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Photobackpacker
24-Mar-2010, 16:18
HR-2870 is a bill drafted to set a standard for carry-on baggage in the US. It is currently in committee. Here's a link to the legislation: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-2870

The bill calls for a 22" limit in length which will be enforced by the TSA using size checking templates. The problem is the accepted standard for rolling carry-on bags is longer than 22 inches. These bags are usually 24.5+ inches. This legislation will outlaw the standard that has existed for years. When I designed the Kelty P1/P2 it was with this 24.5" unofficial standard.

I believe there is a need to standardize the size limits but I also believe there is no need to decrease the limit from the standard that has evolved over the past 25+ years. Obviously, I would like to keep the P1 & P2 in the Legal category as well.

I have attached zipped file which contains a letter I have sent as well as an word file with the names, mailing addresses and phone numbers of the bill sponsors and the committee members who are considering it. Please write or call and encourage them to keep the limit where it has been.

We all gripe about this - now is the chance to do something. Please take a few moments and contact these representatives.

Curt
24-Mar-2010, 18:23
All carry on except medicines and a coat should be banned. All check in should be looked at in front of the passenger and then locked by the passenger. The checked in baggage should be handled by robots which are programmed to handle the bags with extreme care. At the other end the bags should be opened by the passenger and inspected. Any problems should be corrected and resolved right there on the spot. The overhead business obstructs the flow of seating and the cramming of luggage that is too large breaks other items by dumb bells to stupid to check in their bags.

Robert A. Zeichner
24-Mar-2010, 18:42
All carry on except medicines and a coat should be banned. All check in should be looked at in front of the passenger and then locked by the passenger. The checked in baggage should be handled by robots which are programmed to handle the bags with extreme care. At the other end the bags should be opened by the passenger and inspected. Any problems should be corrected and resolved right there on the spot. The overhead business obstructs the flow of seating and the cramming of luggage that is too large breaks other items by dumb bells to stupid to check in their bags.

I'm not sure I would agree with this extreme an approach completely, but the carry-on situation has definitely gotten out of control. I think many passengers are attempting to avoid checked luggage fees by bringing the contents of their house on board in bloated rolling bags that are bursting at the seams. These bags are not really being scrutinized by the gate crews and I seriously doubt if most of them would fit in the check box. I've been struggling to figure a way to take my 4x5 and essentials on board an up-coming flight and have had to resort to a padded canvas bag that I can cram under the seat in front of me because that is the only available space I can count on with certainty. I keep dreaming of a day when high speed rail travel will be commonplace in the US. I don't think I'll live that long. Until then, If I have the time to drive, I'll opt for that over flying, but there are just too many places I want to go to that can require air travel. It's just such a PITA.

msk2193
24-Mar-2010, 18:43
It's another thing being pushed by the airline industry.
Smaller carry-on bags equals more $25 bags in the cargo hold.

Curt
24-Mar-2010, 19:35
I'm not sure I would agree with this extreme an approach completely, but the carry-on situation has definitely gotten out of control. I think many passengers are attempting to avoid checked luggage fees by bringing the contents of their house on board in bloated rolling bags that are bursting at the seams. These bags are not really being scrutinized by the gate crews and I seriously doubt if most of them would fit in the check box. I've been struggling to figure a way to take my 4x5 and essentials on board an up-coming flight and have had to resort to a padded canvas bag that I can cram under the seat in front of me because that is the only available space I can count on with certainty. I keep dreaming of a day when high speed rail travel will be commonplace in the US. I don't think I'll live that long. Until then, If I have the time to drive, I'll opt for that over flying, but there are just too many places I want to go to that can require air travel. It's just such a PITA.

Yes, it's an extreme approach that will never happen and I agree that a major solution to the problem would be a networked high speed rail system in the US and Canada. I am equally divided by the fly drive. There are so many places that I must drive to and through to enjoy them and there are places that require a long flight. In some respects the lack of transportation is the reason the wild places have stayed somewhat wild. Imagine a high speed rail to the center of Yosemite valley? It would look like Disneyland in no time at all. When I have to fly and rent a car it's the flight part that's a major drag. It controls what and how much I take on the entire trip. Time and money is another thing to consider. Flying gets you there quicker than driving. I think it's clear that the luggage issue is a major issue with the airlines. Airlines would like to haul nothing but the people, the people would like to take unlimited bags for free and put them where ever they want, the TSA would like no luggage and naked people. It's about money in the end. The airlines would like every penny out of the passenger to cover the cost and make as large a profit as possible. Were now at the point where the seats are getting smaller, the luggage is getting more expensive and the meals are gone except for some snack cart that charges large fees for crappy snacks. With Congress at a high time Low it's going to be interesting to see what the special interests come up with.

Frank Petronio
24-Mar-2010, 19:49
I've been using the smallest Think Tank backpack, the one designed for tiny commuter planes, and it will carry a field camera and dslr plus a laptop. It's tight but I can manage. And it is consistently one of the smallest carry-ons on the entire flight. One of the problems is that the a-holes with their giant carry-ons will shove and crush my modest sized gear.

Last year some dummy dropped her 40-50lb carry-on on my head in the aisle seat.

So I rather have some consistent enforced limits than the way it currently is.

But the 24.5-inch rule - 44-inch all dimensions - is fine. They don't need to be any smaller, just enforce the current rules.

Doremus Scudder
25-Mar-2010, 01:45
What makes any of you think that a new "standard" for carry-on luggage will be enforced any better than the current one? The size regulations are routinely ignored except by a few airlines on extremely full flights. I imagine that this situation will continue regardless of whether congress shaves a few inches off the maximum length of a carry-on bag...

