Carry Tripod & Video Stabilizer on Plane

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    • #49440

      Hi All!

      This day next week I’ll be flying from London to NY, then to LA, Hong Kong, Athens, Rome, Paris and Geneva to shoot a doc.

      I’m hoping to just bring all my gear in a carry no case. My only issue is whether security will confiscate my video stabilizer, see a small tripod.
      One of the airlines said there would be no problem as long as it fits in case, but my fear lies with security.

      Does anyone have any experience carrying stabilissers/tripods on a plane and/or know anything about the security at any of the airports above?

      Any help would be much appreciated!


    • #202394

      I have a hard case for my BIG Bogen/Manfrotto tripod, and I used to have a SteadyCam JR with a carrying case. The PROBLEM wasn’t getting through security, it was being able to use these as “carry on” items. With RARE exception I was compelled to check them in. The cases both wound up showing the 300-pound Gorilla effect due to severe handling, but the equipment was relatively unharmed thanks to the quality of the HARD cases.

      I have occasionally been allowed to carry on with them, storing the cases in an area that is at the front entrance of the plane, where the first class passengers usually hang their suit or garment bags. Those days, I think, are long gone, and probably even the premiums charged today wouldn’t make it better for you. I’ve not traveled in the past 8 months to know what the current climate is like with security, but your camera support equipment shouldn’t be listed on the not allowed list.

      A quick check via Google for current security and carry on, even check-in items lists, limitations should be fruitful. Good luck.

    • #202395

      If you have time to do a little advanced research, you can probably find convenient places in each city to rent whatever equipment you need. We’ve done that several times in the U.S. and gotten first-rate equipment at very reasonable prices. Not sure how it will work out of the U.S., but it’s worth investigating. It will save you a great deal of hassle going through security checks.

      And, as Earl recounts, the odd of things getting beat-up and/or stolen in checked baggage are very very high. Since you can no longer lock checked baggage the pilfer rate has climbed steadily.

      Be sure to check on how many carry on items are allowed on each flight. We had to repack on the lobby floor Heathrow Terminal because flights leaving London only permitted a single carry on item; your laptop, or a purse were considered an “item.” If you have camera and gear bags as well as an over-nighter or laptop you may find yourself in trouble.


    • #202396

      I have two main cameras I carry with me on the aircraft in a pelican hard case – everything else goes checked baggage in hard cases. I also carry a backpack with laptop, a shirt change, phone charger and a few other essentials. I learned the hard way when I went to Australia and Untied Airlines lost the bags for almost a week – I had to buy a new camera the first day, rent a backup camera for the remainder of the week, buy clothes etc in order to get through the first week. Fortunately, I was able to pick up a backup camera to use or I would have been out of luck – no work no pay.

      Several people I know FEDEX their gear from place to place which seems to work for them. I have never tried it but I did use FEDEX once to send all my gear home on my way back from a job in Brazil.

      Good Luck.

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