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Flying with Photo Gear, Monopods and the TSA

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Retief, Apr 16, 2005.

  1. I flew to Lincoln NE yesterday for an Everett Hawks away game. Since I was flying back this morning, my clothing needs were minimal and I wanted to do an all "carrry-on" trip. That left me with one bag for the camera gear, 2 boides, lenses, CF reader, Laptop AC power supply, clothes, etc.. Second bag held my Laptop and misc stuff, and my Monopod was in hand.

    I figured that at worst I would end up having to have 'Pod checked as baggage, which would be an annoyance, but not horrid.

    Airports were Seattle/Tacome (SEATAC), Phoenix and Omaha (Epperly). Not a question at all at Seatac, about the cameras or the Monopod. At Omaha the TSA agent at the America West counter said that they would not let me through the security checkpoint upstairs, I said I'd take my chances. Got upstairs, they asked me what it was for and when I told them they said "Fine". In Phoenix it was much the same.

    No problem at all, 4 flight legs, they didn't even ask to open the bag with the camera gear.

    The only thing I did was to ask them to be careful with the bag with the cameras, and they were all quite helpful. I have heard of others having problems, but so far I'm doing quite well. If I had been checking baggage as well, the monopod would have gone with it if it would have fit in one of the checked bags, just because it is a pain. Then again maybe I could threaten someone to get an "airline meal", on second thought, bad idea.... :wink:
  2. None of this security stuff makes any sense at all. A buddy of mine flew from Toronto through Washington last weekend on way to New Orleans. Because of heading into Washington, US customs/security here took EVERYTHING out of all bags, including all clothing, belts, shoes, socks, etc. Joke was they never even turned on his Blackberry to make sure that it was real.
    All 9/11 flights originated inside the States and yet state to state flights seem to be lacking any continuity. No nail clippers allowed but a monopod!!!!???? Go figure. I could take out KingKong with my Giottos mono! *LOL*
  3. Honestly, I think the security is for show. What they really need are a bunch of military personnel with automatic rifles and German Sheppard guard dogs to scare off any would-be terrorist! :) 

    But to be honest, I wouldn't feel very comfortable flying like that, so probably the current security will do!

    Oh by the way, flying with my camera gear in LA is a breeze, it's when you fly in small cities where the TSA have nothing better to do...that you encounter bored security guards who get a kick out of ruffling up your bag!
  4. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Tip of the day...

    When you need a tripod, find a suitable stick.

    Hold camera to stick and punt...lol

    Glad all went well Bill.

    Where is your PRESS PASS !!!!!!!!

    Get the team to get you one.
  5. Re: TSA Stuff

  6. Thanks for the comments, and I do find much of this rather silly, in the way it is handled. I don't, personally, mind the checks I just wish I was sure they were checking for the "right stuff" all the time.

    Gale, the "pass" doesn't matter, but I made sure that I let them know why all the equipment was being carried.

    I have had a few "interesting" encounters with security, the only times I have been stopped were pre-9/11.

    1. Australia, 1997 I believe. Bought a didgeridoo in Melbourne, flew with it as carry-on all over the place. Went to the airport in Alice Springs to fly back to Sydney and was told it would have to go in baggage, as it could be used as a "deadly weapon", direct quote. So I had them wrap it in 740 layers of bubble wrap, and into cargo it went. Got to Sydney and I explained my annoyance to the baggage manager, who was not at all sympathetic. Until I reached into my pocket and unclipped my pocket knife, 3-1/2" serrated blade, which I not only carried on but walked through security with. At which point all he could was sputter.

    2. Flying out of New Zealand in 1/1985. I had caught the first Striped Marlin of the year and was bringing the bill home. They would not let me have it as carry-on, but did agree to store it in the first-class bar. About 3 hours out of Honolulu, they handed it me, I guess they figured it was too late for me to hijack the plane. Got to Honolulu, cleared customs, and getting back on the airplane I waited for them to take it again. At which point the agent asked why I was waiting. I told him and he almost fell off his chair laughing.

    3. Post 9/11 I was flying back to Seattle from Orange County, CA. I had purchased a couple of didgeridoos in Laguna Beach and had built a carrying tube from ABS pipe. Sucker was 6' long and 6" in diameter. Took it to the airport and they didn't even ask me what was in it.

    All of this is just to illustrate that while we laugh at TSA the absurdity of security checking is neither someone new nor limited to the USA.

    Oh, and then there was bringing back my wife's Marlin bill from Cabo San Lucas. They wouldn't let me take it as carry-on, even as I pointed out to the agent the folks getting on the plane with 3' carved wooden marlins, with long pointy bits out the front.

    Stupidity abounds, I'm afraid, but I do think that if we fly now and are patient and let the TSA folks know what we are doing it makes things a bit easier.

    For ultimate security, I think they should make us all fly naked........ :wink: . I guess in some cases that could also be considerd a "deadly weapon", or at the very least "cruel and inhuman punishment" :lol: .
  7. mrdinh


    Mar 8, 2005
    North Dakota
    bill, how is that hawks gig...did calvin actually paid for the trip and meals?
  8. The Hawks gig is a real trip. They, the Hawks, pick up the tab for travel, along with per diem. I'm trying to convince them they can save a ton of money by doing better planning, along with not driving us nuts :lol: .

    And the shooting is a real trip. No "buffer zone" other than the wall between me and the players. Brings new meaning to "up close and personal".
  9. mrdinh


    Mar 8, 2005
    North Dakota
    bill, that sounds awesome...please share your images...

    so was it worth the trip?...did you get paid well or just went for the experience?

    i see some indoor football on nbc...is that the same league?
  10. What you saw on NBC is Arena Football, different league. Turns out that there are a whole bunch of Indoor Football Leagues around the country.

    As to the trips themselves, I am having a ball, it remains to be seem how well the "pay" will work out. You can see some images from the games on my site:
    www.deweydrive.com/gallery just go to the Sports Gallery and you will see the Hawks albums.

    The experience is great, and I am meeting a lot of great people. Over and above it all, in a very strange way, this a real piece of true America. A bunch of folks doing what they love, and not just for a bunch of money. But these guys are every bit as serious about their play as anyone in Pro sports.

    Too bad we don't have a game in your neck of the woods, I'd invite you over.
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