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Old January 15th, 2007, 12:26 PM   #1
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Air travels issues....can anyone advise?

I will be travelling next week with my H1 and I need to get some advice from experienced air travellers.

First I should state that I do not want to "check" my Canon XL H1 camera. I have a Tamrac 2249 padded bag that used to be airline friendly but things have changed and I am unsure what to expect at the airport. It is approximately 24x10x12. It is easily carried over the shoulder but is larger for a camera bag.

What do I need to watch out for? I cannot afford to get to the airport and have them "deny" me access. The bag is not safe for "checking" and shipping is not an option either.

What advice can anyone give me? Surely there are others who travel with larger cameras who take them into the cabin and not stow them in the baggage area.

Thanks!
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Old January 15th, 2007, 12:31 PM   #2
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Marty, that will fit in the overhead or under the seat no problem. You'll just have to take it out of the bag when it goes thru the x-ray. They wont hassel you for a bag that size. You wont believe what people try and squeeze in the overhead most of it is way bigger than what you are carrying.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 12:32 PM   #3
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Which airline, and more importantly, in what aircraft type are you flying? Aircraft info is available from the airline's web site. The 24x10x12 size should fit in the overhead bin of almost any commercial jet aircraft other than an RJ.

edit: oops, simultaneous post w/Mark above. Agreed, it won't be a problem in most circumstances.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 12:38 PM   #4
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Chris is right about the regional jets. You simply hand it to the baggage handler right before you board, then it is waiting for you on the tarmac when you immediately exit the plane, no worries there, you can actually watch the guy load it into the cargo section, and you're usually off the jet before the "larger carryons" come off. It will be fine regardless.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 12:43 PM   #5
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Yes, carry on...this is one of the best thing with a HDV cam like the XLH1,
it´s small but with really big performance.

All the best

Carl
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Old January 15th, 2007, 01:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Which airline, and more importantly, in what aircraft type are you flying? Aircraft info is available from the airline's web site. The 24x10x12 size should fit in the overhead bin of almost any commercial jet aircraft other than an RJ.

edit: oops, simultaneous post w/Mark above. Agreed, it won't be a problem in most circumstances.
Chris,

The outbound flight is Delta and it is an RJ145 plane.

The return flight is Continental and is a 737.

Any word of wisdom?

And the exact dimensions from Tamrac are 24 1/2 x 10 1/4 x 11 3/8

Marty
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Old January 15th, 2007, 02:37 PM   #7
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If you're within the size and weight limits for cabin baggage which those airlines specify on their website then you shouldn't have a problem (but perhaps take a printout of the website details just in case the people at the airport dispute what the website says).

If you're not within the specified limits then clearly you could have a problem. Either get a smaller bag or to reduce weight in the bag wear a jacket with large pockets and put lenses, batteries etc in there.

I hope you don't have any hassle at the airport and have a good trip!
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Old January 15th, 2007, 02:46 PM   #8
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Some very good advice in this thread.

Marty, the overhead bins on an RJ are very small... tiny in fact. However, the underseat storage area on that aircraft is rather ample. Seating on an RJ is one of two types, either 1 x 2 or 2 x 2. If you're in a single seat, switch across the aisle and get one of the double seats. The Delta web site should show the seating arrangement and seat availability on a per-flight basis.

To your advantage, double seats on most RJs do not have center support legs. Your bag should go easily underneath the seat (it might have to lay on its side though). Since it's 24 inches, it'll extend into your neighbor's underseat area. So try to get a row with an empty seat next to you, and if that isn't possible, be polite and diplomatic with your seatmate as you explain your encroachment into their turf. Buying them a drink is an excellent gesture.
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Old January 16th, 2007, 03:16 PM   #9
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Here is my trick of the trade, as we in Sweden have to travel a lot, to see some light (to reach -3 db ;-).

Check in your luggage as usual. Have your camera bag on your back (not visible). If you want to be safe, lock up your gear in a locker for the check in time. Don't ever ask if it's OK to bring your bag. Don't show your carry on.

Go to gate. If there is trouble at the gate, just tell them, if you are not aloud to bring your bag, you won't fly today. If they won't let you fly, they have to unload the whole aircraft, to pick your luggage. It will never happen.
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Old January 16th, 2007, 03:34 PM   #10
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Hi Jonas, unfortunately your suggestions absolutely will NOT work for commercial air travel within the United States (which is the country of residence for the original poster). Not only is it impossible to "not show" a carry-on bag when boarding an aircraft -- gate attendents and flight attendents keep a keen eye on everybody and everything going down the jetway and the aircraft aisles -- but they most definitely WILL remove a passenger if there's ever any trouble involving a carry-on. Plus, anyone foolish enough to create a scene over a carry-on bag at the gate or aboard a commercial aircraft on any U.S. carrier these days will most likely find himself profiled nationwide on CNN Headline News in a most unfavorable light within hours of the incident.

