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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Travel Tip or Warning!! Travelers to Hawaii
Steve Kajihiro, Photographer
Everett | WA | USA | Posted: 7:28 PM on 12.30.08
->> Just a heads up, I recently travelled from Seattle to Hawaii with Hawaiian Airlines. I brought my D3, 70-200mm and a 17-55 mm..flash and laptop. I DID NOT have my 300mm or a second body since it was not needed.

I got there fine but returning from Hawaii. The agent said the carryon needed to be tagged and weigh for carryon approval. Hawaiian Airlines refused to let my bag on as a carryon. I was using the Think Tank Airport International Roller. The bag with contents weighed more than the 25 lbs limit. It was about 38 pounds or so.

I explained to them that the equipment was expensive and I was working media. The agent did not care. I either needed to separate it into two bags or check it in. Which my laptop and camera bag was not going to be checked in. I spoke to the supervisior and he allowed me to hand carry it after I got the weigh down to 30 pounds.

I told them that I normally have more equipment in the bag. He said they have a new policy that applies to everyone...media or general passengers. He said the option was to keep your bags under the 25 lb limit on hand carries, to check in, or he said to Fedex or UPS it to your destination.

Just a heads up so you guys don't have to deal with this stuff.
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Walter Calahan, Photographer
Westminster | MD | USA | Posted: 7:41 PM on 12.30.08
->> Did they require that you give up your tail feathers to be added to the plane?

Grin.

Did the supervisor at least end the conversation with Aloha?
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Steven Bisig, Photographer
Seattle | WA | USA | Posted: 7:44 PM on 12.30.08
->> wow, good to know. i will be traveling there from seattle in august.

as you probably know, usually when they want to check my carry on bag because the overheads are full, i just tell them that it is camera equipment and they let me get on. several times i know that i was way over the limit. i wonder if you just got a agent that was in a bad mood?

steven b~
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Todd Corzett, Photographer
Dublin | CA | USA | Posted: 8:18 PM on 12.30.08
->> I really hate to see the weight limits come to US air carriers.

When I had problems traveling back from France with a full (60lbs) Airport Security roller and a 22kg limit I was able to remove the equipment from the bag and carry it with me... I love my 500mm necklace. Until an airline starts weighing the passengers (at which point I'm in real trouble for reasons other than camera equipment), I think this trick gets past the folks at the check-in counters (they are the ones with the scales anyhow). Just get the bag down to 25lbs and walk around the corner and put the stuff back into it. Then when boarding the plane don't make it obvious the bag is heavy.

-Todd...
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Bill Allen, Photographer
Baltimore | MD | USA | Posted: 9:07 PM on 12.30.08
->> Todd is right, there's nothing to stop you from pulling the cameras out of the bag for the weigh-in.

It seems clear that this is a last-ditch attempt by Hawaiian to make more money by forcing passengers to check baggage. I don't think it will last as airlines start to go out of business though.

In the meantime, it seems like disguising the weight is the best thing we can do to keep from drawing attention. My Think Tank Urban Disguise 60 can hold a staggering amount of gear, and since it's not a roller, it doesn't turn heads. Of course there's only so much you can carry on one shoulder.

Has anyone tried wrapping a 400/2.8 in neoprene padding and putting it in a normal backpack? You may be able to get it through as a personal item, and it would draw less attention from thieves. Just a thought.
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Daniel Putz, Photographer
Jefferson | MD | USA | Posted: 9:43 PM on 12.30.08
->> I'll be traveling United to Hawaii (Dulles-LAX-Kona/Kona-SFO-Dulles) on the 1st and I'll post an update as for anything I find for them.

When I travel, I check my 300 2.8 and 400 2.8 with their cases in separate wheeled soft bags (basically a duffel bag with wheels). I stuff the bags to the brim with socks and a jacket or two to 'puff' it up and give the appearance of a bag loaded with clothing. So far it's worked like a charm, no damage and no stolen gear. The bags don't scream 'VALUABLE' in any way.

