/ Squeezing a lot of camera gear onto a flight - help?!

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What Goes Up on 04 Aug 2012 -
Hi All, maybe a bit of a random one but I've got a phot job coming up abroad and thgouth that UKC might be able to help given the creative way you often seem to get kit from one end to the other. Basically I've got a 3 day photo job coming up in Italy which I want to take as much kit out to as possible, laptop included. Obviously don't want to be putting any bodies or lenses into the hold, and as a bag size issue on its own should be fine but I hear that now it's all about weight limits for hold luggage as much as size. That's definitely going to screw me (I've heard 5kg max as standard now - no chance).

So if I wear coats and baggy trousers with huge pockets and stuff my clothes full of lenses and bodies, any chance that will get through with whatever I declare as my hand luggage seperate to the actualallowance before I pack it back in on the other side? Biggest lens is Canon 70-200 2.8 IS L, but I've checked and while I will look stupid it does techincally fit in a trouser side pocket (if I wear the REALLY stretchy ones).
cap'nChino - on 05 Aug 2012
In reply to What Goes Up: WHo are you flying with. Some don't have weight limits, but say you must be able to lift it above your head.

You seem to be getting hold and hand mixed up in your post, unless I read it wrong.
What Goes Up on 05 Aug 2012 -
In reply to What Goes Up: Yup, good spot. It's either getting it in legitimately as hand luggage or slying it in I'm interested in. In the first para I meant hand luggage, not hold - apologies for typo second time I wrote it.

Long story short I want to take a sh~t load of camera gear abroad and not get it trashed or pay lots of bucks to keep it safe. Top tips very welcome!
What Goes Up on 05 Aug 2012 -
In reply to cap'nChino: And sorry Cap, couldn't say who yet as this is part of the deciding process - go all posh with BA or go down the cheap and nasty route. Will say though that (even if they do actually cover that route) Ryanair are not even on the radar after past experiences!
teh_mark on 05 Aug 2012
In reply to What Goes Up:

BA don't have a weight limit for hand luggage, as long as you can lift it into the locker unaided (or make it look light when you check-in and then stow it under the seat in front...). They also have a 23kg baggage allowance which is quite useful, and obviously don't charge for checking in a bag (which made them only £15 more expensive than Ryanair when I last flew, once I added on baggage with Ryanair).
Jon Read - on 05 Aug 2012
In reply to teh_mark:

Yep, definitely go with BA to avoid the cabin luggage weight limit, and you can take TWO pieces as hand luggage: rucksack/camera bag and a slim laptop bag as hand luggage.

(NOTE size limits do apply, and they have recently checked mine fit the prescribed size, so they may be enforcing it a bit more than they used to)

Cabin luggage space can be a bit of a squeeze sometimes, particularly on UK connecting flights (e.g. MAN-LHR), so the best is to be able to fit it under a seat with you, but I think most decent photobags won't fit.

Plus, you can check in a bag for the hold as well...
Jon Read - on 05 Aug 2012
The main problem, I suspect, with filling jacket pockets with lenses etc, is what do you do with it all at the other end?
What Goes Up on 05 Aug 2012 -
In reply to What Goes Up: Thanks all. BA flight is currfently £30 more than the cheapest (Monarch) so I think I'll just go with that and save myself any stress. Good old BA. If I'm lucky I might even get some free booze and peanuts thrown in!
Jon Read - on 05 Aug 2012
In reply to What Goes Up:
Nothing to do with luck, you just have to ask nicely! Have a good trip.
Sean Bell - on 05 Aug 2012
In reply to What Goes Up: Try a Lowepro mini trekker bag (or similar).They are a good size for hand luggage but surprisingly roomy.On a recent job to St.Petersburg I took two big SLR bodies, a 20-35, 24-70, 70-200 and a 50mm, 3 flashguns and a 13.5' laptop, with1 flashgun, wireless transmitters, tripod, lightstands and power supplies in my hold luggage...
No hassle on any of the flights, flew with KLM. all the best with the trip

