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UW photo gear in carry on - any no-no?


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#1 JDelage

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 11:53 AM

Is there any gotcha with regards to carrying one's uw photo gear in a carry on? I suppose this is what most people do, but I'm wondering if there are painful lessons I should know beforehand. In particular, have you had any issue traveling with so many rechargeable batteries? How about the strobe arms?



#2 Aquapaul

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 12:07 PM

The biggest problem I have had trouble with and been lucky too at the same time is having to gate check your bag because there wasn't room or my bag was too big. Some of those smaller connecting flights don't have as big of over heads as the big planes do.

 

I have been lucky in this regard, no damage as of yet.


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#3 Stoo

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 12:13 PM

Like Aquapaul pointed out, my biggest concern has been over weight. I travel with a Pelican case which is of legal carry on size, but it weighs about double what it should.

I was once challenged over the battery pack on an old Ikelite 225 but considering the battery was a collection of little cylinders wired together with a flashing light and wrapped in plastic, I'm not surprised!

I tend to check non-fragile items like strobe arms so no issues there. I think the worst that could happen with batteries is you might need to carry them separated from the strobe itself.

#4 rtrski

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 01:01 PM

Expect a hand-check of a carried-on photo bag, whether its underwater or just a full photo gearbag in general.  Never had an issue with strobe arms specifically, myself, and mine are the bulky 'floatation' type.  They're pretty clearly hollow by weight and sound when handled, which helps.

 

I've even had a couple small hand-built circuits (LED trigger for hotshoe mount) that were fine as long as I could short across them and flash the LEDs with a coin to show what they did.

 

The one caution I have regards tools - they can get kind of snippety about screwdrivers and even tiny allen wrenches, so might want to move those to your dive bag.  A typical rubber-strap-wrench (for dome to port extension threads) typically goes uncommented though.


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#5 Interceptor121

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 01:25 PM

I have a small SLR lowerpro (not that small but small for SLR)

Inside housing, wet lenses, video lights and strobe and laptop, the hardware and batteries I check-in as it is heavy and not fragile

 

The only issue I have experienced is when my wrench was confiscated in Manado not to be seen again despite being labelled, even at heatrow they let me go with it


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#6 troporobo

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 04:26 PM

I  traveled on Cathay Pacific over the holidays and discovered they were very particular about lithium ion batteries.  There are limits to how many you can carry, depending on the size. These are stated clearly on their web site, and maybe other airlines are doing this now too, so it would pay to check with the airline directly.  



#7 diverdoug1

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 07:40 PM

BahamasAir  can be Naziesque when dealing with carry-on weights.



#8 troporobo

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 09:43 PM

I wish more airlines would be Naziesque when dealing with the weight carried on around some passengers waistlines . . . that would free up carry-on capacity for the rest of us!



#9 thetrickster

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:33 AM

The only think I would say is remove the O-Ring from anything that you shut tight you take on the plane.

 

I've had the glass dome pop out of the housing on a Zen port, as I forgot to take out the o-ring in the housing.


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#10 johnjvv

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 02:37 AM

Know what your bag weighs and what you have to take out to make it 7kg's and make sure it does not exceed the dimensions. Use a light bag with less padding and bubble wrap your gear which is lighter. When you go through controls put whatever will put you over 7kg in another bag like a small backpack and your partners handbag. You are normally alowed to carry a personal item like a pc bag which can hold a lense, camera body etc...pass by the guard dogs and repack again into your camera bag...find out about bateries, I have been on Emirates and the one way they said batteries had to be in luggage and the other way the wanted it in my carry on....

#11 JDelage

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:52 PM

I'm going to buy a "travel vest" or a photo vest, and put some of the heavy stuff (rechargeable batteries in particular) in my pockets. That should help lower the weight of my pack. Of course I'll look like a dork.  :)



#12 andy_deitsch

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 07:38 PM

Similar to others, I was stopped for trying to carry on my wrench/spanner and Allen wrenches in Tel Aviv. Fortunately, I had enough time to go back out and check them in as luggage. I was rather annoyed though when they provided metal cutlery for the dinner service on the flight. I have to think the knife I was given was far more deadly than my Allen wrenches.

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#13 johnjvv

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 02:11 AM

Similar to others, I was stopped for trying to carry on my wrench/spanner and Allen wrenches in Tel Aviv. Fortunately, I had enough time to go back out and check them in as luggage. I was rather annoyed though when they provided metal cutlery for the dinner service on the flight. I have to think the knife I was given was far more deadly than my Allen wrenches.


Funny!! They are pretty inconsistent with their rules. I sell steel wire rope and travelled with a sample of 6mm wire rope which went right through however they confiscated by box tape!

#14 errbrr

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 04:55 AM

The inconsistency is so frustrating. I always print the dangerous goods regulations for the airline and take them with me, as the various staff through the airport can have very different ideas. Some airlines say one lithium battery in the device and one spare in carry-on. Others give specific sizes above which you have to declare them, but smaller ones are fine and you can do whatever. Others say some batteries must be checked and others must be carry-on. It's always good to be able to demonstrate usage to security on the way to the gate, so I try to keep enough bits with me to make the strobes work, for example.

 

For batteries I tape the terminals, and before putting a housing or strobes through X-ray I tell the security people what's in there. Easier than putting them on high alert then trying to calm everyone down while you fish a giant piece of metal out of the bag for closer inspection. Especially when you're travelling through airports that don't see too many scuba divers.

 

Beyond that...cross your fingers they don't try and weigh the bag, and look non-threatening. Good luck!



#15 dpaustex

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 07:36 PM

I've had issues traveling with the camera body in the housing. A couple of times they have made me take it apart.  Other issues, as many noted, are tool kits (a 2" mini-screwdriver is a problem, really???).  I travle with quite a few strobes, and they really don't like those. Make sure they will fire.  Waiting for the issues with Li-ion batteries to come up.

 

As mentioned, above, be sure to tape all ends of loose batteries for dive lights (better yet, buy a rechargeable light). Loose batteries can come into contact with metal and short out.

 

But I carry all of my high $ gear on with me, keeping within the "volume" measurements. Nothing worse than getting to a city, to go on a live-aboard, and find your gear is missing.  :(   

 

My family won't even go through security with me anymore, as my carry on is myriad of lenses, wires, strobes, regs, etc., all tightly packed. The biggest nightmare is when they want to "delayer it", and start pulling stuff out of my carefully packed bag.  And it's a real pain if you're traveling through an airport that sees few divers. I'd freak, too, if I was running the scanner, if I say my own stuff and didn't know what it was!!!!