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A Question for The Road Warriors?
Old 06-20-2007, 10:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I am thinking about attending one of Rolando's workshops but to get to one I would have to fly. Now, please don't get me wrong I am not in the slightest bit afraid of flying or of heights (I spent a number of years in the U.S. military "un-assing perfectly good airplanes"), what I am afraid of is the bumbling and incredible stupidity and incompetence shown daily by the airline industry and by the TSA.

I am thinking at a minimum I would need to take 4 bags: 1) a roll-around with my clothes, shoes, toiletries and whatever else I might need; 2) my camera bag; 3) my laptop; and finally 4) a duffle style bag with my misc items in it like cell phone, PDA, sweater, etc.

Now, to be honest I am not really concerned by the TSA. A two-year old could easily out think and out wit the best of any of them on any day but I am most concerned with the airlines who have a whole bunch of people who amply prove that "a person rises to the level of their own incompetence" and they demonstrate this each and every day. I would be carrying a lot of high-value and delicate gear with me and I just don't want to see any of it get messed up or stolen.

I could take a larger roll-around and put my laptop in it but checked baggage is known for theft and while I do have insurance I don't want to go through the lose and hassle of having to deal with it. Besides, even if I stowed my laptop I would still have three bags to deal with and I think the "new" airline limit is 2 so how do I pull this off?

I am hoping that someone out there can share their travel tips with me and help me to pull this off with a minimum of wear and tear on my body and nerves. Thanks all.
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Re: A Question for The Road Warriors?
Old 06-20-2007, 10:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I always try to travel as light as possible. What I have is a bag that has little wheels and a handle that comes out that is the right size to store in the overhead (meets Airline guidelines) and holds the laptop in one half and the camera gear in the other half. I usually take 3 lens (70-200 f2.8 which is a big lens, a small walk around zoom, and a 100mm f2.8 macro) and of course two camera bodies (never had to use the 2nd body yet). I also take a shoe mount flash, my pocket wizards, card reader, batteries, cf cards, etc and they all go in that one bag. I pack one suit case with clothes, etc. and I check that bag. I usually have a small duffel bag with toilet items, 2 emergency outfits that fold well and whatever else will fit. The duffel will fit under a seat or overhead. The suitcase that gets checked has nothing valuable in it. Everything of value is in the camera/computer bag and/or duffel. I've been to 7 or 8 of the RG workshops, so I have a bit of experience with this. Also keep in mind, that unless you're going to the Virgin Islands workshop, its only 2 days long, so should be able to pack light. In fact with a larger duffel bag, you could probably carry everything for two days.
As far as the efficiency of the airlines, etc, I've flown 100's of times over the last 20 years including over 25 trips to Europe and have never had a problem with the airlines and never a lost bag. I did have one lost bag on a bus trip once, but they found it.

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Re: A Question for The Road Warriors? 

My favorite mode of transportation.

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Re: A Question for The Road Warriors?
Old 06-21-2007, 04:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoDave1 View Post
I am thinking about attending one of Rolando's workshops but to get to one I would have to fly ... what I am afraid of is the bumbling and incredible stupidity and incompetence shown daily by the airline industry and by the TSA.
You have some choices:

1. Ship your camera and computer Fedex and insure the hell out of it. Have it shipped to the workshop location for delivery on the Thursday before the Saturday workshop. If you're leaving Sunday after the workshop, you will have to pack it up and ask the studio host to ship it for you on Monday... or, you could stay over. As far as the hassle factor goes.. this one is a no-brainer: all your stuff gets there or you get all new stuff (did I mention the insurance?). Fedex is as reliable as it can get.

2. Check with your airline carrier - tell them you're a photographer and check to see whether the bag carrying your equipment will be counted as your carryon. Most airlines (according to the guys who fly regularly on sportsshooter.com) do not count a camera bag against your carry-on limit for professional photogs. Whether you can claim that distinction with a straight face is between you and the ticket agent. But, call their customer service and get a name/phone number of someone, just in case.

3. Did I mention Fedex?

Enjoy the workshop.

Here's another reason to go to one of Rolando's workshops: Dee


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Re: A Question for The Road Warriors?
Old 06-22-2007, 08:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by n5wd View Post

2. Check with your airline carrier - tell them you're a photographer and check to see whether the bag carrying your equipment will be counted as your carryon. Most airlines (according to the guys who fly regularly on sportsshooter.com) do not count a camera bag against your carry-on limit for professional photogs.
Doesn't matter whether you are a pro photographer or not. The airlines allow one carry-on and one other "personal" bag which includes camera bag or computer bag. I went to Mexico in March with a Computrek backpack as my personal bag (Laptop, Canon 30D, 24-70 f2.8L, 70-200 f2.8L IS, 580EX , cards, cords, AC adapters, etc.). Didn't have a bit of trouble except my arm wanted to fall off - I highly recommend a wheeled bag. Just treat it like a laptop case going through the x-ray.

Check the airlines website for it's policies but the majors I have flown are pretty consistent. Oh ya, the above doesn't apply to LBF's (Little Bitty Fellas). The regionals sometimes make you put everything in cargo when you get to the boarding stairs and you pick it up again at the bottom of the stairs when you arrive (usually in the rain).
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Re: A Question for The Road Warriors?
Old 06-22-2007, 12:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by wildepics View Post
Doesn't matter whether you are a pro photographer or not. The airlines allow one carry-on and one other "personal" bag which includes camera bag or computer bag. I went to Mexico in March with a Computrek backpack as my personal bag (Laptop, Canon 30D, 24-70 f2.8L, 70-200 f2.8L IS, 580EX , cards, cords, AC adapters, etc.). Didn't have a bit of trouble except my arm wanted to fall off - I highly recommend a wheeled bag. Just treat it like a laptop case going through the x-ray.

