Most people in today’s society have a mobile phone. Most mobile phones have cameras. Anyone and everyone has become an on-the-scene photojournalist, reporting on everything from major news events to the odd and crazy.
Some of these picture-worthy events take place on everyday flights. Shutter-happy passengers, snapping or even video recording the woman on the next aisle over acting unusual or a fellow passenger being disruptive. It’s undeniable that we are curious beings, and want to document and share events we witness. But not everyone is pleased citizen photojournalists. Read more…
When photographer Jess T. Dugan picked up her luggage after a flight from Chicago to Boston on December 18th, something didn’t feel quite right. It felt a bit lighter than it should have. She opened it up, and, lo and behold, several thousand dollars of camera equipment was missing — oops. Read more…
Every social network has its share of spammers, but one type of fake account seems to be working particularly well on Instagram: airline accounts offering free flights. Roger Cheng of CNET writes,
The accounts have been pretty effective at garnering followers. Delta’s fake account already has 21,000 followers after it promised a free trip for the first 20,000 people who followed and shared the account. Likewise, the JetBlue account has 20,000 followers. The American Airlines profile has 5,963 followers after it promised a free round-trip flight to the first 5,000 followers. The accounts themselves are fairly bare aside from a few pictures and the offer itself. But there are no rules listed for the promotion, or means of contacting the airlines to collect on the free flight.
Airlines have begun disavowing the accounts, and Instagram has already removed a number of them (including a couple of the ones mentioned by Cheng). It seems like Instagram needs to launch a “verified user” system like the one Twitter implemented a few years ago.
When overhead bins on airplanes fill up, flight attendants will often ask passengers to gate-check their carry-on bags. If this happens to you, be sure you take out your camera gear out of your bag prior to handing it over to the attendant. It’s not just for peace of mind in knowing that your gear isn’t being thrown around and abused: major airlines generally have provisions in their contracts that keep them from being held responsible for electronics in checked bags. If the camera is damaged or stolen, you might be out of luck. Read more…
Earlier this month we shared some advice from an anonymous airline baggage handler, who revealed that hard-sided “spinners” suitcases are safest if you must transport valuables (e.g. camera gear) in checked baggage. To see why, check out the video above by Delta Airlines. They drilled holes into a hardcase and installed six outward-facing cameras to document what a bag goes through after it disappears behind those black rubber flaps and before it emerges onto the conveyor belt in the baggage claim area. The video doesn’t show any abuse, but there’s a number of points along the journey where careless handlers have the opportunity to mishandle bags.
You probably already know that it’s not a good idea to include your expensive camera gear with check in luggage, but what if you have no choice? If you must, then putting your gear inside a hard-sided “spinner” suitcase with four wheels is your best bet. The Huffington Post has published an interesting interview with an anonymous baggage handler, who gives the following advice:
Hard-sided suitcases will get less damage, but also look for well-designed handles that are attached with rivets and some sort of protection around the wheels. Speaking of wheels, the best bags to get are the “spinners” with four wheels on the bottom. We like these because we don’t have to throw them when loading. We just roll them down the belly of the plane so your bag and its contents will suffer much less damage.
The handler reveals that bags are commonly subjected to all kinds of abuse due to the strict schedules the handlers must abide by.