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Checking in camera equipment and Laptops when flying

Hello all!

I will be flying from Vienna to New York in a week. Due to todays events in London my airline carrier (Austrian Airlines) will ban all hand luggage at flights to the US from on tomorrow.

Well, I always took my camera equipment as well as my laptop as hand luggage with me and I am now wondering if there are special cases which are suited for checking sensitive equipment in…
I do not trust the way luggage is treated at the airport. Thinking how they might deal with my camera gear and laptop is a nightmare…

Any thoughts are as always appreciated!

Thanks,
Martin

by [a former member] at 2006-08-10 20:25:02 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Vienna , Austria | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Try Pelican, 40 different cases to suit your needs.

http://www.pelican.com

by Jan-Edward Dijkhuizen | 10 Aug 2006 20:08 (ed. Aug 10 2006) | Amsterdam, Netherlands | | Report spam→
thanks jan-edward. sorry i just noticed that there is a similar thread that was posted before this one.
http://www.lightstalkers.org/posts/show/gear_in_checked_in_lugage

by [former member] | 10 Aug 2006 21:08 | Vienna, Austria | | Report spam→
Yeah but this is a serious bitch. luggage on flights to and from here are routinely robbed by the security and airline personnel. So not only do you have to worry about shoddy handling as the stuff gets thrown around, but you also have to wonder whether in fact it will ever arrive.

by Jon Anderson | 10 Aug 2006 22:08 | a casa, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
some words of wisdom from Dirck Halstead http://www.digitaljournalist.org/issue0403/halstead-column.html

by Glenn Campbell | 11 Aug 2006 00:08 | Darwin, Australia | | Report spam→
Martin, I shipped a 3 powerbooks and a bunch of hard drives(8) spread out in 3 Pelican 1550’s.. Newark to Delhi, Delhi to Leh, Leh to middle of nowhere in 4 wheel drive.. And back again… none worse the wear.. Jon

by [former member] | 11 Aug 2006 01:08 | Charlottesville, Virginia, United States | | Report spam→
I reckon another big worry is if the luggage gets misplaced. You fly to an assignment, arrive without what you need…you get the picture. What’s the airlines’ level of responsibility here? Is there legal room to demand compensation for lost income, damaged relationship with clients, etc?

by Robert Go | 11 Aug 2006 07:08 | Colombo, Sri Lanka | | Report spam→
“You fly to an assignment, arrive without what you need…you get the picture.”

or rather, you don’t get the picture…

is there a way to check if your airlines has banned carry-ons? and is it until now only flights to and from the uk? no way im checking my shit, those fuckers “misplace” my bags almost evetytime…

by [former member] | 11 Aug 2006 10:08 | Jerusalem, Israel | | Report spam→
Film. How in the world (so to speak) do you fly thru Heathrow with film? Buy film at the location and have it processed at the location, or ship film? All a bit of a nuisance to say the least. [Yes, I have multiple dslr’s. I’m just asking (he says, looking at his Leica w/Tri X)].

by John Robert Fulton Jr. | 11 Aug 2006 10:08 | Fort Worth, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
I had a bad experience with my checked in luggage flying in the US last year. Upon arrival in San Fransisco from New York, my luggage did not arrive at the airport. When I reported the missing luggage to airport officials, they told me to fill up a form with my contact details and they told me they’ll be in touch without any explanation why the luggage is not there in the first place. Two days later my luggage arrived at the hotel where i was staying with the pad lock destroyed and when i opened it i found some of my stuff are missing and there were items that don’t belong to me ended up in there. I was so furious and try to call some numbers at the airport to report the missing items only to realize that it was an excercise in futility. Imagine if that was your photographic gears!!! They tell you that they’re doing this for your security but will they take responsibility if your gear does not arrive in time for your assignment or they arrive with one of your camera or lens missing? The answer is a big NO.

by [former member] | 11 Aug 2006 13:08 | Jakarta, Indonesia | | Report spam→
Just check with your airline before going to the airport to see what the latest procedure is regarding carry-ons. It seems that some are classifying carry-ons as 22 inch roll-aboards and not so much the laptop or camera bag. United, for example, is saying that laptops, cell phones etc are OK to take on board. Seems confusing considering that cell phones and laptops could potentially be triggers for explosive devices…

Even with a Pelican case, checking it in is highly risky. I once had a Pelican case checked in (I was carrying a load of gear on board and the check-in was overflow spare gear), and when it arrived, at San Francisco airport, it was OPEN!! Not just unlocked (no locks anyway, TSA requirement, and the supposed “TSA approved padlocks” never work) but actually open…