Check the airlines website for it's policies but the majors I have flown are pretty consistent. Oh ya, the above doesn't apply to LBF's (Little Bitty Fellas). The regionals sometimes make you put everything in cargo when you get to the boarding stairs and you pick it up again at the bottom of the stairs when you arrive (usually in the rain).
You might wish to read DaveB's post.

http://www.glamour1.com/forums/main-....html#poststop
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Re: A Question for The Road Warriors?
Old 06-22-2007, 04:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by wildepics View Post
Doesn't matter whether you are a pro photographer or not. The airlines allow one carry-on and one other "personal" bag which includes camera bag or computer bag. I went to Mexico in March with a Computrek backpack as my personal bag (Laptop, Canon 30D, 24-70 f2.8L, 70-200 f2.8L IS, 580EX , cards, cords, AC adapters, etc.). Didn't have a bit of trouble except my arm wanted to fall off - I highly recommend a wheeled bag. Just treat it like a laptop case going through the x-ray.

Check the airlines website for it's policies but the majors I have flown are pretty consistent. Oh ya, the above doesn't apply to LBF's (Little Bitty Fellas). The regionals sometimes make you put everything in cargo when you get to the boarding stairs and you pick it up again at the bottom of the stairs when you arrive (usually in the rain).
While you may have had great experiences, I have had the experience of being told to gate-check either my computer bag or my camera bag when boarding an American Airlines flight out of DFW because of limited cabin storage space. Gate checking either was out of the question for me. My NPPA membership (and the little letter on AA stationary that I had photocopied) was the only reason the gate agent relented and let me carry both on board (after she checked with her supervisor). Your mileage may vary. As was explained to me, normally a camera bag and a carryon are allowed. But they (even the big boys) can limit carryons when the flight is full and there's not enough stowage space.

Hope you're able to keep flying happy!
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Re: A Question for The Road Warriors?
Old 07-03-2007, 02:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stecyk View Post
You might wish to read DaveB's post.

http://www.glamour1.com/forums/main-....html#poststop
For those unwilling to click:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveB View Post
There is absolutely no issue with digital equipment and memory going through the x-ray.

Also, the TSA doesn't consider a camera case consisting of camera equipment a carry-on...you get to take that onboard as an extra and it doesn't count as a carry-on piece, so feel free to carry on your one item, plus a personal item, PLUS your camera case.

Not a bad idea to have the ruling printed out with you.

Here is the ruling from the TSA's website:

Photographic Equipment & Film
Transporting Film and Photographic Equipment

Photographic Equipment
You may carry one (1) bag of photographic equipment in addition to one (1) carry-on and one (1) personal item through the screening checkpoint. The additional bag must conform to your air carrier's carry-on restrictions for size and weight. Please confirm your air carrier's restrictions prior to arriving at the airport.

Air carriers may or may not allow the additional carry-on item on their aircraft. Please check with your air carrier prior to arriving at the airport.

Our screening equipment will not affect digital cameras and electronic image storage cards.
One of the operational errors of Dave's post is

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveB View Post
There is absolutely no issue with digital equipment and memory going through the x-ray.

Also, the TSA doesn't consider a camera case consisting of camera equipment a carry-on...you get to take that onboard as an extra and it doesn't count as a carry-on piece, so feel free to carry on your one item, plus a personal item, PLUS your camera case.
It doesn't matter what the TSA considers a carry on or not.

It only matters what the airline you're flying considers a carry on.

That having been said, I've flown all over the place on Southworst, America Worst, American, United, TWA, and ATA with a "carry on," a "personal item" (soft side cooler with food), and my camera bag, without so much as a raised eyebrow (except for the very small squirt bottle of lens cleaning fluid that I forgot about during flight prep).
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Re: A Question for The Road Warriors?
Old 07-08-2007, 09:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by n5wd View Post
While you may have had great experiences, I have had the experience of being told to gate-check either my computer bag or my camera bag when boarding an American Airlines flight out of DFW because of limited cabin storage space. Gate checking either was out of the question for me. My NPPA membership (and the little letter on AA stationary that I had photocopied) was the only reason the gate agent relented and let me carry both on board (after she checked with her supervisor). Your mileage may vary. As was explained to me, normally a camera bag and a carryon are allowed. But they (even the big boys) can limit carryons when the flight is full and there's not enough stowage space.

Hope you're able to keep flying happy!
My Computrek bag combines my laptop and camera bag so I only have one doing double duty. I agree that the airlines, in general, will hassle you about three bags.

Screwed up though, coming back from Wisconsin last Friday, in the press of all the s**t at security [shoes, watching my bags, watching wife's bags, passing bins to her for shoes, handbag, etc.] I forgot to take my laptop out of the pack. The screener wound up doing a hand inspection and using those explosive detecting pads on my whole bag and contents.

In a previous life, I was hand-carrying a box of classified documents as my only luggage and they wanted me to check that, the authorization letter I was carrying almost wasn't enough to get me on.
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Re: A Question for The Road Warriors?
Old 07-08-2007, 06:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have 1) traveled by air and 2) attended Rolando's workshop.

If you have the cash, get one bag that holds your camera gear and laptop. You really don't need that much gear for the workshop. A 70-200 will do fine and you don't need fast lenses since you'll be shooting at f/16+. The concepts you'll learn will translate to your other lenses later.

I would suggest putting your pocket wizards in your checked luggage. If TSA ever figures out what they are, they may pull them off your carry on. Just a suggestion.
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