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08-31-2019, 09:50 AM   #1
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Airports: What to watch out for?

Hello,

As some of you might remember I made a thread a while ago discussing what I should do regarding my gear as I am relocating for an unspecified period of time due to status issues (1~3 years). Well, the day is coming up and I've more or less chosen the gear I'll be taking back and the ones I'll be leaving here in my sister's care. I'm sad to leave some of my favourites here but the carry on limit is only so much and I can't risk putting them in the checked luggage. That said, with the flight coming up next weekend, I'm starting to have some other concerns about my luggage:

The airport specified that carry on must be 1 bag + 1 personal Item. I'll be using a Peak Design 30L as my bag, and a Domke 701-83B F-803 bag. I called and they said personal items usually refer to a laptop bag, so I'm hoping that it'll pass, but I'm a little worried. Does anyone have experience regarding this?

What comes out at the security checkpoint? I'm bringing about 5 lenses, a K-1 body, the battery grip, and two film camera bodies, as well as a laptop. I know DSLRs and the laptop must now be placed in the trays, but do lenses have to come out too? Also, I've read some things about theft at the security checkpoint. Is that a common issue/how do I prevent it?

Due to having not enough space I'm sticking my flash/tripod in my check luggage. Is the flash going to cause problems? I've taken the batteries out of the flash but it's not really clear on what makes something "hazardous" in checked luggage.

Thanks in advance for all the advice!

Edit: Additional info: I'm flying EVA air, from JFK, where theft can be a concern (at least from what I've read)


Last edited by Fobbo; 08-31-2019 at 10:14 AM.
08-31-2019, 10:09 AM   #2
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It depends on the airline - usually bags are defined by size, not by what type they are. The bigger bag has to be a size that fits into the overhead lockers, the smaller bag has to fit under the seat in front of you. For example, I recently flew by Ryanair, they said

Priority boarding passengers will be permitted to take one small bag (40cm x 20cm x 25cm), plus a larger cabin bag (55 x 40 x 20cm) with a maximum weight allowance of 10kg into the cabin free of charge. Non-priority customers can only bring one small bag (40cm x 20cm x 25cm), that must fit into the sizer.

If you google on "[airline name] baggage sizes" it should tell you what your airline allows.

Anything containing electronics is supposed to be visible going through on the tray, so that it is checked by hand rather than being x-rayed. On a previous flight I forgot this and left a bridge camera in the bag; it never worked again. Not sure about lenses, but I suspect the same principle applies since most modern lenses contain electronics.

I've never had a problem with theft but I don't fly often - I did have a camera, phone, ebook reader and tablet with me on both flights, and apart from the bridge camera mentioned above there were no problems.
08-31-2019, 12:46 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marcus Rowland Quote
Anything containing electronics is supposed to be visible going through on the tray, so that it is checked by hand rather than being x-rayed.
This I don't understand.
The trays go through the X-ray machine, just like everything else.

Back in the day, you could ask for film to be kept clear,
although some nasty places like CDG in Paris
would still insist on X-rayng it.
08-31-2019, 01:32 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Unless things have changed a lot since the last time I flew (6 months ago) I think you are overthinking this. Last flight I took I used my Lowepro wheel aboard. It's the same size as most regular carry on wheel bags. It had 2 bodies, 5 lenses, flash, batteries and a tripod inside. Never opened it, just put on the x-ray belt and that's it.
In the past I have flown with a Lowepro back pack with one body and lenses plus a laptop bag with another body in it. Never anything questioned or opened.

Now those are domestic flights, if you are traveling international that might be different. But the only people who can tell you for sure is either your airline or TSA.

08-31-2019, 02:02 PM   #5
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It's easy to overthink this but you do read weird things. I have flown recently with a KP and a few lenses in a ThinkTank Turnstyle sling bag which I put inside a larger backpack, I did not have TSA precheck. I've not had to open up the camera bag, but they did make me take an ipad out of the backpack. And yes, everything goes through x-ray, it won't harm electronics, film yes. On the other hand the metal detector could harm electronics/

Last edited by ramseybuckeye; 08-31-2019 at 02:08 PM.
08-31-2019, 03:07 PM - 1 Like   #6
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you might want to look at this thread:

experiences traveling on airlines with cameras - Page 4 - PentaxForums.com

I have had no problems recently going through air ports with photo gear

however I do have pre chek so it might be different in the other lanes

this article is dated 2017:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/new-tsa-rule-all-electronics...ffb_story.html
QuoteQuote:
" What do cameras, e-readers, Game Boys, tablets, CPAP machines, DVD players and Barbie B-Books have in common? They are all electronics that go on vacation and must now join laptops in the security checkpoint bins.

Since July, travelers at 10 airports have been removing electronics larger than cellphones, as part of the Transportation Security Administration’s security enhancement plan. (The airports are in Colorado Springs; Detroit; Boise, Idaho; Phoenix; Boston; Los Angeles; Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Fla.; Las Vegas; Lubbock County, Tex.; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.) Now, it’s the rest of the country’s turn. Over the next few weeks and months, TSA will introduce the procedure at airports around the nation; the three Washington-area airports have already converted several security lanes. The agency installed signage to help travelers, though the practice will ring familiar to most passengers. . . .

