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Old June 5th, 2005, 08:15 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Tempe, Az
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how to transport gear on commercial airline

Has anyone a solution to getting gear onto a commercial flight?

Since my wife is employed by one of the airlines I have the opportunity to fly just about anywhere for little or no cost.

I would love to be able to package up my gear, hop the plane and help on a shoot wherever.

Any suggestions of how to package:

1) PD170
2) Tripod
3) miscellaneous cables and stingers
4) microphones
- wireless
- boom
5) Glidecam 4000 / vest

Would like to bring a couple lights but the ones I have available are a bit heavy and bulky. Maybe someone uses a lighting kit that works for air travel.

My thought was to find a small case for the camera which will allow me to carry on and fit in overhead.
As for the other gear maybe some creative packaging that will protect from cargo handlers.
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Old June 5th, 2005, 11:13 AM   #2
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Location: San Mateo, CA
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Creative packaging for gear OTHER than your camera, I suggest you take a look at the various GOLF travelling cases. I have two of them, that have wheels, and a handle, and can cary the tripod, cables, boom pole and assorted stuff. Paid fifty dollars each for them. They are hard plastic cases. Similar cases can cost up to two hundred, depending on the hardness and lock/hinge combination.

Because they are larger than normal 'hard' tripod cases, they allow extra room for extra gear. Some creative use of foam inside can help. Airlines are used to seeing and handling them, so they draw little attention.

The biggest problem I have in travelling with gear is simply WEIGHT. Gear alone will often eat up the weight restriction, leaving you little for clothing. (You can always stuff an extra pair of jeans in with the tripod!)

Here's some examples
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Old June 5th, 2005, 12:33 PM   #3
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Just a little tip here: If your shoot is the same day you are flying or early the next day, I would carry on not only your camera, but also a small version of your production package (audio kit, camera light, etc.)

I just did a fly-in-the-morning, shoot that afternoon shoot in Monroe, LA. Our bags all went to Baton Rouge. I was lucky enough to have brought with me the camera, tape stock, 1 wireless lav and my on-camera light. So, all was not lost but would've been if I had checked all that. We did have to run out for a tripod from a camera store (the legs were buckling under my XL2, but it worked) and a Home Depot light, which we didn't end up using.

So, my advice is to make sure you have a Plan B in place, if the worst happens with airlines!

By the way, I would still recommend carrying on the camera, regardless of the shoot time.


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Old June 5th, 2005, 08:52 PM   #4
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Rostronics has a nice little light kit that packs into two smallish bags, but you would need a hard case for air travel.
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Old June 6th, 2005, 12:57 AM   #5
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This is why I love this forum so much !

Thank you gents !

Thank you Chris Hurd for "throwing this together" <smile>
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Old June 6th, 2005, 01:46 PM   #6
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Tulsa, OK
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Best suggestion is above... I have a nice SKB hard case for golf clubs that will fit my tripod, head, reflectors, etc. I never have nor will I ever check my camera. I have even been forced to buy a ticket for it before!

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Old June 13th, 2005, 02:56 PM   #7
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Check please

In a Pelican 1650 case I fit a Canon XL-1s, 16X manual lens, Bogen 503 tripod, Frezzi mini light wireless mic kit, all necessary batteries and spare tape. Since switching to a Vinten Pro 6 tripod the Bogen stays home and I put two Lowel tota-lights with stands and umbrellas in its place. The Vinten travels in its own soft case with a sheet of foam inside for protection. The cases and equipment now have several thousand airmiles and dozens of departures and arrivals. Probably because I am absolutely "anal" about getting to the airport in plenty of time to check in, I have NEVER had the camera kit not make it.

On the other hand, the advice about takinging the camera and a few accessories as carry-on is a good approach as well.

I also like the idea of the hardshell golf bag but if you are a last-minute arriver you may find the bag delayed because it is being searched visually by TSA since its contents will not resemble what is normally found in a golf bag. Batteries and wires are just not a usual staple for guys headed for the links.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 09:20 PM   #8
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Carlsbad CA
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ken, the object is to carry on as much gear as possible... never let the expensive gear out of your sight.

so carry on the camera, but not in a bag, because it won't take away from your carry-on luggage allowance that way... use your very limited bag allowance for the other gear.
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