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Old Apr 5, 2008, 1:08 PM   #1
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I'm planning on taking a trip to LA from Toronto. Will be bringing my little pup. Found out that certain US airlines allow you to carry them in the cabin area if you put them in a "kennel/dog bag" that can fit under the seat in front of you. And they are considered "1 Carry-on" item. Haven't found out if I can carry 2 carry-ons. If I can I can carry my camera gear in a Lowepro backpack. If not I'm going to have to check-in my camera gear. If so then I'll need a hard shell case.

I was thinking of the Pelican Photo StudioCruzer. It allows you to also carry a 15" Apple MacBook pro. But even Pelican says on their website that this hard case is intended only for "carry-on" and offers "moderate protection". Can you guys suggest some hard cases that can be checked-in and would definitely withstand the abuse of baggage handlers?

Another brand I like is Hardigg. Lowepro has hard case/soft bag combos (using Pelican hard case). But the Pelican cases Lowepro uses is the same case used in the Photo StudioCruzer which is not intended to be "checked-in".

Thanks.
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Old Apr 5, 2008, 1:49 PM   #2
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You absolutely must check with your airline regarding the number of carry-on items, their definition of carry-on items, and their policy on carry-on pets. If there is no room in an overhead bin for your carry-on, due to your boarding priority, there won't be any room under the seat in front of you for two items. Recently, the airlines seem to be changing policies regarding luggage and carry-on items. Some are charging for skycap service, some are charging for extra baggage, overweight baggage, etc. I don't know whether this is due to security, finances, or both. Most airlines that I have flown recently permit you to bring one carry-on bag plus one 'personal' item, such as a purse or backpack, on board.

Warning: There is no such thing as a case that will withstand the onslaught of airline baggage handlers!!! They are professionals, and pride themselves on being able to throw, kick and slam luggage with reckless abandon...and that's while you're watching them...imagine what goes on while you patiently wait at the carousel for what's left of your bags.

I always carry my camera with me, in my carry-on duffel bag.

Have a nice trip.

the Hun

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Old Apr 5, 2008, 2:00 PM   #3
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I'm sure there are baggage handlers that do toss and maybe kick our luggage. But I thinkt hey are just the odd man. I've travelled all over the world. Never have I received any of my luggage damaged. Knock on wood.

With a hard case they should be able to withstand being tossed short distances. Though, I would think most items are lifted and put into trolley's. So that they can fiit as many pieces of luggage onto one carry device.

Any how, I'd still love to hear from those of you that have checked-in your gear. What cases you used. Your experiences. Which airline you used. Etc.

Thanks.
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Old Apr 5, 2008, 4:10 PM   #4
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If you can't carry your camera gear onboard, don't ... I repeat: DON'T ... check your camera bag.

Items that look like they might be valuable often grow legs.

Pack your Lowepro and your camera gear in with your clothes. The camera gear will be well cushioned and out of view of the casual observer.

If you don't have room, pack clothes and toiletries in the Lowepro, and pack your camera gear in your suitcase along with the rest of your clothes.
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Old Apr 5, 2008, 4:11 PM   #5
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from my experience in flying you usually get to carry 1 suitecase (carry-on size) and a camera bag (shoulder type), breifcase or laptop bag. I have never been on a flight that allowed animals in the cabin..... I wish you luck in that. I have been carrying my camera gear in a lowpro Nova AW1 bag as the second carry on bag for the past 2 years and never had an issue. It goes under the street in front of me.

Call your airline and ask them about the requirements as many "especially" international have even more restrictive requirements.

Let us know what they tell you.

As for carrying your gear carry it on to the plane if at all possible. if it means the backpack is gonna be too big get a smaller bag and carry on what tyou can and but the rest in your other luggage (i.e. batteries, memory cards etc)



dave
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Old Apr 5, 2008, 5:11 PM   #6
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Thanks for your advice so far guys. I won't be travelling for a few months yet. But I will keep you guys up to date. The thing is the regulations differ from one airline to the next. Moreless. More so between Canadian airlines and American. So far I've noticed UA, AA and Delta are pretty much the same regarding carrying pets in the cabin. Just not sure yet on how many "carry-on" items you can take.

