Air Travel

PPOC just sent the following. If you are a professional photographer traveling at this time to the US (while carry-on is forbidden from Canada to the US), then you may bring your equipment in a dedicated photography container made for that purpose, and the following applies:

  1. Ensure that you have some sort of Professional Credentials proving that you are a “professional photographer”.
  2. Make sure that there are NO OTHER ITEMS in your camera bag. I am told that if you have a snack, clothing item or ANYTHING other than camera gear, your case may be considered “CARRY ON”.
  3. Print the list of exemptions [to the prohibition, from the CATSA web site] and bring it with you as a reference in case of a dispute.
  4. Arrive early. Persons who attempt to board a plane at the last minute fall under suspicious behaviour and may be given less consideration.
  5. Ensure that you observe all size and weight restrictions with your bag. There are physical limitations to the size and weight of a bag that can be securely stored on an airplane. This may vary between aircraft.

So that’s nice. No snacks. Are my headache pills OK, or will the government now tell me how to pack a camera bag?

I have asked CATSA for a ruling on my equipment and I await (and await, and await) a response from their “customer satisfaction group”. Doubleplusgood!

0 thoughts on “Air Travel

  1. Thats what I am saying, our authorities re punishing the innocent.I don’t think they really know what to do…. but they have to do somehting. or show us there doing something…

  2. Michael:
    I really do not know how CATC will be able to distinguish between PPoC members and other photographers. There will surely have to be equal treatment, and , never mind the headache pills, what about computers?

  3. I’m heading off to cover the SAG Awards in LA. Pack my gear in a Lowepro Computrekker, but the CATSA sight is deliciously vague. Can a laptop be in a camera bag? What defines professional credentials. I’ve been doing this for my own entertainment news site since 1997. But I don’t work for a newspaper/magazine so will my corporate biz card be enough.

    The vagueness is maddening. I might have to trek down to Buffalo and fly from there where there are no restrictions.


  4. Had a screener open my camera bag once and ask, “What is this?” while pointing to a camera. And that was before the recent round of bullshit overreactions. What if the next plot actually involves a camera?

  5. CATSA is horribly vague. Michael is right, there has to be equal treatment – but there will not be. And Ray is right also: the innocent are being punished – and we are giving the terrorists exactly what they wanted.

  6. And the irony is that we Canadians do not just roll over and play dead whenever our US masters wish us to – worse, we “work toward the leader”. The USA did not actually ask Canada to ban all hand luggage – CATSA did it just in case our US masters would be offended at us not going out of our way quite enough, I think.

  7. You’re right about going further than asked in doing a ban that they’re not even doing in the US. Also, just checked the Heathrow site:

    “arrive promptly at check-in, and limit the amount of baggage being taken on board the aircraft.”

    LIMIT. Not BAN. Thanks CATSA.

  8. And emptyspaces: I can only imagine, what if anyone uses a camera, a battery, and so on. It may be the end of air travel. It’s already been the end of convenient air travel, since 2001. And we keep giving the terrorists exactly what they want…

  9. Why do you have:

    The pdf at says:

    “cameras (still and video) and accessories in purpose-designed carrying cases
    — includes film, lenses, spare batteries, chargers, cables
    — includes large, professional-grade cameras and equipment”

    Doesn’t say that the person has to be a member of any professional photography organization…..

    I’m concerned as I want to take my Kata backpack with 5DM2, 100-400mm lens, 24-70mm lens, 12-24mm lens and two flashes on with me on a flight to Las Vegas next week…..

    • Thanks for that link! But if I am not mistaken, he is NOT flying FROM Canada into the US. And that is the most difficult bit. Every other kind of route is fine (provided you do not mind giving up all privacy and modesty).

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