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Phillip Palacios February 13th, 2007 03:35 PM

Traveling NWA
 
I am flying to Hawai'i for two months on a couple of different projects.
NWA states that "professional" video equipment is allowed as checked luggage only. I would very much rather pack my HVX in my carry-on (not in it's case, just in my roller bag). since this camera borders on a consumer camera does anyone think that it is going to be an issue? Sould I ship it FedEX insured? I've never had this issue before, since I have always just had very consumer grade cameras. I do not plan on pulling it out for any reason once I am past TSA.

BTW i put this here, since this kind of a camera-relevant question.

Phil

Mike Schrengohst February 13th, 2007 03:48 PM

Just wear a loud Hawaiian shirt and talk about the great vacation videos you are going to make.

Douglas Villalba February 13th, 2007 03:57 PM

I have travel national & international in last month without any problem. I take my camera, FS-100, chargers and Nikon D70 as carry on.

EDIT: I also had in the back pack my 15" laptop and a Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8

Boyd Ostroff February 13th, 2007 04:00 PM

My guess is that they're talking about large shoulder mounted ENG cameras that ship in large cases. I've traveled with my Z1 in a Tamrac case on several airlines with no problems. I think if you meet the airline's carry-on size requirement you're good to go. The TSA isn't going to care how much your camera cost or whether it's considered "professional." They will ask you to remove it from the case and send it through the x-ray machine in a tray however.

But if you're in doubt about any of this, why not just call your airline?

Mike McEntire February 13th, 2007 04:41 PM

I've hand carried my HVX for the past year as carry on no problem. Before that I carried a SR3 which is for sure a pro camera as hand carry for 5 years. As long as it fits in the overhead I have never had a problem.

Robert Lane February 13th, 2007 05:27 PM

Phillip,

Generally speaking, the issue of "pro" equipment riding with the passenger doesn't have anything to do with TSA regulations or whether or not you'll actually use it onboard, it's an insurance factor.

The airlines don't want to be liable for damages occuring in an environment they don't totally control, i.e. other passengers, hence if your equipment was damaged and you filed a claim against the airline you'd not be able to recover anything nor would the airline's insurance carrier be able to supply coverage.

If however your gear was checked, that means the "chain of custody" would always be in either the airlines control or it's agents who handle the baggage for them. In that respect the airline's insurance becomes liable and is able to cover items damaged - if they are handled in that manner and, if you purchased extra insurance from the airline. It's important to note, the "extra" insurance the airlines offer won't come close to the replacement cost of any pro A/V equipment. This applies to TSA agents who are inspecting bags that have been presented to the airline for direct handling.

If you have your own commercial insurance which covers items in transport whether they remain in your custody or given to an airline you'll be covered. If you don't have this kind of insurance (homeowners and general riders don't cover this kind of liability) and the item does become damaged while in the passenger cabin it's your loss and the airline will take the stance of "you carried your luggage, it's your responsibility and risk".

Just remember, it might feel better to have the rig with or near you, but the guy next to you doesn't care what's in your bag and won't think twice about slinging his over-stuffed load on top of your gear.

The safest and most logical thing to do is get your own commercial insurance coverage, this way regardless where the camera goes or who with it's always covered.

Boyd Ostroff February 13th, 2007 05:41 PM

Excellent post Robert! I spoke with my insurance agent the last time I went on a trip and they researched the correct policy to purchase. It cost about $200/year for coverage on my camera, laptop and various accessories/peripherals. I could have canceled the policy after the trip and gotten most of the money back, but I decided it was good to keep my gear covered.

And I also agree about the way things get crammed into the overhead compartments. I got a Tamrac case which, although it looks like a soft bag, actually has a rigid inner plastic tub. I wouldn't feel comfortable putting my camera in the overhead bin with a soft case. And if the overhead bins are full you might be forced to check your gear. It's safest to use a case which could also fit under the seat if needed.

And if you're on a Regional Jet you'll have to gate check your camera regardless, because the space in the plane is pretty tiny.

Jon Fairhurst February 13th, 2007 05:51 PM

"Excuse me, sir, but this camera has an 'AG' prefix. That prefix is reserved for professional camera's only. I'm sorry. sir, but I will have to check your camera, before you can board..."

After the plane has left the gate...

"Hey, Charlie, I got another camera that we can sell on ebay!"

Mike Schrengohst February 13th, 2007 06:05 PM

Traveled for years before all the -- hit the fan with my BetaSP rig.
It would only fit in the overhead with no case. Now the HVX fits in
a nice little portabrace that will fit under the seat. I would never check ANYTHING of value. I did many a video behind the scenes at the largest airports baggage handling systems. Scary---not only can it get damaged or lost but just the disregard for property by the major airlines is just a travesty.
Insurance?? Good luck trying to claim anything from the airlines. They might give you $200. They know it would be a hassle for you to sue them because that is what you would have to do. So keep you camera close and your batteries charged. If you cannot power it up at security then you are screwed.

Phillip Palacios February 13th, 2007 07:51 PM

wow
 
some good info here. I guess i will just pk it with my carry-on luggage...with batteries near at hand.
i do have an equipment rider, so even if some numbskull put his bag on top of mine...

Phil

John Terendy February 14th, 2007 01:56 AM

Phillip,
I travelled for 5 years with a Beta rig as well and NEVER checked it once.
Buy a small PortaBrace case and put it in the overhead bin or under your seat. If NWA has this kind of policy, don't fly with them. I have had great success with American Airlines and Southwest. United Airlines has lost more checked items than I care to mention. If it seems like a very full flight, get to the airport extra early to check in and get through security. If you can get a boarding card the night before the flight, do that as well. Always try to be in "group 1" for boarding, as the overhead bins fill up fast. The HVX is small
enough not to be an issue. I am travelling quite a bit with my Sony Z1U in
a PortaBrace DVO-1R and it works great.

Phillip Palacios February 14th, 2007 04:45 PM

Thanks guys.
Ya'll rock.


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