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Traveling with the rig


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#1 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 01:49 PM

I have a job coming up in Atlanta and of course I'll be flying. I'm thinking about carrying my arm onto the plane. Has anyone done this lately and have you had any problems with security? Also, I know there will be overweight charges for my cases, but is there a limit? I have one case in particular that's quite heavy and I want to cover my bases before I get stuck at the airport.
Any tips or advice would be appreciated. It's been a while since I flew with my gear.
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#2 Bryan Trieb SOC

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 02:43 PM

Last time I flew with my rig, I was told that the limit for check-in oversize baggage was 70lbs...anything above would need to be shipped seperately.
I typically pay around $40US per trip for the extra weight.
I have my arm in a large pelican along with other accessories, so I've never had a problem with its protection during flight.
It's always best to phone the airlines before hand to get the details.
Be prepared to open up your cases to let security "swab" your gear with their substance detectors.
Hope this helps!
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#3 Marc_Abernathy

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 02:57 PM

i keep photos of my rig setup (got that idea from this very forum)in the cases so when they open them (and they will) they would hopefully understand what the items are and not trip. ive only flew with my stuff a few times and mainly to LAX from Atlanta. (small world brad!!) i flew Delta a couple times (this was within the last year) and they didnt give me an issue with the stuff i had. they put a flourescent oversize tag on it and i didnt have to pay anything extra. i only had 3 cases so maybe thats why they didnt give me any slack? i also flew air tran a couple times and they DID complain about the weight of one of the cases (batteries) but i didnt have to pay because i haggled them about the Atlanta leg not telling me there was an issue.
never flew with an ARM on board with me.. alsways in a case...

i think there also maybe some old threads speaking on this here somewhere.... erwin?? :-)
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#4 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 03:44 PM

A forum search will definately turn up some useful reading on this issue - I seem to remember someone talking about carrying a Klassen on as hand luggage? I was looking for advice too, as I may have to fly with the gear for the first time over the summer. Looking forward to it in nervous anticipation!

The general consensus seems to be, get it down to as few cases as possible without them being too heavy, only take the neccessary gear, take photos with you to illustrate the gear, as Marc said, and also be careful with batteries, you'll definatly need to explain them, and call the airline in advance to check all is OK is a good idea.
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#5 David A. Wolf

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 09:33 PM

I fly every couple of weeks with my rig and/or other camera gear and rarely have problems. Keeping your cases to a minimum is a plus. Different airlines charge different rates and have different rate structures. Rates will even vary airport to airport with the same airlines. Always tell them you are with the media and ask for a discount. Costs will also vary depending on how much of a frequent flier you are, Elite status, how many bags checked versus carry-on etc.. Keep all under cases under 100 lbs, rates can go up dramatically after that. Never had anyone question batteries, even lithiums. I usually carry on music, a book, snacks and water and sometimes my laptop. I keep my arm packed in its bag inside my vest in its bag inside a Pelican 1660 case.

Also, don't forget to pre-assign your seats way in advance. Nothing is worse than sitting in a middle seat on a long flight between two undesireables. Happy flying. Hope you found an AC.

David Wolf
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#6 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 04:14 PM

Thanks for the info fellas. The reason I'm thinking of carrying my arm on the plane is to lower the weight of my vest/arm/follow focus/receiver case. It's a large case to begin with and I figure any weight I can remove from it will be helpful. Plus, if I have my arm with me I don't have to worry about it as much as if it's in the belly of the plane.
David...thanks for the tip on a good A.C. They asked me to find someone and then went ahead and hired someone on their own. Go figure....
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#7 David George Ellis

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 07:27 PM

Hey Brad,

Normally when I fly, I carry my arm on board with me for just the same reason you mentioned. Weight and arm safety. That gives you ample room to carry extra junk underneath. Since we're allowed two carry-ons, I take my overnight bag and the arm with me. Plus, it's fun to see how security looks at it. They treat it like some erector set bomb. Of course, you know never to mention b-o-m-b, or, a-s-s-a-u-l-t r-i-f-l-e. Go with that and I don't think you should have any problems. Good luck and happy shooting.

David
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#8 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 09:00 PM

Thanks David.
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#9 danavision@earthlink.net

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 11:21 PM

I fly a couple times a month with my gear and it's always different. I try to ship it if possible. I checked all my gear in once with Southwest and was called back through security because the case was over 100 pounds. I had to bring a couple of batteries back through security and of course that led to a full cavity check. I keep my big case to under 100 lbs no matter what. I've been Fed-Exing the gear lately. Production seems to like that better and they don't blink at the price. Fed-Ex will also react differently to the same shipment. I shipped my cart last time and had no problem out of LA, but they wouldn't ship it back out of Baltimore! They had to ship the cart freight, and then the guy that delivered it was supprised that they took it. All I can say is call ahead, no matter how you are getting your gear there. Write down the info with the person's name (preferably a manager) and the rule number. Every airline I've gone through has had different rates, rules, and each person you deal with either dosen't know or has a different set of rules.

Good Luck
Dan
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#10 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 03:47 AM

Every airline I've gone through has had different rates, rules, and each person you deal with either dosen't know or has a different set of rules.

Good Luck
Dan

I'm finding that this is VERY true. I had one guy on the phone that kept putting me on hold to find out the answer to a question I had asked, and then he would come back with an answer, then put me on hold again, and then come back with a different answer. When I asked which was actually correct he said, "I'm not sure". Real helpful. The real answer is "I don't care". They act so bothered by the fact that you've called to check on airline rules. It's ridiculous. I'll call again tommorrow and try to get better info, but I'm really just planning on crossing my fingers and being really friendly on the day I fly. Anybody have a semi-reliable # for Delta that has people that have any clue what they're talking about?
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