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Old September 4th, 2006, 03:10 PM   #1
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PROBLEM! - New Hand Luggage rules at London airports

Has anybody tried taking large video cameras as hand luggage during the past few weeks via London airports? I fly many times around the world each year, and (up until recently) have had no problems taking a Lowe-Pro rucksack filled with still cameras, big lenses and a full XL2 kit as my carry-on baggage. Now the new rules say that only a laptop-sized thin bag can be taken onboard. Obviously this is a major blow to my travels and means that I will not be able to fly to locations unless the airports return to normal rules (there is no way that I 'm going to trust my most expensive items in the main luggage hold or with baggage handlers).
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Old September 4th, 2006, 04:50 PM   #2
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Tony maybe the best way to go for now is to FedEx your gear ahead to your hotel. We were supposed to be filmming in Edinburgh Airport the same day the security lockdown happened, obviously we got cancelled but a couple of weeks passed and we got in. Maybe it will return to normal soon.

Andy.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 03:49 AM   #3
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Posting my gear to locations ahead of my travels is not an option that I'm willing to take.

I've now had to cancel my flights and will need to change my itinerary to European locations within easy driving of ferry ports (France, BenaLux etc).

I have trips to Spain and Africa due soon, so hopefully the airports will return to normal rules within the next weeks, or I'm unfortunately going to cancel those trips as well.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 05:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tony Davies-Patrick
Posting my gear to locations ahead of my travels is not an option that I'm willing to take.

I've now had to cancel my flights and will need to change my itinerary to European locations within easy driving of ferry ports (France, BenaLux etc).

I have trips to Spain and Africa due soon, so hopefully the airports will return to normal rules within the next weeks, or I'm unfortunately going to cancel those trips as well.
Coming here from a photographer who is passionately protective of his gear AND with 15 years experience working for a major international airline before his career took a new turn in the 80's. Folks who take more than the amount of carry-on that will fit completely under the seat have always presented a serious problem and safety hazard on board commercial flights. The slight risk of loss of your camera gear does not over-ride to the danger it presents to others in the event of an inflight emergency and even routine in-flights events such as turbulence, from falling from overhead bins to blocking fast exists from the cabin. When your need to earn a living and prtect your investment is balanced against human safety, human lives, there can be no tradeoff. Air travel and the safety challenges it presents are substantially different from ground-based modes of travel such as rail or car and you need to learn to work around those requirements. Cameras etc are replacable - people aren't. I doubt we'll ever see a full return to the old ways of doing things and I, for one, am rather glad for that.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 06:12 AM   #5
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Steve - my LowePro Trekker bag is well within the normal allowed size for hand luggage, so I wasn't talking about trying to take oversized bulky illegal-sized baggage onto the plane. I have flown extensively worldwide to more than 60-different countries during the past four decades, so also understand the in-flight requirements.

The major airlines stand to lose an incredible amount of money and some may go bankrupt if the present new rules for hand luggage are not returned to normal size limits.

At present, some of the rules just don't make sense - here are some quotes from pilots who believe they should not be banned from taking liquids and gels, including contact lens solution and toothpaste, into the cockpit and have now joined the calls for the security measures to be re-examined.

Captain Mervyn Granshaw, chairman of the British Airline Pilots Association said: "Do officials really believe that we need to be prevented from using liquids, given that we freely load and carry many thousands of litres of volatile aviation kerosene every day? The measure is illogical and frankly bizarre."

I can truly understand the need for security; but not for a new rule that prevents anyone taking a small bag that fits into an overhead cabin or beneath the seat (like they have done for years), yet allow the plane's passengers to fill the plane with ultra-high powered modern electronic computers capable of controlling an Apollo space ship.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 07:56 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Tony Davies-Patrick
Steve - my LowePro Trekker bag is well within the normal allowed size for hand luggage, so I wasn't talking about trying to take oversized bulky illegal-sized baggage onto the plane. I have flown extensively worldwide to more than 60-different countries during the past four decades, so also understand the in-flight requirements.

The major airlines stand to lose an incredible amount of money and some may go bankrupt if the present new rules for hand luggage are not returned to normal size limits.

