Tripod... check in luggage or carry-on?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by Andrew Moxom, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Okay I used to pack my tripod with the rest of my luggage when flying, and carry on my camera and film. However, I wondered what the consensus was regarding carrying on my camera bag and tripod??? Especially nowadays with all the restrictions on what can and cannot be taken into the cabin. Is a tripod verboten as carryon?

    I'm flying to the UK on Dec 26th and wanted to make sure.

    Anyone have the inside track on this?

    Thanks

    Andy
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    You should check with the airline they all seem to have thier own limits. I remember Air Canada allowed a camera bag in addition to the normal carryon but tripods wouldn't be allowed.
     
  3. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Being fairly compact myself,
    not needing a tall tripod,
    my travel tripod rides inside my suitcase.

    Do you have some sort of case or bag for the tripod ?
     
  4. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    Check with the airline. TSA regs permit tripods as carry on, but the airline does NOT necessarily adhere to TSA, they can be more restrictive in size and weight and quantity of items.
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I always check it. At a busy travel time like this, it's not worth the hassle of having to go back to the check-in counter, if security tells you you can't bring it on the plane.
     
  6. david b

    david b Member

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    I always check my tripod. Never a problem but the awesome TSA screwballs always open my luggage to check it out.
     
  7. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    Have a great trip!
    If they (thanks Alitalia) lost your luggage you could always buy a tripod (and pants and shoes). Not ideal but one advantage over going to the Sahara.
    You do realize that the airlines $ responsibility to you would not cover your clothing never mind the bag itself and equipment.
     
  8. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    Last year, I overheard a couple of TSA agents at LAX discussing the subject of tripods.

    The essence of their discussion was

    a. The official TSA rules are unclear and leave it to the discretion of the inspectors. The operable rule appears to be that objects that are 'weapon-like' are not allowed.

    b. One inspector thought that tripods could be used as clubs and should not be allowed.

    c. The other inspector disagreed and thought they were perfectly OK.

    d. Rather than resolve their disagreement, they went for coffee.
     
  9. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I'm with David (both of them). Most tripods can collapse enough to fit in airline permitted carry-ons, but the TSA rules seem to be subject to the screener's whims. You can buy additional insurance for the checked bag if you are nervous about them covering it if the worst happens.
     
  10. Frank Szabo

    Frank Szabo Member

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    I made the mistake once of saying my RB67 was "loaded" without thinking. That was a major mistake.

    TSA obviously selects their employees from a list of rejected WalMart greeter applicants.
     
  11. Nitai108

    Nitai108 Member

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    lol, nice story
     
  12. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Thanks everyone, I think I will just check the thing as normal.
     
  13. arcman

    arcman Member

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    Hey Andrew...Just spent three days getting to Seattle...brought only hand held (35mm+2 1/4) in carryon but no tripod...I was going to take tripod in checked bag.After four delays and subsequent cancellations we missed our connection but eventually got to O'hare after about six hours of waiting...My wife's bag came out onto the carousel as we walked up...mine not so much! After an hour of "the run around" I was about to give up when I was paged!!!!! & picked my bag at the "lost" counter...moral to the story...this time of year you are rolling the dice...good luck and have a great trip.
    -Don
     
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  15. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    If your tripod is fitted with sharp metal spikes on the feet, as mine are, does it qualify as a weapon?
    For all my overseas travel the tripod fits well into the hold luggage with everything else. I see no reason to carry it on, but I do take all cameras with me in a <10kg carry-on bag with a smaller Manfrotto tripod.
     
  16. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    My wood tripod goes in my suitcase to be checked in but wanting to travel lighter I need a smaller suitcase. It's handy to have a tripod on the other end.
     
  17. eddym

    eddym Member

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    I have a nice padded carrying case for my tripod, so I always check it and have had no problems. Some airports (like Atlanta) make you pick it up in an "oversize" luggage area, so you might have a moment of concern at the carousel until you figure that out.
    If you are worried about it being damaged, the safest (and probably cheapest) shipping container I have heard of is home-made from pvc pipe. Put a cemented cap on one end and a threaded one on the other, and it's practically bulletproof. I've never felt the need to resort to this.
    Another tip I learned for large checked items such as tripods, light stands, etc., is to buy a rolling case for golf clubs. They are not very expensive and hold a lot of large items.
     