As for carry-ons I have an innocuous backpack w/ laptop and a Thank Tank AI v2 roller (no problems recently with United or Southwest). We'll see how this goes. Thanks for the heads-up that their might be problems!
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
Live HVN : Work SFO-NYC | | | Posted: 11:44 PM on 12.30.08
->> Photo Vest, load your lenses into your pockets (a 300f2.8 fits on most photo vests). Vests do NOT count as carry on baggage. Then a camera on your shoulder.

A camera and lens on your shoulder is a personal item, but not counted against you for your carry on + 1 (unless it's a 400f2.8 then they'll start to ding you for it being a carry on).

This will get your weight down.


.....I'm sure someone on here can steer you to a web site that addresses these issues
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
Live HVN : Work SFO-NYC | | | Posted: 11:56 PM on 12.30.08
->> Todd,

Many Euro carriers have scales at the gates. The scales are not at check in. I believe Vince Laforet experienced the joys of Lufthansa's gate-scales with a loaded Airport Addicted a few years ago.

American Airlines and US Airways have started checking carry on baggage weight slowly. They do it by 'eye ball.' As I have said many times, three times in a row American Airlines refused to allow my fully loaded Airport Addicted on as carry-on in 2005. All three times were at DFW, all three times I walked out of the terminal, went to Delta and flew home on them with my backpack on my back (AA never stopped me at JFK, ORD, MSY, LGA, LAX....ONLY at DFW, but 3x in under 3 months).

Ryanair's new carry on baggage policy is extreme, but I can see at least 2 US carriers that are likely to modify it and potentially implement it. You can read about Ryanair's new carry on policy here:
http://boardingarea.com/blogs/flyingwithfish/2008/12/16/airline-carry-on-ba.../
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Steve Kajihiro, Photographer
Everett | WA | USA | Posted: 12:09 AM on 01.01.09
->> The agent wasn't in a bad mood. They just said it is a new policy. It just amazed me that others had larger bags than my think tank and was not weighed or tagged. After boarding, I watched others and I did not see anyone with the purple approval tag they put on my bag. Next time I will hang the 300mm around my neck. It was crazy since I really didn't have that much gear in my bag...I think my mom's purse is heavier than my bag.
I wrote a letter to Hawaiian Air of my complaint and concerns, I'll update you guys on what I was told.
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Darrell Miho, Photographer
Los Angeles : SFO : HNL | CA | usa | Posted: 1:09 AM on 01.01.09
->> Hawaiian Airlines has been enforcing their 25lb carry-on weight limitation for well over 2 years now, long before they started charging for checked baggage. it is based on the safety issue of having a 50 lb bag (the previous weight limit) fall on a passenger or flight attendant.

knowing that it takes a little effort to lift my 50lb rolling case into the overhead bin, i have often thought about what would happen if it were to fall on top of someone. it could cause some serious injury.

since i often fly HA, and having been stopped twice for an overweight carry-on, i have since changed my carry-on configuration so as to comply with their weight policy so i don't get stopped any more. =)
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PF Bentley, Photographer
Planet Earth | HI | USA | Posted: 11:09 AM on 01.01.09
->> As a frequent flyer on Hawaiian (would you believe 40 years!)and a member of their Premier Club, I had one run in with a counter agent in Kona when I tried to get on an earlier flight, even though I had my boarding pass printed from home.

They made me check one of my two carry-ons as it was 5 lbs overweight. This would not of happened if I didn't try to change the flight. (Made no difference that I was a Premier Club member) Other people in the gate area (mostly tourists) had heavy carry-ons. (You should of seen them carrying them up the stairs to the plane.)

By the way, I got my bag in Honolulu, went through security again and caught my Continental flight to NY without any problem whatsoever.

You can solve this problem by printing by boarding pass at home and DO NOT STOP AT THE COUNTER! If you need or want to change your flight at the gate area without your bags by your side.

