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avoiding excess baggage fees airlines

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Marlene Halversonavoiding excess baggage fees airlines
by on Sep 3, 2010 at 4:43:40 pm

Sorry if this is the wrong forum - it seemed right. We have just learned that Lufthansa will charge us $200 for each checked case with camera/sound equipment/etc. we need to film abroad. Does anyone have experience with brokers, others who can negotiate with the airlines for lower media rates on baggage fees? Media Onboard is one such group but it only works in UK. Lufthansa will not come down despite our request. Is there an American firm that negotiates this sort of thing? Thank you!


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Mike CohenRe: avoiding excess baggage fees airlines
by on Sep 3, 2010 at 5:19:44 pm

Cost of doing business. We pay excess fees on every domestic airline except Southwest. Sometimes they have a media discount, but each airline employee seems to interpret the rules differently.
You could ship global freight, but likely you will have customs issues.

Don't forget to get an ATA Carnet, and remember to get it stamped by customs before you leave each country, or there could be hefty fines - you don't want to get customs on your case.

Or rent gear locally.

Read the blog posts from New Merry Pranksters - they have dealt with these issues, as have many of us on this forum.

Mike Cohen


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Marlene HalversonRe: avoiding excess baggage fees airlines
by on Sep 3, 2010 at 5:39:33 pm

Thank you for your reply. Hiring sounds good but our crew would probably feel uncomfortable not having their own gear. Do we have to get it stamped in Amsterdam if the baggage is automatically shipped through or only if we have to pick it up there and transfer it manually to the next country?
Thanks.


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Mads Nybo JørgensenRe: avoiding excess baggage fees airlines
by on Sep 3, 2010 at 5:28:28 pm

Depending on where you are filming, also consider hiring kit locally - most hire companies can cover the whole of the EU.

All the Best
Mads
London, UK

Please don't to visit our new faceBook page here: http://www.facebook.com/MacMillionProductions

Mac Million Ltd. - HD Production & Editing
Blog: http://macmillionltd.blogspot.com


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Marlene HalversonRe: avoiding excess baggage fees airlines
by on Sep 3, 2010 at 5:41:54 pm

Thank you for this reply. We will look into hires the next time. Our crew may be uncomfortable using hired gear -- we will ask.


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Mike CohenRe: avoiding excess baggage fees airlines
by on Sep 3, 2010 at 6:00:24 pm

[Marlene Halverson] "Our crew may be uncomfortable using hired gear"

I would rather rent a light kit for $100 than pay an extra $400 to use my own.

I went to Canada last year - I took my own tripod as it is specifically configured for what we do, but I rented a camera and monitor locally - much easier.

Also, given differences in electrical systems, using rented, insured gear that is known to work in the country's electrical system offers peace of mind as well. Plus you have the support of the rental house should something fail. it is difficult to have your own gear malfunction when you are away from your usual resources for repair or replacement. And travel, especially airline travel, increases the chances of damage. A baggage handler is trained to handle production cases less gently than suitcases ;)

Mike Cohen


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Marlene HalversonRe: avoiding excess baggage fees airlines
by on Sep 3, 2010 at 6:10:19 pm

Good points!
On the money front, though, we will be picking up all the crew's costs so I don't think that aspect would be persuasive.
Appreciate the good feedback.


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Nick GriffinRe: avoiding excess baggage fees airlines
by on Sep 3, 2010 at 6:32:46 pm

[Mike Cohen] "A baggage handler is trained to handle production cases less gently than suitcases ;)"

Truer words have never been spoken. I'm also convinced that FedEx gives new employees a course in case throwing. Which, at least beats UPS where I'm there must be a course in losing stuff... at least MY stuff.


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Todd TerryRe: avoiding excess baggage fees airlines
by on Sep 3, 2010 at 8:37:53 pm

[Nick Griffin] "I'm also convinced that FedEx gives new employees a course in case throwing."

We've never had any trouble with FedEx... in fact, when we travel we ship all gear via FedEx and generally check NO gear as baggage. I carry on my one little case of prime lenses which never leave my sight (never check them)... since they are worth more than everything else put together.

We have checked gear as baggage on rare occasions... but rarely without incident and I really prefer not to.

Trivia for the day... do you know what the airlines actually call the baggage handlers? Throwers. Yes, throwers. Hmmm.

Actually right now we are producing a television commercial for one of the airlines, a new carrier in our city. We shot all of our own stuff at the airport, but were also provided a reel of footage from the airline itself. It included the usual... beauty shots of planes in the air... but also some tarmac footage... including baggage handlers throwing bags.
On their own darn reel!.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark RaudonisRe: avoiding excess baggage fees airlines
by on Sep 4, 2010 at 11:52:39 pm

Some times a generous tip to the curbside skycap will circumvent a "Checked Baggage" fee. Doesn't always work, so be prepared to pony up, but if you play it right, you may just skate by.

Mark



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