Today is the first day of my trip to Nashville, Tennessee for Imaging USA. For those of you who are not familiar with this conference, it is a combination of pre-classes(paid), sessions, and a ginormous expo of vendors. My trip will last 8 days in total. I was super nervous about TSA and my camera equipment. I must have read every document on lithium-ion batteries and did tons of research on the affects of the X-ray on the camera sensors.
For the lithium ion batteries, as of today, January 10, 2018, I can have one battery plus two spares per device. I have two cases bodies with me, so that is six batteries total. I brought 5, just in case. When I got to the TSA line there were very few passengers in line. I didn't really have to wait at all. I have my personal item with my laptop and other purse contents, an umbrella and some munchies.
And I have my camera case. I got my case from Sam's Club during a Christmas sale. It's made by Members Mark, which is the Sam's Club store brand. It's water proof, has a customizable interior foam and has a knob to for pressure stabilization. It fits quite a bit. I have two camera bodies, four lenses, filters, cleaning kit, batteries and a flash. Along with some stuff I put along the sides like a baggie of pens. Oh, and speaking of baggies, those batteries must be individually packaged in clear plastic baggies. So I kind of went overboard and put anything loose in the bag in clear plastic baggies.
TSA gave me very little trouble. As I got to the person who checks my boarding pass and ID I mentioned that I wanted my case to be hand searched and for it not to go through the X-ray. She sent me to the line with the big scanner that you have to put your hands up and it scans you... I emptied out my person item to get my laptop out, took my shoes off, and placed my phone and the lock from my camera case in three separate bins. Those all went through the X-ray machine. For my camera case I once again requested the hand check. They came back at me and said hand checks are for film not cameras. I contested telling them that they at least needed to hand check the two camera bodies, I would comprise on the rest. I had heard in my research about lenses auto-focus getting messed up and SD cards getting corrupted, but Those comments were all from the early 2000's. Tech has gotten better since then, so I took a risk. I won't know until I get down to Tennessee if it worked out okay to do this. But it seemed to satisfy the inspector. She grabbed the two camera bodies out of the case and sent the case theough the X-ray. She took the cameras back to the test station, swabbed them and tested them. They didn't make me turn them on or open the body cap. They both passed and I was on my way. I think the most awkward part of my TSA experience was my shoes. When the bin with my personal item went through I guess the flapps knocked one of my shoes into the bin that was behind it. That bin had my laptop in it. So my laptop passed but the first bin was flagged. I had some snack in their original packaging which was apparently foil lined... Anyways, so I got my laptop and my one shoe and proceeded to have a conversation with the inspector about my camera. So awkward. How am I supposed to have a serious conversation with one shoe on???
Well we are starting to board now. So I outta here!