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Thread: Flying with a tripod

  1. #1
    jad's Avatar
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    John Doddato

    Flying with a tripod

    I plan on doing some domestic and international travel this year. I have an expensive Gitzo carbon fiber tripod I want to take with me. In the old days I would carry it on with me but I am sure that is not permitted today. How do you travel with your tripod?

  2. #2
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Flying with a tripod

    I've had mine strapped to my hand luggage on domestic flights and on the plane. I've also put them in my checked luggage on some longer international ones (just because of all the transfers). My video tripod is too large for hand luggage so it travels as a stand-alone checked item in its own bag.

    I don't think tripods are necessarily banned, but the individual screening agent may decide to do something unpredicatable.

  3. #3

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    Re: Flying with a tripod

    Without the head on it mine fits in a carry on size roller bag. I put it inside the bag simply because it is less hassleto handle than strapped on the outside. I've never had a problem with TSA to-date. But they are an unpredictable bunch in my experience...

  4. #4
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Flying with a tripod

    Quote Originally Posted by jad View Post
    I plan on doing some domestic and international travel this year. I have an expensive Gitzo carbon fiber tripod I want to take with me. In the old days I would carry it on with me but I am sure that is not permitted today. How do you travel with your tripod?
    I also have a Gitzo (four section) that I have taken with me to Hawaii, and will be taking to Europe in August.

    A tripod doesn't have much volume - clothing like shorts and socks will pack around it and between the legs.

    If the tripod and ballhead together make the combination too long, take the head off.

    The tripod and head are much safer packed in the middle of the suitcase than strapped to a carry-on; carbon fibre can be easily punctured or fractured.

    Glenn

  5. #5
    DanK's Avatar
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    Re: Flying with a tripod

    The tripod and head are much safer packed in the middle of the suitcase than strapped to a carry-on; carbon fibre can be easily punctured or fractured.
    Valuable advice, particularly given that other passengers usually cram stuff in to take up whatever free space is left.

  6. #6
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Mark Fleming

    Re: Flying with a tripod

    I think traveling with any sort of photographic equipment packed within your luggage is always a risk. I always break up my tripod into bits. (so to speak )

    It's a Manfrotto 055CXPRO4 with a 410 Junior geared head. Not top of the range but still expensive in their own right. I always make sure they're protected and wrapped in towels and such, and always in the hard case.

    Should be enough, right?

    Wrong. Baggage handlers. Check the state of your case after any journey and you'll see what I mean.

    The 410 head was damaged once and I had to take it apart to straighten the knob shafts as they were (obviously) bent.

    This was using a brand new TRIPP hard case. Covered by travel insurunce.

    It came out on the conveyer belt looking like it had fallen from a cliff.

    I've since had an apology from the airport (I won't mention which one as my location does that) and compensation. It took a year.

    Your stuff is always at risk, so insurance is key,

  7. #7
    teokf's Avatar
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    Re: Flying with a tripod

    I just came back from the US. I had my camera stuff in my Kata backpack with the tripod(head removed) strap at the side. It was never check-in at all the 10 airports. No problems.

  8. #8
    kaneohebud's Avatar
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    Bud Ralston

    Re: Flying with a tripod

    Put the tripod with head removed in your checked roller bag. Carry your cameras/lenses in your carry on. Have done this countless times without a single problem.

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