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Old January 4th, 2009, 07:05 AM   #1
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Location: Miami, Florida
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Small airline, big baggage

I'm plannng a trip that involves a small commuter airline with serious baggage size restrictions. My usual Domke Outpack, (which meets major airline overhead restrictions exactly) will not fit in this plane's overhead, which will accommodate diaperbag or school backpack sized items. Under the seat is 16" x 16" x 9". Certainly not enough for a Canon XLH1 and lenses. I have a foam-filled metal case for checking, but really hate to schlep that during the rest of the trip just for one flight.
Any suggestions from you guys more experienced in this area on how to split up your stuff safely?

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Old January 4th, 2009, 09:07 AM   #2
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Steve I was in a similar situation back in November. One short leg of my trip was in a small 16 seater. I called ahead and asked if I could check my bag at the gate, this way it did not have to go through the baggage area. Just before boarding I took the lens, put it in its bag and put it in my small carry-on. I then took the body (with body cap), put it in a cloth bag and held it in my lap for the trip. Once we leveled off I was able to put it between my feet. Worked very well. Bob
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Old January 4th, 2009, 10:21 AM   #3
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My partner works as a flight attendant for an air operator that operates 25 - 42 seat aircraft. What they sometimes do to accommodate us "pain-in-the-butt" video folks is called valet service. You carry your bag out to the aircraft and set it on the valet cart before boarding and brief the attendant that it is expensive camera gear and it is loaded into a separate section of cargo in cabin and never comes in contact with the "throwers" (baggage handlers).

In some cases, it MAY be possible for your bag to be strapped into the seat beside you IF the flight isn't quite full. I'm 6'3" and over 275 lbs so when I fly, TYPICALLY they will try to put me in a row by myself for weight and balance anyway so there is a REASONABLE chance of getting my gear in-cabin. Of course, the best laid plans of mice and men fall apart in the real world. You will get much further with honey than with vinegar. Be pleasant and the staff are more likely to accommodate.

The best bet is to call ahead and explain the situation and if you come to a solution, ask that the decision be documented in your file.
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Old January 4th, 2009, 06:18 PM   #4
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For a fee most airlines will accommodate your needs. Pass your charges onto your clients.
Jeff Donald
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Old January 4th, 2009, 07:07 PM   #5
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Yes, money still talks. I think you can always buy an extra ticket for the gear as long as it can be reasonably strapped into the seat. My cousin was a cellist and when he traveled for a gig with his nearly one million dollar 300 year old instrument it always went in the seat next to him. He wouldn't accept a concert booking unless they paid for two first class tickets as well as his fee.
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