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by Wildflower-nut on Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:28 pm
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I've got a choice of flying to NZ from Chicago though Sydney and on to Christchurch or through Auckland and on to Christchurch.  Sydney is cheaper and Auckland is faster.  As a photographer flying economy without priority boarding in either Sydney or Christchurch I'm a little nervous.  The last legs are all on Air NZ.  From Sydney it is an airbus a320.  I'm guessing in Sydney I will not have to go through customs or change terminals.  In Auckland I will likely have to do both.
 

by DavidSutton on Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:58 pm
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Not sure of your concern.
In Sydney you go through security again but not customs. In Auckland you go through customs, get the free transit bus to the domestic terminal (not far) and go through security again, though not to the same level as an international flight.
David
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by Wildflower-nut on Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:56 pm
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Worried about carry on bag. In NY British air went nuts even with stuff that fitted their printed size and weight rules. In Iceland, they didn't care.
 

by DavidSutton on Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:46 pm
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Okay.
Domestic travel is usually the most restrictive. Air NZ lists the maximum carry-on bag size as 118cm (46.5 inches) for the total of the three dimensions, and 7 kg max in weight.
I've never been questioned about my camera bag on an internal Air NZ. As long as it is not obviously big and heavy you will probably be fine. You are allowed to carry a laptop in a separate slimline case, so that is an option if you think your backpack is borderline. They really just want you to get on board as fast as possible.
My last bag was a Think Tank Photo Airport Antidote v2. Never any problem with that one, though I would sling it over one shoulder to make it look light. And now that I'm mirrorless it's under the 7kg ceiling anyway.
I've heard BA can be problematic. The only time I've ever had to check in my bag was with Flybe to Shetland. That's one airline to avoid.
David

Edit: If you come through Sydney double check what you have in the backpack. My experience is that the security staff there are low paid, bored and envious of travellers. I had a small allen key confiscated! Apparently one can damage an aircraft with a dangerous tool like that.
David Sutton
Website: http://davidsutton.co.nz/
 

by E.J. Peiker on Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:32 am
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DavidSutton wrote:
The only time I've ever had to check in my bag was with Flybe to Shetland. That's one airline to avoid.


I on the other hand have had no issues with FlyBe out of Manchester or Inverness - in the end, it just depends on the day and the gate agent.
 

by ricardo00 on Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:54 am
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DavidSutton wrote:
Edit: If you come through Sydney double check what you have in the backpack. My experience is that the security staff there are low paid, bored and envious of travellers. I had a small allen key confiscated! Apparently one can damage an aircraft with a dangerous tool like that.




Glad to hear  David that I am not the only one to have an allen wrench confiscated!  It happened to me on a flight leaving Winnipeg on Air Canada.  I had just gone through security in the US without any problems.  Guess we look suspicious.
 

by Wildflower-nut on Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:42 pm
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DavidSutton wrote:
Okay.
Domestic travel is usually the most restrictive. Air NZ lists the maximum carry-on bag size as 118cm (46.5 inches) for the total of the three dimensions, and 7 kg max in weight.
I've never been questioned about my camera bag on an internal Air NZ. As long as it is not obviously big and heavy you will probably be fine. You are allowed to carry a laptop in a separate slimline case, so that is an option if you think your backpack is borderline. They really just want you to get on board as fast as possible.
My last bag was a Think Tank Photo Airport Antidote v2. Never any problem with that one, though I would sling it over one shoulder to make it look light. And now that I'm mirrorless it's under the 7kg ceiling anyway.
I've heard BA can be problematic. The only time I've ever had to check in my bag was with Flybe to Shetland. That's one airline to avoid.
David

Edit: If you come through Sydney double check what you have in the backpack. My experience is that the security staff there are low paid, bored and envious of travellers. I had a small allen key confiscated! Apparently one can damage an aircraft with a dangerous tool like that.


All this travel is on an A320 which should help.  Queenstown to Auckland is the only internal flight.  As I understand it they should give me a little more leway since all the flights except air nz is business class.  Air NZ I upgraded to preferred seats to get priority boarding and an assigned seat.

