You Will Never Check Your Camera Gear Again After Seeing This Airport Baggage System

Apr 17, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

You Will Never Check Your Camera Gear Again After Seeing This Airport Baggage System

Apr 17, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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Baggage

Every airport I’ve been to has signs advising travelers to remove all valuables from checked luggage. While most people do so worrying that airport staff will steal their expensive belongings, throw their bags around or lose them altogether, it turns out that humans are not the only danger to your prized possessions.

As the video below shows, some automatic baggage systems might also pose a serious threat to the chances of your cameras or lenses making it to their destination intact.

YouTube video

So yeah, apparently some airport have giant robotic arms that lurk around the conveyer belts and mistakenly identify suitcases as punching bags.

I don’t know in which airport this video was taken, but based on the state of my checked luggage on recent trips I suspect I might have been there.

As one Reddit user commented “there are options other than the robotic mike tyson to move a bag” and luckily there are.

Some airports have opted to use more advanced and gentle systems such as the one in this next video.

YouTube video

I still wouldn’t leave any valuables in a bag that gets taken away from me, but at least I would worry less able breakable gifts and souvenirs.

[via Reddit]

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Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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5 responses to “You Will Never Check Your Camera Gear Again After Seeing This Airport Baggage System”

  1. Kay O. Sweaver Avatar
    Kay O. Sweaver

    Having worked as a baggage handler I would never check camera gear unless it was in a Pelican case and insured. I was always nice to peoples’ baggage, but its a chaotic, fast paced world out there with big machines. Lots can go wrong, even if every person along the way does everything right.

  2. Nelly Z Van Cleeff Avatar
    Nelly Z Van Cleeff

    That’s why all the ming porcelain vases and crystal wear that I loosely packed in my luggage was dust when I picked up my bag.

  3. Chabada György Avatar
    Chabada György

    I’ve heard about a trick what can help avoiding this thing. I’m not sure if it’s an urban legend or not, but someone said that if you check in your baggage as gun, it will get special tratment. You have to get a lot of permission for that, but your baggage will never goes the same way after you checked it in. :)

    1. RBX Avatar
      RBX

      I can remember reading about checking in a starting gun with your photo gear on lifehacker: http://lifehacker.com/5448014/pack-a-gun-to-protect-valuables-from-airline-theft-or-loss

      Lifehacker is still not a very reliable source to be taken as gospel though. The logic does check out: Check in a starter gun which usually doesn’t need to be purchased with a license and then check it in as dangerous goods with your photo gear. However I’m sure there’s loads of airlines which will say: “Firearms on the airplane… no way!!! …we don’t have a ‘special’ check-in compartment for such items”. Furthermore some starting guns can be modified to accommodate real bullets therefore if you want to pull such a stunt you may well want to turn up 6 hours early and spend a *lot* of time waiting for the starting gun to even be approved as safe. I get the feeling that no one will want to have anything to do with it and have their name stamped against it as it could cost them their job and/or prison time.

      1. Arthur_P_Dent Avatar
        Arthur_P_Dent

        Would an Airsoft Pistol get the same treatment?