I am guessing that UPS and FedEx might see a spike in package volume in the foreseeable future.

by ABC | 11 Aug 2006 15:08 | Maputo and beyond, Mozambique | | Report spam→
Just check with your airline before going to the airport to see what the latest procedure is regarding carry-ons. It seems that some are classifying carry-ons as 22 inch roll-aboards and not so much the laptop or camera bag. United, for example, is saying that laptops, cell phones etc are OK to take on board. Seems confusing considering that cell phones and laptops could potentially be triggers for explosive devices…

Even with a Pelican case, checking it in is highly risky. I once had a Pelican case checked in (I was carrying a load of gear on board and the check-in was overflow spare gear), and when it arrived, at San Francisco airport, it was OPEN!! Not just unlocked (no locks anyway, TSA requirement, and the supposed “TSA approved padlocks” never work) but actually open…

I am guessing that UPS and FedEx might see a spike in package volume in the foreseeable future.

Oh, and the airline’s level of responsibility for lost luggage is usually restricted to the value of the bag. There are some very carefully worded caveats on most airline tickets regarding checked-in baggage. Any other compensation would have to come from your camera or business insurance.

by ABC | 11 Aug 2006 15:08 | Maputo and beyond, Mozambique | | Report spam→
Martin – If you can, why don’t you just ship your camera/computer gear to Magnum or a friend in NYC via FedEx, or one of the other carriers? At this point I think its probably the best option unless you already have an assortment of aircases that will work.

Best, -John

by John Loomis | 11 Aug 2006 16:08 | Miami, FL, United States | | Report spam→
Hey Martin. I’m going to agree with John. Try shipping to Magnum. If you ask sweet enough and bat an eyelash or two you might even get them to pay for it. hehe…good luck.

see you soon, -james

by James Wendell | 11 Aug 2006 23:08 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
damn it, I have to fly to NYC in a week too, going threw heathrow. Can I jump on the shipping to Magnum bandwagon? Guess I should give Tom a call, for shipping suggestions if nothing else…

by Ida | 14 Aug 2006 03:08 (ed. Aug 14 2006) | Darjeeling, India | | Report spam→
I dont think this level of security will go away soon ( or ever) . I think the new norm for photographers will be Pelican cases and a good insuranse. I made a quick search: 20 pounds of goods Shipped via Fedex will be $205. I am sure you want your equipment back in Austria . That will be $410. This is crazy !!!
I hope LS members that are traveling now will post some experience in this post.
Good luck Martin

by Alex Reshuan | 14 Aug 2006 03:08 | Guayaquil, Ecuador | | Report spam→
Martin

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4789169.stm

They still have some restrictions in place, but hopefully they realise that people need to travel with their tools

by Daniel Cuthbert | 14 Aug 2006 04:08 (ed. Aug 14 2006) | Bangkok, Thailand | | Report spam→
I have an appointment to look at those Pelican cases today. I also thought about shipping my equipment to NYC via FedEx, Ups or something similar. But as Alex pointed out already this is going to be almost as expensive as a new Pelican case.
And what about the next time I fly. I might need the Pelican case again. And even if the security thread is downgraded again, who knows when it will be upgraded the next time. And what if I have all my tech stuff as hand luaggage with me one time and the security personal at the airport decided that this is way too much tech gear. A laptop, a harddrive, all the camera stuff and battery gear…
I’ll let you know what I am going to do once I sorted it out. :-) Thanks again for all your help and advice!

by [former member] | 14 Aug 2006 08:08 | Vienna, Austria | | Report spam→
hi martin,

i’ve heard on the news hear in london that some of the restrictions have been relaxed. you are now able to take one small bag onto a plane. i believe that this
includes a lap top, i’m not sure about cameras though. it may be worth checking with official at the airport to find out exactly what the situation is.

by jason hobbs | 15 Aug 2006 09:08 | london, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I’m also interested to find out if we are able to use alternative european airports and can we still take a large camera bag as we would have done in the past from these airports? Its more hassle but if need be there is always ferry’s that can get you to Europe.

by Trent Keegan | 15 Aug 2006 09:08 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Are we allowed to bring camera bags in the cabin now? I was assuming since labtops are permitted I could take my gear . . .

by Katherine Kiviat | 15 Aug 2006 10:08 | Jerusalem, Israel | | Report spam→
From the British Airways web site:

Flights departing from the UK:
Customers travelling from the UK will be able to take on board as hand baggage one cabin bag no bigger than 16cm x 35cm x 45cm, the size of a small laptop bag.