As for the TSA, I have to chime in here and state that since the TSA was implemented, my experience with airline security people has improved tremendously. I have been flying internationally several times a year for the last 22 years, and previous to TSA commonly encountered impolite, badly-trained security personnel who often could only speak rudimentary English (if any at all!). My bags got lost en route 50% or more of the time.

Now, I am treated professionally, politely and often in a friendly manner by clean, uniformed, well-trained and generally competent TSA employees who speak English and usually a few other languages as well among the team. My luggage has been opened occasionally, and sometimes my meticulous packing messed up, but never have I had anything stolen. My luggage arriving with me rate has increased to well over 80%. I'm much happier with the situation as it now stands.

Best,

Doremus Scudder

Doremus Scudder
25-Mar-2010, 01:46
Accidental double posting...

Renato Tonelli
25-Mar-2010, 06:36
All carry on except medicines and a coat should be banned. All check in should be looked at in front of the passenger and then locked by the passenger. The checked in baggage should be handled by robots which are programmed to handle the bags with extreme care. At the other end the bags should be opened by the passenger and inspected. Any problems should be corrected and resolved right there on the spot. The overhead business obstructs the flow of seating and the cramming of luggage that is too large breaks other items by dumb bells to stupid to check in their bags.

Just make sure you arrive at the airport 24+ hours in advance instead of the now usual 2 hours.

Renato Tonelli
25-Mar-2010, 06:39
All carry on except medicines and a coat should be banned. All check in should be looked at in front of the passenger and then locked by the passenger. The checked in baggage should be handled by robots which are programmed to handle the bags with extreme care. At the other end the bags should be opened by the passenger and inspected. Any problems should be corrected and resolved right there on the spot. The overhead business obstructs the flow of seating and the cramming of luggage that is too large breaks other items by dumb bells to stupid to check in their bags.

Just make sure you arrive at the airport 24+ hours in advance instead of the now usual 2 hours.
Pray that whatever you checked in (those pricey XL lenses with the spanking new Linhof Technika) makes it to the luggage pick-up area at your destination.

msk2193
25-Mar-2010, 06:43
Anything that will stop the theft from baggage is welcome. TSA(thousands standing around) is a joke. They won't let you lock your luggage. They go through it and identify valuables and steal the stuff. You get to the other end and your baggage is trashed, rumpled, broken and you have items missing.

Stopping baggage thieves who hide behind government authority should be a priority.



I only fly an average of 400,000 miles per year and have NEVER had a valuable item, or for that matter any item, stolen from my checked baggage. I do agree that when they go through the bags they make a mess, but again NEVER has anything been stolen. I am sure there are others here who fly more than I do, but I doubt you will see them agree with your observations.

Ron Marshall
25-Mar-2010, 06:53
I only fly an average of 400,000 miles per year and have NEVER had a valuable item, or for that matter any item, stolen from my checked baggage. I do agree that when they go through the bags they make a mess, but again NEVER has anything been stolen. I am sure there are others here who fly more than I do, but I doubt you will see them agree with your observations.

I'm not trying to be combative, just curious how well they are able to resist temptation. What valuable items do you usually carry in your checked luggage?

msk2193
25-Mar-2010, 06:58
As far as lenses go, the most valuable items usually in checked bags are the Nikon 500mm, 200-400mm, and all lighting gear. A few times my D700, and on every busienss trip some pricey shoes and clothes!

Bob Salomon
25-Mar-2010, 07:01
There was legislation past by the EU a couple of years ago regulating the IATA (International Air Travel Association) standard size for a carry-on case. Before it went into effect it was modified and still is not in effect.
If you want to know everything you ever wanted to know about the "official" rules for carry-on bags you can find a very current one on the Travel Goods Association (TGA) web site. This is the association for luggage goods manufactures, dealers, rebs and suppliers in the USA.

But in the USA the exact sizes enforced are up to the airline and not TSA so for any given trip you should always check the policies of your specific carrier. And note that within a given airline the sizes allowed can vary with the equipment being used for that flight and ailrlines are not unknown to change the type of aircraft for a specific flight segment. Also make sure that if you are flying on a regional carrier who operates under a major carrier's name that the sizes allowed on that regional can be different then the size the major carrier allows. So if you are flying EWR to PDX via SEA on Continental the carry on allowed on the 737-900 from EWR to SEA might have to go as checked at gate baggage on the regioanl that flys under th e CO name from SEA to PDX.

msk2193
25-Mar-2010, 07:06
This website is pretty up-to-date, and yes security and airline staff at most European airports do enforce the size limits.

http://www.luggageonline.com/about_airlines.cfm

Darren H
25-Mar-2010, 07:39
Never had a problem taking my Arca-Swiss 4x5 on board. It does usually get opened but always gets through. One TSA guy even knew enough to ask what brand of 4x5 I had.

I think Bruce is right that the current size limites are fine. Having to downsize to another smaller bag would not be fun and not make airline travel any better.

Actually, the overall state of air travel is such a pain I prefer to drive most of the time.

goamules
25-Mar-2010, 07:42
It's not just expensive cameras people want to carry onboard. I have flown with an expensive mandolin. I doubt traveling musicians want to check their rare violins and other small rarities.

But the answer to all this is right under our noses in this thread! "People like to fly because it's fast and cheap" but "planes can't carry much cargo". Then some mentioned bullet trains. I just had an epiphany: Let the people fly with NO luggage. In every terminal is a "bullet train" for just the baggage! It would be like a giant pneumatic tube at the bank teller. You roll your baggage to the correct tube, put a RFID tag on it, and Woosh! it's gone. Overseas would be more difficult....I'll go get more coffee....