At present, some of the rules just don't make sense - here are some quotes from pilots who believe they should not be banned from taking liquids and gels, including contact lens solution and toothpaste, into the cockpit and have now joined the calls for the security measures to be re-examined.

Captain Mervyn Granshaw, chairman of the British Airline Pilots Association said: "Do officials really believe that we need to be prevented from using liquids, given that we freely load and carry many thousands of litres of volatile aviation kerosene every day? The measure is illogical and frankly bizarre."

I can truly understand the need for security; but not for a new rule that prevents anyone taking a small bag that fits into an overhead cabin or beneath the seat (like they have done for years), yet allow the plane's passengers to fill the plane with ultra-high powered modern electronic computers capable of controlling an Apollo space ship.
The "logic" has absolutely nothing to do with convenience to the passengers, quantities of volatile material on a plane realative to fuel or how much the airlines stand to loose financially.

It has everything to do with warnings from counter terrorist operations learning of existing plans (and specific devices) that threaten the safety of flights.

100,000 liters of fuel safely stored in the wings poses far less threat than a toothpaste tube of plastique in the passenger cabin. Hundreds of easily and routinely scanned and examined latop computers and other electronic devices (BTW: The iPod nano has far more computing power, speed and capacity than anything used on Apollo or even the earliest space shuttle flights.) in a cabin pose less of a concern than a single sealed bottle of undetectable liquid explosive.

The problem is not the regulations, but rather the people that are making every effort to create terror by deliberately devising ways to get through the existing security measures.

IMO there are two very valid alternatives povided above:
1) Ship your gear ahead (Insured)
2) Avoid air travel

Relaxing security measures to make it more convenient for us to bring our gear onto planes because it "used to be easy before" during an entirely different security climate is NOT an alternative you can expect to happen anytime soon.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 08:09 AM   #7
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These are the times we live in. These are the new rules that we have to follow. Yes it sucks, but for good reason. Invest in some pelican cases, they have wheel equipped units and stand up to the riggors of flight. Fedex or UPS your gear, insured, to someone of confidence. I trust fedex more so than I'd trust the airports. You could also fly-in early, and have a family member or someone of confidence send the gear directly to you at the hotel room, etc.

I've done this for years. I've come to like it as it makes travel less of a hassle. If you don't do this, and it's contracted job, then someone else more willing will to do so in order to get the job.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 08:25 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tony Davies-Patrick
Steve - my LowePro Trekker bag is well within the normal allowed size for hand luggage, so I wasn't talking about trying to take oversized bulky illegal-sized baggage onto the plane. I...
I would not disagree if that bag does not go into the overhead bin and fits under the seat. The bins are for soft items only, basically coats and nothing else. Everything else must go on the floor and fit completely under a single seat or you purchase an extra seat and strap it down. If all your gear taken together fits that requirement we have no disagreement.

I agree that toothpaste etc seems kinda silly. But maybe there's something to the paranoia - I know enough chemisry to know it certainly possible.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 09:43 AM   #9
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Tony, I am also trying to sort this one out. Suddenly being forced to a third of the previous allowance is highly annoying, especially when there is no real security reason given for the reduction. At least most inbound flights don't suffer these restrictions.

At this point I think the locked Pelican case checked through is the best option. Also, I would enclose the case in a lockable wire travel mesh and put the whole thing in a big canvas bag. This lets opportunists take a peak but forces them to move on to easier pickings, especially when faced with the mesh which is unfamiliar.

For me, posting my gear is not an option because of the places I go to: half the normal stuff we send never arrives, even when using DHL or FedEx. If I can't 100% depend on a $20 item being delivered, there's no way I'm sending gear for a shoot. When in North America I would trust FedEx always, but I become less sure in places where there are no FedEx soldiers protecting my gear.

This may sound counterintuitive, but I have always been able track down missing luggage. Every airport has an area where "abandoned" luggage goes. The trick is motivating someone to go look in these dusty rooms, or getting access yourself. This is made easier if you've declared your luggage missing, made even easier if in a developing country. The only airport that ever worries me is Joburg, I'm convinced there's organised looting of baggage that stays overnight there. Hasn't happened to me yet, but friends who overnight without checking out their bags always seem to lose something permanently.

