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[] Best Airline + Status / reward program for camera people []

[] Best Airline + Status / reward program for camera people []

Old Mar 5, 18, 1:40 am
  #1  
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Question [] Best Airline + Status / reward program for camera people []

Correct me if I am wrong, I though i heard from somewhere that getting status on a certain flight can get you eight (8) free check ins?!
My work is camera related so I prefer to take my expensive gear with me in the carry ons.
I am looking for a program /airline with status that would be beneficial for me.
Preferably
1. free Carryons 3 or 4 would be nice.
2. I am flying from LAX and usually go to (mainly) Tokyo/ Seoul.

Can you guys recommend me anything? I am not too familiar with all the different statuses for each airline
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Old Mar 5, 18, 5:46 am
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You heard wrong. While it is true that status (best if combined with premium cabin tickets) helps to get somewhat more leeway by airline staff when it comes to getting on more and bigger bags into the cabin of an aircraft, all the major airlines and airline alliances officially only award extra checked bag allowances to their frequent fliers but not more carry-on baggage allowance.
Status or not, bringing on more than two bags is pushing it almost anywhere. You may be successful sometimes, sometimes you may not.
Between LAX and TYO/ICN, you have the choice of AA/JAL (oneworld), UA/ANA/OZ (Star Alliance) and DL/KE (Skyteam), and none of them has extra cabin baggage listed as status benefit.

The best way to ensure your costly and fragile gear will travel in the cabin is talking to the airline in advance and purchasing an extra seat for your equipment, like most/all airlines offer for musical instruments and the like. Be aware of restrictions on electronics, specifically batteries which are allowed only up to a certain capacity.
Also, all major airlines have policies in place for members of the media (see AAs here, for example), so establish yourself as such (via your FFP profile) to profit from them. This will also help with getting gear accepted into the cabin that usually is not.

edit: keep in mind some airlines have weight limits for carry-on luggage. For example, ANA, JAL and Asiana only allow 10 kgs and Korean grants 12 kgs, whereas the US airlines do not have weight limits in place, only size restrictions. I haven't seen them enforced at any of them (among the large airlines, only LH and LX are notorious about this in my experience - I've witnessed top-tier status fliers who had to check their overweight bags in Frankfurt) but they're in place nonetheless.
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Last edited by bhomburg; Mar 5, 18 at 6:08 am Reason: forgot about the weight....
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Old Mar 5, 18, 11:15 am
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I'm going to move this to our Travel Photography forum, where you're likely to find other photographers with experience traveling that route who are able to offer airline advice.

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Old Mar 6, 18, 8:02 pm
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Originally Posted by syrk View Post
Correct me if I am wrong, I though i heard from somewhere that getting status on a certain flight can get you eight (8) free check ins?!
My work is camera related so I prefer to take my expensive gear with me in the carry ons.
I am looking for a program /airline with status that would be beneficial for me.
Preferably
1. free Carryons 3 or 4 would be nice.
2. I am flying from LAX and usually go to (mainly) Tokyo/ Seoul.

Can you guys recommend me anything? I am not too familiar with all the different statuses for each airline
No one is going to give you 3 or 4 carry-ons. Get your self a good back-pack to throw on you back since that's usually soft sided and rarely is scrutinized by the airline. I can easily bring abroad 2-3 camera bodies and a few lenses (including a 600mm sometimes) and never exceed carry-on limits. Though there's not much left for clothing.....
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Old Mar 6, 18, 8:35 pm
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8 cases? are you Ansel Adams?
Even before the proliferation of Zoom lenses and carrying chemical sensor cameras I never exceeded two carry-ons for 3 120 bodies and 8 lenses.
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Old Mar 6, 18, 10:28 pm
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I put my tripod, cleaning gear and other accessories in checked luggage and keep the bodies/lenses in my carry-on backpack. It seems to work fine and I always have the important stuff with me.

Back in the day, it was the bricks of film that caused the problems. Took up space, had to be hand checked through security. For 1st world countries I'd just buy most upon arrival but some destinations you just had to take it all with you. Today's digital is a breeze.

No airline is going to give you 3+ carry-ons.
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Old Mar 7, 18, 11:04 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by syrk View Post
Correct me if I am wrong, I though i heard from somewhere that getting status on a certain flight can get you eight (8) free check ins?!
My work is camera related so I prefer to take my expensive gear with me in the carry ons.
I am looking for a program /airline with status that would be beneficial for me.
Preferably
1. free Carryons 3 or 4 would be nice.
2. I am flying from LAX and usually go to (mainly) Tokyo/ Seoul.

Can you guys recommend me anything? I am not too familiar with all the different statuses for each airline
It's the TSA, not the airlines per se, that limits you to one full-size carryon and one personal item, plus things you wear.

So it doesn't matter what airline you choose, no airline will let you take 3 or more bags with you on board.

The only thing that an airline can do is reduce that. For example, if you buy a "Basic Economy" fare, it may limit you to just one carryon item, ie, an even smaller limit than the TSA allows.

Or, people who don't board early may find the airline telling them to "gate checK' the bags. (Having a business class / first class ticket greatly reduces the chances of that. But on longhaul international flights, airline status doesn't help you get into those seats much unless you have the highest level of status perhaps, and even then only on one airline..)

Also, you'll find that extra legroom seats allow to still have some room for your feet while using the underseat storage for one of your bags. But you can always buy such extra legroom seats if you don't have status that gives to you free (or at reduced cost).

Some tips besides what's already mentioned:

You can buy photographer vests that have huge pockets and put some smaller lenses, a smaller camera body, whatever in there. (Don't overdo it for a flight, the way you might if you were using such a vest out in the field.) You'll obviously have to take all of that off for security and run it through the X-ray, but it does allow you to carry a few photo items extra than you might be able to fit in your two (one full-size, one limited size) carryon items.