Cabin baggage MUST NOT contain:

Any cosmetics
Any toiletries
Any liquids
Any drinks
Cigarette lighters
Cabin baggage CAN contain the following:

Electronic equipment, including laptops, mobile phones and portable music and DVD players
Prescribed medicines in liquid form e.g. diabetic medicines
Baby milk and liquid baby food (the contents of each bottle MUST be tasted by the parent)
Nothing must be carried in pockets.

To help progress through the airport all customers are encouraged not to include items capable of containing liquids (e.g. bottles, flasks, cans etc.) in either their hand or checked baggage.

See also:
http://www.dft.gov.uk/
http://www.tsa.gov/

I asked a US newspaper about this, and they said laptops, cameras, etc., are still fine. You are encouraged to bring a print-out of any regulations, as some baggage handlers closely resemble Kafkaesque Austro-Hungarian bureaucrats in their demeanor.

by David Gross | 15 Aug 2006 16:08 | Istanbul, Turkey | | Report spam→
I am just back from Entebbe via Heathrow and it is indeed the most trying of times to fly with equipment. We( three in the crew) have yet to see a checked bag as they are still in transit somewhere in the system.I was able to carry on my laptop and a back up lacie 1000gb drive so at least all my data is secure. The biggest challenge/problem is that there is no consistency regarding information and regulations. It is changing hour to hour and no one seems to be in charge. The airline website will say one thing, the gate agent something else and then the security gate agent will contradict all of them. From Saturday to Tuesday we packed and repacked five times based on the changing information. Bottom line is to be prepared for change and to pack in a modular mode, with bags inside bags so that you can adapt as needed. I am fully digital and If I was still in film I would have been totally screwed. I honestly have no idea how I would have salvaged three weeks of shooting if I had been on film. In the end I swapped space with a sound technician and put my photo gear back pack into his hard pelican case and took his clothes and camping gear in one of my rolling duffles. Dont think that London is the exception as these new regulations could now pop up without notice at almost any airport. I would highly recommend a hard case as one checked piece and coming of age and going digital if you intend to travel internationally. The times they are a changin….. Richard
www.wildfoto.com

by richard sobol | 17 Aug 2006 16:08 | boston, United States | | Report spam→
I am traveling with Luftansa in a couple of weeks and these are their restrictions if anyone else is flying the same airline. Looks like they are
relaxed about equipment which is a plus.

US:

At the instruction of the German and US authorities since August 10,
passengers are not allowed to bring liquids or gels of any size aboard aircraft in their carry-on luggage. This includes

- beverages
- shampoo
- suntan lotion
- creams
- parfum
- toothpaste
- hair gel
- other liquids of similar consistency

Passengers are still allowed to have the following items in their carry-on luggage:

- electronic equipment including mobile phones, digital cameras, MP3 players and laptops
- baby formula, breast milk or juice (if a baby or infant travels in their company)
- essential medicine if the name marked on the medicine / prescription matches the name on the ticket.

These regulations apply to all flights to the USA with immediate effect. The items listed above must be stored in passengers’ baggage ahead of travel and checked in.

UK:

Following rules apply for all passengers traveling from and via the UK but not for passengers flying from Germany to the UK where the well established rules are still in effect.

On August 14th the British Government has announced that the security threat level across the UK has been changed from critical to severe, with new guidelines in place.

Passengers may now take one piece of cabin baggage with them. This piece must not exceed the following dimensions:

45 × 35 × 16 cm

(former approved size of cabin baggage: 55 × 40 × 20 cm.)

The bag must not contain:

- any liquids
- cosmetics or toiletries, including gels, pastes, lotions, liquid/solid mixtures, perfumes and the contents of pressurised containers – these must be checked in as hold baggage
- cigarette lighters are not permitted in hold baggage or through the security search. These may be purchased airside.

