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Carrying Tripods & Airport Security

Jarrod C , Jul 25, 2008; 02:14 a.m.

Hi All, I want to take my tripod as carry-on for an upcoming trip and I've read mixed reviews of success with airport security.

My carry-on bag doesn't really allow for the tripod to be packed inside but it does attach easily to the outside of the pack.

I was wondering, for those that have taken a tripod through security without any problems, how is your tripod packed?

I thought that it might appear less like a weapon if its packed inside a bag? or perhaps its better in plain sight?

Thanks for your help!


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Benjamin Hicks , Jul 25, 2008; 02:30 a.m.

I just went to Panama this past month, and I carried on my tripod with no problems. I carried to in a soft tripod case that I can sling around my shoulder. No one even asked about it.

Michael Harris , Jul 25, 2008; 04:59 a.m.

It's hit or miss unfortunately, I've got to carry them and I've been told to check them. It's one of the major problems with air travel, no consistency. If you tell one security guy that the one before him let you do it they will pull you out of the line and beat you senseless.

Edward Ingold , Jul 25, 2008; 08:58 a.m.

Why waste a carry-on item or risk being sent back to the ticket counter. Put the tripod in your checked baggage (and the head in your camera bag).

Mervyn Yan , Jul 25, 2008; 10:12 a.m.

Checked baggage in major airports. You can get way in smaller airport as carry-on.

Carl Stone , Jul 25, 2008; 12:54 p.m.

Good advice, Edward.

Jarrod C , Jul 25, 2008; 08:06 p.m.

Thanks all for your feedback!

I will actually be traveling to Tanzania for a safari and so I'd like to minimize the risk of arriving and being without a tripod due to lost luggage :)

Tim Schultz , Jul 25, 2008; 08:19 p.m.

If you are concerned about it, ship it prior to your arrival.

Dave Perkes , Jul 27, 2008; 02:16 a.m.

Bigger tripods are aheadache now with smaller carry on limits. 7 Kg is now becoming common with 5 kg on some budget airlines; who are likely to impose surcharges if it you are obviously carrying too much on board,

If you do decide to put tripod in hold baggage the safest option is to make sure it is well wrapped in the center of a rucksack or soft bag. Do not attach anything to the outside of the back pack in case it is pulled off on the conveyor.

Joseph Smith , Jul 28, 2008; 11:18 a.m.

In the United States, tripods are banned from carry on luggage since they are either weapons or tools greater than 7 inches long. They are subject to confiscation by TSA agents at US airports. Check them. Read the list of items allowed and disallowed at the TSA web site. (link)

Joe Smith

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