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Thread: Tripods - Airline Carry-On Rules

  1. #1
    Boatman's Avatar
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    Tripods - Airline Carry-On Rules

    Has anyone had an experience bringing a tripod onto an airplane as carry-on luggage? Do US and international rules differ on this?

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    JK6065's Avatar
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    Re: Tripods - Airline Carry-On Rules

    Hi Homer,

    Here's a discussion I started a while ago about Photo gear on air planes.
    If you have the opportunity I would recommend you to put the tripod in the checked in luggage, to avoid any trouble.

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    Re: Tripods - Airline Carry-On Rules

    I have always carried my tripod along with my monopod in my checked on luggage. I tried to carry a monopod onto a Los Angeles. California to Anchorage, Alaska flight and was told that I could not since it is considered a "Weapon-Like" implement. However, on the flight back from Anchorage, I saw people carrying monopods and the TSA screener told me, "People bring those aboard all the time." you figure that out.

    In fact, I have modified a SLIK Pro 330DX tripod using an optional short center column along with a light weight but sturdy Flashpoint F-1 Arca Compatible ball head in lieu of the heavy pan-tilt head supplied with this tripod. This results in a small, approximately 3.2 pound (1.45 kilo), travel tripod with head which can support up to mt 40D and 70-200mm f/4L IS lens. It fits neatly in my general purpose suitcase. My monopod is a Calumet 8x Carbon Fiber model which weighs less than a pound.
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 13th February 2011 at 04:47 PM. Reason: made kilo more accurate

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Tripods - Airline Carry-On Rules

    Hi Homer,

    As Richard has found, if you start a journey from a city centre, it is inevitably going to be a problem - and you don't want to lose it (have it confiscated if no time to check in subsequently), so safer to plan on checking it in, preferably inside a suitcase.

    Certainly international flights within Europe and to the 'states, security measures are very tight (as are luggage allowances).

    Cheers,

  5. #5
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Tripods - Airline Carry-On Rules

    A few years ago, I had a tiny Micro Leatherman key chain tool refused entry onto a U.S. flight. I ended up throwing the darn thing into their collection box. The problem was that Leatherman had discontinued the little tool which I use almost daily. I looked it up on eBay and they were being sold in large lots. The seller: The Transportation Security Agency. Who knows, I might have purchased my tool back from them!

    But, losing a ten dollar little tool is nothing like losing a monopod or tripod because you are denied access to the aircraft and have no way to mail or ship the monopod or tripod. As my mother used to say "It's better to be safe than sorry!"

    Just this and that... I have never had my carry-on bag weighed on domestic U.S. flights. However, the domestic airlines that I used in China stated they had a 5 Kilogram (about 11 pound) limit for carry-on luggage. That meant that I could not use my newly acquired "carry-on" Lowepro rolling case because empty; the darn thing weighed close to the total carry-on allowance.

    I carried my gear (minus monopod and tripod) in my Lowepro Mini Trekker Backpack. The total weight of the pack was a bit more than 5 kilos.. I took a camera and lens out of the case on the first domestic flight and carried it around my neck but, they never weighed the backpack. I heard a rumor that they never weigh backpacks but do weigh carry-on roller bags. However I didn't see any evidence of this either. I carried my full gear in the backpack for all my subsequent Chinese domestic flights and my flight to from Guilin to Hong Kong and never had any problems...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 14th February 2011 at 03:01 AM.

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    Re: Tripods - Airline Carry-On Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    A few years ago, I had a tiny Micro Leatherman key chain tool refused entry onto a U.S. flight. I ended up throwing the darn thing into their collection box. The problem was that Leatherman had discontinued the little tool which I use almost daily. I looked it up on eBay and they were being sold in large lots. The seller: The Transportation Security Agency. Who knows, I might have purchased my tool back from them!
    A friend of mine was telling me the story of how aviation security wanted to confiscate his Swiss Army knife ... in the end he got so mad he stuck the blade in a join between two of their tables - broke it off - and said "there - it's yours"!

    Personally, not an approach that I'd use ...

    For those of you who haven't heard my little story though ...

    "I still smile when I think of the occasion I was prevented from making a return journey with my Swiss Army knife on my belt ... even though I'd made the initial part of my journey (in the other direction) in the cockpit with the flight crew with said knife on my belt for the entire journey."

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    Boatman's Avatar
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    Re: Tripods - Airline Carry-On Rules

    My wife and I are planning a trip to the Exumas (in the Bahamas) and we had to buy tickets for the two legs of the trip separately. This means that if our luggage were lost on the first leg, it would never get forwarded to our destination, which is going to be a boat. Even if the luggage got forwarded, the taxi would never find us! We hope not to check any baggage, which is why I'm concerned about the tripod. I guess I will leave it home - they aren't of much use on a boat anyway since the boat never stops moving. I'll bring a bean bag, which will work as a pretty good substitue if you can find a good place to set it.

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