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New TSA rules and underwater strobes


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#1 Draq

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 06:49 AM

TSA is implementing new rules.  All electronics larger than a cell phone will need to be taken out of carry-on bags and placed separately in bins to be sent through the x-ray machines.  This will include cameras, but does not apply to lenses, according to what I have read.

 

I am wondering whether this will apply to my Inon strobes.  I need to decide whether to pack them in a manner where I can easily pull them out and place them into a bin.  I would be interested in hearing what other people experience or learn about this.  The new rule is being “rolled-out” over the next couple of months, so it may take a while to figure out if how this will be handled.

 

I thought about asking TSA, but I strongly suspect I would either have someone repeat the new rule to me and be unable or unwilling to go beyond that, or I would be told that which electronics have to be screened is discretionary with TSA people at the time and place in question.



#2 tursiops

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 08:26 AM

Use TSA/Pre and don't worry about it.



#3 Draq

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 11:19 AM

I do have TSA Pre-check, but I estimate that I have been able to use it about 70% of the time.  At my home airport, they don’t staff the pre-check line during slow periods and often my flights have me checking in late at night or very, very early in the morning and the pre-check line is closed and I have to go through the regular line and in many such cases, I have to do the full screening.  I have also experienced that in other airports several times…no pre-check line is operational for some reason and everyone gets the full screening.

 

I have also had multiple occasions on return international flights when, no “pre-check” annotation appears on my ticket when it is issued at the airport I am connecting through within the U.S.  I have had both the airline and TSA say "oh well, too bad, no pre-check for you on this flight."    This isn’t unique to me, I have seen it happen to others on multiple occasions.

 

In large part, I don’t want to be “that guy” that holds up the security line as I unpack bags and move stuff around to comply with the screening.  Therefore, I tend to pack in a way that works efficiently if the pre-check fails somewhere along the line.



#4 tursiops

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 02:33 PM

I feel your pain on PRE not always being operational.

I still would not worry about it. Their big concern is big batteries, becasue it looks like big lumps of metal. A strobe is mostly an empty plastic shell, with very little electronics inside.. I'd just leave the strobes in the carry-on and if they want to see them they'll ask when they see the x-ray image. If the thought really bothers you, then pack accordingly. But I still would not bring them out unless asked; that is just inviting questions.

Remember, reading the TSA website or asking TSA in advance is pretty much meaningless; they'll do what they want to do regardless of what they've said or done in the past. 

 

By the way, I just (September-October) traveled to and around Indonesia, for a month, with multiple flights on multiple carriers in the US and abroad, with two big strobes in my carry-on photo bag. I never took anything out of the bag, and was never asked to.


Edited by tursiops, 16 November 2017 - 02:35 PM.


#5 Matt Sullivan

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 09:26 PM

there seems to be no rhyme or reason at this point as to whether or not they make you unpack everything and seems to be up to the discretion of the TSA agent. flew cross the US recently. didnt have to take anything out except laptop. On the way back literally every piece of equipment had to come out and go in separate bins. if this starts being enforced its going to be a huge PITA :/


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#6 Ronfoto

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 09:43 PM

Im a pretty frequent traveler with my gear. Even in precheck line, my bag gets stopped if it goes through unopened. They told me to just open the bag before putting it through and now I just do it everytime. My carry front panel opens up like a clamshell revealing all my lenses and batteries. Havent had a problem since i started doing that.


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#7 DocTock

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 01:13 PM

I just travelled to Mexico and back to the USA with a photo-backpack and small rolling bag both stuffed with my housing, strobes, camera, computer, ipad, lenses, etc.

I can report that at both inter-Mexican flights and on return to USA the only "new" request was that I take my camera out of the bag and put it in a bin - just like my computer.

NO other lenses, strobes, etc were specifically removed.

I was requested on 2 bag checks to simply open my rolling bag so they could look at the housing and my octo/ reg directly - nothing was removed from my bags


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#8 guyharrisonphoto

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 02:28 PM

I just flew to and from Cuba and my experience was that they opened my camera bag but did not require me to remove equipment.



#9 diver dave1

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 08:11 PM

Just completed to/from Grand Cayman.  Never asked about the Inon's.  Did not require taking them out of carryon luggage.


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#10 BDKulick

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 05:27 PM

I’ve just joined these forums, so my posting may be a bit tardy for the OP, but I’ve taken more than a dozen flights since November, and had only one occasion where a TSA agent requested that I open my carry on bag for what was a routine, cursory inspection.

 

I squeeze a substantial load of camera gear, a pair of Shearwater computers, laptop, drives and cables into my usual carry on and have not as yet experienced any security based questioning on any of my flights originating in the USA, either at TSA/PRE checkpoints, or when they are not available, in the swine line. Dealing with airline gate agents about the weight of my bag is occasionally more complicated, but at least I no longer have to debate the effects of x-rays on undeveloped film with an array of “security experts.”


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#11 Undertow

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 07:58 AM

Recently flew out of LAX (Los Angeles) and TSA was telling everyone to take cameras out of their bags. When I asked about additional lenses they said to leave them in the bag. Didn't have strobes on me but got the impression I wouldn't need to remove them. Sounded like a camera-specific new thing. 

 

I also flew through Reno on the same trip and nothing about cameras. 


Edited by Undertow, 27 April 2018 - 08:01 AM.


#12 allen

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 06:03 AM

FWIW at some airports like OAK if there is not a PreCheck line the TSA staff will sometimes send those with PreCheck through the metal detector and not make them take all their crap out. Quite variable though.