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02-13-2017, 09:20 AM   #1
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Gate Checking Camera Gear

I'm moving overseas and have been considering a Pelican 1535 to carry my gear. My dilemma is that while the case is classified a carry on, the first leg of my flight is out of a small airport (Pasco, WA) and the planes are smaller. I haven't been on a flight yet that didn't require all roller bags to be gate checked and then picked up upon landing (saw someone try to stuff their roller into the overhead but there was no way it would fit). Any thoughts on allowing this with the gear? I can lock the case to prevent anyone opening it, and it won't go through the baggage handling devices at the airport, but I'd be trusting the baggage handlers to not throw it around getting it on and off the plane.

02-13-2017, 09:30 AM   #2
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Questions I would ask myself in this situation:

What is the largest thing that can be carried on board? (Ask the airline.)

Once you know this, you can ask:

What can I take? What is the absolute minimum of gear that I cannot afford to lose under any circumstances and which would fit in the space available?
02-13-2017, 09:51 AM   #3
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Yes, I have faced the small airport dilemma a number of times -- gone are the days where the airlines will allow the larger bags. The best solution I've found is to use the bag within a bag method. You can pick up a padded case from companies like f-stop (they've had some delivery problems but you should be able to pick up a large internal camera unit (icu) without to much trouble), or third party companies on e-bay -- if your pelican wont fit on board simply take out the icu with your gear and carry that on board with you.
02-13-2017, 09:52 AM   #4
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Tricky! That Pelican case is within the official size limits of carry-ons which makes it quite a bit smaller than that SUV-size roller bags that most passenger try to sneak on board. That said, gate agents and flight attendants have the final say over what goes into the cabin and what gets checked. If you want to maximize the chances of getting your bag on board, pay to get early boarding and do what you can to make the bag look small. (I use a shoulder strap for the walk on to the plane and find that flight attendants tend to ignore shoulder bags because it looks small and lighter than having a big black mass in tow behind me.)

1. Talk to the airline about the actual size limits of the particular aircraft they fly and then buy a case that fits those smaller dimensions. (A smaller case has a higher chance of fitting in small overhead bin and can almost certainly fit under the seat in front of you).

2. Find some way to get to a larger airport with larger aircraft.

3. Trust your Pelican!

02-13-2017, 11:56 AM   #5
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Carry on information directly from the airline customer service will tell you the specifications that are allowed. I carry my Lowepro Flipside 400 AW on flights because it is statistically a camera bag and it can fit underneath the seat in front of me on flights. I also bring my carry on suitcase that fits in the overhead compartment above me. Both are free. There have been instances where the suitcase has been placed below due to space lacking in the overhead, which was requested by the flight attendants, but that was also free. If it comes to a situation where an attendant wants to have the camera case placed below, just explain to the attendant that fragile photography equipment is in the case and that you had planned on having the equipment with you during the flight to avoid damage.
02-13-2017, 12:05 PM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback. I'm moving so nothing stays behind, so if it's not packed, it's sold. The other option is putting some gear in my air freight allowance and carrying a smaller bag. Maybe that's a better solution. Thoughts?
02-13-2017, 12:12 PM   #7
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If you can carry some with you and place some in a well padded bag/case that can be handled as baggage, that may serve you well. You could even bubble wrap along with padding in a case to reduce the possibility of blunt force effect due to handling.
02-13-2017, 01:04 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrpower10 Quote
I'm moving overseas and have been considering a Pelican 1535 to carry my gear
I was led to believe that the Pelican 1510 was the largest size permitted as carry on by most airlines.

You'll obviously need to check with your chosen carrier.

02-13-2017, 02:32 PM   #9
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I've flown in and out of Tri-Cities/Pasco and small airports and the planes are just too small to have standard size stowage compartments, so yes, a Pelican 1535(also 1510) will not fit in those overheads, that's for sure. I had to check my full length winter coat once when there just was no space available.
good luck,

We also hit a flight of birds and lost an engine during a snowstorm there and had to reroute and land...that's another story.
02-13-2017, 03:50 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
I was led to believe that the Pelican 1510 was the largest size permitted as carry on by most airlines.

You'll obviously need to check with your chosen carrier.


The 1535 is a newer, lighter version of the 1510. Dimensionally nearly identical, and as Mike SF mentioned, not able to carry on out of Pasco. Once I get to Seattle, no issues as a carry on so it's just the first leg.

---------- Post added 02-14-17 at 08:51 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
We also hit a flight of birds and lost an engine during a snowstorm there and had to reroute and land...that's another story.
I was originally going to say that's a story I want to hear, but maybe save it till after I'm out of here.
02-13-2017, 03:55 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrpower10 Quote
carrying a smaller bag
The only handling for your big-plane carry-on will be from the tarmac trolley or jetway to the belly of the small plane and then from belly of the small plane back to a similar location for you to pick up as soon as you get off the plane. Your Pelican case is more likely to put a dent in the soft-sided bags that other passengers couldn't bring into the cabin than the other way around. Think of their bags as padding for your case. If you are moving, maximize your carry on allowance, even if you have to relinquish it to a baggage handler on the tarmac for your first flight segment. Much less likely to suffer damage than going into the regular baggage handling system. I've flown in a cramped Embraer 175 to O'Hare and had my oversize carry on come out in better shape than my checked-in bag.
02-13-2017, 05:38 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrpower10 Quote
...
---------- Post added 02-14-17 at 08:51 AM ----------

[/COLOR]

I was originally going to say that's a story I want to hear, but maybe save it till after I'm out of here.
It was a 2-engine prop plane, Alaska Airlines. We took off from Tri-cities in really rough weather, snow and changing winds. We were flying low. suddenly a loud smack and the engine went out instantly. Everyone knew what that meant, but it seemed like forever before the pilot came on to reassure us that the plane can fly just fine on one engine...that is unless there are more birds, lol. Very quiet and stressful flight as the pilot rerouted for Seatac instead of continuing on to our intended destination. We got on the ground, and I ended up staying over in Tacoma til the next morning.
02-13-2017, 07:07 PM   #13
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try shipping gear with a package delivery service.
02-13-2017, 10:58 PM   #14
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Book a seat for the pelican?
02-14-2017, 07:18 AM   #15
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You could do something crazy like fly to Seattle without the Pelican, rent a car, drive home to pick up the Pelican and then return to Seattle for the rest of the trip on larger planes.
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