A camera tripod allowed as a carry on?

May 17th, 2004, 10:48 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,145
A camera tripod allowed as a carry on?

My husband and I are traveling on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines from Chicago through Seattle to Alaska next week. He has a new camera tripod. It weighs less than 2 pounds, retracts to a tube less than 24 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. (Actually it is a "monopod" but works the same way as a tripod.) Does anyone have any actual experience of taking such a thing in their carry on luggage? The TSA website has an extensive list of items with "yes" and "no", but it does not include tripods or monopods. The TSA list does include walking sticks ("yes"), pool cues ("no") and ski poles ("no"). The only distinction I could see among those items was that maybe a person would actually need to use the walking stick in the airport but probably not a pool cue or ski pole.
Interestingly, the monopod has a looped handle so that it can be used as a walking stick while hiking and then when you stop you can attach your camera and hold it steady to take a photo. But, the monopod does not have a pointed end. The end is more like the leg of a metal folding chair leg about 3/4 inch in diameter with a rubber tip. We otherwise would have only carry on luggage and we are trying to avoid checking luggage just to allow the monopod. Thanks in advance!
laurie_ann is offline  
May 17th, 2004, 05:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,057
I used to take a tripod or monopod as carry on and had no problem. My interpretation of the post September 11 rules is that these things are so similar to banned sports equipment that I have checked them. One recent exception was a pair of internal flights in Ecuador in which I had no trouble with taking a tripod as carry on but I would not take that as meaning anything for your trip.
Gavin is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 05:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,609
I took a fairly large tripod in a carry on, just last week, with no problem.

I also have a very small one, which always results in their opening the bag to see what it is. When I carry that one, I go ahead and pull it out and put it in a tray before going through the machine.

Keith is offline  
Jun 18th, 2004, 01:51 PM
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Hi, I am back and have the following to report about traveling with a camera tripod. On the way to Alaska, from O'Hare through Seattle, I had the tripod in the long rectangular box it came in, with one of my business cards taped on the outside and the receipt in my purse. I attached the box (about 24" by 3" by 3") to the side of my 22" suitcase with the straps of the 22" suitcase (it's soft sided and the straps serve to contract the bag to the size of the contents) If you think about a juicebox with the straw attached to the side you will get the picture. Because of our connection through Seattle and we were getting on a cruise, we had only this carryon luggage. I sent the suitcase with the cardboard container on the side through the luggage scanner and on to the plane at O'Hare without a blink by security. I was prepared though to be able to check the box with the tripod in it like checking a piece of luggage, but I never needed to. On the way home, we ditched the cardboard box, packed the tripod in the suitcase and checked all of our luggage from Juneau, Alaska through Seattle to Chicago again. As best as we could tell, our luggage was never further screened. (They're supposed to put a piece of paper inside telling you if they open it.) Again, this will tell you only about O'Hare and Juneau, not Seattle, as our connecting flights did not require us to go through any security screen again. Who knew it would be so easy?
laurie_ann is offline  
Jun 18th, 2004, 07:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 109
I have traveled with both a tripod and monopod numerous times since 9/11 with no problems. Both are short enough, when collapsed, to fit diagonally into my carry on bag and I have yet to be challenged.
Charlie is offline  

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