Allen in Montreal
25-Mar-2010, 07:54
I only fly an average of 400,000 miles per year and have NEVER had a valuable item, or for that matter any item, stolen from my checked baggage. I do agree that when they go through the bags they make a mess, but again NEVER has anything been stolen. I am sure there are others here who fly more than I do, but I doubt you will see them agree with your observations.

You have a golden horseshoe somewhere!!
Consider yourself not lucky, but blessed!

It is a huge problem for Reuters, who has lost so much gear it is sick.

In Montreal, a half dozen airport staff were arrested this year for marking bags that contain "goods" to be removed. They took the goods or the entire bag.
Very high end golf clubs are a known risk to check here. It happens everywhere.

The only way to stop it is for the airport admin to put video cameras over every baggage check area and police the police (they are rent-a-cop and rent-a-guard but you know what I mean) !

Ivan J. Eberle
25-Mar-2010, 12:58
Checking bags with film in them results in the irradiation of your film so this recommendation is clearly not for someone who travels with film.

eddie
25-Mar-2010, 13:35
As for the TSA, I have to chime in here and state that since the TSA was implemented, my experience with airline security people has improved tremendously. I have been flying internationally several times a year for the last 22 years, and previous to TSA commonly encountered impolite, badly-trained security personnel who often could only speak rudimentary English (if any at all!). My bags got lost en route 50% or more of the time.

Now, I am treated professionally, politely and often in a friendly manner by clean, uniformed, well-trained and generally competent TSA employees who speak English and usually a few other languages as well among the team. My luggage has been opened occasionally, and sometimes my meticulous packing messed up, but never have I had anything stolen. My luggage arriving with me rate has increased to well over 80%. I'm much happier with the situation as it now stands.

Best,

Doremus Scudder


well said.

i have had very pleasant dealings with security people all over the world...blessed allen would say.

i got frisked leaving the USA on tues. and then again arriving in amsterdam on wed. never been felt up quite that way in public by a male security person.......i almost asked if i could get the woman guard.....so i would fell more comfortable....:)

made it in the end. no problem with my checked bag or my carry on.

keep teh current size i say....i already have a bag!

eddie

Donald Miller
25-Mar-2010, 13:50
You have a golden horseshoe somewhere!!
Consider yourself not lucky, but blessed!

It is a huge problem for Reuters, who has lost so much gear it is sick.

In Montreal, a half dozen airport staff were arrested this year for marking bags that contain "goods" to be removed. They took the goods or the entire bag.
Very high end golf clubs are a known risk to check here. It happens everywhere.

The only way to stop it is for the airport admin to put video cameras over every baggage check area and police the police (they are rent-a-cop and rent-a-guard but you know what I mean) !


My thoughts exactly. I have had computer hard drives ripped out of my checked baggage never to be seen again (three months of images gone). I will not put cameras, lenses or anything tempting in checked baggage.

Songyun
25-Mar-2010, 14:26
Just make sure you arrive at the airport 24+ hours in advance instead of the now usual 2 hours.

however, you can not check in your bags until 4hrs before the flight.

Allen in Montreal
5-Jul-2010, 20:01
You guys see this in the LA Times today?


http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-travel-briefcase-20100705,0,7410211.story

Henry Ambrose
6-Jul-2010, 05:31
A law to regulate carry-ons is nothing but a subsidy to the airlines. It won't make your flying any more fun or any easier. Since the airlines (most of them) can't seem to make money by providing good customer service (because of incompetent management) they're looking to the government tit. I find it stomach curdling that we are moving more and more to the place where the biggest industries look to big brother for special regulation to help them -take- our business instead of -earn- our business.

The more government regulation we get the worse we are served. If there was sufficient competition in the airline industry they'd have to work hard to make us happy customers or lose our business and go broke. As it stands now they look to big brother to cure their problems - customers be damned. Look at the crazy rules about how long they can hold you on a plane sitting on the ground. It looks like legalized kidnapping to me. But we must like it that way since we put up with it?

I find it astounding that we continue to fly on carriers who treat us poorly. Sometimes we have to choose poor service as its the only option that is available on a particular route. Otherwise, when you fly, please pick an airline that treats you like a valued customer. As we are herded around by the TSA we forget that we're customers, not cattle. Speak up! Let them know how you feel with your feet, with your wallet and your votes!

Jim Michael
6-Jul-2010, 06:01
Thanks for calling this to my attention. I have notified my congressman re the potential financial impact on his constituents if the bill passes as written.

Brian K
6-Jul-2010, 06:05
The more government regulation we get the worse we are served. If there was sufficient competition in the airline industry they'd have to work hard to make us happy customers or lose our business and go broke. As it stands now they look to big brother to cure their problems - customers be damned. Look at the crazy rules about how long they can hold you on a plane sitting on the ground. It looks like legalized kidnapping to me. But we must like it that way since we put up with it?

I find it astounding that we continue to fly on carriers who treat us poorly. Sometimes we have to choose poor service as its the only option that is available on a particular route. Otherwise, when you fly, please pick an airline that treats you like a valued customer. As we are herded around by the TSA we forget that we're customers, not cattle. Speak up! Let them know how you feel with your feet, with your wallet and your votes!

Henry, prior to Reagan deregulating the airlines the service was vastly better, the planes were not packed with passengers like sardines, there were actually empty seats and overhead room available, and the airlines did not overbook every flight forcing people to get bumped. On the other hand the deregulation greatly lowered air fares. But back in the 1970's flying was an upscale experience, now even a Greyhound bus is more comfortable than flying coach.

