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Old April 2nd, 2006, 07:48 PM   #1
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TSA is beating up my checked equipment!

I just returned from a flight to San Diego. I open my Pelican case, and see my 800 dollar wireless receiver had been taken out of its case and then tossed back in the bottom of the Pelican. The empty case thrown on top of it. Is TSA is such a hurry that they can not take the time to repack items how they found them? I spend up to an hour carefully packing my equipment for a flight, only to have TSA make a mess of it. They almost seem to go out of their way to create damage. Oh, and Southwest Air makes me sign a waiver that says that my equipment is pre-damaged when I check it! How are others dealing with this problem?
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Old April 2nd, 2006, 09:50 PM   #2
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No real answer to the problem of mishandling equipment, but a few TSA workers here in Hawaii have pleaded guilty to stealing cash from luggage. Thousands of dollars were taken.

Several others have been implicated and federal law enforcement is continuing the investigation.

If we can't trust TSA agents to at least be honest, how can we be assured that they won't be infiltrated or bribed by terrorists? In which case, why even have TSA? Get trained law enforcement to do it, and rotate them out to prevent anyone from developing systems or alliances that might be detrimental to the security process: just as the LA Sherriff's department cycles out deputies from the prison systems. No one stays long enough to develop friendships with the inmates and possibly compromise the way they're dealt with.

For my own trips I usually carry all my gear, a PD170 and audio equipment. The rest gets checked in. Lights, stands, tripod.
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Old April 2nd, 2006, 10:30 PM   #3
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If you look at the small print on any ticket I believe it will say somewhere that only lost clothing will be paid for, or some wording like that. you always waive any claim regarding electronics. some people UPS thier equipment ahead of them and have it delievered to a hotel that they have booked. OR to a rental house located in the same city. We have professionals ask us to do this all the time.
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 04:06 AM   #4
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My girlfriend got back from Mexico and brought along a little pamphlet that the TSA give you. It says that they can search any piece of luggage randomly and if they find that that luggage has been locked, unfortunately they have to break it. Of course, they cannot reimburse you for the lock.
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 08:49 AM   #5
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This is why I always fedex my gear directly to a responsible person at the shoot ahead of schedule. Yes, a hassle, but not the likes of dealing with airport personnel and that uneasy feeling of having to remove the locks and waving bye-bye to it. With Fedex, you pay a little extra, and have it ensured. But can be assured it arrives intact.

I've sat in the aircraft and watched a loader heave-ho my pelican case onto the conveyor, and it bounced fairly hard. That was not fun to witness.
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 09:53 AM   #6
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And my wife can't figure out why I don't like to fly. The flight part isn't too bad, but it's all the other garbage that ruins the trip.
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 09:29 PM   #7
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I'm looking forward to ferry service coming to Hawaii next year. I get to load my car on the ship myself. The deck hands would have to break into my car and probably my locked camera case to get at anything.

I was supportive of airline security being considered important enough to be taken from the airlines and given over to a government policing agency, but the recent reports of theft in both Honolulu and Maui have completely ruined my confidence. I wonder how much those thieves charge to load a bomb into the cargo hold?
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 10:59 PM   #8
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I have done ONE out of state wedding in which I had to fly to the location. That is the last one I will ever do. I hate lugging around my equipment, and having to get it checked in. One of the leg latches on my Bogen tripods broke. I lost another tripod of lesser value.

If I can not drive to a location with my gear packed in my car, it's not worth the hassle of flying to another location. That's my two cents. :o)
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Old April 4th, 2006, 12:02 AM   #9
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Haha oh man. This is my thread.

I come from both worlds, being currently in production and having formerly been a ramp coordinator at Bush Intercontinental Airport (Houston).

I can tell you, nobody cares about your luggage. Fragile stickers mean nothing. There's just simply too much volume for everything to be treated with white gloves. Luggage will be kicked, thrown, crushed, and anything else. TSA is required to search all luggage. They search some at the passenger level, but the rest of the luggage goes through scanners in the back. If there's anything they can't readily identify, your bag will get opened. This is usually around 30% of bags.

I wouldn't say that most ground handling agents are specifically rude. There's just too much for them to deal with carefully. Time is the foremost priority.

Also, airlines are basically only responsible for missing items (read: clothing and toiletries). Anything fragile should technically be carry on. It's in a disclaimer they print on your ticket jacket.

I'm not defending the industry. But after working in it, I'm a much more informed flier (and so are my friends/family).
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Old April 4th, 2006, 07:17 AM   #10
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And if you drive through a checkpoint, they can strip your car if they become suspicious. They will tear it apart, take out panels and seats, and leave it in a nice pile for YOU to put back together. How did this become a standard practice?
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Old April 4th, 2006, 07:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Forman
And if you drive through a checkpoint, they can strip your car if they become suspicious. They will tear it apart, take out panels and seats, and leave it in a nice pile for YOU to put back together. How did this become a standard practice?
We do not have to deal with any "checkpoints" here in the states. ;o)
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Old April 4th, 2006, 07:27 AM   #12
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They still have them, and the newspaper is nice enough to print were they will be. The excuse is to catch drunk drivers, but they will happily arrest, detain, and harrass anybody they can.
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Old April 4th, 2006, 07:52 AM   #13
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Checkpoints exist along the border states, having just driven from California to Texas.

Yeah, they'll look in anything they want.
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Old April 4th, 2006, 08:02 AM   #14
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TSA approved padlocks are one minor way to minimise the risk of the TSA trashing things. Packing things so they're only one layer deep might be another. In other words make it as easy as possible for these guys to do their job minimises their frustration level and the chance of it being taken out on your gear.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 07:17 AM   #15
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Unfortunately I've had to remove a couple posts from this thread. DVinfo does not allow discussion of political issues. Thanks for your understanding.
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