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Checkin in Lugguage


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#1 imp

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 09:06 AM

Hi, i just wanna check if anybody, actually check in their pelican cases while travelling.. all those housings and strobes? i'm kinda scared of the idea, but due to the cabin rules, i'm kinda overweighted and therefore need to check them in the cargo instead of holding on to them. pls advised
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#2 dmoss

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 09:23 AM

I know a lot of people who do check their Pelican cases without incident. I think a lot depends on where you are traveling. Pelican type cases seem to say 'steal me' on them. After all...we normally use these type cases to protect valuable equipment. The thieves are aware of this too.
You might want to read thru the Fraud thread on the forum and then determine if you really want to check your camera gear.
I just got done packing for a trip to Bonaire and was able to get all my camera related gear in a Lowepro roller bag and a backpack. Both are carry on size.
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#3 Rocha

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 09:49 AM

Hi, I moved your topic to a more appropriate section (travel). To answer your question, I wouldn't pack one. For a lot more on the subject, check this thread:

http://wetpixel.com/...?showtopic=8141

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#4 TimG

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 07:08 PM

Tough one, Imp!

I do like to pull my wheely-Pelican with me (the 1510) into the cabin while manfully giving them impression that both it and the Tamrac camera rucksack on my back are, well, fly-weight.

However I have found that airlines in my area seem to be tightening up on cabin baggage weight. At check-in at Manchester UK, the Emirates handling agent gave me a bit of hard-time about having 14kg and 12kg cabin bags - and I was flying Business. But they let me go.

Flying through Indonesia no-one seemed to bother but the overheads on 737-size aircraft struggle to carry a Pelican - so I had to hold load it which worked out fine. I had the same experience on a round the world trip a few months back.

What others have suggested, which sound a really good idea to me, is to pack the Pelican inside a nicely stained, travel-weary cargo-style bag - and shove some soft clothes around it. That way the bag is not so obviously potentially valuable cargo.

One other thing, sorry Pelican, but those brass combination locks you sell for the cases are hopeless. I have twice arrived at destinations to find the hasp sprung out of its fastening. I now add ties to close it.

Tim
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#5 cmm1970

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 05:44 PM

I would strongly recommend that you do not check a Pelican case. I had two rigs stolen in April and have since fabricated carry-ons for our D2x and D70 Subal rigs. Here is a photo of our "basic black bag" which we just used on a trip to Curacao.

#6 cmm1970

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 05:48 PM

Let me try that again...

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  • Carry_On_ND70.jpg


#7 cmm1970

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 05:50 PM

Those are all LowePro bags that contain my dome port, two Inon storbes, lenses, and flat port. I worked beautifully and all items traveled safely in their padded cases. The bag fit in the 737 overhead without any trouble. This may be a good solution for you also.

#8 cmm1970

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 05:53 PM

Here is a picture of the bag's exterior. It is a plain jane bag with rollers and a retractable handle. It comes in just inside of the airline regulations for carry-ons.

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  • Carry_On_Bag.jpg


#9 mattdiver

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 06:36 PM

I've checked in Pelican cases for years without problems, although my travels have been mostly within Asia. After reading the threads on this forum, I've started exploring an alternative, using a regular Samsonite suitcase, and foam padding cut from cheap mattresses. I'm still working on it and will post photos soon, but it looks promising: it's cheaper than the 2 pelicans, much less conspicuous, saves me close to 15kg/33lbs in luggage weight, and still can fit 2 housings, 4 strobes, 4 ports, and more accessories than I care to post here!

#10 TonyG

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 07:23 AM

I've been packing camera stuff for 10 years now and aside from a few heated arguments in Gatwick with some checkins (bad time of month, personal troubles, dont like divers etc.) I have no problems (touch wood) with Pelican cases.

I've flown from Gatwick, Heathrow, Midlands, and usuallly Manchester, and my rule is usually check the main dive bag in with the strobe arms and any other non-breakable bits, screwdrivers, clamps and so on. Then just say I am taking a camera case on, and they usually have said "ok", and thats charter flights to RS, Med, Canaries (Lanz/Tenerife). I've only had one occasion in 2003 with Excel to Sharm where they winged at mine as well as the whole aircraft load of photo-divers had to chuck their cases in the hold. The only other occasion it had to go into the hold was for Domincan Republic - but we were flying on 9/11 (2004) :-(.

I've found, its best to bang a padlock on it, and can usual fit the housing, 2 ports, camera and two lens in the box with foam and bubble wrap, the rest in the main bag.

Its also a good idea if they moan to say its "sensitive camera equipment" and you are quite willing to stick it under your seat and put up with the discomfort. Mind you, it was my dive bag of 29.7Kg that attracted Monarchs GBP30 new standard charge for sports equpt in November from M/c, quite where my personal baggage allowance of 20Kgs went I do not know. But, then each airline has a formula "make it up as you go along" / "how much abuse can I give customers in the early morning" - the smaller the number is proportional to the chances of getting through ok!

#11 Rocha

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 09:19 AM

Let me try that again...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


This looks just like my carry on! You stole my idea!! :huh: :huh:

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#12 bmyates

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 11:06 AM

I recently sold all my Pelicans, big and small. I've explained my carry-on strategy in another recent thread, but checked luggage is another matter.

