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by signgrap on Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:55 am
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Some airline's have adopted stricter carry on size limits.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/columnist/hobica/2014/06/10/carry-on-luggage-bag-size-limits/10246511/ 
Dick Ludwig
 

by rnclark on Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:00 am
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This is a major problem. Manufacturers of photo backpacks are not producing backpacks that are carry-on legal. My many year old lowepro backpack developed a zipper problem and I needed a new one. There is a naturescapes thread on this from earlier this year. Backpacks seem to be well under (so that it would be difficult to carry a 500 mm f/4 plus 2 cameras and a couple of smaller lenses), or well over the size limit (forget the ridiculous weight limits on many airlines outside the US).

The airlines seem to do everything they can to discourage air travel.

Roger
 

by Anthony Medici on Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:22 am
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The problem is being Over-Hyped as usual. I've been flying long enough to know that your main camera bag needs to fit into the overhead of a CRJ if you do much flying into smaller airports in the US. A bag that fits into these region jets is already much smaller than the maximum size being complained about in the recent articles. And, if you've flown long enough, you know the second bag is just as important as the first since the combination of the two is what is carrying all your gear, computer and personal items. Last week I boarded two CRJ's with a 500 F4, 200 F2, two bodies, an 80-400, flash, a Fuji X-T1 plus 3 lenses and Nikon 1 with 2 lenses plus misc items. They never looked at my bags twice.
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by WDCarrier on Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:43 am
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I've not had any problems domestically or with large foreign airlines. I carry a small wheeled backpack that just holds my 500mm, a body and enough clothes for padding as a carry-on with my tripod sticking out of a side pocket. I carry my camera bag with all the other stuff as my "personal item" (they don't know it weighs 35 lbs.) and push it under the seat. Clothes and personal items in another case to get checked in. Once on a Costa Rican flight they said my backpack weighed too much so I removed the 500. attached it to my camera and hung it over my neck (cameras were not considered luggage). Uncomfortable but it worked.
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by rnclark on Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:21 pm
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And I've seen photographers have their backpacks weighed and had to take out their 500 with body attached and had to check the backpack (KLM Amsterdam to Arusha, Tanzania). Then carry the 500+body on the plane bare. I've also been hassled as I looked like a stuffed turkey wearing a photo vest with full pockets. They said I was obviously carrying too much stuff, but I talked my way through. Lesson: instead of a photo vest, use a large coat with lots of pockets.

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by Bob Ettinger on Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:36 pm
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Anthony Medici wrote:
The problem is being Over-Hyped as usual. Last week I boarded two CRJ's with a 500 F4, 200 F2, two bodies, an 80-400, flash, a Fuji X-T1 plus 3 lenses and Nikon 1 with 2 lenses plus misc items. They never looked at my bags twice.


Tony,

Just curious, which 2 bags?

Thanks

Bob
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by photoman4343 on Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:02 pm
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I flew on four United Air flights in the last couple of weeks. All four flights were 100% full. On my last flight this past Sunday, an Airbus xxx, from Philadelphia to Houston, the gate rep announced that the overhead space would likely be filled by the first 70 passengers and that that the remaining 30 + would not find space in the overhead compartments for their bags. United offered all passengers free baggage check in to speed the boarding process and to eliminate later boarding passengers with bags for which there was no overhead space. The gate rep specifically stated that if you were in group 4 or 5 there would not be space left in the overhead compartments.

I did not see any gate rep testing a bag in the bag sizing device. The gate reps were eyeballing everybody who boarded to make sure they were not carrying on more than two items.

Here is what United has on its website (today) about Carry On luggage:
“Each traveler can bring on board one carry-on bag plus one personal item free of charge. To ensure a smooth boarding experience, it’s important to make sure that these items will fit into the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.
Carry-on bag
The maximum dimensions for a carry-on bag are 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches (22 cm x 35 cm x 56 cm), including handles and wheels.
Personal item
The maximum dimensions for your personal item, such as a shoulder bag, backpack, laptop bag or other small item, are 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches (22 cm x 25 cm x 43 cm).”

As best as I can tell, all Gura Gear Kiboko and Bataflae backpacks fit the overhead space dimensions of United. So does the Chobe shoulder bag. ( I own and use the Kiboko 22L and the original 30L and the Chobe shoulder bag. ) The 30 L will hold a 500mm f 4.0.

Not all of these will fit United’s Personal Item sizing requirements so you have to plan to get on early enough to make sure you have a chance at overhead space. If you fly United , you need to make sure you get in boarding group 2. I usually do this by purchasing an economy plus seat. If you fly Southwest, you can pay a fee to be in an early boarding group.

The aisle seats have the least amount of space under the seat in front of you for a personal item or a bag on the planes I usually take.