As for there not being enough competition, you really don't know what you're talking about, the competition is fierce, and that's why they're going out of business. They keep having to undercut each other and themselves to be competitive.

So you have to ask yourself, do you want cheap tickets or good service, because it's damn near impossible to get both and as the margins are so slim, the slightest jump in fuel prices means the success or failure of an airline.

Personally I'd rather pay $100 or $200 more for a ticket and have service like the good old days. The way I have worked around these issues is that when I travel for my work I only go business or first class just to be certain I don't have issues bringing my gear and film on board. So because people want to bring their socks and underwear into the cabin I have to fly first class to insure that my cameras and film get on board. And because of the inconvenience and expense of that when I have to travel within North America, coast to coast, I drive. So as far as large carry ons, I say charge them. It'll also make it faster getting on and off the plane and is safer than having overloaded luggage bins over head.

Sal Santamaura
6-Jul-2010, 08:10
...The more government regulation we get the worse we are served...Yeah, thank goodness the last few decades have seen so much regulation eliminated in the US, like repealing Glass-Steagall. Ending that really served the country well -- if one appreciates massive financial crises.


...you really don't know what you're talking about...+1

rdenney
6-Jul-2010, 09:04
Personally I'd rather pay $100 or $200 more for a ticket and have service like the good old days.

I think you would be surprised. The average airfare paid now is cheaper in nominal dollars than it was before deregulation. In real dollars, I think you would find that airfare before deregulation was higher than current fares by a factor of about two. The typical $400 airfare would not, therefore, be $500 or $600 in 2010 dollars, but rather $800 in 1978 dollars, which means more like 2600 of those 2010 dollars. The effect has been that airlines have now become a reasonable travel mode for people of modest means, which was not the case before deregulation. That has greatly increased demand. It's tough having to share the airplane with all those normal people, I admit.

(By the way, it was not Reagan who deregulated the airlines. It was Carter, in 1978.)

The problem is that the market will not bear the price that was built into the business models of most of the major airlines. But they have had 32 year to revise those business models. They keep working at the margins. Only Southwest Airlines has adopted a fundamentally different business model since that era, and my observation of Southwest is that 1.) they are usually cheaper, 2.) they consistently provide good service, and 3.) they have been consistently profitable. The majors argue that Southwest doesn't have to run a hub-and-spoke network, but, frankly, that would be the point.

There have been many ways in which airline competition has been distorted. One is that airports are often dominated by one carrier, giving them an effective monopoly on that destination. Just try to fly into, say, Minneapolis without touching Northwest/Delta's high prices, for example. Minneapolis is one of the most expensive flying destinations in the U.S.

Another distortion is Internet pricing. I like Internet pricing. I don't like the variable way in which airlines report their prices for supposedly equal comparison. That is the reason airlines are now charging for snacks and checked baggage--so they don't have to include the price for those basic services in their online price comparisons. I call that bait and switch, when the advertised price is subject to substantial increase for normal basic services.

I would not mind checking my bags if the airlines could be clearly and directly held responsible for their mishandling of those bags. I sat on a plane operated by a major airline three weeks ago, at Dulles, and watched as the baggage gorilla stood at the conveyor and swiped bags headed for a certain destination off the belt to the left to tumble five feet down to the pavement, and swipe bags for a different destination to the right, also five feet down to the pavement. The bottom layer of bags provided cushioning for subsequent bags. When he needed to put a bag on the cart, he threw it. I did not see him place one bag--they all caught air before landing. There is no excuse for that. Had I been a bit quicker with my iPhone, I'd have video of that on YouTube.

The only time I check a bag is when I travel with cameras. I carry the cameras in a backpack to carry on with my briefcase, and check my clothes (my tripod goes with my clothes). This is a case where a monorail view camera is utterly unacceptable, heh.

When traveling on business and bringing only cameras that I can fit in my briefcase, I do not check bags. I can survive a 10-day trip with what fits in a truly legal carry-on (which is 22" long, and that has always been the limit). I travel 2-4 times a month by air.

When my wife travels with me, however, life gets ugly in a hurry!

Rick "who does not need three alternatives of clothing for every day plus every evening of a trip" Denney

Drew Wiley
6-Jul-2010, 09:37
Check in camera gear? Nuts! We've had baggage shredded, dented, and lost. Not to
mention the distinct risk of theft.

Henry Ambrose
6-Jul-2010, 11:02
Brian, Sal -

I do know what I'm talking about.

And I am old enough to remember when flying was a coat and tie affair. But that has little to do with our current state of affairs. It was Carter who signed the bill abolishing the CAB. The so-called "deregulation" isn't that at all. Its more properly called "we're changing some of the rules but not enough to let the market work".

As Rick stated, after 30-something years some airlines have developed a -real- business model and are successful today. Others, due to inept management and their past and current reliance on the government tit are losing their shirts. Many have already died natural deaths and others will follow.

Read this and tell me about being wrong:

http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/AirlineDeregulation.html

There's still plenty of government control and it makes it harder for the good guys to thrive and keeps the weak on life support much to the industry's (and our) detriment.

Brian K
6-Jul-2010, 11:16
Rick you are correct about Carter, it was the Airline deregulation act of 1978. Regarding Southwest Airlines, one of the reasons that they have done well in the last few years is because of the way they hedged their bets on the price of jet fuel. They ended up buying fuel futures at what turned out to be bargain rates during the fuel price surge.

I saw a documentary on American Airlines, and they showed a full flight going coast to coast, the profit made by the airline on that trip? $300. So one less seat sold, or a minor blip up in the price of fuel and that flight would have lost money. Eliminating magazines and newspapers saved them millions in fuel costs. I'd hate to be in a business like that.