The bag can include:

- electronic equipment including mobile phones, digital cameras and MP3 players
- laptops and large electronic equipment (e.g. large hair dryer) may be carried in cabin baggage, but must be removed for x-ray controls
- prescription medicines in liquid form if needed during the flight, eg diabetic kit
- baby milk and liquid baby food (the contents of each bottle must be tasted by the accompanying passenger)

by Nile Tuzun | 18 Aug 2006 04:08 | California, United States | | Report spam→
Lowepro do a bag for light traveling which slots into a Peli 1550 case Omni Pro or classic …. . If you have to check in as hold luggage then put this in a battered old duffel bag or back pack then it wont be a target for the lifters….. If travel restrictions lift then you can ship an empty Peli case and carry the insert Lowepro bag with your gear onto the plane. SIMPLE.

by Richard Crawford | 18 Aug 2006 18:08 | TurkBuku, Turkey | | Report spam→
I agree with Richard on the duffel bag idea – when I check my lighting kit, I put it and my folding cart into a big rubber duffel bag. It doesn’t scream ‘camera gear!’, and allows me to check my cart w/out it being considered another piece of baggage. I’ve also put my lighting kit (a Versa-Flex case) into a big plastic Samsonite suitcase, which allows for room for clothes, etc.

Only one concern about the Pelican cases, at least the bigger ones – they’re quite heavy, so then you might be dealing with overweight limits…

by Kevin J. Miyazaki | 19 Aug 2006 02:08 | Phoenix, United States | | Report spam→
alright, so here is an update to my story… i arrived in ny last night. flew with british airways from vienna to london to new york. i checked in one bag with clothing, chargers, cables and similar things and one peli 1620 case (which i just got two days before my departure) with my camera gear, laptop and two external harddrives.

the flight was alright, i had a layover of about 5 hours in london since i wanted to make sure that i’ll get my connection flight. once on the plane to new york i thought about my equipment in that peli case that must have been somewhere underneith me. i thought that everything will be alright…

once arrived in new york i was standing next to the carrier with all bags until the last bag came out. guess what. neither one of my two bags arrived. all my gear is gone and british airways say they don’t know where it is. it could have been held up at security…

by [former member] | 20 Aug 2006 16:08 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
This is terrible Martin. The hightened security, although is necessary, is making it very difficult for the traveling photographer.
I would be curious to find out when and where your gear turns out.

by Nile Tuzun | 20 Aug 2006 17:08 | California, United States | | Report spam→
Hi Martin!
I am sorry to hear that your checked-in luggage did not arrive with you. Look at the other thread on checking gear. I just reported there that my checked-in luggage containing my camera equipment arrived finally today, three days after I had flown back from Munich. Beside one Olympus body, I had a Stylus Epic, a monopod taken from the Cullmann Magic 2 with a Kaiser ballhead, a metal water bottle, and a metal thermos. Of the last two are not camera equipment, but they are metal. My Samsonite does not appear to be opened, but I don’t remember how I actually packed it since I did the last repacking at the Munich Airport after traveling by train from Zurich rather than flying for which I had a ticket.
Did you file a Property Irregularity Report to initiate a trace of your luggage?
I did not do this when I arrived in Baltimore on Thursday, and realized it that I should contact the airline baggage office only on Friday. I was able to do this over the phone, but it would be better in person.
Even before this heightened security (caused perhaps by political situation), in 2004 I did not get my checked-in luggage in Vienna, Austria after I had flown through Heathrow. My luggage tag had a wrong name, but I tried to correct it in Baltimore and Heathrow, but they still could not find my luggage onto my Vienna-bound flight. I had a 5-hour layover in Heathrow, but it did not help. Mine was delivered to me in Bruenn (Brno) the next day. I hope that yours will turn up pretty soon.
Tomoko

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 20 Aug 2006 20:08 (ed. Aug 20 2006) | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
Hey Martin. Sounds like you had some bad luck. I just came to NY via London yesterday and everything worked out surprisingly. They allowed me to carry on a large camera backpack (had to be cleared with customer service and a security manager, but that didn’t take more than twenty minutes) with all my gear and laptop, and my checked bag arrived safe and sound. Hope it all works out for you.

by [former member] | 20 Aug 2006 23:08 | Baghdad, Iraq | | Report spam→
My bags still did not arrive. I’ll take this chance to write a little bit about how British Airways handels this so far.

After my arrival I filed a Property Irregularity Report at the Airport. After I gave them all details I asked the British Airways guy if I would get a call from them. He simply said “No”. I asked how I will be informed when my bags arrive and he told me that I’d get a call from the company delivering the bags. I asked him for a phone number from British Airways in case I do not hear from this company. He gave me a number from their backoffice at the airport but said that I do not need to call since nobody will pick the phone up. Great sense of customer service I’d say…

I still did not hear about my buaggage and the online reporting tool says that there are no new informations available.