To make my photo backpacks look smaller and lighter to the gate reps, I fold in the backpack straps to hide them and carry the bag by its handle. This helps disguise the bag and helps you get it onto the plane.

In lleu of a photo vest, check out the various products made by Scottevest that have multiple pockets for stuff. http://www.scottevest.com/

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by E.J. Peiker on Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:01 pm
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Carrying it by hand rather than on your back makes it WAY more likely to be checked, measured or weighed, especially outside of N. America.

BTW, I actually like what Frontier does now. They make you size (not weigh) the bag at the gate and you get a stamp on your boarding pass. If it doesn't fit, it gets checked and you don't get the stamp. During boarding if you have a carry-on without the stamp on the boarding pass, it doesn't go on. This has essentially eliminated the overhead storage problem on Frontier because you no longer have people getting on planes with way oversized suit cases (or two large carry-ons) that don't go into the overhead vertically thereby taking up two people's space for a single suitcase.

In large part, the airlines brought this on themselves when they started charging for checked baggage. Everybody knows that if you take it to the gate and it doesn't fit on the plane, you get your bag checked for free rather than for the fee that you have to pay if you check the luggage at check-in.

I still like the idea of a pay by total weight model. Everybody gets, say a 250 or 275 lb limit for their ticket. That's for the person and everything that they intend to carry or put on the plane as checked bags. After that it's $1 per pound. Yes I know, bigger people will have to pay more but it also costs more to transport a bigger person than a smaller one. And if you don't fit in your seat without spilling into the adjacent one, you have to buy a bigger seat in first class or two seats. There are a number of carriers outside of the USA doing that last one.

Just maybe that might put a very small dent in our healthcare, obesity and Type 2 Diabetes rates too ;)

Cold-hearted? maybe. But I am also not happy having my seat be reduced in width by others on almost every flight in the USA.
 

by Anthony Medici on Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:02 pm
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I'm currently using the Gura Gear Bataflae 26L and the Think Tank Urban Disguise 40.
Tony
 

by rnclark on Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:27 pm
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Hi EJ,
I agree. I recently flew home from Boston with 2/3 of a seat. The guy didn't eve try to contain himself.

If the airlines would charge for the carry on bag (not the personal item), it would solve the problem. I would gladly pay a fee to be certain I could carry on expensive photo gear.

The gura gear bataflae 32l is 14x9x21 inches and is the closest to filling the 14 x 9 x 22 inch limit. That is the bag I am using. I wish it had a computer compartment.

The new Lowepro Pro Runner 450 AW is 13.4 x 11.4 x 19.9 in - too thick.
f-stop Tilopa BC = 12 x 13 x 24 = too big

Roger
 

by Anthony Medici on Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:56 pm
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I carry my 13" laptop in the dSLR pocket of the Urban Disguise 40. The F-Stop mountain series Literoom is just the right size and fits the XL ICU. I'm traveling with the 500 since I consider the 600 and 800 too long to fit easily into overheads. Chas get the 600 into the XL ICU.

So my point is that there are bags from Gura Gear, Think Tank and F-Stop which fit easily into the stated limits. And some of them fit into the overhead of a CRJ. The other plane I've seen people have problems with is the 767 which has the smallest overheads I've seen in a wide bodied plane. My bag didn't but a lot of rollers ended up being checked on that flight.

I agree that boarding early helps find space. Another way of getting on early is getting the Chase Mileage Plus Explorer Card. That gets you in group 2 on every flight for the yearly fee. It also waves the international conversion fees if you travel internaionally. I'm sure Delta has an equivalent card.
Tony
 

by Wildflower-nut on Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:36 pm
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I've been using the thinktank airport international 14” W x 21” H x 8” D and only have problems on the regional jets. There I've had to check it at plane side. To be comfortable with this, I've added a lexan sheet (window material for screen doors) and 1/4" of dense foam under the lexan to the top pockets and all around the sides (interior zips in - unzip stuff rezip). Makes a fairly hard case out of a soft sided one. I also fill the bag so that things do not move around inside which is very important in my opinion. So far, I've never had anything damaged. Last year on a trip to Japan, I got a 600mm inside without the hood but I really don't like to do that. I also have the airport security 14” W x 22” H x 9” D (mine measures bigger than that maybe it stretched or is a version 1) but use the international most of the time. It just looks smaller. The only time I've had a problems was on Icelandic Air from JFK to Iceland. They were hassling everyone. Talked my way through but it was a bad experience. My other carry on is the urban disguise 60 version 1 W 16.5 x H 12 x D 6 inches. Never been questioned and it has fit easily under the seat in front of me.