I had screw driver bits confiscated once in Chicago that were under an inch long.  On two occasions I forgot to put my pocket knife in a checked bag and I realized it when I was pulling my stuff out to go through the metal detector.  One time they sent me to a local shop who had a gold mine mail it to yourself business.  The other they sent me to an airline counter and they checked it in a small box.  I felt bad about this because the box got lost and the airline had to send a cab an hour and a half from the airport to deliver it.  The cab cost more than a new Swiss army knife.  
 

by ricardo00 on Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:46 pm
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Wildflower-nut wrote:

I had screw driver bits confiscated once in Chicago that were under an inch long.  On two occasions I forgot to put my pocket knife in a checked bag and I realized it when I was pulling my stuff out to go through the metal detector.  One time they sent me to a local shop who had a gold mine mail it to yourself business.  The other they sent me to an airline counter and they checked it in a small box.  I felt bad about this because the box got lost and the airline had to send a cab an hour and a half from the airport to deliver it.  The cab cost more than a new Swiss army knife.  


  The actual cost to replace my allen wrench was trivial (a couple dollars).  The problem was more of not having it when I needed to tighten up some lug nuts on my tripod when I got to the shoot.  The airline said they could only check it if they retrieved my luggage by which time I could miss the flight, so that wasn't an option.  I just got a new RRS plate for my D500 and they have the allen wrench attached to the base.  Very handy, but have wondered if security would confiscate that allen wrench from my camera!
 

by E.J. Peiker on Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:25 pm
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ricardo00 wrote:
Wildflower-nut wrote:

I had screw driver bits confiscated once in Chicago that were under an inch long.  On two occasions I forgot to put my pocket knife in a checked bag and I realized it when I was pulling my stuff out to go through the metal detector.  One time they sent me to a local shop who had a gold mine mail it to yourself business.  The other they sent me to an airline counter and they checked it in a small box.  I felt bad about this because the box got lost and the airline had to send a cab an hour and a half from the airport to deliver it.  The cab cost more than a new Swiss army knife.  


  The actual cost to replace my allen wrench was trivial (a couple dollars).  The problem was more of not having it when I needed to tighten up some lug nuts on my tripod when I got to the shoot.  The airline said they could only check it if they retrieved my luggage by which time I could miss the flight, so that wasn't an option.  I just got a new RRS plate for my D500 and they have the allen wrench attached to the base.  Very handy, but have wondered if security would confiscate that allen wrench from my camera!

I travel with L-brackets that have an integrated allen wrench virtually weekly (both ProMediaGear and RRS brackets) - the allen simply can not be separated by the machines from the bracket itself.
 

by DavidSutton on Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:39 pm
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ricardo00 wrote:
DavidSutton wrote:
Edit: If you come through Sydney double check what you have in the backpack. My experience is that the security staff there are low paid, bored and envious of travellers. I had a small allen key confiscated! Apparently one can damage an aircraft with a dangerous tool like that.




Glad to hear  David that I am not the only one to have an allen wrench confiscated!  It happened to me on a flight leaving Winnipeg on Air Canada.  I had just gone through security in the US without any problems.  Guess we look suspicious.


Indeed. In Frankfurt last year the man on the x-ray machine took one look at the contents of the camera bag and called over two guards, one armed with a sub machine gun. It got more risible when I had to show them how to open the bag.
The thing that annoyed me about losing the allen key in Sydney was the security man smirked.
David Sutton
Website: http://davidsutton.co.nz/
 

by E.J. Peiker on Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:02 pm
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I had no problems on any flights within Australia or getting to and from - a total of 6 flights including Virgin Australia and Qantas.  I was never asked about or had anything sized or weighed but I am in the highest level of both of those airlines alliance (Sky Team and One World respectively).  That was just last year.  Two of the flights were on smaller Fokker regional jets, the rest on twin aisle A330 and 777 aircraft.  My Air New Zealand experience is too old to be valid.
 

by ricardo00 on Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:07 pm
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DavidSutton wrote:
Indeed. In Frankfurt last year the man on the x-ray machine took one look at the contents of the camera bag and called over two guards, one armed with a sub machine gun. It got more risible when I had to show them how to open the bag.
The thing that annoyed me about losing the allen key in Sydney was the security man smirked.