One thing that really makes me upset is the following: After I mentioned that I don’t even have fresh underwear with me I got a 50 dollar credit card from BA inside an envelope. After I left the airport I read the Terms & Conditions of that card before opening the envelope. Here is the most important part of it:
“Acceptance of this card will release British Airways and its employees and its agents from and be in full satisfaction of any legal rights that you may have against British Airways arising out of the circumstances which gave rise to the issue of this card subject to any rights that you may have under EU legislation, or in respect of lost damaged or delayed baggage.”

by [former member] | 21 Aug 2006 00:08 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Martin, in my case with US Airways, I was told by their baggage office in Baltimore where I called to make a Property Irregularity Report that it would take at least 24 hours to locate the bag. That was Friday. Since I did not hear from them, I went to the BWI airport to find out about my bag in person yesterday. Since there was no one else to compete with, I had a full attention of a personel at the office. He printed out for me “Property Irrefularity Receipt” with my name and address, etc., with their apologies for the delay of my luggage. As I was nosing around to inspect all the bags in and around the office, the personnel said that there was a response to whatever he typed in. The bag had been found and was on its way to Baltimore.
Before I went to BWI, I asked for my baggage using the online inquiry on the US Airways website. I did not get any reply until this afternoon to this. It so happened that as I was opening an e-mail from the Baggage Service, the phone rang to tell me that my bag would be delievered within the next four hours.
Be patient, Martin. Hopefully, everything will work out for you. On the other hand, I have learned now, photographic equipment may be excluded in checked baggage liability by some airlines like US Airways in their domestic routes. I checked other airline websites for their exclusion policies. ANA, which I use for going to Japan, does not exclude photo equipment in checked luaggage liability. Also it is possible to purchase additional amount exceeding the limit of liability.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 21 Aug 2006 02:08 (ed. Aug 21 2006) | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
Martin, I hope your gear turns up safe and sound.

I once (early 2002) had BA lose a bag of mine on a flight from Sydney, via London to Barcelona. I arrived late at night and it didn’t turn up at the turnstile – they told me it would be there on the first flight in the morning. They tried the same trick with the credit card, with the same conditions, so i gave it back to the guy at the desk and told him that there was no way I was giving up my rights to legally nab them for damages if they messed up my stuff. So, I spent the night in the airport. The bags arrived not on the first flight in the morning, but the last flight of the next day.

Not so bad as your circumstance by any means – my bag just had my clothes and climbing gear… best of luck, and go after them hammer and tong if they mess with your stuff, I reckon!

by Ed Giles | 22 Aug 2006 05:08 | Newtown, Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→
Martin, turn your undies inside-out, tell them to stuff the card right up thier arse, and give em hell!! Hope it all turns out ok for you.

by Paul KISS | 22 Aug 2006 06:08 | Melbourne - St Kilda, Australia | | Report spam→
Martin-

You are not alone. A photographer I have sent to Afghanistan has been sitting in Islamabad for over a week with no bags, thanks to British Airways (Fort Worth/Heathrow/Islamabad). BA has offered no assistance in getting the bags. I’m told they aren’t stolen- they are in their baggage area, which is stuffed to the rafters with bags.

His four bags? Aside from clothes- all his gear, SAT phones, flak vest, etc. EVERYHING save a book and a laptop that he was allowed to carry on. He finally went out and bought clothes and all that fits is Paki dress. I can’t even tell him to get a picture of himself in it….

My advice to others? Don’t fly through Heathrow now and don’t fly British Airways. Reroute your trip.

The VP of media relations has said the bags will be on the next flight to Islamabad, which is today (Tues) arriving Wed in Islamabad. This is over a week without anything in Pakistan. Prior to discussions with the VP, BA would divulge nothing. And American Airlines could only verify that the bags did get on at DFW.

I can certainly feel your frustration. The photographer told me that everything happens for a reason and maybe this delay has saved him and the reporter from getting into something nasty in Afghanistan. I’d like to keep the same uplifting outlook. I will, once he gets his bags in his hands.