Nor is there such a thing as a storage locker at a U.S. airport anymore, those were taken out years ago. And any attempt to argue with airline staff these days is an incredible mistake that could easily result in that airline quitting your business permanently. With a majority of U.S. flights purposefully oversold, a refusal to fly would be cheerfully accepted, with your seat immediately replaced by a standby passenger in the blink of an eye.

Make no mistake about it, air travel in the U.S. is nothing like air travel in Europe.
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Old January 16th, 2007, 04:19 PM   #11
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OK. Actual it is quite a trick to bring the gear in Europe as well. If you not fly business anyway (I don't). I should never dare to send the camera checked (not even in a Pelicase). I probably will never see the camera again, and if, I know for shure it will not turn up before the wrap-party. I don't think it's possible to find insurance if you are sending it with the luggage (or?).
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Old January 16th, 2007, 04:35 PM   #12
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There's always the alternative of shipping the camera via FedEx, UPS, DHL or similar carrier. Sure it's expensive, but there's less chance of damage in an overnight transit, and it can be insured.

Or... don't fly commercial; fly charter or private instead. There are always options. Some options are less practical than others though!
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Old January 17th, 2007, 02:28 AM   #13
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I've flown many times in the U.S. with either an XL-H1 or an XL2 in the exact same Tamrac bag you mentioned without any problems. I always ask for a hand inspection of the bag at the x-ray line, they will always be willing to do that, I used to fly with 100 or so rolls of 35mm film and sit there for 45 minutes while they inspected each and every canister, thank goodness for digital but always allow yourself another 10-15 minutes at the airport when carrying camera gear. I personally have never had a problem with that bag although I did have to check a camera once in a 12x12x24 metal case...

The gig was last minute and I had to use a standby ticket to Maui. I was reassured that I had a place on the plane and with a lot of questions I was told repeatedly that if in fact I did not get on the plane my camera wouldn't be loaded either.

So I did not have a place on the plane afterall and the first airline employee i ask says "Your bag is on it's way to Maui by now sir" so then I tried and tried to get anyone to tell me the number I needed in maui to ask for my bag to be safely placed in the baggage office until I arrive on another flight... they absolutely refused!

I have had far more problems with United Airlines than any other airline in any country, (even communist) to the point where I pretty much refuse to fly with them unless the client gives me no other alternative.

...So about 9 hours after my camera arrived and through much tribulation i arrived at the Maui airport to find my camera case sitting unattended on the floor in the middle of the baggage area!!! apparently Lono was on my side that weekend because my XL2 ended up being fine except for having goo from TSA tape all over it... what was that about? and of course, nobody checked my baggage ticket or anything else when i left with it.

the moral of the story is that Chris is right, you don't want to start arguing like an idiot but at the same time your XL-H1 is likely worth missing a flight and finding another airline that will let you carry it on in the worst case scenario. the airlines WILL NOT compensate you for lost XL-H1. but again, i've never had a major problem with that Tamrac bag.

-Jon
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Old January 18th, 2007, 07:44 PM   #14
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My concern is that I am flying Delta Airlines and they have a policy of 45 linear inches maximum. My rough estimates are 46.5 inches for the tamrac bag. So I exceed it by about 1.5 inches. Having talked to several Delta reps on the phone I get conflicting stories. One says it will be fine since it is a camera bag and not luggage. The next one conflicts with the first and says it will not be allowed on board even if it is a camera. The final guy says it all depends on the personel on duty at the time I try to board. They might let it on....they might not.

This is an RJ145 and it has 2 seats on one side of the isle and only 1 seat on the other. SO it will not fit in the overhead but Chris advised that it should fit under the 2 seater side. I do not even know where I am sitting yet!

I am looking for alternate flights through continental as they have a 51 linear inch policy. So the camera would be fine with that carrier. Except they don't have any flights that seems to accomodate my rather tight schedule.

Who knew? The irony here is I got this gig partially because the clients were impressed with the H1 and the "prefessionalism" of it. However that very size is proving to be it's undoing. Had I gone with the A1 I would be having no issues....but I also wouldn't have the job in the first place!!

Oy!!!!!!
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Old January 18th, 2007, 08:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonas Nystrom
If they won't let you fly, they have to unload the whole aircraft, to pick your luggage. It will never happen.
In the rest of the world, maybe, not in the US.

I was travelling with someone and we had to change flights in Atlanta. My colleague decided to go to the toilet at the last minute. I boarded the flight, he didn't. His bags did.
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