Henry I too remember the shirt and tie days of flying. Now it's like being on a bus in one of those third world countries where you share the bus space with chickens and goats. There was a time when I was in a different city everyday for weeks at a time. Fly in, shoot, fly the next morning, shoot, fly out, etc. But as rough as that sounds now, it was actually pretty civil and comfortable back then. It's really like moving freight now, and it isn't just the airlines, the passengers also make matters worse. They don't bother to check security rules, they try to carry on huge pieces of luggage and stuff them into overheads and then give the flight crew a hard time, they arrive moments before the hatch is closed, even if their seat is in the back they fill the overheads in the front as they board so they don't have to carry their bags the length of the plane, and then force those sitting in the front to scramble for overhead space only to end up with their bags all the way in the back and the need to slow down departure and arrival in doing so.

And what I find amazing is how the front to back distances allowed in coach are even legal. I don't think that a bus could have that small a space. It's a serious safety issue. So instead I ante up and pay much more for business or first than I have to for what I consider reasonable service.

Tim Povlick
6-Jul-2010, 12:20
Henry, prior to Reagan deregulating the airlines the service was vastly better,
.....



Not Reagan's doing but Jimmy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airline_Deregulation_Act

rdenney
6-Jul-2010, 12:57
Rick you are correct about Carter, it was the Airline deregulation act of 1978. Regarding Southwest Airlines, one of the reasons that they have done well in the last few years is because of the way they hedged their bets on the price of jet fuel. They ended up buying fuel futures at what turned out to be bargain rates during the fuel price surge.

That's just a recent example of how they make their own luck. But they were consistently profitable going all the back to their beginnings, while the majors have wandered in and out of bankruptcy. Think of the major airlines from pre-1978 that have ceased to be: TWA, PanAm, Eastern, Braniff (the Worlds Largest Unscheduled Airline), and so on. United, American, Delta/Northwest/KLM have all struggled, over and over again, even pre-9/11 when times were good. I just don't know how they last so long never posting a profit. Continental has been sort-of in-between, but they were influenced by the Southwest model, too.

The new airlines coming in with a lower-cost business model have had to overcome nearly impossible barriers, mostly having to do with access to popular airports. There is much more than meets the eye.

Believe me, your comments about the seat pitch and about the ignorance of tourists really hits the mark. As a government employee, I can only dream of the comfy seats up front.

Rick "who used to get upgraded regularly just for being a loyal customer, and who now gets to board the plane nearly last for being experienced enough to prefer an aisle seat" Denney

Allen in Montreal
6-Jul-2010, 13:47
Brian, Sal -

I do know what I'm talking about.

And I am old enough to remember when flying was a coat and tie affair. .......

As a young lad going to the airport to see my dad off, I recall all the men wearing a jacket and tie.
Dad made sure I wore a tie on all my first flights.

My dad was an "elite status frequent flyer" when there was no such thing, they looked at how many tags were still on your luggage and plucked you from the line.

My first flights were with real chinaware plates, silverware and nicely trimmed tea cups.

Now Air Canada, once a state run company, is a state protected disaster area.

Allen in Montreal
6-Jul-2010, 13:55
Check in camera gear? Nuts! We've had baggage shredded, dented, and lost. Not to
mention the distinct risk of theft.

:)
I check everything BUT my gear, I have a bag made to measure to be carry on legal and take almost all my gear, and the odds that do not fit go into the "personal item bag".

I will admit that the series of MTL-Philly-Pittsburgh back and forth during the Stanley Cup finals went off without a baggage horror story. Nice change.
The people at the Pittsburgh airport, overall, were the nicest I have encountered in recent memory.

Henry Ambrose
6-Jul-2010, 15:24
Well anyway --- we sure as hell don't need a new rule on carry-ons and certainly not one made and enforced by the government. I find it pathetic that the airline industry is so spineless that they ask the government to make rules about what we can a can't carry on an plane. They can't even run their own business!

Drew Wiley
6-Jul-2010, 20:36
My garsh, Henry, I sure wouldn't want to be on any airline the gov't DIDN'T oversee.
Ever hear of 9/11? And I've run into plenty of private plane wrecks (or what's left of
them) up in the mtns. The other day I was looking at a Pelican carryon for the sake
of both the carry-on thing itself, and for a potential long canoe trip. A bit heavy,
but also, I bet those things are right at the margin of the size limit, and might not be
a smart investment if things get even more stringent.

rdenney
7-Jul-2010, 05:02
My garsh, Henry, I sure wouldn't want to be on any airline the gov't DIDN'T oversee.

No government any of us would tolerate can see everything. And I agree with Henry--most of the time the airlines want the government to regulate what they do so that they can use the government as the scapegoat when faced with irate passengers. They already blame government regulation for things that are not under government review at all, just to shut people up. As a government employee, that angers me mightily, because it undermines what government can and should do, which is to enforce fair competition and to establish and enforce safety standards.

Demand for air travel has been consistently high, even though it dipped after 9/11 and again in response to the recession. But even when it was peaking, most of the major airlines couldn't make money. That does not recommend their management approach highly. When I'm on planes that consistently have zero empty seats, and the airlines are still losing money on those flights, then they need to bite the bullet and raise prices or sell themselves to new owners with a more sensible business model. As long as there is demand, planes will fly. They just might not have American or United painted on them.

Rick "who got the last seat on a five-hour flight to Portland next Monday, with over a month advance purchase" Denney

CantikFotos
7-Jul-2010, 06:29
Well.....I trust them with my cameras, don't you?