Members of Pre-Check, the trusted-traveler program, are exempt from the new rule "
Read more at: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/43-travel-events-groups/355042-experienc...#ixzz5yDjfW0Z4

I have it as my carry on in a back pack

the entire back pack went through the x ray machine

I have never gone through JFK

I have flown internationally from O'Hare and from Schipol Air Port ( Amsterdam ) in July and August of this year

I had a monopod in checked luggage

I have flown domestically from Kansas City, Denver, O'Hare.

all batteries ( lithium ) must be in carry on luggage

Last edited by aslyfox; 08-31-2019 at 03:30 PM.
08-31-2019, 03:19 PM   #7
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Full load of gears...

Here is my personal experience (when traveling) :

I carry 1 luggage that goes under (of course).
I also use a small sling bag (Pacsafe) to carry wallet, glasses, etc...

As for my gear, I always carry (carry-on) a full backpack (Lowepro, Trekker 220, not sure of model) without any problem so far, of about 10kg (22 lbs) of :
- K-5ii + grip
- another body K10D + grip or K-01 (lighter)
- Theta SC (360°)
- 4-5 lenses (from Pentax 10-17 fisheyes to Sigma 120-400)
- AA batteries, recharge cables, extra SD cards, grey card...
- small flash
- rocket blower, etc, etc, etc.

I traveled multiple times (from Canada) to USA, Caribbean, 3 times in Europe (cruises).
Never had any issues.

No issues at all to cross some borders (to get on cruise ships), then travel “lighter” on each excursions .

Hope you will have the same kind of experience..
08-31-2019, 03:39 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marcus Rowland Quote
. . . If you google on "[airline name] baggage sizes" it should tell you what your airline allows. . . . .
Carry-on Baggage - EVA Air | Global

Checked Baggage - EVA Air | Global

08-31-2019, 07:01 PM   #9
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Cameras and lenses don’t have have to be out in trays, that’s generally for laptops.

Most airlines will have some exclusions to the maximum carry one luggage and cameras are usually part of that.
08-31-2019, 08:23 PM   #10
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I think the TSA people don't usually think of a DSLR as "electronics". Even after the electronics rule, most of the time a TSA person would tell me I did not need to remove it from my carryon. Which was of course too late. They never are concerned about lenses or loose batteries in my experience. Based on my theory, I now make my DSLR look like a Serious Camera with a DA 18-135 rather than the DA21. No idea if this helps.

The rules and training are always shifting so you can't count on anything definite. I take the camera out, or have the camera easily removable and plan to take it out. It's very easy to get distracted with shoes, phone, laptop and belt in your hands and then someone asks you about electronics. Forgetting stuff is way more common than having stuff stolen.

TSA doesn't enforce baggage size rules, each airline does. I put my 31 liter Manfrotto backpack under the center seat of a Southwest 737 and they accept that. It doesn't fit as well under aisle seats.

I got TSA Precheck recently and have used it for two trips. The second trip, they flagged my bag for hand inspection (Denver). The item of concern was an unopened bag of Reese's Pieces. My wife was flagged for Skittles. They knew right away what had caused the issue and didn't look at anything except the candy. So who knows what new training or machine was alerting on candy.
08-31-2019, 08:34 PM   #11
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Travelling to the UK and the US they wanted my laptop on the tray but they were happy just to look at my camera gear by X-ray.

Lithium batteries obviously have to be carry-on so they can be extinguished quickly.

08-31-2019, 08:52 PM - 1 Like   #12
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I also either put my carry-on camera batteries into small individual cases, or I put a small piece of gaffers tape over their contacts. I believe that the fires that have occurred in the past started when the metal contacts from two batteries touched each other.
08-31-2019, 08:53 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
. . . The item of concern was an unopened bag of Reese's Pieces. My wife was flagged for Skittles. They knew right away what had caused the issue and didn't look at anything except the candy. So who knows what new training or machine was alerting on candy.
perhaps they were hoping you had enough to share ??
08-31-2019, 09:21 PM - 2 Likes   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
.
I also either put my carry-on camera batteries into small individual cases, or I put a small piece of gaffers tape over their contacts. I believe that the fires that have occurred in the past started when the metal contacts from two batteries touched each other.
Lithium batteries (of all kinds, like those in laptops or phones) can burst into flame from internal deterioration, sometimes helped by being dropped in the past.

That's why they don't permit them in the cargo hold however they've been wrapped.

09-01-2019, 02:34 AM - 1 Like   #15
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No idea where you are headed but China wants even film cameras out of the luggage and checked separately from the three airports I have used.

The security girl weighed my Konica SII, I smiled thinking ‘oh poppet do you really know what a vintage RF weighs ??’ Then they put it in the scanner anyway.
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