Saturday, December 26, 2009

POV: New Luggage Rules For Photogs?

The news media are reporting that the incident on the Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit was certainly an attempted terrorist attack. This is causing extra security measures being implemented on all flights destined to the United States, which include body searches of all US bound travelers.

As I mostly fly Virgin Atlantic, I visited its website and it now (as of December 26) advises its passengers of additional security measures, which will cause traveling photographers considerable difficulties, especially regarding their camera bags.

The new regulations include restrictive hand baggage allowances for all passengers flying into all US airports, and have now been reduced to only one item of hand baggage.

According to Virgin, This item should not exceed 23 x 36 x 56cm, (approx 9 x 14 x 22 inches) and 13lb/6kg in weight, and should only contain the items needed during the flight.

Knowing the herd mentality of airlines, it won't be long before this restriction may be applied to all flights, in order to either economize on fuel or to generate fees on additional (or heavy) check-in luggage.

And here's the worst part of the regulations: "...should only contain items needed during the flight". This is not good news for us, folks.

Is the way forward to dump all our expensive gear in a Pelican hard case(s), check it in (and pay for it), and spend the flight praying that the case(s) and contents make it back to the US from wherever we are flying from???

And the coup de grace? From CNN's website: "There were no reported delays from Heathrow Saturday, but passengers boarding a U.S.-bound Virgin Atlantic aircraft were told there would be no in-flight electronic entertainment in the wake of the incident."

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