A bag belonging to agents travelling with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was mistakenly put on a flight from New York to Los Angeles, not to Washington.

Alarmingly the bag contained four 9mm Glock handguns, which are now missing.

By the time the luggage was located and recovered, the guns had disappeared, and are presumed to have been stolen.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/us_and_canada/10536793.stm

John Jarosz
7-Jul-2010, 15:59
That item about Netanyahu's security says it all about the TSA. You need not know anything else.

And I'm sure the US will reimburse them for the loss. Try getting that when your cameras are stolen the same way.

rdenney
8-Jul-2010, 05:05
That item about Netanyahu's security says it all about the TSA. You need not know anything else.

And I'm sure the US will reimburse them for the loss. Try getting that when your cameras are stolen the same way.

Please think about what you are saying. It does not say anything about the TSA with any certainty--the TSA is not the only organization that handles bags en-route. The baggage handlers for the airlines do all of the handling after the security inspection. And you do need to know much more before making such speculative accusations. One thing that is useful to know when assessing motives is who within the handling process has how much at stake, and what scrutiny are they subjected to.

TSA agents, as employees of the federal government, are risking a lot by stealing. They would be immediately fired, and would likely lose the government's contributions to their retirement systems, in addition to the loss of retirement health benefits. They would be debarred from future government service even as a contractor. Then they would be criminally prosecuted. It is very likely that in a high-profile case such as stealing weapons, their whole chain of command would be flushed, meaning that those people would end up being transferred to other jobs in other places and placed under closer scrutiny. I would be willing to bet that all TSA handling areas are under surveillance. There is a lot at stake for a government employee, and a lot of scrutiny. I would be willing to bet that ever TSA employee who came within 50 feet of Netanyahu's security guy's bag will be identified and questioned, if not investigated, including review of those surveillance recordings, if they exist.

Also, the TSA is part of the Department of Homeland Security, and the security check for their employees (like all government employees) includes a criminal background check with fingerprinting, done by the FBI. That's in addition to whatever DHS does because they are DHS. This process usually takes about 8 weeks for run-of-the-mill federal employees who have the minimum "public trust" clearance.

Baggage handlers for the airlines have not nearly so much at stake as employees, and their employers are not routinely and directly held accountable for damage to or loss from bags.

Another point is that baggage handlers perform 100% of the tasks related to routing bags to their destinations. If this bag was routed to the wrong destination, then it is an airline baggage handler (or gate agent) who made the mistake, not a TSA inspector. Once routed to the wrong destination, it is up the airlines to store the bag, and find it when it is reported missing. During that entire time, the bag is in the hands of airline baggage handlers, often after the bag has spun a few times around the wrong carousel at the wrong airport baggage claim area. During that time, it could have been opened and inspected by any member of the public.

The solution for musicians is equipment insurance with coverage for all losses. I have such insurance for my musical instruments, and it required supplying the insurance company with appraisals of the instruments to verify my ownership before the loss. They are covered against any damage or loss except rot and vermin. Considering the high likelihood of damage to large, fragile instruments such as tubas, the insurance is quite cheap, with about $40,000 in replacement-value coverage for less than a coupla hundred bucks a year. Tubas aren't necessarily all that desirable as items of theft, but that insurance can also be applied to far more attractive items at the same rates, including guitars and drums. A couple of my instruments are not replaceable, and it is an imperfect response to a deplorable situation, but it's better than kicking the dirt. Is such coverage available for photography equipment? I'm sure that it is, in a specially formulated inland marine policy.

Rick "injecting a little reality into speculative accusations" Denney

John Jarosz
8-Jul-2010, 06:40
It does not say anything about the TSA with any certainty

Well, I've been told many times that the TSA is to provide a secure area inside their perimeter. Doesn't seem very secure to me. And the point you make about high profile cases (and I believe everyone is entitled to the same level of security) makes the TSA appear even more inept. The government only wants you to think that you are being protected by the TSA. The proof is that crap like this goes on inside their secure perimeter and they can't seem to ever find who does it. The TSA is primarily there as theatre, and there is no actual security or it would take you 5 hours to get to your gate or they would need 100 times the personnel who were really intelligwent and trained. IOW, we can't afford it.


I would be willing to bet that ever TSA employee who came within 50 feet of Netanyahu's security guy's bag will be identified and questioned, if not investigated, including review of those surveillance recordings, if they exist.

Yours or my luggage will never get that effort if anything ever disappears from our checked baggage.

I don't want to debate this further so I'm finished with the subject.

rdenney
8-Jul-2010, 06:56
I don't want to debate this further so I'm finished with the subject.

I feel this way too when arguing against someone who has a larger store of facts than I do. And that happens frequently enough.

The TSA does not guarantee anything inside their security perimeter, nor is their mission to keep airline baggage handlers from filching possessions. They have aided those activities primarily by prohibiting useful locks, but not because there is any evidence of their own thievery.

Whether the TSA is or is not needed is a completely separate discussion. Don't accuse them of thievery in the absence of investigated facts just because you don't like the idea of their existence.

Rick "noting that damage to and theft from baggage predates the existence of the TSA, which is why everyone had and used locks before 9/11" Denney

Dan Fromm
8-Jul-2010, 10:18
Um, Rick, with respect to cameras TSA is a great danger.

When they open a checked bag they sometimes dump the contents onto a table, then stuff them back in. This procedure can be hard on fragile equipment.

What doesn't go into one checked bag goes into another. I once arrived in Costa Rica with, um, feminine undergarments mixed in with my scrambled clean clothes, courtesy of the inspectors. My wife was, fortunately, amused. I don't know how the lady whose panties the inspectors gave me felt.

