronted by security staff completely unable to grasp the concept of a camera without an LCD screen.
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
Over here you have to be able to switch on any electronics to prove that they haven't been modified into something nasty. Apparently this has caused problems for people carrying pre-electronic film cameras, confronted by security staff completely unable to grasp the concept of a camera without an LCD screen.
Now you understand my comment about wanting to weep for humanity. It is worse in the US since they are all contractors and get the amount of training you would expect of a minimum wage employee.
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