Air Travel Update « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Air Travel Update

It is 4:48 am.  I am sitting at Gate 13 in Orlando International Airport headed for San Diego via Dallas flying American Airlines.  After 9/11, there was huge concern about flying with photography gear.  Other than getting dump-searched at the Dallas Airport right after 9-11–I had been in the air during the attacks– flying with photo gear after 9-11 was exactly the same as it was flying before 9-11.  One rolling bag, one computer case, and my vest.  Sometimes they checked my rolling bag carefully, sometimes they did not.  And once in a very great while I got hassled about my vest.  But getting through security and on the plane was and has been relatively hassle free.

After the last recent security fiasco/terrorist attempt there has once again been huge concern about the “new security measures” that will make it impossible to travel with long lenses and mutliple camera bodies.  Well, aside from the line at TSA being very slow this morning, I can assure you that at least in Orlando things are exactly the same.  Once it was my turn I got through security in record time: one rolling bag, one computer case, and my vest.  And they did not even swab my bag.  No pat down and no body scan even though they have those machines at MCO. 

On a personal note, I was up till after 1am talking to a friend on Sunday night, and then up this morning at 3am to make my 6am flight.  Though I am wide-eyed and alert at the moment, I am sure that I will catch some z’s on my flights.  I will be back soon to post some Mark IV and 7D images.

15 comments to Air Travel Update

  • Thx for sharing this info. Greetz from me (indonesia)!

  • avatar mike Tobin

    The US wants Canada to tighten up on flights to the US. Maybe its because they missed that guy from Nairobi, the guy that blewup his underware. The CIA and the FBI knew and the guy’s father called and told the Airline folks he might do something like that. So now we all pay the price….

    • Same old same old. There was an FBI guy who wrote his supervisor to tell him that there were a bunch of Middle Eastern guys who were going to flight school to learn to fly big jets without learning how to take off or land. The supervisor stated that it was not worth investigating. Now we have 9-11 to remember and the TSA! Man, you gotta love it. IMHO, the supervisor should get a life sentence at best…..

  • Thanks for posting this, Artie. I assume that before you pass through the scanner, the vest goes in a plastic bin for separate scan. Congrats on your new 7D and 1DM4s.

  • avatar Mike Vanecek

    When you say vest, is that the VestedInterest vest? If so, do you wear it empty or with camera equipment? If with equipment, how full and where do you store in on the plane?

    I have a trip coming up in which I will be flying on a regional jet (CRJ-200) that has very limited overhead bin space (and the space under the seat is not all that good either). I am not sure I would have room for a small rolling bag, computer case, and VestedInterest vest unless I can get the computer case and VestedInterest vest in the overhead bin.

    Really looking forward to comments comparing the 7D versus 1D4. I need to decide which one I am going to buy.


    • I generally fly with only a few personal items in the vest, but it does offer some protection in case my roll aboard gets busted for weight… I could get lots of stuff in it if need be and see what they have to say.

      The small jets can be tough. Sometimes if you are polite and get a nice flight attendant you can put your stuff in the crew locker. Or, if the flight is not full, under a seat in front of two empty seats…. Else you need to gate check it and hope for the best.

  • avatar Andy

    I always wonder what the screeners are thinking when they let me board with a large lens without any additional inspection. I’d think someone could hide anything inside of a lens. It must just look like along metal pipe in their machine?

  • Don’t try flying into the USA from any other country though. For example, from Canada you currently can’t take any carry on baggage aboard for flights to the USA, and most other countries have similar restrictions.

    It sounds like travel To/From or Within pretty well any other country in the world is business as usual, but going to the USA is very painful.

  • All the recent concern isn’t with domestic flights. Most domestic flight accounts are similar to yours, i.e. nothing has changed. Even international flights leaving the United States remain relatively unchanged. What has changed, is flights entering the US, especially from Canada where one is barred from any carry-on luggage. There have been some accounts that security personnel (in Canada) are reasonable with bags filled with camera gear which are being subject to hand screening and additional scrutiny but are being allowed on board (where as backpacks of similar size filled with non-photographic items are being forced to be checked). The problem is the lack of consistency from site to site (and country to country) in the way these are enforced.

  • avatar Rodney Flowers

    I wish I were flying to San Diego right now. I’ve been there twice and I have taken some pictures of the seals and pelicans, but I was only just beginning to learn how to take pictures. I have learned a lot in the last 2 years and I would be able to get some great pictures now. Have fun!

    • Hey Rodney, Be careful what you wish for! It is raining here right now and is supposed to rain all week, MON-FRI. I am flying home early tomorrow (TUES 19 JAN).