Matt Mullenweg of WordPress fame had a nasty surprise when coming through the Philadelphia airport. Most of his very expensive Nikon camera gear was missing from his checked luggage. Here is a list that he posted on his blog:
- Nikon D3
- Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF
- Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
- Leica M8
- Leica 50mm f/1.0 Noctilux
- Cards, cases, etc.
That really sucks. I don’t know what I would do if someone stole my Nikon D200 and my camera gear. Naturally, my gear is worth a lot less than Matt’s. The Nikon D3 alone is worth upwards of 5000$. My camera gear in total is worth about 4000$.
Now, by no means am I a world traveler. I’ve lived in Taiwan, traveled to South East Asia and spent most of my life in Germany, France and Quebec Canada. One thing that I have learned is to never check any valuables in your checked luggage. In fact, my heaviest things, like books, laptops, camera gear, always go into my carry-on luggage. On my last trip back to Taiwan, I had two checked bags filled with clothes and the like for 50lbs each, as per Air Canada regulations. My carry-on luggage was comprised of an Osprey 35L backpack that I use as a camera back. It also had my laptop, a book, some notebooks and some pens.
My other carry-on luggage was filled up to the max with jeans and books. I know that this bag was heavier than my other two bags. It must have weighed at least 50lbs by itself. It seems ludicrous to travel this way, but camera gear and computer gear should never be checked. Most airlines aren’t responsible if they are stolen or lost.