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Old July 18th, 2013, 12:21 PM   #1
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Air travel with lots of hard drives

Hi everyone,
I'm going to be traveling to Europe soon, where I'll be shooting some and doing a bunch of editing so I'll have camera/mics plus probably about 5 1TB external hard drives. At least. I'm planning on having them on me in my carry on, but just wondering if anyone has ever had any problems getting through security with a bunch of drives? I've flown with drives a bunch domestically but don't know if it might be different going through international security. Would appreciate any tips. Thanks!
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Old July 18th, 2013, 01:03 PM   #2
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Re: Air travel with lots of hard drives

Never travel thru Europe that way , only places like Canada.

Why 5 (1) gig drives? The smallest drives i have nowadays are 3 tb,maybe I have 1 2tb.
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Old July 18th, 2013, 04:24 PM   #3
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Re: Air travel with lots of hard drives

As Al says, why 5x1TB that's a lot of space, how long are you going for? You'd have to be shooting for months.
Just take 1 or 2 and buy some if you need them. More room for your other rigs.

Various Euro airports have different levels of security, but your gear will clear the scanners ok.

Stay out of queues that lead to stern looking officious female security officers, you'll likely have to unpack everything.

Cheers.
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Old July 19th, 2013, 01:16 AM   #4
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Re: Air travel with lots of hard drives

If you use "Copy", it`s a free Cloud based storage facillity! Initially you get 15GB but if you go via a referral you get an extra 5GB & the person who referred you also gets an extra 5GB. Here`s the link https://copy.com?r=tXzZJn

This way you could back up your data as well. I have no affiliation with this concern but found it on another forum. I find it very handy for either sending large files or simply accessing my own when away.
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Old July 19th, 2013, 10:49 AM   #5
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Re: Air travel with lots of hard drives

Hello everyone, Thanks for the tips! The reason for the 5 drives is that there are a number of different projects, already shot, that need editing and they are currently spread over 5 drives. I can pare it down somewhat but likely not substantially. I also have them on the 5 drives rather than a 4TB drive because these Lacie Ruggeds feel a lot lighter and sturdier than the 4TB drive which is quite heavy and I'm more afraid of dropping one and losing all the footage. So the drives are for editing previously shot footage. I'll leave a backup at home, of course. Barry, thanks for the tip about Copy I'll check that out.
Al, what type of 3TB do you travel with?
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Old July 19th, 2013, 01:15 PM   #6
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Re: Air travel with lots of hard drives

Phoenix Sky Harbor TSA went through my carry ons with a fine tooth comb when I was going to Paris. I arrived in Paris and a 300 gig hard drive was missing. Luckily that was my out bound flight so the drive was empty. I don't believe TSA would steal anything. Probably an honest mistake and they forgot to put it back in. They ran my stuff through X-ray over and over again. They searched me big time and called over back up. I knew something was going on. They finally told me what it was. Guess what it was that got there attention? It was a mini to 1/4 adapter that screws on my headphones. It was not on the cable, just in a pocket of a big briefcase. On x-ray it looked like a bullet to them. They said never just throw it in my bag like that again.

Weird, I had done it like that a hundred times before....but not since then. I have run into all kinds of inconsistencies with TSA. It seems to be about the individual. What is OK at one place is not OK at another.

I never got the hard drive back. I tried when I returned to Phoenix but it was a circus of phone calls and procedures. No one could find it.

Also, never pack batteries near a coiled cable. That freaks them out too, but that's another story.

Steve
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Old July 19th, 2013, 01:25 PM   #7
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Re: Air travel with lots of hard drives

Aw, yikes. That's awful! But thank goodness it was an empty drive. That's exactly my fear though... I'll learn from your experience and make sure to inventory my drives before I leave the security area... Also good to know about the batteries/cables and the 1/4 adapter - I would never have guessed that that would have caught their attention. Thanks for the feedback!
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Old July 19th, 2013, 02:47 PM   #8
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Re: Air travel with lots of hard drives

Steve, that must be because of an International flight. I always have an assortment of adapters and connectors all over my bag. They sometimes ask what it is though.

My biggest issue which is self inflicted is I have had 3 leathermen confiscated for being in my camera bag.grrrrrrr. My fault.
In light of that I no longer purchase Leatherman brand but cheaper versions I find at Big Lots.

But you're right about checking your stuff. I've had my stuff handed to someone else.

I don't blame or hate TSA, it's a tough job.
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Old July 19th, 2013, 04:05 PM   #9
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Re: Air travel with lots of hard drives

I agree Al. My definition of an inexperienced traveler is anyone that is getting nasty with a TSA or gate agent. Not only is there no reason to be rude, ever, the inexperienced don't understand how discretionary the system is. If ether one of those positions decides they don't want you to make your flight they can make that happen.

Here is one of my lessons from the road.....ALL SMALL ROOMS ARE BAD!

If you ever find your self in a small room you are never there because something good happened. Either you are reporting something bad that happened or the other people in the room brought you there. It is never good! ;)

I too, have a list of donations I have made to security & customs agents. So, be careful what you buy in the duty free shop on your way home. You might find yourself in a small room!

Steve
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