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Thread: beware of "checking-in" your camera

  1. #1
    Member teoelisha's Avatar
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    Default beware of "checking-in" your camera

    hi all,

    DISCLAIMER: this is so far a once off incident. i am not generalizing and such an occurrence does not mean it will always happen. this information is provided for the purpose of general travellers' caution and is not intended to pinpoint a certain country nor its officers.

    would like to share an experience with all. i'm in the insurance business and there was a client whose travel insurance claim was processed today. he had a wonderful trip in HCMC, vietnam, and was catching his flight back to singapore. he was a little late in reaching the airport and was one of the last few to check-in for his flight. after checking-in his luggage, he proceeded to enter the boarding gate but was stopped at the x-ray machines. he was ordered at the boarding gate, to check-in his canon 500D and his PSP. he tried to ask not to check-in these 'fragile items' but was given no chance. not wanting to miss his flight, he complied with the customs officer at HCMC airport and was escorted to a "privilege check-in" counter. put his camera & PSP in his bag, he padlocked it and checked it in. after he padlocked the bag, the customs officer did something out of the ordinary. the customs officer pasted a blue sticker on top of the padlock (do note that all other checked-in bags had no blue sticker on it).

    upon arriving back here in singapore, the client found the padlock loop on the zipper to be broken, no padlock & no blue sticker left, and his camera and PSP stolen (which explains why we had to process a travel insurance claim today). he shared that apparently, he wasn't the only one. after he checked-in at HCMC, there were a few ang mohs who had also checked-in late. they also had blue stickers pasted on their bags and all their electronics that were checked-in have all been stolen. though there was travel insurance, do note that most travel insurance only pays up to a maximum of S$1,000.00 for a lost camera/laptop.

    once again, i would like to highlight that this is the first time i have come across such a case. and there is no reason to discriminate or to assume that this happens on a regular basis. however, i would like to share this experience with CS members as we tend to travel with equipment that sometimes costs between $5k to $10k. do remember to take care of your belongings. and remember while travel insurance does provide some form of protection, most only provide for a value of S$1k. prevention and the knowledge of one's rights is better than seeking remedies & compensation later.
    JustOneSmile.that's all i need..

  2. #2

    Default Re: beware of "checking-in" your camera

    then how should be deal with such a situation. when they force us to check in our items. can i decline?
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    Member r0n1n's Avatar
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    Default Re: beware of "checking-in" your camera

    thanks for sharing. I smell something fishy
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    Member teoelisha's Avatar
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    Default Re: beware of "checking-in" your camera

    excerpt from wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand_luggage):

    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) sets guidelines for cabin baggage/hand luggage/carry-on luggage size. They are not mandatory, however, and individual airlines can and do vary their requirements. The IATA guideline states:
    Cabin baggage should have maximum length of 22 in (56 cm), width of 18 in (46 cm) and depth of 10 in (25 cm). The sum of these three dimensions should not exceed 45 in (110 cm). These dimensions include wheels, handles, side pockets, etc.

    Following the increase in restrictions imposed on flights from UK airports and to the USA after the events of August 2006 (2006 transatlantic aircraft plot), hand baggage on such flights was restricted to one cabin bag no bigger than 45 cm x 35 cm x 16 cm effective since 15 August.[19] On 21 September 2006, the British Airports Authority advised that from the following day, the allowable size of the single item of hand baggage on outgoing flights from the UK would be increased to 56 cm x 45 cm x 25 cm (approx. 22 in x 17.75 in x 9.85 in),[20] the IATA guideline size. Still most airports have a strict limit of one piece of cabin baggage per passenger - especially passengers in the business class are used to have two pieces of cabin baggage allowance within Europe which does not apply for flights to and from the UK.

    End of excerpt
    _____________

    Note: if you click on the wiki link, you will be able to find the items that are considered "dangerous and not allowed on board". no where is there a mention of cameras.

    i went further to check on IATA's site. there is mention of the Liquids, Aerosols & Gas exclusions in hand-carry luggage (refer to http://www.iatatravelcentre.com/iata-travellers-faq.htm under "Baggage" section). there is no mention about electronics (such as laptops and cameras).
    JustOneSmile.that's all i need..

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    Member teoelisha's Avatar
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    Default Re: beware of "checking-in" your camera

    Quote Originally Posted by gamebit View Post
    then how should be deal with such a situation. when they force us to check in our items. can i decline?
    hi gamebit, i'm not sure whether or not you can decline. but it seemed that in this case, this only happened to people who check-in last minute and "can't afford time to argue". therefore, i guess this is another reason why we should act prudently and check-in early.

    HCMC airport is a member of IATA. There's also a Montreal Convention and UN's ICAO, which has got to do with air travel. Maybe using big words can sometimes scare people who try and take advantage? just a thought.
    JustOneSmile.that's all i need..