As for musical instruments, there are very good reasons why cellos fly as regular passengers. Unlike guitars, cellos are not for smashing.

Bob Salomon
8-Jul-2010, 10:54
In today's Newark Star Ledger there as an article about a TSA inspector at Newark Airport who was just arreted for stealin a computer from lost and found at the airport.


I feel this way too when arguing against someone who has a larger store of facts than I do. And that happens frequently enough.

The TSA does not guarantee anything inside their security perimeter, nor is their mission to keep airline baggage handlers from filching possessions. They have aided those activities primarily by prohibiting useful locks, but not because there is any evidence of their own thievery.

Whether the TSA is or is not needed is a completely separate discussion. Don't accuse them of thievery in the absence of investigated facts just because you don't like the idea of their existence.

Rick "noting that damage to and theft from baggage predates the existence of the TSA, which is why everyone had and used locks before 9/11" Denney

rdenney
8-Jul-2010, 11:24
Um, Rick, with respect to cameras TSA is a great danger.

When they open a checked bag they sometimes dump the contents onto a table, then stuff them back in. This procedure can be hard on fragile equipment.

What doesn't go into one checked bag goes into another. I once arrived in Costa Rica with, um, feminine undergarments mixed in with my scrambled clean clothes, courtesy of the inspectors. My wife was, fortunately, amused. I don't know how the lady whose panties the inspectors gave me felt.

As for musical instruments, there are very good reasons why cellos fly as regular passengers. Unlike guitars, cellos are not for smashing.

Yes, the fragility of equipment and the respect for that fragility is a different subject than stealing. In this case, both the TSA agents and the airline baggage handlers are each likely to show insufficient respect for private property.

But it's the difference between incompetence and corruption. The two should not be confused. Government incompetence is rampant because the consequences are minimal; corruption is not because the consequences if caught are severe.

I can see some inspector stuffing panties from a different bag into your bag and giggling about it. Even that is in a whole different category of crime than stealing cameras and guns. But even that would get them fired if caught.

If I checked camera equipment, I would put it in a case that could only hold the equipment one way, or that would protect it no matter how they loaded it. I've done that with test equipment and the agents don't mess that up.

Rick "forewarned is forearmed" Denney

rdenney
8-Jul-2010, 11:26
In today's Newark Star Ledger there as an article about a TSA inspector at Newark Airport who was just arreted for stealin a computer from lost and found at the airport.

There will always be examples. But the fact that you saw the report demonstrates the consequences.

I wonder if it would have been easier for a baggage handler to get away with it so that you would never have seen the report.

Rick "who doesn't check valuables" Denney

Dan Fromm
8-Jul-2010, 11:32
Um, Rick, y'r argument that deterrence, in this case the risk of losing a job and pension, works is as good as the argument that tort law is adequate to prevent disasters such as the current BP disaster.

rdenney
8-Jul-2010, 11:53
Um, Rick, y'r argument that deterrence, in this case the risk of losing a job and pension, works is as good as the argument that tort law is adequate to prevent disasters such as the current BP disaster.

The BP disaster doesn't undermine that argument at all. It is the first such disaster in how many years? And the effect of liability on BP is going to add new zeal to the care shown by other companies in the same business.

Some time ago, an employee of my agency was escorted to the door for misusing his government travel card. He was not even stealing--he always paid the bill. But he was violating policy and he was fired. I can assure you with great conviction that the rest of us are doubly careful about knowing and following that policy down to the last detail because of that. There is too much at stake.

Some people have to learn every lesson the hard way, it is true. But I'll still bet that the bulk of filching from customer baggage is coming from those who have far less at stake--the airline baggage handlers. Accusing the TSA agents of rampant stealing as reported in this thread, just because they are government employees, isn't realistic or fair. Accusing them of incompetence--well--that's just going with the percentages.

Rick "not blaming malice for what can be explained by incompetence" Denney

Dan Fromm
8-Jul-2010, 12:08
Rick, y'r argument is as good as the one advanced by some economists (not this one) that concern for reputation would keep bankers and brokers honest.

That said, the question of who steals more often from checked baggage is an empirical one that can't be settled by fantasizing about which class of thief has more to lose if caught. Are you aware of any data that might settle the question? I'm not.

Dan Fromm
8-Jul-2010, 12:11
Rick, further on the point of deterrence. Substance abuse is prohibited in most workplaces. In my firm the prohibition is widely known.

I mention this because one of my internal clients, a 3d level manager, and his supervisor, a 4th level manager, were fired after being caught live on videotape -- I don't know whether the walls have ears, but the ceilings have eyes -- inhaling white powder. Turns out the the 4th level was the local distributor. So much for the fear of losing one's job.

rdenney
8-Jul-2010, 12:17
Rick, y'r argument is as good as the one advanced by some economists (not this one) that concern for reputation would keep bankers and brokers honest.

That said, the question of who steals more often from checked baggage is an empirical one that can't be settled by fantasizing about which class of thief has more to lose if caught. Are you aware of any data that might settle the question? I'm not.

Concern for reputation? Not so much. Going to jail? Uh, yes. Sarbanes-Oxley sure changed the interest the CEO of my former employer had in the accounting of the company, primarily because Sox changed "mistakes" to "crimes" by requiring explicit certification by the CEO.

No, I'm not aware of any data. But the absence of data is precisely why we should not immediately and reflexively blame just the people involved in one part of the baggage handling process, particularly just because they are government employees.