by Linda Epstein | 22 Aug 2006 13:08 (ed. Aug 22 2006) | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
“The photographer told me that everything happens for a reason and maybe this delay has saved him and the reporter from getting into something nasty in Afghanistan.”
That is a good attitude to have at the time of frustration.
I went through Heathrow without a problem (Washington Dulles/Heathrow/Vienna) in early July, but I was carrying my camera gear in my backpack onto the plane and only the tripod and a few other things in the checked bag. On my return to the US (Munich/Lisbon/Philadelphia/Baltimore), because of the restriction on the size of the carry-on, I put some of my camera gear in the checked bag, which was delayed by three days. I don’t know for sure if there is any correlation, but I advice others that they might try to put most of your camera gear and personal items in carry-on regardless of your route.
In 1998, I went to Scotland as a member of a church choir, but I chose to fly separately from the rest because I did not want to go through Heathrow. The choir flew from Washington Dulles to Heathrow to Glasgow. Their carrier was not BA between Dulles and Heathrow. I don’t know the carrier between Heathrow and Glasgow, but it was British. A mistake was made in Dulles on checked bags belonging to some of the members in identifying their destination. Some of the bags ended up in Dublin. There was a lot of husstle for the first few days for those without their bags and clothing.
In 2004, it was my turn to get my checked-luggage problem. Originally I was to fly directly to Vienna, but because the original flight was cancelled, I got routing through Heathrow. I rechecked my bag early in the morning after spending the night at the airport so that I could move around more easily. I did not pay attention to the baggage tag when given to me. I realized too late that the name was not mine after the baggage had been checked in. I made a complaint to the airline staff inside the security. I was told that someone had to recheck the baggage in person. I talked to the airline staff again in Heathrow, but it did not help. The baggage did not arrive with me in Vienna despite a plenty of time in Heathrow. It is important to check your name and the destinations listed on the baggage tags.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 22 Aug 2006 16:08 | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
Man, what a nightmare. I hope you get your stuff back. Good luck Martin!

by Liam Maloney | 22 Aug 2006 20:08 | Montreal, QC, Canada | | Report spam→
“Acceptance of this card will release British Airways and its employees and its agents from and be in full satisfaction of any legal rights that you may have against British Airways arising out of the circumstances which gave rise to the issue of this card subject to any rights that you may have under EU legislation, or in respect of lost damaged or delayed baggage.”

This sort of blackmail legalese is not binding. If BA fucked up, they fucked up, you cannot simply disclaim responsibility for your actions.
It’s like nightclubs where you have to check in your coat and hand over money for the priviledge and they say, “we take no responibility blah, blah….” when actually they are indeed responsible until they hand it back to you.

by AJP Lawrence | 22 Aug 2006 21:08 | Sheffield/London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Update: one bag, out of the four, came in on today’s flight, even though all 4 were assured to be on the flight. This is the bag with the flak vest and SAT phones. No camera gear. No clothes.

by Linda Epstein | 23 Aug 2006 13:08 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
I flew Virgin Atlantic from Delhi to Newark yesterday, transferring in Heathrow. No problems. Carried on a small bag with computer, hard drive, camera, two lenses, two phones, and various cables. Checked two bags, both were there when I got to Newark some 20 hours after parting with them. Heathrow wasn’t any problem either. There was a security check at the gate, but it went quick and my equipment didn’t go through the extra scrutiny that Virgin’s web page warned about.

by Ida | 23 Aug 2006 19:08 | Croton, NY, United States | | Report spam→
Hi Martin
Welcome to the club of stolen camera gears and other stuff flying around the world. This happen to me by two times. One going to Cuba, another one at Madrid. All the times Nikon Fm2. I went to La Habana airport during 15 days asking and moving many people. My cameras never come back to me again. Flying to Madrid the same problem. Only what I can tell you is have a hope that can be arrived anyday. The other way is that all of us we can help you with a little money to buy a new camera. I know that it is maybe not good idea, but If you open a account stand by me. I know how you feel now. Waiting your news. All the best and I send you a big hug.

Delmi Alvarez

by Delmi Alvarez | 23 Aug 2006 19:08 | Riga, Latvia | | Report spam→
Everyone needs to boycott BA. They’ll change their tune fast. particularly as it appears that other airlines are in fact allowing photographers to carry on their gear.

