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Traveling with gear by airplane: dos and don'ts
  • Hi, I'd like people to share their experience in traveling by airplane with their gear. I'm going abroad for a quick shooting (Italy to UK), but it's the first time I catch a plane bringing gear and some lighting with me. Obviously I'm thinking I will bring cameras (GH2 and GH3), monitor and lenses as my cabin luggage. Hold luggage will be a couple of led panels, each with its own bag (precisely, these http://www.dvcity.com/New_Images/Led_Lights/studio-led-light-beamer-without-stand.jpg), then another bag with tripod and led stands ted together. Not sure if the led bags need to be put into another bigger case (?) or maybe tied together (?). Any kind of advice and warning will be appreciated! :) Thanks

  • 12 Replies sorted by
  • I would wrap your tripod head in some bubble wrap just incase, or use a hard case. I had an airline destroy a couple of knobs on an old head when I just checked it in a soft padded case.

  • Always carry all the batteries with you as they can be confiscated if found from your checked-in baggage. If you are carrying something fragile, always take a photo of the fragile things before checking in with your ticket in the background (as identification of time and place). In destination check them before leaving the airport. If you leave the airport the officials claim that you broke your stuff after you left.

  • Any item not with you in the cabin needs to be protected as luggage is thrown about two or three feet at least twice during a flight. So that's how I would test whatever I pack to check in.

  • Thanks guys, those are great tips. Never thought about the tripod head being kinda fragile, and I will for sure adopt the photo precautions. Thanks a lot!

  • When travelling for a solo shoot, I make sure that the camera/tripod/peripherals fits into my Pelican 1510 hard case which I carry on. Sometimes I put a few small lights and stands into my rolling (hard-sided) Samsonite suitcase from the 1980s and make sure that they are well-padded with my clothes. I check the suitcase. It works well, though I may end up having to wear the same clothes a few times.

  • Afaik you are not allowed to bring batteries with more than 99 Wh capacity to a plane anymore. Can be a problem with V mounts. I heard you could relabel them anyways, they rarely run capacity tests...

  • Anyone ever had any problem with the security when bringing/fitting a tripod into hand luggage? I mean, do they let you bring it in the cabin?

  • I just got back from a shoot on the other side of the country and was luckily able to get all my GH2/shoulder rig/Lenses/two lights/ Gear into carry-on size luggage. MFT gear is great like this! I was able to pack my small tripod in the bag along with a small monopod, but had to rent a larger fluid head tripod for on location.

    I would really try to make everything fit in carry-on and only check-in things you don't really have to keep an eye on.

  • I would definitely use flight cases for anything that does not travel with you in the cabin. Lenses should be with you in the cabin so they don't get thrown, freeze, etc. If you're traveling into a new country, declare all your gear on the way IN so they don't hit you on the way out. It's easiest to bring a printed list of all the gear and serial numbers with you for this.

  • @DouglasHorn +1 on the lenses for sure. I was actually the principle in the Sony Nex7 commercial and when we flew to Bolivia to shoot it, the Director gave me the case of lenses for cameras to bring as my carry on. Welcome to non union shoots!

  • Old thread to dig up. I'm in the UK and the max size for cabin bags now is f**king ridiculous (RyanAir is the worst offender - one cabin bag up to 10 kg max dimensions of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm, plus 1 small bag up to 35 x 20 x 20 onboard the aircraft.) What camera bags are people using for GH4 setups for hand luggage/any recommendations?

  • Pelican 1510 is most common but 1 dimension exceeds altough l+w+h falls within. If you need wheels and must not exceed any 1 dimension, the only one is probably https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/937790-REG/barska_bh11866_loaded_gear_hd_600_hard.html