Good luck, let us know what you do, I think there's lots of us here facing the same problem.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 09:45 AM   #10
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I have years of experience and training working professionally with Arms & Explosive Search units, so I'm not exactly naive to what constitutes dangerous or non-dangerous items or substances.
Steve places the current situation in one word - "paranoia" - and that is exactly what we need to avoid.

Regarding Pelican cases, etc, these are prime targets (even ones inside duffel bags) for low-paid baggage handlers as they know that they are filled with very expensive and easily sold items, and so I will avoid that route.

The previous rules for hand luggage - up to a few weeks ago - at London airports were stringent enough and, hopefully, things will return soon to a more reasonable hand baggage limit than a laptop case.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 11:09 AM   #11
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OK, your the expert, and your advice is that we should give up flying when it comes to tranporting video gear. Every baggage handler is a low paid thief and fedex is not to be trusted.

This is why I don't cross the road anymore, I might get hit by a car.

I'm sorry Tony, but from where I stand I don't see a problem. My advice is that you get a pelican case, good insurance, and ship the equipment to your drop point. You can carry the tapes/film/media with you. Once you do it a few times and get over the paranoia of theft, you'll grow to love it.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 11:54 AM   #12
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OK, your the expert, and your advice is that we should give up flying when it comes to tranporting video gear. Every baggage handler is a low paid thief and fedex is not to be trusted.

This is why I don't cross the road anymore, I might get hit by a car.

I'm sorry Tony, but from where I stand I don't see a problem. My advice is that you get a pelican case, good insurance, and ship the equipment to your drop point. You can carry the tapes/film/media with you. Once you do it a few times and get over the paranoia of theft, you'll grow to love it.

Adding to the advice, be nice to the airline folks. There is an occasional practice that used to be called "Bombaying." Lets say you're checking in at JFK bound for Heathrow and are a real jerk to the agent at the counter. It's been known that somehow the baggage ticket on the suitcase showing "LHR" as the destination somehow gets replaced with one routed to Bombay with a transfer in Dubrovnik. Bye-bye.

ROFL
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Old September 5th, 2006, 11:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Tony Davies-Patrick
At present, some of the rules just don't make sense - here are some quotes from pilots who believe they should not be banned from taking liquids and gels, including contact lens solution and toothpaste, into the cockpit and have now joined the calls for the security measures to be re-examined.

Captain Mervyn Granshaw, chairman of the British Airline Pilots Association said: "Do officials really believe that we need to be prevented from using liquids, given that we freely load and carry many thousands of litres of volatile aviation kerosene every day? The measure is illogical and frankly bizarre."
I think the reason the pilots are so upset about this, is that it means they can't take a bottle of spirits into the cockpit anymore, they have to drink in the airport like everyone else...
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Old September 5th, 2006, 12:21 PM   #14
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I think the reason the pilots are so upset about this, is that it means they can't take a bottle of spirits into the cockpit anymore, they have to drink in the airport like everyone else...
LOL!..Maybe you're right, Keith.

Steve's advice about 'Bombaying' does happen, so like he says, always be kind to those in control of your destiny...

Regarding Peter's post, I'll choose to ignore the advice about sending all my video, camera gear and lenses by Fedex and prefer to keep looking each way before I cross the road...
Waiting patiently for a Pelican case that has disappeared from the conveyer belt and filling in insurance papers instead of completing an assignment is not an option I intend to take.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 01:22 PM   #15
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Fair enough. You do you thing, I do mine. There's no wrong way about it. Giving up is not an option. Maybe chartering alternative transportation, or choosing to leave a day early and go for a drive. These are tough times and before we choke each other (I'm guilty), lets put the blame squarely where it belongs, on the terrorists.

That said. Maybe we should be a little constructive and see if we can discuss some good alternatives. If you don't like Fedwrecks or UPmesS and you have to travel abroad with 100lbs of gear, what else is there?
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