by Jon Anderson | 23 Aug 2006 19:08 | Bonao, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
i agree with Jon, the best is to stop flying BA. when they feel in the pocket they’ll change. and if anyone as a way of letting them know, by a travel agent our VP of media relations, that they aren’t flying BA anymore do it! hope that Martin and the guy in Pakistan have their bags soon and safe. cheers all

by [former member] | 23 Aug 2006 20:08 | Lisbon, Portugal | | Report spam→
Hi Martin
I hope that your two bags will still turn up, but this thread reminds me of my stolen jacket on board on a BMI flight between Edinburgh and Manchester three years ago. I had a carry-on of a small backpack to which I had attached my expensive rain jacket when I board the plane, but I was told that the backpack would need to go in the cargo-hold. By the time I realized that I had the jacket attached, it was too late. The backpack came back to me without my jacket. The day was the beginning of a heat wave in Europe and I did not need a jacket for the rest of my trip…
That same 2003 trip had another disaster that my Mamiya 6MF got damaged on the way to Edinburgh and had to have it fixed in the UK.
I once sat next to a passenger who told me that he would never fly with checked bags since he lost his bag somewhere in eastern Europe. I thought of him when the carry-on restriction was put into effect.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 23 Aug 2006 21:08 | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
So here is an update from me… I finally got my bags four days after I arrived in New York. That’s like a stone falling from my heart. I’ve been really worried because of all my equipment. I have an insurance for everything but if it would have really been lost I am sure it would take months to have everything done. First of all British Airways say that baggage is only considered to be lost after 5 weeks, then I would have to contact my insurance company, file reports and so on…
Well I got everything and it seems to be alright. My Pelican case is a little scratched but that’s not a problem. It wasn’t even opened and inspected. Before departure I put some unused zip ties on top of the equipment and I inserted a piece of paper on which I asked the person who opens the case to use these zip ties to close the case again after inspection. Everything was still in place and the original zip ties where on it. Somebody in this thread had the idea with the zip ties, thanks for that!
My other bag with cloths and cables wasn’t inspected either. Usually they put a paper inside the bag saying that it was inspected. Some of my cloths have been wet when the bags arrived, I don’t know for what reason. Just have to wash everything. This bag however is damaged. It’s a big sportsbag which has a handle inside. The handle can not be used anymore and some of the zippers are damaged.
I have everything back and I am glad about that. However I am still very upset about the way British Airways handeled that. First of all I did not have a chance to get in touch with anybody who is responsible for baggage. There is only the way of written complaints and that’s it. Nobody could tell me where my stuff is, when I will approximately get it back or if I would get it back at all.
The regular call center agents told me that they can’t do anything for me because they are only the reservation hotline, however they told me that BA would not refund any technical equipment nor would they cover any costs of rental equipment.
Time to update their regulations that where valid when you were still allowed to take one bag (camera bag for example) and one laptop bag on board. One of these guys actually told me that I should calm down and not always blame British Airways since it’s not their fault. When I heared that I had to take a deep breath to stay calm. He meant that it’s only the airports responsibility and British Airways is the real victim. Did I book my ticket at British Airways or London Heathrow? And even if the airport is to slow to handle all the bags it’s still the responsibility of BA to take care of their customers. And that’s where they did a really bad job!
I will now send all the receipts I have for cloths that I had to buy for those 4 days to British Airways and wait for a reimbursement. They said they would do so for badly needed cloths but it would take at least two months until I get my money…

by [former member] | 24 Aug 2006 03:08 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
scumbags… how does it work that monster corps like BA can treat you like dirt? “you pay us for a service but if you get screwed by us while using our service then it’s YOUR fault”.

i’ve just had a recent run-in with a travel insurance company after some of my gear was damaged on a trip to burma last month…. it took them ages to finally process my claim, and then when they did they gave me a pittence of money to replace my computer with. crazy…

hope you get your dosh back, martin.

by Ed Giles | 24 Aug 2006 03:08 | Newtown, Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→
Martin- I am very glad you have your gear back. Still waiting on three bags. Fingers crossed it’s on tonight’s flight, arriving tomorrow.

by Linda Epstein | 24 Aug 2006 13:08 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
Martin- I am very glad you have your gear back. Still waiting on three bags. Fingers crossed it’s on tonight’s flight, arriving tomorrow.

