Monday, 4 January 2010

POV: Flying For Photographers (Part 2)

Politico and other news outlets reported that the TSA (effective January 4, 2010) has tightened its rules for all travelers flying into the United States from foreign countries. This means tightened random screening, and all passengers from terrorism-prone countries will be patted down and have their carry-ons searched.

So far there's no clarification as to limits on personal carry-on bags except for those imposed by some carriers last week.

A photographer friend who was flying from Manila to Los Angeles early yesterday emailed me saying that all passengers on his flight were handed a travel bulletin before entering the terminal. More than one carry-on was not allowed, and the weight and size of those were rigorously monitored. He was allowed his camera bag, while his wife carried his netbook.

It seems that all carriers flying into the United States will only allow one small bag as carry-ons. Flights from the United States may not have the same carry-on limit.

I've toyed with the notion of taking my Lowepro Stealth 650 AW shoulder bag or my Lowepro backpack, but I decided not to risk aggravation or difficulties at either the check-in counters or security. My decision is to pack my gear as tightly as possible into one small camera bag. I crammed three lenses, two Canon bodies with battery grips, a Marantz PMD 620 recorder and a netbook in my Domke F-8.

The remaining dilemma is where to stow the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L. Ah, well...I'll find a way. I just don't want to buy yet another camera bag....I already have 6 or 7.

As of two days ago I planned to carry my canvas laptop as well...but on second thoughts it will be stowed in my checked-in bag. And just in case, I will fly wearing a safari jacket with large pockets.

If only the Leicas were not so expensive!!!!