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How to transport camera gear safely across country??
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Oct 14, 2021 00:13:24   #
tiphareth51 Loc: Somewhere near North Pole, Alaska
 
After 11 years in Alaska, it is time to relocate back to the lower 48 east coast. A distance of about 4000 miles. I have a soft sided backpack that will hold all but the 200 to 500 mm lens. I think it will fit under the seat as a carry on. I also have a wheeled briefcase to hold personal items needed during the trip. So that counts as 1 personal item. So how do I get the 200-500 mm lens there? If I ship it in a hard case with rolling wheels, it would have to be checked baggage. Being subjected to damage, theft and whatever is a huge concern. I do have a known traveler number but I do not think that will help.
Does anyone have some advise for me? What has worked for you safely traveling by air with expensive camera equipment? Yes, all of it is insured but filing a claim is a hastle. Thank you for whatever tips/tricks you can share.

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Oct 14, 2021 00:26:12   #
JimmyTB
 
Have you considered UPS or simalar?

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Oct 14, 2021 03:35:46   #
Rongnongno Loc: FL
 
Carefully.

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Oct 14, 2021 03:54:15   #
TheShoe Loc: Lacey, WA
 
We have used luggageforward.com to ship my wife's oxygen concentrator with good results. They may have a presence in Anchorage. Their service has been great.

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Oct 14, 2021 05:20:33   #
Gene51 Loc: Yonkers, NY, now in LSD (LowerSlowerDelaware)
 
tiphareth51 wrote:
After 11 years in Alaska, it is time to relocate back to the lower 48 east coast. A distance of about 4000 miles. I have a soft sided backpack that will hold all but the 200 to 500 mm lens. I think it will fit under the seat as a carry on. I also have a wheeled briefcase to hold personal items needed during the trip. So that counts as 1 personal item. So how do I get the 200-500 mm lens there? If I ship it in a hard case with rolling wheels, it would have to be checked baggage. Being subjected to damage, theft and whatever is a huge concern. I do have a known traveler number but I do not think that will help.
Does anyone have some advise for me? What has worked for you safely traveling by air with expensive camera equipment? Yes, all of it is insured but filing a claim is a hastle. Thank you for whatever tips/tricks you can share.
After 11 years in Alaska, it is time to relocate b... (show quote)


I would carefully pack everything in padded boxes and ship via common carrier, insured. The distance is meaningless. I've shipped gear ahead to the west coast and back without mishap. It's not cheap, but it is far more secure than if I carried it on a plane, and if something happens you will be reimbursed. Make sure you photograph everything you send, and create a packing list for each box, so there are no questions

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Oct 14, 2021 06:29:08   #
LFingar Loc: Claverack, NY
 
Gene51 wrote:
I would carefully pack everything in padded boxes and ship via common carrier, insured. The distance is meaningless. I've shipped gear ahead to the west coast and back without mishap. It's not cheap, but it is far more secure than if I carried it on a plane, and if something happens you will be reimbursed. Make sure you photograph everything you send, and create a packing list for each box, so there are no questions


All good advice, but, I just want to add that you should include in each box a sheet with your name, address, phone numbers, and any other pertinent info. Exterior labels can be damaged. In a similar vein, when we travel my wife and I always put that info plus a complete itinerary with hotel phone numbers, etc, in our luggage.

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Oct 14, 2021 06:46:30   #
MrPhotog
 
Just some thoughts: People traveling with musical instruments may buy a seat for their expensive violin, guitar, or larger-than-carryon cello. I’ve heard the same can be done with show dogs. It is an expensive option, and probably the policies vary by airline. Had a cello player doing this on a flight I took two weeks ago on Southwest.

Depending on airline: you might enquire if there is an additional fee for a third in-cabin carryon item.

If you are traveling with a friend, let this be their 2nd carryon.

If you are considering buying a seat for the lens, why not buy the seat for a person and split their costs if they carry your lens. I know: This whole process of having someone transport your stuff sounds a bit like a ‘mule’ smuggling dope, but it used to be common to get college students to work as ‘couriers’ carrying important business documents. They got a free (or very cheap) trip with some lawyer’s briefcase.

Ship it FedEx, UPS, US mail, or however it came to your location. If Greyhound is around, they carry large packages. Or, ship some other, smaller, item or items and thus make room in your carryon luggage for the big lens.

Good luck with this.

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Oct 14, 2021 07:48:18   #
Chadp Loc: Virginia Beach
 
Gene51 wrote:
I would carefully pack everything in padded boxes and ship via common carrier, insured. The distance is meaningless. I've shipped gear ahead to the west coast and back without mishap. It's not cheap, but it is far more secure than if I carried it on a plane, and if something happens you will be reimbursed. Make sure you photograph everything you send, and create a packing list for each box, so there are no questions


Make sure you double box with padding between boxes. The outer box was almost destroyed on my last lens shipment. Fortunately it was packed well with both padding around the interior box and again around the lens.

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Oct 14, 2021 13:42:33   #
TheShoe Loc: Lacey, WA
 
MrPhotog wrote:
Just some thoughts: People traveling with musical instruments may buy a seat for their expensive violin, guitar, or larger-than-carryon cello.


Those instruments are usually worth 6-7 figures.

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Oct 14, 2021 16:02:05   #
tiphareth51 Loc: Somewhere near North Pole, Alaska
 
So is my camera equipment

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Oct 14, 2021 17:22:03   #
boberic Loc: Quiet Corner, Connecticut. Ex long Islander
 
tiphareth51 wrote:
So is my camera equipment


A couple of pro camera bodies and the lenses and accessories can easily add up to 20 grand or more. 1 thousand for a seat seems like money well spent to me.Only problem I can see is getting Mr. Camera to take off his shoes for The TSA agent

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Oct 14, 2021 17:50:18   #
rook2c4 Loc: Philadelphia, PA USA
 
MrPhotog wrote:
Ship it FedEx, UPS, US mail, or however it came to your location. If Greyhound is around, they carry large packages.


I'm not so sure using shipping services makes it any more safer from damage than check-in luggage.

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Oct 14, 2021 20:21:22   #
tiphareth51 Loc: Somewhere near North Pole, Alaska
 
boberic wrote:
A couple of pro camera bodies and the lenses and accessories can easily add up to 20 grand or more. 1 thousand for a seat seems like money well spent to me.Only problem I can see is getting Mr. Camera to take off his shoes for The TSA agent


My thoughts exactly. Mr. Camera and friends have been booked a seat right next to my previously made reservation. This permits me 2 carry on bags and 2 personal items rather than 1 each. Oddly enough though, Mr. Camera cannot actually sit in the seat. For 12,500 sky miles and a fee of about $150. I have piece of mind regarding theft and damage. Since I have a known traveler number shoes will not be a problem.

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Oct 15, 2021 07:09:43   #
tcthome Loc: Keansburg , NJ
 
Rongnongno wrote:
Carefully.


Huh!

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Oct 15, 2021 07:18:09   #
tcthome Loc: Keansburg , NJ
 
Why not just purchase a padded lens case from someone like Ruggard or Thinktank, pack it in a padded box & ship to where you are going(insured of coarse) or put it in checked luggage on your plane. Another option is to get a new camera bag that will hold the lens & be able to use as a carry on. If your bag is big enough now , maybe you can take out smaller lenses, etc. &, put them in with your clothes or something like that. Harbor Frieght sells a cheaper version of a Pelican type case that can be locked & put in the checked luggage of the plane or just shipped via UPS also.

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