Snax - on 05 Aug 2012
In reply to What Goes Up: What do you consider shed loads of kit? Are you taking lights etc? What bags/cases do you currently own or are you looking to invest in new luggage as well? If you are looking at luggage, check out Think Tank kit for something like the shape shifter, or one or the Air Port cases. Every airline has different polices on hand luggage at the moment, so you need to work out who you are flying with. But I have heard of non going below 10kg, and many are so long as you can lift it. If you do have to check luggage, get a peli case, and pack it inside a random sports type holdall... I use the 1510 which is carry on size, but weighs a bit, so don't tend to fly with it...
If you do have a weight limit, pack your bag as normal, 9/10 they won't weigh it anyway if it looks within size... if they do and its over weight... start putting things in your pockets... they usually give up and wave you through... And have a good trip!
dek - on 05 Aug 2012
In reply to What Goes Up:
I've never had a problem with B.A. Used a medium LowePro trekker carry on size. inside was LF woody, 3 lenses. Pentax 67 kit. And some 35mm nikon kit plus film. Just winch down all the straps and belts to make it as slim as poss for the scanner, and not draw attention to yourself. It all weighs a lot! So feed it through the scanner yourself, and pick it up without staff noticing the weight. Only time I was queried about weight, was by Lufthansa in Edinburgh, they let me go when i asked how delicate gear would survive in the cargo hold? Btw, a bumbag type camera bag seem to sail through without question if you are wearing one, might give you a few more liters of 'stuff'
What Goes Up on 05 Aug 2012 -
In reply to What Goes Up: Thanks again for all the replies all - it's been really useful. Snax, I guess 'loads' is pretty subjective - it feels like plenty to me anyway. No studio lights (phew), but prob 3 bodies, 4-5 lenses, couple of speedlights, grips, laptop and all the other parephenalia. It should squeeze into a bag volume-wise (the tripod can go in the hold with the clothes at least) so it was the weight concern really. Looks like it should be good though - cheers again all. Bring on Venice and more jobs in a similar vein fingers crossed!
Snax - on 05 Aug 2012
In reply to What Goes Up: Depending on your lenses, I'm guessing not a 400mm 2.8 (any tips on flying with that greatly appreciated) you should be fine. Grips etc, can always be packed in the hold, but if you can get them in carry on it is less stress... Having a jacket with loads of big pockets is always handy if you do get any grief...
AndrewHuddart - on 05 Aug 2012
In reply to What Goes Up:

I shot a wedding in the highlands and flew up there with easy jet.

lucky for me , my camrea bag is a Peli 5110 carry on and lighting stands, soft box and tripod went in a north face duffle which I checked in. Laptop went in the 5110 case.

The trick is to carry less in the first place. When I've neded maximum carrying capacity (eg including the 400 2.8), iI just pad it all out and chuck it in a 30l daysack.

Finally, The think tank airport bags get a good write up too.
Good luck and enjoy the job.
Neil Williams - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to Jon Read:

I recall BA recently introduced a 23kg cabin bag limit as well, to protect their staff who are often asked to lift it, or in case it has to be gate checked.

Jon Read - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:
Yep, you're quite right! From

You are allowed one piece of hand baggage plus a laptop or handbag.
A 23kg (51lbs) maximum bag weight applies and you must be able to lift the bag unaided into the overhead lockers in the aircraft cabin.
Please see below for sizes.

Your main piece of hand baggage is up to the dimensions 56cm x 45cm x 25cm (22in x 18in x 10in), including the handle, pockets and wheels.
Your bag must fit into the bag gauge, available at the check-in area.

Your laptop or handbag is up to the dimensions 45cm x 36cm x 20cm (18in x 14in x 8in), including the handle and pockets.
Your laptop or handbag must fit under the seat in front of you.
Andy Nelson - on 07 Aug 2012
In reply to What Goes Up: I took my full shoot gear on an Easy Jet flight. There was no weight limit, just a size constraint. Sp even though my bag weighed 4.8 metric sh1tloads I manned up enough to make it seem light and managed to push it up into the overhead.

One tip. Arrive early enough so you get on the plane first, once the overheads start to fill up, finding space for a capacity bag (which head two tripods and a nano lightstand in/on it, becomes more challenging....

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