In the new world of TSA, there's no way to PROTECT your checked bags with heavy padlocks (I've had three of the wimpy TSA locks torn off of Pelicans, so they're pretty worthless :huh: ), so I figure--as many others have stated--that the best approach now is to make my checked bags look as little like photo gear (or anything else valuable) as possible.

My solution for checked bags, is therefore twofold.

First, for dive gear I now just use a plain old (Eagle Creek) duffle bag (which has the added benefit of saving about 10lbs vs. my old "dive bags").

Second, for photo gear, I purchased a case from Lightware (see Lightware website ). While not as hard as Pelicans/Storms, their cases do have hard side/top inserts and good padding, and don't seem to damage easily. More important, they are cordura outside, and don't look like any of the standard hard cases (Pelican, Storm) that shout "Expensive gear inside." The icing on the cake is that the Lightware cases are lighter-weight than Pelican or Storm cases of similar capacity...

Anyway, I used a permanent marker to black-out the Lightware logo (since I figured even that might suggest electronics inside), and used cheap stencils and yellow spraypaint to spray a big "ACME HOSE & CHAIN" on every side of the case. Then I smeared dirt and mud all over it to make it look older and more used. I think I succeeded in making it look like a cheap case for construction parts, and on my recent trip to Indonesia, no one (in the U.S. or overseas) even broke the zip tie I used to hold the zippers together.

Besides the fact that I feel I'm travelling in much less conspicuous fashion nowadays, I chuckle every time I look at my big black "ACME" case because it reminds me of ol' Wily Coyote... :huh:

Bruce Yates
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#13 Paul Kay

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 12:21 PM

I've never had a problem with using a Pelicase - mine has 'fragile' stickers on it from various airlines so it does look well used. Just back from a trip to El Hierro and the case and contents survived a lot of handlers (air, coach, ferry) with no problems at all. I always cable tie the case so that it is immediately obvious if its been tampered with. I would guess that UK airports would probably take a breach of the case pretty seriously if it happened as it would have significant security implications.

On this topic, some Lowe cases are ideal for carrying housings and ports - the new 200AW Slingshot (£69 UK) will actually take a Seacam EOS1DS housing (with camera inside), a 100 usm lens, Seacam 100 flash unit and macro port + CF cards and other odds and ends. Considering its size, this is pretty amazing - of course it exceeds the carry on weight allowances currently allowed by many airlines but looks small enough to get away with most of the time. One of the Lowe lens cases appears built for Seacam (and probably Subal) flat ports too!

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#14 cloustalot

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 12:25 PM

I used to travel with 2 pelican cases and loved it - now I can't because of the weight restrictions.

So all the camera/housing/strobe gear and dive computers get stuffed into an extremely heavy carry on duffel (and I get pulled out of line and it is searched thoroghly every time) and the scuba gear gets mashed into a suitcase along with everything else.

It's become a real drag. <_<

The pelicans have been recomissioned for local diving only (where I used to use a rubbermaid tub)...what a waste of money.
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#15 tovy

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 03:33 AM

Gosh, I've been using Pelicans for years on airlines with no problems. But these posts are scaring me. I would need a huge travel roller case with a ton of padding in order to dump my Pelicans.

#16 Paul Kay

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 08:19 AM

What does bug me is 'carry on' luggage. Airlines seem to have their own rules on this. Some allow bags up to the appropriate internationally accepted size, others state 5kg or 7kg limits. I've taken to a photographer's waistcoat plus a multi pocketed lightweight coat plus the heaviest case that I think I can get away with as carr on. This usually gets a few grins from x-ray security staff, but is still nowhere near as much as I would prefer to carry in hand luggage. Does anyone know what agreements exist regarding airline transportation of hand luggage? Is it size or weight or is there a capped size limit but otherwise a free for all on the weight?

Another bugbear is excess baggage weight charges. I've been quoted three different prices per kilo by one airline when querying different offices for one trip! Some UK airlines (Monarch I believe are one) are now operating a fixed fee for 10kg extra sports equipment (at least you know where you stand) but others list nothing on their websites and until you actually check in its difficult to extract any information from them. Even worse is the 10kg extra you are promised (never in writing) only to discover that this is 'discretionary' - whatever this means.

Its about time Airlines got their act together and provided proper details of what weights and sizes can be carried and actually dealt with expensive and fragile equipment in an appropriate way. Last time I checked in with 'fragile' stickers on my Pelicase, the check-in staff gave the impression that the baggage staff take absolutely no notice.

Rant over - but this is frustrating.

Paul Kay,Canon EOS5DII SEACAM c/w S45, 8-15, 24L,35L, 60/2.8 (+Ext12II) & 100/2.8 Macros - Sony A7II SEACAM 28/2 & 50/2.8 Macro - UK/Ireland Seacam Sales -see  marinewildlife


#17 mattdiver

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 07:14 AM

I've finally got around to taking a photo of my custom-made kit bag. Bought a regular suitcase made of high impact plastic, and got a shop to cut foam sheets to the required shapes to suit my equipment. Much lighter, and much cheaper than 2 pelican cases. As for the colour, I'm not sure it makes it less conspicuous :D

Camera_Kit_Bag.jpg