Rick "for whom news reports are not data" Denney

Bob Salomon
8-Jul-2010, 12:47
There will always be examples. But the fact that you saw the report demonstrates the consequences.

I wonder if it would have been easier for a baggage handler to get away with it so that you would never have seen the report.

Rick "who doesn't check valuables" Denney

Rick,

There is closed circuit video surveillance (when it works) all over the TSA areas as well as all over the airports, including baggage handling areas.

I only am Star Alliance Gold and Marriott Lifetime Platinum so I might not travel as much as some of you but I can guarantee that I travel more then most of you.

I have not had anything taken from a case, checked or not, or a case ruined or damaged in several years. And while all of my flights originate out of EWR I have flown in and out of the following airports the last 18 months with no problems, and I fly with samples!

Charlotte, Durham, Las Vegas, Detroit, Des Moines, Moline, Minneapolis, Houston, Seattle, Toronto, Boston, Nashville, Cincinnati, Dayton, Phoenix, San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, Rochester, Buffalo, Los Angelas, San Diego, New Orleans, Orlando, Greensboro, Reno, Orange County, Portland, Tucson, Omaha, St Louis, Albuquerque, Copenhagen.

So I am going to have to hear some very convincing arguments as why there is a ongoing problem with checked bags (all of the above save Toronto had checked bags), missing items, etc. And by the way. The above airports were sometimes visited or flown in or out of more then once during the period!

B.S.Kumar
8-Jul-2010, 21:29
The BP disaster doesn't undermine that argument at all. It is the first such disaster in how many years? And the effect of liability on BP is going to add new zeal to the care shown by other companies in the same business.

Rick "not blaming malice for what can be explained by incompetence" Denney

Rick,

Bhopal was the first in how many years? Minamata in how many years?
And as far as liability is concerned, we're fighting this new bill in India:
http://www.tradingmarkets.com/news/stock-alert/uk_india-s-energy-supply-questions-need-for-nuclear-option-1006004.html

Incompetence and malice ought to be different things, but when they are combined, as in the case of Bhopal and Minamata...

And to keep it on topic, I don't know if things have changed since 2006, but it took exactly 80 minutes for baggage to arrive on the carousel on a flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I asked a fellow passenger what the problem could be, and he didn't appear to be fazed. He said it was normal. (In Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore it usually takes 15 minutes. In Japan, by the time you reach the carousel, the baggage is usually there, with a guy ensuring that the handle faces the passenger.) The flight itself had been delayed over an hour, and we had to sit in the plane for 40 minutes while our luggage was loaded slowly, but not carefully, by two guys who brought only ten or twelve pieces each time on their huge baggage vehicle. Due to all this, I missed my flight back to Tokyo, and was placed on standby for a flight the next day. I came very early to the airport. The place was swarming with police toting machine guns. I honestly didn't know what to make of the TSA. I saw baggage being carted to the secure area, where passengers were not allowed. In all the airports I've seen, baggage is always checked in front of the passenger. Since I was on standby, I was the last to check in. My baggage wasn't even opened, just a cursory explosives swab...

Kumar "who has seen the suffering of victims in Bhopal and Minamata"

rdenney
9-Jul-2010, 13:14
And to keep it on topic, I don't know if things have changed since 2006, but it took exactly 80 minutes for baggage to arrive on the carousel on a flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I asked a fellow passenger what the problem could be, and he didn't appear to be fazed. He said it was normal. (In Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore it usually takes 15 minutes. In Japan, by the time you reach the carousel, the baggage is usually there, with a guy ensuring that the handle faces the passenger.) The flight itself had been delayed over an hour, and we had to sit in the plane for 40 minutes while our luggage was loaded slowly, but not carefully, by two guys who brought only ten or twelve pieces each time on their huge baggage vehicle. Due to all this, I missed my flight back to Tokyo, and was placed on standby for a flight the next day. I came very early to the airport. The place was swarming with police toting machine guns. I honestly didn't know what to make of the TSA. I saw baggage being carted to the secure area, where passengers were not allowed. In all the airports I've seen, baggage is always checked in front of the passenger. Since I was on standby, I was the last to check in. My baggage wasn't even opened, just a cursory explosives swab...

Your experience is not typical, despite what the fellow next to you said. I fly nearly every week, and have never seen what you reported. I'm sure if they had a bomb scare or some other threat, however, they would exercise such care.

As far as routine delays in delivering bags from the plane to the carousel, I feel your pain. I have endured it myself, though not in Tokyo or Dubai, may last international destinations, because I didn't check bags. The time it took us to get our bags in London on our last trip was about the same as it was at Dulles when we returned. But the delay you suffered isn't the TSA's fault--their activities occur at the departing airport, and they don't have any role in unloading the plane and delivering the bags back to the passengers.

Look, folks, ever since the Fall people have been willing to risk all for small reward, and their hubris prevents them from calculating the risk. Presenting a list of special cases where this is true does not in any undermine my argument that we should not immediately blame the TSA for stealing from bags without any actual evidence, and that we should understand that the TSA agents are subject to greater scrutiny and face more severe consequences than are others in the baggage-handling chain. Baggage thievery has always been with us, else nobody would have noticed when the TSA no longer allowed us to lock our bags.

Rick "who has heard a few stories of delays resulting from a breakdown in security or an apparent specific threat, but has never personally experienced one" Denney

Robert Hall
9-Jul-2010, 14:56
well said.

i got frisked leaving the USA on tues. and then again arriving in amsterdam on wed. never been felt up quite that way in public by a male security person.......i almost asked if i could get the woman guard.....so i would fell more comfortable....:)

eddie

Just cause your rep precedes you, my friend. ;)