  6. #6
    Member Cashmere's Avatar
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    Default Re: beware of "checking-in" your camera

    I have never and will not check in valuable items like my lappy and camera.. Big no-no!
    However, I hope I will not be in that kind of situation. Maybe should complain to the airport authorities and airline management?

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    Member 9V-Orion Images's Avatar
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    Default Re: beware of "checking-in" your camera

    Quote Originally Posted by gamebit View Post
    then how should be deal with such a situation. when they force us to check in our items. can i decline?
    The exception would be...
    • A lady’s handbag
    • An overcoat
    • An umbrella or walking stick
    • A laptop or notebook computer
    • A small camera
    • A reasonable amount of reading material for the flight
    • Infant’s food for consumption in flight and infant’s carrying basket
    • A pair of crutches and/or other prosthetic devices for the passenger’s use provided the passenger is dependent upon them

    ... which can be carried on-board the aircraft free of charge even if you had exceeded the allowances allocated for checked in and carry on baggages as per IATA regulations.

    Anyway thief by baggage handlers and security screeners are hardly uncommon with syndicates operating in the majority of the world's airports.
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    Member teoelisha's Avatar
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    Default Re: beware of "checking-in" your camera

    Quote Originally Posted by 9V-Orion Images View Post
    The exception would be...
    • A ladyís handbag
    • An overcoat
    • An umbrella or walking stick
    • A laptop or notebook computer
    • A small camera
    • A reasonable amount of reading material for the flight
    • Infantís food for consumption in flight and infantís carrying basket
    • A pair of crutches and/or other prosthetic devices for the passengerís use provided the passenger is dependent upon them

    ... which can be carried on-board the aircraft free of charge even if you had exceeded the allowances allocated for checked in and carry on baggages as per IATA regulations.

    Anyway thief by baggage handlers and security screeners are hardly uncommon with syndicates operating in the majority of the world's airports.
    this is useful.. good job.. now.. i think my D300 is small.. don't you think so?
    JustOneSmile.that's all i need..

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    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: beware of "checking-in" your camera

    Quote Originally Posted by teoelisha View Post
    this is useful.. good job.. now.. i think my D300 is small.. don't you think so?
    Depends on whether you attach it to a 70-200mm f2.8

  10. #10
    Member teoelisha's Avatar
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    Default Re: beware of "checking-in" your camera

    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    Depends on whether you attach it to a 70-200mm f2.8
    and that would say BOOMZ!
    JustOneSmile.that's all i need..

  11. #11
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    Default Re: beware of "checking-in" your camera

    Quote Originally Posted by 9V-Orion Images View Post
    The exception would be...
    • A ladyís handbag
    • An overcoat
    • An umbrella or walking stick
    • A laptop or notebook computer
    • A small camera
    • A reasonable amount of reading material for the flight
    • Infantís food for consumption in flight and infantís carrying basket
    • A pair of crutches and/or other prosthetic devices for the passengerís use provided the passenger is dependent upon them

    ... which can be carried on-board the aircraft free of charge even if you had exceeded the allowances allocated for checked in and carry on baggages as per IATA regulations.

    Anyway thief by baggage handlers and security screeners are hardly uncommon with syndicates operating in the majority of the world's airports.
    Have you got a link to the actual IATA regulations? Be really handy to know/have cause there are a bunch of really (unpublishable) airlines and airports that I really could do with pointing this out to.

  12. #12

    Default Re: beware of "checking-in" your camera

    that's nonsense and i would have spoken nicely and asked the reasons for doing so, as well as asked to speak to the guy's superior, along with taking down his name, etc.

    at least someone will be held accountable if it doesn't work out in the end and the inevitable happens.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: beware of "checking-in" your camera

    Quote Originally Posted by 9V-Orion Images View Post
    The exception would be...
    • A lady’s handbag
    • An overcoat
    • An umbrella or walking stick
    • A laptop or notebook computer
    • A small camera
    • A reasonable amount of reading material for the flight
    • Infant’s food for consumption in flight and infant’s carrying basket
    • A pair of crutches and/or other prosthetic devices for the passenger’s use provided the passenger is dependent upon them

    ... which can be carried on-board the aircraft free of charge even if you had exceeded the allowances allocated for checked in and carry on baggages as per IATA regulations.

    Anyway thief by baggage handlers and security screeners are hardly uncommon with syndicates operating in the majority of the world's airports.
    I've had a dig around a couple of IATA sites with no joy; I've only found a maximum dimensions guide and check specifics with your airline. A link would be most fabulously appreciated.

