10 April 2009

Getting on a plane

At some point, you'll be getting on a plane with your camera. It's a fact of life for a photographer. Trouble is, the rules and regulations for traveling these days make it ever harder. So how do you do it?

Here's my tips:

* Where possible, take no more than can fit in a carry-on bag.
* Study the hand-luggage allowances for your the airline and get the biggest bag you can that just fits inside the rules
* Look at the hand-luggage weight limit and treat it as a guide!
* Put your tripod in the hold
* Before going, make a list of what you want to take. Do this a few days before and gradually refine it
* Tick items off the list as you pack
* At the airport, carry the bag on one shoulder (if you're tall or broad, two shoulders is fine as the bag will be hidden behind you
* At no point make the bag look heavy. Even if your back is breaking, keep a smile on your face and make it look as light as possible
* Check-in online if possible - it shortens the time you spend in front of the check-in staff holding a heavy bag
* If you are unlucky enough to have your hand-luggage weighed and it's over limit, take out the heaviest items (a camera and lens is good) and sling it over your shoulder - it's now a personal item and therefore doesn't count
* Re-weigh the bag, complete check-in and walk off
* Put camera and lens back in bag once out of sight of check-in staff

So far, this approach has worked for me and I have repeatedly carried more than double the hand-luggage allowance onto a plane.

Well, as ever, you may have different views and we'd love to hear them.

PS - when packing, don't forget CF/SD cards and batteries with a charger... Oh and you know the euro plug cable that comes with the camera when you buy it? Don't throw it away. If you're travelling in Europe, take that instead of the UK plug cable with an adaptor - it's lighter and means the adaptor can be used for something else (the other half's hairdryer if my experiences are anything to go by!)


1 comment:

WPATW said...

And wear a big coat with large pockets as you can always drop lenses, bodies etc. into them if needs be. Photo vests might attract the wrong sort of attention :-)