You mention that you usually go to the same places. So think about whether there's anything you can store there. (That wouldn't work if you were always going someplace different, but you mention only two places as being your main recurring destinations.) For example, if you need bulky Pelican cases out in the field, but don't need on the airplane, you can pack way more photo gear in a good soft photo (or combo photo/laptop) backback (which fits under you seat and thus counts as your "personal item"). Make sure you're familiar with the personal item dimension restrictions, though.

Last edited by sdsearch; Mar 7, 18 at 11:18 am
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Old Mar 10, 18, 7:39 pm
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
It's the TSA, not the airlines per se, that limits you to one full-size carryon and one personal item, plus things you wear.

So it doesn't matter what airline you choose, no airline will let you take 3 or more bags with you on board.
The TSA has no such rule. If anyone was setting such a rule it would be the FAA, but even they have no such rule (they do have rules around the airline enforcing their stated/approved policies, but at the end of the day the airline sets that policy).

A number of airlines will allow you to carry 3 items on board - although normally only in business class. Turkish Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Air France/KLM are a few I've flown recently where 3 items were allowed in business - two of those being "bags", and the third being the smaller "personal item" (ie, laptop bag, many camera bags, etc). These airlines generally do have more strict weight rules than US airlines.

Not that many years ago, the FAA had a specific stated exception that a camera bag was allowed in addition to whatever the airline allowed, and I traveled multiple times on US airlines with 3 bags (roller, backpack and a camera bag). A few times I had airline staff pull me up, but every time I just said it was a camera bag and they were fine with it. Unfortunately that rule disappeared more than 5 years ago.
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Old Mar 11, 18, 5:48 pm
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Originally Posted by docbert View Post
...Not that many years ago, the FAA had a specific stated exception that a camera bag was allowed in addition to whatever the airline allowed, and I traveled multiple times on US airlines with 3 bags (roller, backpack and a camera bag). A few times I had airline staff pull me up, but every time I just said it was a camera bag and they were fine with it. Unfortunately that rule disappeared more than 5 years ago.
This.

I used to do the same. Things have changed in the last few years.
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Old Mar 13, 18, 12:27 pm
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Originally Posted by docbert View Post
The TSA has no such rule. If anyone was setting such a rule it would be the FAA, but even they have no such rule (they do have rules around the airline enforcing their stated/approved policies, but at the end of the day the airline sets that policy).
Well, I misstated a bit in that i meant that the TSA enforces (not sets) limits on what you can take through security. I don't know who sets them, but security is often for all the airlines at an airport, not just one. So does the TSA keep track of what is the "best case' for any airline at an airport and that's what they enforce? I have certainly seen people challenged for too many full-size carryons at security. (That doesn't mean everyone with "too many" bags gets challenged, but one may get challenged.)

Last edited by sdsearch; Mar 13, 18 at 12:39 pm
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Old Mar 13, 18, 12:38 pm
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
Well, to be picky, not a limit on carrying onto the airplane itself, but a limit at security.
The people you are referring to do not work for TSA. They are enforcing the airlines restrictions, not the TSAs restrictions.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 7:02 am
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Originally Posted by tentseller View Post
8 cases? are you Ansel Adams?
+1 Funniest comment on this site today.
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Old May 18, 18, 4:21 pm
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It won't help on your particular routing (they don't fly West Coast to Asia), but British Airways are remarkably generous with the *weight* of your two allowed carry-on items - 23 kgs each. Just make sure you can hump one of them into the overhead bin yourself. The flight attendants generally can't/won't help with it, so as to keep down the number of job-related injuries.
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Old May 21, 18, 4:54 pm
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Originally Posted by bhomburg View Post
You heard wrong. While it is true that status (best if combined with premium cabin tickets) helps to get somewhat more leeway by airline staff when it comes to getting on more and bigger bags into the cabin of an aircraft, all the major airlines and airline alliances officially only award extra checked bag allowances to their frequent fliers but not more carry-on baggage allowance.
Status or not, bringing on more than two bags is pushing it almost anywhere. You may be successful sometimes, sometimes you may not.
Between LAX and TYO/ICN, you have the choice of AA/JAL (oneworld), UA/ANA/OZ (Star Alliance) and DL/KE (Skyteam), and none of them has extra cabin baggage listed as status benefit.

The best way to ensure your costly and fragile gear will travel in the cabin is talking to the airline in advance and purchasing an extra seat for your equipment, like most/all airlines offer for musical instruments and the like. Be aware of restrictions on electronics, specifically batteries which are allowed only up to a certain capacity.
Also, all major airlines have policies in place for members of the media (see AAs here, for example), so establish yourself as such (via your FFP profile) to profit from them. This will also help with getting gear accepted into the cabin that usually is not.

edit: keep in mind some airlines have weight limits for carry-on luggage. For example, ANA, JAL and Asiana only allow 10 kgs and Korean grants 12 kgs, whereas the US airlines do not have weight limits in place, only size restrictions. I haven't seen them enforced at any of them (among the large airlines, only LH and LX are notorious about this in my experience - I've witnessed top-tier status fliers who had to check their overweight bags in Frankfurt) but they're in place nonetheless.
SQ also operates LAX-ICN. I believe they also allow for a camera bag in addition to standard carry-on allowance (see https://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/u...cabin-baggage/) though if OP is carrying eight bags, said camera bag might exceed allotted dimensions ...? As far as I know, SQ has not enforced the weight restriction.

@syrk: you might be better served either shipping your gear out a few days beforehand, or packing all your camera gear into one or two carry-ons and then checking a bag containing clothing and anything else you need on arrival.
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