MY CAMERA EQUIPMENT RIDES IN ITS OWN SEAT – WHAT THE?

Well… put this one squarely in the truth is stranger than fiction category. With my Iceland trip now only a matter of weeks away I have started to stress just a little bit about the weight of all my camera equipment (as if I wasn’t stressing enough about the Volcano screwing up my well laid travel plans) and the thought of having to again deal with the airlines  somewhat inflexible rules for carry on luggage. This time however, I decided the best defence was a good offence and contacted my carriers for this trip to make them aware of my desire to carry on all my camera equipment – all 25+ kilograms of it. I wont belabour the point, but after quite a few phone calls to various numbers, several messages to staff at various locations around the world I finally managed to get hold of someone in London who could assist.

After much to and fro email with said individual from Iceland Air this evening about the weight of my camera equipment and my express desire NOT to check my very expensive equipment into their general baggage hold I have been presented with a rather amusing solution. Iceland Air’s carry on luggage is strictly enforced at five kilograms (that is barely enough for a large laptop, bag and accessories); which sees me a good twenty plus kilograms over the limit. Checked luggage gives you twenty kilograms, but I am not checking my camera equipment – end of story. Here is where it gets interesting : You see, it costs nine United Kingdom Pounds per kilogram for ‘checked’ excess baggage to fly from Heathrow airport in London to Keflavik airport in Iceland one way, but only one hundred and forty quid to book another full return seat on the plane – do the math (I did and had a good chuckle). So, yes, my camera equipment is now riding shotgun to Iceland with me in its own fully paid for window seat (I have ordered the Kosher meal for it and requested an OJ on arrival *cheeky grin* ).

In all seriousness however, what this means is that with another full seat at my disposal from Heathrow to Iceland I can now take even more equipment with me (See my entry about what to take to Iceland). The Canon 300mm F2.8L IS Lens is now back on board for the Iceland trip; and I may just take the 85mm F1.2L MKII for the hell of it and probably the Canon 5D body as an additional back-up. I will be sure to get a picture of my Lowe Pro camera bag enjoying its meal on the flight…

2 Comments

  1. Posted May 25, 2010 at 8:36 am | Permalink | Reply

    How were you able to reserve a seat without a name or did you reserve the seat in someone’s name and then use that name to check in???

    • Posted May 25, 2010 at 8:43 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Gary,

      Thanks for writing to me. I just happened to be having a coffee for breakfast and checking my email when your message came through so can give you a quick answer. After a lot of phone calls and emails with the airlines I was able to book the extra seat in my own name with the extension .EXST – which basically means the extra seat is booked as an extension of my seat. This is occasionally done for people who need to take large musical instruments and / or other fragile equipment (such as camera gear in my case) on the plane. The .EXST extension tells the airlines this is not a double booking. It was not a quick or painless process however taking several days to sort out. I am very glad I don’t fly with all my camera gear on a weekly basis…

      Cheers,

      Josh

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