I keep a record of different planes and the room under the seat in front of me. The small planes (crj, emb, q-400 etc) tend to have more space under isle seats avoiding seats with windows. Larger planes, tend to be the middle seat, avoiding the isle and sometimes the window too. There is no hard rule. As I say, it varies from airplane model to air plane model and somewhat from carrier to carrier so even if you keep records it is no guarantee.
 

by rajandesai on Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:12 pm
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Just got back from India and didn't have any issues with my Tilopa BC bag.
I have been traveling with Moose Peterson's MP-1 bag which now is replaced with Gura Gear Bataflae 32L bag. Both bags can carry my 800mm lens detached from the camera. I haven't had any issues carrying these bag with me so far (even to Nome last year with my 800).

One of the reasons I purchased Tilopa is because of the ICU feature. In case, I am forced to check-in my bag at the gate, I can always extract the ICU out and carry it with me. Unfortunately, I can't fit my 800mm in it.
 

by Primus on Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:10 am
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The Gura Gear Bataflae and Chobe are what I used to take with me. The problem was that I needed a cart (albeit a light one) to carry the Bataflae as it was difficult to lug both bags weighing almost 50 lbs or more on my shoulder. Then in the rush to get things in place I would have to remove the big one from the rolling cart and fold the latter up and put it somewhere.

Another solution that I tried last month on a trip abroad was to put my camera bodies, laptop and ext drives, CF cards etc in the Chobe and put all the lenses in an ordinary roller, the kind that all travelers use. I picked a smaller one so that it does not stand out. It is amazing how much stuff you can pack in it. I put the lenses and extra batteries in separate lenscoat pouches, with the hard separators from an older Thinktank in between. Was able to carry my 600MkII, 70-200 F4, 24-70 MkII, Nikon 14-24, Sony 35, 24-70, all the batteries and still had lots of room to spare. Nobody knows you are carrying camera gear and because the bag is not that big looking you are not stopped. Being a roller it is easy to put the Chobe on top of it and roll the entire thing along. The only caveat is that you need to pretend it is not heavy and make it look easy when you put it in the overhead. The Chobe fits well under the seat in front if space is limited in the overheads.

Pradeep
 

by larrywestbrook on Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:18 am
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Pradeep:

 What roller bag do you use? I have the same issue. Thanks.
 
   Larry
 

by Robert on Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:49 am
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
 
I still like the idea of a pay by total weight model.  Everybody gets, say a 250 or 275 lb limit for their ticket.  That's for the person and everything that they intend to carry or put on the plane as checked bags.  After that it's $1 per pound.  
 



At less than 165 lbs that works for me too! :lol:

Robert
 

by Primus on Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:31 am
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larrywestbrook wrote:
Pradeep:

 What roller bag do you use? I have the same issue. Thanks.
 
   Larry

Larry, it is a no-name lightweight bag from American Tourister I believe. A friend who was with me had a sturdy one from a 'designer' company. He is a Nikon shooter and took 75 lbs total in the roller and his Chobe. Apart from having to lift the heavy bag up into the overhead bin there was no problem. 

The important thing I think is that the roller should have good wheels as the weight can make it wobbly.

Pradeep
 

by Primus on Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:50 am
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Robert wrote:
E.J. Peiker wrote:
 
I still like the idea of a pay by total weight model.  Everybody gets, say a 250 or 275 lb limit for their ticket.  That's for the person and everything that they intend to carry or put on the plane as checked bags.  After that it's $1 per pound.  
 



At less than 165 lbs that works for me too! :lol:

Robert


Me too. 

Seriously though, I've always thought that if weight is truly a restriction then people like me who weigh less than average should be allowed to take an extra or heavier bag (esp if I have to carry it myself into the plane). I would happily pay for the privilege if only they would allow this to happen. 

It is entirely possible that airlines would begin charging for carry-on baggage too. Just as the free meals, snacks, pillows and blankets have disappeared so could the carry-on bags. 

Pradeep
 

by Vivek on Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:41 pm
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Pradeep, I've been using your solution too. It works VERY well with my 600-II and two 1D class bodies, 100-400L and assorted accessories (chargers etc.).

The roller I use is the 39$ one bought from Costco - well made and does NOT wobble. This is made by "Ricardo Beverly Hills". It is the smallest one of this set: http://www.costco.com/Ricardo-Beverly-Hills-Lightweight-3-Piece-Spinner-Set---Blue.product.100070194.html

Mine is black, not blue. At local costco, it was also available by itself. Quite light too. Does need padding of clothing to make sure that there are no impacts etc. but well worth the savings.

YMMV.
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by George DeCamp on Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:31 pm
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
I still like the idea of a pay by total weight model.  Everybody gets, say a 250 or 275 lb limit for their ticket.  That's for the person and everything that they intend to carry or put on the plane as checked bags.  After that it's $1 per pound.



I know several people who would have to pay extra just for their body...no not the camera body!  :)
Not a bad idea but I bet it would be hard to get through in America!
 

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