  18. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Twice in the past year I have taken a tripod onboard with me, as a carry-on.

    These were domestic flights in the USA, however.
     
  19. JLMoore3rd

    JLMoore3rd Member

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    Tripod tube for checking...

    You might want to consider this as an alternative to a padded case for your tripod: get yourself a length of plastic drain pipe to fit your tripod & some padding... I've used 5" black pipe & caps. Glue a bottom cap on the pipe, wrap your tripod in foam, or even a towel, and tape up the cap on the other end. This also works when you need to ship your tripod, or large rolled-up artwork.
     
  20. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm sitting now enjoying a Bass and a grilled chicken Caesar in the bar at Terminal 7 at JFK airport with a little more than an hour to board a flight to San Francisco. I checked in online and printed out my boarding pass this morning. I've got my Linhof 2x3" Tech V with two lenses, Acratech ballhead, and a laptop in my Urban Disguise 50 bag and my clothes, Linhof Report tripod (the one from the 1950s that folds flat) and other odds and ends in a Victorinox carry-on overnight bag, and no checked bags. The TSA inspectors were interested in my laptop, which got an explosive residue swab, as did the UD50 bag it came in. No problems, and it took me about 10 minutes from arrival at the terminal to arrival at the gate.

    I'm carrying just three rolls of 220 to tide me over until I can get to Gasser's, which is a short walk from my hotel.

    I'll still check my big series 5 Gitzo when I travel with it, but I think this little travel tripod (about 18-19" long without head) is a good choice as a carryon.

    After combing the TSA site for a definitive regulation and finding none, I found a good thread on tripods at flyertalk.com, where some TSA officers participate, and my sense was that the size of the tripod is a factor, so I figured I'd take a chance this trip but leave enough time to check my bag if necessary, or enjoy a Bass if not.
     
  21. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    David, I'm at Detroit airport waiting for my flight to London in a cyber cafe near my gate.... In Minneapolis, I asked for a hand search of 30 rolls of film. Each roll of film got the residue swab!!! But the TSA agent was really helpful. My camera bag got some major scrutiny though. Another TSA agent wanted to look at my hasselblad. My tripod was checked with my luggage and fingers crossed nothing goes awry! I'm on my 3rd 22oz Sam adams. :smile:
     
  22. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Cheers!
     
  23. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning;

    Sounds like David Goldfarb will have no difficulty if the temperature in the cabin goes very low. Will he be going on West to visit the relatives in Hilo?

    I take a Bogen/Manfrotto 3021-S and a small head inside of my airline carry-on bag along with my clothing. The cameras go in a backpack that I wear. So far, the only thing I have had questioned is the fanny pack with my wallet and some tools. The tools get them every time. I think that the tools serve as a diversion from the backpack.
     
  24. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Alas, not. The relatives are in Honolulu actually, and my wife and son are visiting them while I'm at my conference, but we'll meet up in Las Vegas where my parents live afterward. As I posted elsewhere, my best laid plain of buying more 220 film (didn't bring a 120 insert) has gone awry--no TXP/220 at Gasser's or Calumet here in SF, so I ordered some from Freestyle, and it should meet me in Vegas. Plenty of 35mm, 120, 4x5," and even 8x10" available, though.
     
  25. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    HAHAHAHAHAHAHHHA OH MY GOD YOU MADE MY DAY! THANK YOU! xD
     
  26. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Checking in from SFO, same deal as post #19, small tripod in the carry-on, 2x3" Tech V kit in an Urban Disguise 50 bag, no checked luggage, and no problems checking in. They gave the camera bag a sniff with a handheld detection device before it went through X-ray, but other than that, no special attention. I think the fact that the Urban Disguise bag looks like an ordinary laptop bag helps.