On a more comical note - I still love how they make people in Hawaii take off their flip-flops to go through security barefoot.
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
Live HVN : Work SFO-NYC | | | Posted: 11:39 AM on 01.01.09
->> PF,

I have watched TSA on multiple occassions make parents remove the little slipper-booties from babies feet to cross through the metal detector. The TSA TSO's are simply following protocol that all footwear be removed.

What I want to know is this...what could you possibly slip inside a little fabric baby booty?
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Mitchell Gunn, Photographer
Klagenfurt | nil | Austria | Posted: 6:01 PM on 01.02.09
->> What I want to know is this...what could you possibly slip inside a little fabric baby booty? a little baby footy?
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Dayne Teves, Photographer
Waipahu | Hi | USA | Posted: 5:30 PM on 01.04.09
->> I have not have any problems going out from Hawaii. It was coming back to Hawaii from United (Utah), Delta(Atlanta and LA). Funny they all don't have the same protocol. I told the united check-in person "I came here from Hawaii with the exact same carryons" They told me you are not in Hawaii anymore...
Well what can you do?
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
Live HVN : Work SFO-NYC | | | Posted: 9:45 PM on 01.04.09
->> Dayne,

United would be Denver, not SLC, UT. SLC, UT would be a Delta route.

Airlines have a long history of inconsistent protocols. When you encounter a problem you can ask for a Gate Supervisor through a Station Supervisor. Sometimes this gets you the result you want, sometimes it gets you stonewalled. If you get stonewalled then you're usually none-worse than where you started.

The best option for airlines is to know their rules and then work around their rules,without violating their rules. This is especially true when it comes to carry on baggage.

Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, etc, all have the same rules as any internal domestic flight as far as Federal Regulations apply. Airlines are free to assert their own rules as they see fit and finding the rules knowing them is the best key to avoiding problems in most scenarios.
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Chris Condon, Photographer, Photo Editor
Ponte Vedra Bch | FL | USA | Posted: 11:45 AM on 01.05.09
->> Has anyone been flying Mesa Airlines in the islands? I'd rather gate check on a regional jet than have to resort to more drastic measures.
I'm hopping from Oahu to Kona for a tournament in a couple of weeks and haven't booked my inter-island flights yet.
I usually carry my Airport Security with no problem, but no one's ever weighed it before... It's definitely over 25lbs!
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Darrell Miho, Photographer
Los Angeles : SFO : HNL | CA | usa | Posted: 1:32 PM on 01.05.09
->> "United would be Denver, not SLC, UT. SLC, UT would be a Delta route. "
United flies from SLC to Hawaii via LAX or SFO or DEN.

"Has anyone been flying Mesa Airlines in the islands"
Mesa's inter-island flights use Canadair regional jets (2x2) Hawaiian Airlines' inter-island fleet is primarily Boeing 717 (2x3) which will have larger overhead bins and a few 767s serving certain routes at certain times.

Mesa's inter-island flights are sort of taboo to locals. Mesa lost it's lawsuit against Hawaiian for illegally using proprietary information obtained when Mesa was considering a partnership with HA (but backed out) and then used that information to enter into the interi-island flight market and basically dropped fares below profitable levels which eventually forced Aloha Airlines out of business.

Mesa recently settled out of court it's lawsuit with Aloha Airlines, again, for using proprietary information. Mesa then had the balls to request to use the Aloha Airlines name, which was to the delight of many locals, denied.

"I'd rather gate check on a regional jet than have to resort to more drastic measures."
you can't gate check if you can't even get to the gate. they have agents at TSA checkpoints checking bags before you even enter the gate area.

reconfigure your carry on or be prepared to be turned away.
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Chris Condon, Photographer, Photo Editor
Ponte Vedra Bch | FL | USA | Posted: 2:09 PM on 01.05.09
->> "they have agents at TSA checkpoints checking bags before you even enter the gate area."

So they are weighing all carry-ons at security and not the counter or gate? Geez, what a pain!
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Thread Title: Travel Tip or Warning!! Travelers to Hawaii
Thread Started By: Steve Kajihiro
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