  Well I didn't get an armed guard response but the security agent was quite insistent that he had to confiscate it since it could be used as a weapon.  Thanks EJ, had a feeling they wouldn't be able to discern it on the x-ray but on the other hand, was thinking that maybe I shouldn't take the chance and so, if I remember, may stick it in my checked luggage.
 

by Wildflower-nut on Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:42 am
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It is reaching the point we may need checklists. What goes in carry on what goes in checked bag, what goes in carry on that has to be gate checked on small plane ......EJ I'm envious of your status. No way will I get beyond silver with the airlines which get me something with United but nothing with star alliance as far as I can tell.
 

by ChrisRoss on Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:40 am
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In general you won't have problems with airlines in Australia, they just want you on board quickly. If you are purely transferring to NZ you stay airside you look for the transfer security check point which gets you upstairs to the departure area. You do need a boarding pass to get through security though. If you are transferring domestically you need to clear customs, collect your bags and transfer to the domestic terminal.

Do be careful how you book, Don't buy separate fares for the US-Aust and Aust-NZ legs for example as many airlines are tightening up on checking bags through on other carriers. In general if you have all your fares on one itinerary you should be fine as there is an electronic trail setup which passes your bags through from the custody of one carrier to the next. It used to be they would sort that out for you at the check-in counter but many airlines (even within the same alliance partner group) will no longer do this for you manually when you check in unless all legs are on the one itinerary. If they won't check bags to your final destination you'll need to clear customs and collect and recheck bags.

Also this way your international baggage allowances carry through to your domestic or connecting legs. If they are separate tickets each airlines rules applyfor each leg.

For anyone flying domestic in Australia, you don't see anyone at most airports when checking bags domestically as they have self check in kiosks. If you can work out how to use them you won't need to talk to anyone till you get to the gate, what you do need is your e-ticket or some other means to ID. I use my frequent flyer card but you can use e-ticket number or I think your URL (6 character booking reference) and last name and several other options. They will try to tag you smaller bag to go under the seat in front. Board early though as you don't want to run out of overhead locker space which can fill up quickly on peak travel flights where business people are flying home.

However this won't apply to Jetstar I believe as they often don't include checked baggage in the fare so are policing carry ons from a revenue perspective if they can ping you for a non compliant carry-on they get to charge you to check it. I can't see the value in them anyway as they are only a few $$ cheaper than Qantas cheapest fares which are pretty easy to buy if you book far enough in advance and Qantas fares all include a checked bag. Plus you are treated more like cattle than passengers and they have a reputation for canceling fights so I never fly with them.
Chris Ross
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by Wildflower-nut on Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:25 pm
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Chris,
Thank you for all the tips. I should be ok as the entire flight was purchased through United Airline even though the last leg is flown by Air NZ. I'll make sure to get a boarding pass all the way through so I can go through security air side. Hopefully the trip will be uneventful. I may use a pelican case for a carry on rather than the think tank international roll aboard. Still they are decent size planes so I may be ok.
 

by ChrisRoss on Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:06 am
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It is not just purchasing through the same source, What you need is the all flights on the one itinerary. That means the flights are linked and you are not relying on the check in staff to do the linking when you get to the checkin counter. Whether you have a problem purely depends on the policy of the prime carrier - United in your case. Here's a link to an announcement about One World policy change it has links to other airlines:

http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/2016/06/10/airlines-will-no-longer-check-luggage-separate-tickets-oneworld-alliance/

Qantas will do the interlining for flights starting on Qantas, but other One World airlines will not, United appears to have a better policy.

If they are indeed all on the same itinerary there should be no problem and the fact they are all Star Alliance appears is a plus for a United booking.
Chris Ross
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by bikinchris on Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:04 pm
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I am also a bicycle mechanic and I quickly learned to put my good (spare) allen wrenches into checked baggage. I learned that anything pointed at all and made of metal that was more than an inch long caused major problems.
 

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