But if one carry-on is a small pet. One that can be placed under the seat in front then you'd think you could put a second carry-on in the overhead compartment. So two should be reasonable. Need to check on that.

As for chevking in my gear...if I have to...I guess I should take TCav's recommendation. Bundle them up and put them in with the clothings. Last thing any of us would want is for our gear to "grow legs".

Has any one flown with UA or AA internationally? (e.g. from the US to Canada or visa-versa) How many carry-ons were you allowed?

Save my money and not get a hardcase. Unless it's a carry-on. There seems to be a growing demand for carry-on camera bags or hard cases.
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Old Apr 5, 2008, 5:53 PM   #7
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I've flown AA from Toronto to Curacao in June 2007 and had no problem with a laptop in a briefcase and a Lowepro Compact AW full of gear. The camera bag went overhead and the laptop went under the seat.

I would not recommend checking any camera gear except for tripods, monopods or the like. All checked baggage is x-rayed so having cameras in the suitcase will cause it to be inspected manually and noted.

In the old days before 9/11 you could lock your gear in a Pelican case and check it but these days they will cut the locks off to open the luggage.

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Old Apr 5, 2008, 6:02 PM   #8
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Even if your airline allows two carry ons, if the flight is full and you don't get on early, the overheads may all be full by the time you get on. If that is so, you will have to check one of your carry on bags I saw that happen 4 times in the last two months.

All checked baggage now gets x-rayed...someone will know there is a very expensive camera in your bag, disguised as underwear - you can't hide a camera from the x-ray machine. Checked bags are randomly selected to be opened and searched. Someone will get a nice surprise when checking out your underwear - oh look - a nice D300 with lenses!!!

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Old Apr 5, 2008, 7:22 PM   #9
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Bob Nichol wrote:
Quote:
I've flown AA from Toronto to Curacao in June 2007 and had no problem with a laptop in a briefcase and a Lowepro Compact AW full of gear. The camera bag went overhead and the laptop went under the seat.

I would not recommend checking any camera gear except for tripods, monopods or the like. All checked baggage is x-rayed so having cameras in the suitcase will cause it to be inspected manually and noted.

In the old days before 9/11 you could lock your gear in a Pelican case and check it but these days they will cut the locks off to open the luggage.
Hey Bob,

Good to know. Doubt AA would have changed their policies since. Just the same I will double-check before I go. And since UA and Delta have similar policies...I'm pretty sure now that they will also allow 2 carry-ons.

And when I fly (since 9/11) I've arrived at the airport 3 hours early. So I should have access to the overhead. Also, most airplanes have compartments for suit bags. I'm fairly sure they could find a place for our camera gear if the overhead is full.

I have a Lowepro Fastpack 350. A mid-size backpack with a laptop compartment. Should fit in the overhead.

But as I said...I'll keep you guys up to date on this. Will call AA and UA before I go. Any other Toronto to LA airlines I should look into? Air Canada doesn't allow pets in the cabin just the cargo area.

Thanks.
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Old Apr 5, 2008, 8:17 PM   #10
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" And when I fly (since 9/11) I've arrived at the airport 3 hours early. So I should have access to the overhead."

Doesn't matter if you arrive 3 hours early or 24 hours early. You board the plane by zones or rows, as determined by the airline. What time you arrive has no bearing on the boarding order. If the flight is a continuation, it may already be 3/4 full of passengers when it arrives at the gate, with 3/4 of the overhead capacity already stuffed. First they will board people who need assistance and those with small children. Then they will board by zone. If you get zone 1 or 2, you may find some overhead storage available. If you get zone 5 or 6, good luck. At least one airline, Southwest, determines the boarding order by the time you print your boarding pass from their web site. You can only print your pass 24 hours before your flight, no sooner. The last time I flew southwest, I hopped online 23 hours and 58 minutes before my departure time...I was number 56 for boarding...imagine if I had waited an hour.

Maybe the airlines are more accomodating in Canada. I can't say, I've never flown there. As I said in my earlier post..."...the overheads may all be full by the time you get on. If that is so, you will have to check one of your carry on bags I saw that happen 4 times in the last two months."

Which bag you gonna check - the camera or the dog?

the Hun

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