by Linda Epstein | 24 Aug 2006 13:08 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
Hi Martin, I was so relieved to read that you got your bags after four days. Just one extra day compared to my case of three days.
After reading that you had to buy clothes during the past few days, perhaps you and others might benefit knowing there is an alternative to regular clothing which needs to be washed after one or more days of wearing because they stink! and needs a lot of changes to take with you on trips.
There is a line of merino wool underwear and T-shirts that can be worn up to 90 days without washing! I now use it even everyday as well as while traveling. Here is a link
www.icebreaker.com
Icebreaker is a New Zealand company, but its product is being sold in many countries including Japan and the US. An Internet friend of mine in Iowa bought his first icebreaker last winter and liked it very much. He found it in his local sporting goods store. I’ve purchased mine in Japan, over the Internet in the US, and directly from New Zealand.
I generally add silk underwear to my must-have in my carry-on so that I can change when I go to bed at night as my wool undies with a little wash in the key area dry overnight. Throughout my most recent trip I used silk underwear as my night clothes.
Getting back to the icebraker merino, it is very light and relatively quick to dry for wool because it is so thin. For summer, the superfine grade is comfortable. When I was in Vienna during the heat wave, I survived it by wearing my icebraker singlet (spaghetti strap top) (Mine is not the superfine grade which is expensive, but the skin200).
There are other manufacturers of light wool underwear and shirts using the same New Zealand merino wool. SmartWool, known for their wool-blend hiking socks, has some products. Japanese sportwear manufacturers have some limited lines. Ibex in the US has had mostly wintry underwear, but according to their summer ’06 catalog, they now have summer lines, which I have not tried. Their winter underwear, to me, is too warm to me for regular use.

Another way to survive with a minimum amount of clothing is to have pants made of Schoeller fabric. In Japan they make some of their hiking pants without gaitors or cuff closures, which makes it easy to use them as street clothes. Another thing easy to get in Japan is a line of all-wool or wool blend woven shirts. I like particularly the ones by Millet, which is a French manufacturer, but I have not been able to locate the product online. Its attraction over other shirts made by others is that it comes with padding on the shoulder and mesh-back for ventilation. In other words, it is made for back-packing. Since the shirt is made of wool or wool-blend, it can double as a light-weight jacket, but it is not necessary to take it off going through security.
If any of you would like additional info on stores or online store where I have purchased, PM me.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 24 Aug 2006 15:08 | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
Hi Everyone

British Airports Authority (BAA) has the same new dimentions of 35×45×16cm for carry on hand luggage. Apparently you can take camera gear.

My worry aswell is turning up to a shoot without your gear if my checked in bag goes missing. I have done a little shopping around and found the Domke J2 bag fits within these size guidelines (just about) if you remove the padded pockets at the ends and squash it up. It won’t fit a laptop but you can get 2 pro digi bodies a 17-35, 70-200, speedlight and flash cards and a small storage device like a epson p2000. I’m flying next week and am going to give this a try. I’m checking in the rest of my gear in a hard case.

by David Hares | 24 Aug 2006 17:08 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
David and everyone.
Although I did not fly through the UK and my situation might be somewhat different, having flown from Munich through Lisbon to the US, I don’t think it is necessary to follow strictly the size guidline.
I note that Peter van Agtmael wrote earlier,
“They allowed me to carry on a large camera backpack (had to be cleared with customer service and a security manager, but that didn’t take more than twenty minutes) with all my gear and laptop, and my checked bag arrived safe and sound.” when he flew through London.
I went through security with my bagpack of about slightly over the dimensions of 35×45×16cm, with the longest dimension over the limit by about 10 cm without the size problem even though the Luft Hansa check-in personnel said that mine did not look like a small “Hand Gepäck” (hand-carrying luggage). Security was concerned about the content of my backpack, however, and had me remove the front and back caps off every one of my lenses. At Lisbon, security there did not have much time for me because I was practically the last passenger onto the flight. Several security personnel, instead, felt for things inside without me taking out the content. In retrospect, they must have been feeling for tubes or bottles which have liquid or gells inside my bag. Since I was concerned that they would object to the size of my bag, I had a small backpack fitted with a padded case of my lenses inside the larger one, so I could separate my lenses and clothing in two backpacks if necessary.
Depending on your destination and the amount of time, you can ship the overflow gear separately by the means you trust. On this most recent trip, I sent ahead my warm clothing from Japan to Vienna by mail. Since it was too warm in Vienna, I mailed my warmest clothing to Bad Gastein where I used most of them. I also mailed extra tripod accessories to myself in Baltimore in order to shed weight from Bad Gastein. In my opinion, the postal service is more trustworthy than checked luggage coming through London or elsewhere. I have to admit that I have not received everything I mailed out of Austria, but I mailed the tripod accessories by surface mail. Those I shipped by air or earlier were waiting for me when I got home.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 24 Aug 2006 19:08 | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
One of those Pelican Lowepro solutions is up for grabs on eBay in Canada.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260022293735
ps Nothing to do with me but I have the same setup and it is great.

by Richard Crawford | 25 Aug 2006 07:08 | Glasgow, United Kingdom | | Report spam→

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