A Minnesota photographer that I recently spoke to explained his method for making sure $30k of photography equipment would stay safe through the airport. He would take a couple solid cases and put an old piece of crap handgun in each one. He could then fill it out photography equipment and proper cushioning. At the airport, they would inspect it, then he was allowed to put a lock on it, then it was put into a special compartment of the plane. Thoughts?
I’ve got friends in TSA and I just double confirmed this with someone I know who works with homeland security at Hartsfield/Jackson (ATL). This.. is… a… myth. Total myth. It doesn’t help.
Carry your essentials on the plane that can get the job done if something happens to your checked gear. Arrive a day early so you have time for lost bags to catch up to you or you have time to rent gear if something is lost. Have insurance that will cover the rest. That’s the best you can do.
If this was a perfect way to travel with gear then the TSA wouldn’t have issues with agents stealing guns from checked bags. Along with lots of other stuff. You know… the gun can arrive safely… in a bag missing a lens.