  14. #14
    Member 9V-Orion Images's Avatar
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    Default Re: beware of "checking-in" your camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed View Post
    Have you got a link to the actual IATA regulations? Be really handy to know/have cause there are a bunch of really (unpublishable) airlines and airports that I really could do with pointing this out to.
    The exact items, which may differs sightly from one airline to another, that are considered as personal and allowed free on-board on top of the carry-on baggage allowance should be locatable in the website of every airliner operator. The ones in my list are taken from Singapore Airlines.

    Another similar list from Cathay Pacific Airlines.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cathay Pacific Airlines

    ...

    In addition to the above allowance, you may carry on-board the following items free:
    • An overcoat or shawl
    • A small handbag
    • A briefcase (no more than 4kg or 9lbs in weight)
    • A notebook or laptop computer (no more than 4kg or 9lbs in weight, including case and accessories)
    • A small camera or a pair of binoculars
    • An umbrella / walking stick / crutches
    • A "forward facing" infant car safety seat for ticketed child (aged between 6 months and 3 years) or infant bassinet or cot (that can fit on fold down shelves and can be properly secured)
    • Infant food and nappies (for consumption in flight)
    • An infant collapsible pushchair (if cabin stowage is available)


    ...
    The IATA "regulation" I had previously mentioned is actually more of a guideline instead, my bad.
    Last edited by 9V-Orion Images; 5th March 2010 at 02:01 AM.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: beware of "checking-in" your camera

    wow tough luck.. first i've heard of this happening. and though i agree we shouldn't generalize this incident as daily happenings in our economically challenged neighbour countries, you still have to agree that more often than not these issues arise when travelling to/from these territories.

    i would be dumbfounded should i be caught in that situation; the security personnel and probably even their supervisors would be in on it, and i'd feel like i'd have no choice but to comply. the alternative would be to make a scene and whip out IATA regulations, be hauled to a dank interview room for half-day, and end up missing my flight! ;/
    Last edited by strmmr; 5th March 2010 at 02:21 AM.

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    Default Re: beware of "checking-in" your camera

    Quote Originally Posted by 9V-Orion Images View Post
    The exact items, which may differs sightly from one airline to another, that are considered as personal and allowed free on-board on top of the carry-on baggage allowance should be locatable in the website of every airliner operator. The ones in my list are taken from Singapore Airlines.

    Another similar list from Cathay Pacific Airlines.

    The IATA "regulation" I had previously mentioned is actually more of a guideline instead, my bad.
    The link to the guideline mentions none of the items you mentioned (camera, laptop, child seat, talking stick, etc)... you must have got them from somewhere?

    That linked page contains no useful information at all, even if it was regulation. All it essentially says is, it's up to your airline - it nothing useful at all.

    I guess again it comes down to individual airlines - some are good, others are totally (unprintable).

  17. #17

    Default Re: beware of "checking-in" your camera

    Useful info! Thanks TS because i'm flying to Hanoi soon, hopefully they won't ask me to do the same. At least i'm prep to answer instead of caught off guard and check in my camera! Cheers!

  18. #18
    Member 9V-Orion Images's Avatar
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    Default Re: beware of "checking-in" your camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed View Post
    The link to the guideline mentions none of the items you mentioned (camera, laptop, child seat, talking stick, etc)... you must have got them from somewhere?
    I did mentioned in my last post that the list is quoted verbatim from the Singapore Airlines website.

    Also mentioned...
    Quote Originally Posted by Singapore Airlines' Cabin Baggage Policy

    ...

    Articles Allowed Onboard

    All airline members of the International Air transport Association (IATA) have agreed to observe the following baggage regulations. You may carry onboard the articles listed below free of charge, over and above your free baggage allowance (subject to local country specific restrictions, if any):

    ...
    I am not able to locate if there is indeed such a regulation as set down by the IATA though. Sorry.
    Last edited by 9V-Orion Images; 5th March 2010 at 03:23 AM.
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  19. #19
    Member teoelisha's Avatar
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    Default Re: beware of "checking-in" your camera

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    that's nonsense and i would have spoken nicely and asked the reasons for doing so, as well as asked to speak to the guy's superior, along with taking down his name, etc.

    at least someone will be held accountable if it doesn't work out in the end and the inevitable happens.
    i think i would have done the same.. although we might not be able to find the actual "allowances" for such items on board, having some knowledge and taking down details will definitely help in such a case.. and remember to talk nicely. sometimes such people prey on those who appear weak and uninformed. letting them know that you know, often deters further action.
    JustOneSmile.that's all i need..

  20. #20
    Senior Member madmartian's Avatar
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    Default Re: beware of "checking-in" your camera

    Such happennings should be reported to the Vietnamese High Commission in Singapore, if there is one. At least with the reporting, they will be aware of such things going on in Vietnam.
    Who will want to go there if this is a regular thing they do there. Whether it is one off or not, if it can happen once, it can happen all the time
    Take the shot!

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