View Full Version : Flying w equipment
07-07-2007, 06:52 PM
I am flying to LA next week for a shoot. I will carry the HVX on board but I have an ARRI kit. I am thinking about checking it through. Seems like a solid case that comes with a standard ARRI kit but will it be safe for airline travel? Any thoughts?
I know your equipment is probably expensive and tempting but remember with all the issues surrounding air travel security the baggage inspectors don't like locked cases. I have seen people collect baggage at the terminal with their bags damaged (read slashed into or the zippers removed) so what I do is zip tie them shut and stuff a load of replacements in.
I have had my cases opened and I have yet to have them not re-zip tied afterwards. Those little padlocks would only stop the oppertunist thief anyway so your baggage is as secure and your luggage is immune to the dreaded bolt cutter.
07-07-2007, 08:58 PM
If you must lock it, use a TSA lock.
I am in the process of writing an article on traveling with your equipment. One recommendation is to FedEx your accessories and carry your camera on-board.
07-07-2007, 11:25 PM
Nice, look forward to your article Ned. I have been wracking my brain thinking how I am going to travel safely and securely with the HVX. The case I have is no longer carry-on size and I've toyed with the idea of padlocking it. What is a TSA lock?
07-08-2007, 05:22 AM
I wasn't so concerned about the lights being stolen (maybe I should) therefore locking was not an issue, but rather if the lights would get damaged, either by a TSA handler or something else. The ARRI kit weighs around 50+ lbs.
07-08-2007, 06:18 AM
I dont think the TSA lock would really help since its the airport worker themselfs who are stealing. I got stuff stolen at newark. I was flying with singapore airlines and they did not pay me back anything .I got a letter saying they cannot vouch for anything flying true the states. Basicly you just dont check in anything you cannot afford to loose.
Sometimes its the case that give away the content, maybe using an old dirty ugly regular suitcase might do the trick.
07-08-2007, 07:19 AM
You could FedEx / UPS / DHL the gear to your destination.
07-08-2007, 08:04 AM
If it's a paid shoot you could rent an arri kit since you'll be in LA. I'm sure it wouldn't cost too much and would save the hassle. It would cost a decent amount to next day your package, and the airlines charges after a certain weight.
07-08-2007, 01:02 PM
These are all things going in my article. I think that a light kit should be rented at destination by the time you pay the excess baggage charges for the kit and risk los or delay. A TSA lock is a lock to which TSA reps have keys. Of course, airport workers also have access to those TSA keys.
07-08-2007, 01:19 PM
rent your lights once you touch down in LA. i used to work for the airport back in college. they wont care about your luggage even if you spray paint "DELICATE" all over it. if it ends up at the bottom of 100 other bags of luggage we didn't care after a long days work it was just another bag, lol. if you have insurance that's good, but why bother with the hassle?
07-08-2007, 02:32 PM
I am flying right now (in the airport) and have a checked trunk with various odds and ends in it, tripod, a couple small lights, etc..
Went from DC to Phoenix with no problems at all and I was worried at first. Remember if you ship it FedEx or other, it well go through about 5 stops before it gets to your destination (depending on how far you are going). More opportunities to get lost, stolen. I have a cheap padlock that I put on it and it was not broken. My bag looks just as it did when I checked it. Yes it is a risk but if you have to check your bag it's not the end of the world.
I carry my DVX with me in a well padded carry-on sized bag (my camera bag is too big) and there have been no problems in the many times I have done this.
07-08-2007, 02:33 PM
OK I am convinced to rent the equipment in LA. Any suggestions of a place close to LAX airport. SHould I call ahead to hold the gear.
ps. Just got my BluRay burner, player and ProCoder 3 to start creating Hi-Def disc's. This is getting good.
07-08-2007, 02:50 PM
If you fly and carry things with you in the cabin, make sure that nothing you have on you can be used or construed to be a weapon.
About a year ago on my way back from Cyprus, on the sixth of six flights, I had to surrender a small allen wrench (maybe 1" x 2.5") that I used to adjust a Varizoom Flowpod. None of the baggage inspectors cared previously, not even on the four international flights, and luckily this was on the last leg home, but if it had happened on the flight into Cyprus, I probably would have been screwed -- I don't know if I would have been able to find a matching non-metric wrench there.
07-08-2007, 03:40 PM
I was told by one TSA agent this past week that I can carry on board a screwdriver as long as it's less than 7 inches long. Like a 6 inch screwdriver won't kill ya?
I always carry on board my camera, batteries, mattebox, filters, etc. I also carry on board my laptop, portable hard drives, cables etc. Everything else either gets shipped FedEx or checked in hard cases like my tripod.
I'm still pissed that the bastards from American Airlines took my orange handle wraps off my suitcases. United didn't have a problem with them but apparently AA did.
Don't give me the BS that they could get caught in their baggage handling system cause I saw all kinds of other straps and large looped handles that they didn't have issues with.
Even though FedEx can cost as much as a plane ticket to ship, I still depend on them more than I would trust any airline.
lostboys of LA
07-09-2007, 01:37 PM
I've been lucky traveling with gear and it usually isn't a big deal but I've had the airlines loose my luggage and had to shoot with bounce boards and a cheap tripod I got at a drug store until the rest of my gear showed up. Keep the camera with you at all times.
07-09-2007, 01:46 PM
I too was a ramp agent not too long ago - dont check your bags... I used to work with people that thought fragile meant throw it even harder... Ahh the good old days... FilmBoy - who's ramp did you work? I was with ASA for 3 years.
07-09-2007, 03:42 PM
Well, I still don't have that international bag with my equipment but thanks to the great people at OnAir in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, I could rent everything I needed.
07-09-2007, 05:58 PM
Just found a good place in LA to rent...Wooden Nickel. Lights for $75 a day. Perfect for what I need.
07-09-2007, 10:19 PM
I just traveled from Boston to LA and used a Kata HB-207 to carry on all my gear. I can not recommend this bag enough.
07-10-2007, 07:02 AM
The Kata 207 is a terrific bag and is totally TSA compliant. My editor has accepted the traveling with gear article but I do not know when it will appear.
07-10-2007, 07:16 AM
Not sure why all of the hullabaloo over shipping gear....
Your Arri lights will be fine. There's a reason the case weighs a gazillion pounds, so that your gear will be safe. The only drawback to flying with it is that you'll be paying overweight baggage charges- $50.00-75.00 depending on the carrier. For added protection, pull the lamps out of the units. As for theft, the scumbags that would be inclined to do such, are looking for much more valuble things such as laptops and HVX's.
Never ever check the camera. Never ever.
07-17-2007, 05:47 AM
Just back from LA. Rented lights from Wooden Nickel. A very professional outfit. Biggest hassle was catching a cab and driving. Carried all camera equipment on board airplane. No hassles there. Use a PortaBrace bag. It carries camera, laptop, and all accessories.