Pack laptop in checked luggage?

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I'm leaving tomorrow for an extended trip in southern Africa. I have always carried my laptop computer in my carry-on for security. For various reasons that will be a problem for this trip, and I don't expect to use it while en route.

Has anyone put a laptop in checked luggage? I'm pretty sure I can pack it well enough to prevent damage, but I am concerned about theft. The checked bag will have a TSA lock on it, but that still doesn't guarantee security.
 
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Never have and never have with my camera equipment …
probably never have a problem but you never know as I have had my large duffel bag opened (that carries my tripod) ….
What would scare me the most is that you're heading to different countries …

ron
 

Butlerkid

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Is it a critical part of your back up procedure....or do you have enough cards so you won't have to re-use them? Or perhaps you have a powered external HD for image back up that doesn't need a computer? Could you replace the computer, or buy additional cards, at your destination if necessary?

It's all about the level of risk you are willing to take....and whether or not that risk would adversely affect your trip...

Unfortunately, I am rather risk adverse on major trips....I even like to have a back up charger! LOL!

BTW - Have a GREAT trip! I look forward to your images and stories!
 
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Thanks, Ron and Karen. Yes it is an essential item for the trip. I carry no backup memory cards, and download to two external hard drives nightly.

I'll probably carry it in my camera backpack, but it is a tight fit and adds about 2.5 lbs to an already heavy bag. :frown:
 

Butlerkid

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I know what you mean about weight!

On our last trip I schlepped carried all my camera gear and netbook through airports. I started to think maybe the guys trying out smaller cameras and lenses were smarter than me!

At least you will, knock on wood, being using your gear for quite a while on this trip. I dragged all my gear back home after using only the d800 with 24-120 for less than 3 hours! :(((( The D7000ir, D700, 14-24, 24-70, 70-200 and tripod came home without ever being out of the bags.
 
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Jim,
I would do everything possible to avoid sending my laptop or any equipment in checked luggage. If you have no other option, I would recommend at least taking the hard drive out and carrying it with you. Even if the worst happens, you still have all your information and no one else will get it.
Pete
 

Butlerkid

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Mine doesn't have wheels either. Wheels would add another 3-5 lbs....so I just backpack the gear.

Getting there is the hard part for sure. Once you are there, it will be worth it!

Be SAFE!
 
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Thank you all for responding. I have decided to fall back on my usual solution, which is to put the camera backpack inside a small rolling carry-on bag. I was afraid there might be too little room in our vehicles in Africa, but I will chance it.

I have had surgery twice on my left shoulder for torn rotator cuffs, and also tore the one in my right shoulder, so heavy backpacks are a real problem. My shoulder is already aching just from carrying the backpack around the house for a few minutes.

So no more responses needed, thanks.
 
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My carbon fiber hard case was broken flying from Portland to Atlanta. The wheel broke off and the cracks extended across the suitcase. TSA is not the issue, it is the baggage handlers and whatever bags are near yours. Luckily I had nothing fragile or valuable in that case or it would have been destroyed.

My bag most likely fell from someplace high and hit the ground.
 
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I'm leaving tomorrow for an extended trip in southern Africa. I have always carried my laptop computer in my carry-on for security. For various reasons that will be a problem for this trip, and I don't expect to use it while en route.

Has anyone put a laptop in checked luggage? I'm pretty sure I can pack it well enough to prevent damage, but I am concerned about theft. The checked bag will have a TSA lock on it, but that still doesn't guarantee security.
Speaking from someone who works for a major airline, even those TSA locks are not guaranteed. I had a passenger call to report his luggage was opened and the TSA lock was broken. We don't get those calls frequent but once in a while they come through. I think for the most part your laptop will be safe. I think what happened to that passenger was because TSA probably forgot to lock it up when they were finished.

Hope this helps.
 
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Iver trust my laptop, optics or photography equipment to checked baggage. Glad you found a workable solution.
 
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Speaking from someone who works for a major airline, even those TSA locks are not guaranteed. I had a passenger call to report his luggage was opened and the TSA lock was broken. We don't get those calls frequent but once in a while they come through. I think for the most part your laptop will be safe. I think what happened to that passenger was because TSA probably forgot to lock it up when they were finished.

Hope this helps.
It's worth remembering that the TSA don't approve those locks because they're secure, they approve them because they can open them...
 
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I check my laptop all the time- probably more than 20times.
Never had an issue. Just keep it in its case and cushion it with clothes.
But camera equipment- never
Gary
What is your distinction between laptop & camera equipment? Value or odd shape making the latter harder to pack without breaking?

I've never packed anything of value (lenses, bodies, laptop, electronics) in checked baggage due to damage/loss risk. However, I've been very tempted due to the added burden of carrying heavier bags. I think air travel would be easier in general if the FAA & airline industry just allow one knacksack/purse sized bag for each traveler. Of course this opens up a litany of other issues for business travelers, families with small kids and improving security of high-value items in checked baggage.
 
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If you read the news yesterday, I think it was 5 or 6 guys were arrested at JFK for taking computers, phones, jewelry, etc. out of passenger's luggage. The only thing that goes into my checked luggage is clothes. My camera, computer, etc. all go in my carry on and don't leave my sight!

Carole
 

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