Good News For Photographers Who Fly
There are two recent developments in traveling by plane as a photographer that I wanted to pass along:
For those of you who travel by plane with your camera gear, you will likely be pleased to know that the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) has recently revised the rules governing carry-on baggage. You may now take on board up to three bags: one regular carry-on and one containing personal items as in the past, and an additional carry-on bag containing photographic equipment. The additional bag must still conform to the airline's carry-on restrictions for size and weight. For full details, please visit the TSA website.
Be aware that you may still be required to gate check certain items on smaller planes that have less space for carry-on baggage. It can also be helpful to take some sort of business card, press pass or similar indicating in some way that you are a photographer to try and get priority for any space that is available or if you encounter Document Checkers that have not gotten word of the policy change yet. Feel free to print the page from the TSA website and take a copy with you as well if you want to be sure.
As always, be nice to the TSA and other security personnel and they may just be nice to you in return.
And for your checked baggage, you will now once again be able to lock them, provided you do so with a Travel Sentry CertifiedTM lock. The Travel Sentry organization was created this year trough cooperation with leading luggage manufacturers and is apparently now in operation although I have not tried it yet myself. If a bag is locked with a Travel Sentry CertifiedTM lock, TSA personnel will still be able to open it for inspection using a combination of special codes and keys. Once inspected, they will then be able to relock the bag for the flight.
Several manufacturers including Brookstone, Samsonite and CCL/Prestolock are already offering Certified locks and baggage.
Seems like flying may be getting a bit easier just in time for the holidays.