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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Airline travel to London.
Mark Palczewski, Photographer
Manheim | Pa | USA | Posted: 11:48 AM on 04.27.16
->> I am traveling to London to shoot an international field hockey event. I've never traveled by air with my equipment. Any tips on how to take my equipment? Carry on? Any recommendations on luggage for my equipment? Do I need to check with customs beforehand?
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Gene Boyars, Photographer
Manalapan | NJ | United States | Posted: 4:30 PM on 04.27.16
->> DO NOT CHECK YOUR GEAR. Get it? Use one rolling case like the Think Tank Airport Security and one long lens bag like the Think Tank Glass Taxi (assuming you are taking long glass). You are allowed two carry on pieces. Some airlines will allow you to buy up to a better boarding group so you are assured of having bin space for your carry ons. Depending on the age and condition of your gear you could register it with US Customs. Way back when it was required, not so much anymore. Have to checked with UK about working there? Do you need a work permit? Do you need to declare your gear going in? That should all be on their web site so check it out throughly. Also check with your client. I am assuming you are working and getting paid. If you are going to just shoot for "fun" you may need to be prepared to convince UK immigration officials that you are not working. Just something to be aware of before you leave. Again, DO NOT CHECK your gear.....
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Wally Nell, Photographer
CLEVELAND | OH | USA | Posted: 7:17 PM on 04.27.16
->> Not sure which airline you are flying on, but some are extremely strict on the weight of your carry-on. If I remember correctly, and I may be wrong, but British Airways limit you to 18 pounds, and they weigh your carry-on. Just double-check that, and be prepared for it.
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David G. McIntyre, Photographer, Photo Editor
Hong Kong | . | CHINA | Posted: 8:04 PM on 04.27.16
->> My carry-on is my Think Tank rolling case, a backpack, and a camera hanging from my shoulder. I don't usually have any problems unless I am taking one of the commuter planes where I gate check the rolling bag.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 8:27 PM on 04.27.16
->> Just reduce everything to the carry-on allowances of the airline that you're traveling on.

Please bear in mind that the carry-on allowances of that same airline might be different coming back from the UK, as some airports there (as in Heathrow) have limitations on carry-on baggage that are lower than those of the airlines.

If you're traveling First or Business Class then the allowances will probably be more liberal in either direction.
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Jack Megaw, Photographer
Philadelphia | PA | United States | Posted: 8:30 PM on 04.27.16
->> Rolling Think Tank Photo Airport International. Not sure who you're flying with but BA do a restriction on your second bag or 'personal item' under the seat in front of you. I haven't had a problem taking a large laptop case through (see below) with extra gear in it. Check your monopod to save on agro from security. Same for other bulkier items which won't get smashed.

Here's a link to the kit that I normally travel with internationally.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BCabvAdKYcK/?taken-by=jackmegawphoto

And the bags:
https://www.thinktankphoto.com/collections/airport-series/products/airport-...

https://www.thinktankphoto.com/collections/urban-disguise-shoulder-bags/pro...

Feel free to get in touch if you need any advice.

-Jack.
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Simon Wheeler, Photographer, Photo Editor
Ithaca | NY | USA | Posted: 9:35 PM on 04.27.16
->> If you are flying back from Heathrow be sure to check out the duty free camera store. There is one of every piece of gear made there to look at. It's kind of crazy, stuff like Nikon 14-24's on those chains that you see $100 point and shoots on at Best Buy, fingerprints all over the front element. Good luck with the gear. No useful advice as I was traveling on vacation. I did see a post somewhere recently that at least one transatlantic airline was going to start using a box to measure carryons.
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 12:21 AM on 04.28.16
->> I recently traveled to Haiti and Peru on assignment and carried EVERYTHING on-including laptop, chargers, batteries, etc. As others have said-don't check anything-it won't be there when you return.
I didn't have any issues with customs and I had 2 bodies plus a point and shoot and 5 lenses, flash, batteries, etc.
I am heading to London for a shoot in July where I need lights and I plan on carrying my light stands on board too.
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Gavin Werbeloff, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 4:09 PM on 04.28.16
->> Second on the Thinktank Airport International. Mine has about 180,000 airline miles on it, and I've used it very frequently in and out of London. I've never been asked to weigh it on either side of the Atlantic. It looks just like another roll-aboard. I agree with Jack on checking monopods and that your "personal item" will be more of an issue than the roller. As far as customs and immigration, I've never had issues with either.
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Ben Mackey, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbia | MD | USA | Posted: 8:15 PM on 04.28.16
->> Gene is absolutely right - do not check your gear (at least, don't check anything you can't live without).

Be sure to put your spare batteries in your carry on. That will prevent issues with unattended batteries in your checked bags. Electrical tape or the origignal battery covers are your friends. UK plug adapters so you can recharge everything are a must have.

@ Jack - Love seeing the film body. Where did you get international PW's? Or are those FCC approved?

+1 for the Airport International.
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Sam Morris, Photographer
Las Vegas | NV | USA | Posted: 11:44 PM on 04.28.16
->> Debra,

Why wouldn't you just rent the lighting gear when you are there? Even if you can't bill it back, it seems it would be worth the price just to avoid the hassles of lugging it, power converters, customs, etc. Unless you are just using speedlights.
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Patrick Fallon, Photographer, Assistant
Torrance | California | USA | Posted: 2:42 AM on 04.29.16
->> Don't say (lie) to customs officers that you are there for "tourism" when you are not (you're there for business) - you'll get sent right back when they start asking questions about all your kit. It has happened to photographers before who didn't realize the mistake they were making.

Carry a serialized list of all equipment you are bringing in (and will take back with you)
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Daniel Malmberg, Photographer
Huskvarna | Sweden | Sweden | Posted: 8:24 AM on 04.29.16
->> @Wally

You might think about Lufthansa?
I know from a Swedish colleague that they do weigh the carry on luggage.
And that he has almost been forced to check in his camera bags with them.

British Airways carry on allowance are actually 51 lb.
Which is the best allowance i know about.
More than that, their budget class, called World traveler have won several prices for it´s great service.
I´ve flied with BA from Sweden, via London to Los Angeles and back twice. (for the Sports Shooter Academy X & XI).
They have not weighed my online luggage at all. And i plan to fly with them again for the upcoming SSA 13.
Both times i used the Think Tank Airport International 2.0, which fits perfectly in the overhead bin.
BA also allows a second bag, that needs to be put under the seat in front of you.
More about BA allowances to be found here:
http://www.britishairways.com/en-us/information/baggage-essentials/hand-bag...
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Wally Nell, Photographer
CLEVELAND | OH | USA | Posted: 10:16 PM on 04.29.16
->> Daniel, good to hear. My experience was about 8 or so years ago, on BA and also from Australia on another airline, and I was forced to take equipment out and hang it on my neck. At the time I carried a photo vest with me, and I just put the vest on and put pieces in my pockets.
I am glad they changed the weigh in rules...
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 1:33 AM on 04.30.16
->> Sam--I never like to rent gear-I know my equipment and I am always fearful something will go wrong, or they won't have what I wanted.
I am looking at getting a few of these for their portability.
http://www.adorama.com/FPLFSL360K1.html
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Stanley Leary, Photographer, Photo Editor
Roswell | GA | | Posted: 1:12 PM on 05.01.16
->> Good article from the past http://www.sportsshooter.com/news/2339
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 3:22 PM on 05.01.16
->> The Flash Centre in central London is a good place. They also have shops in Birmingham and Leeds.

http://www.theflashcentre.com/
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Thread Title: Airline travel to London.
Thread Started By: Mark Palczewski
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