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AirAsia Flight - Camera Travel Tripod Not Allowed?


I was travelling from MNL to DVO, then to SUG to attend my daughter's baptism. As it is an important event, I brought my camera (a Fujifilm FinePix S1 - Bridge Camera and a telescopic Tripod that is suitable for travel).

The Travel Tripod that the Airline Flagged

Disclaimer


I am not advocating to boycott the company and not flying with them. The carrier have done a great length to give us a budget airline that made travelling easy and economical. This article just discusses my personal experience that might had happened to others. Not specifically with AirAsia but to the other Airline Carriers as well.


When checking-in my excess baggage, they've recognized that I am carrying a tripod but was not flagged about its restrictions. So I just assumed that a tripod is a go for a cabin baggage. Arriving at the second checkpoint, I was flagged again about the tripod. But the same scenario played out and they've just let me pass to the boarding lounge. Given that there are 3 checkpoints and I was cleared by the first 2, I was very confident that I can carry the equipment inside the aircraft.

Until the final check, where I was flagged and is being charged of an intercept baggage fee. I reasoned that I was cleared by the first 2 checks, the personnel rebutted that a tripod can be used as a weapon. A quick visit to their website did not specifically say "Tripod" but a general category of a "Blunt Object". Point taken, this maybe the category they are referring. However, I was also carrying a notebook, a camera, and a smaller version of a travel tripod, which technically speaking can be considered also as blunt objects. (I did not tell them about the loop hole because it can just add fuel to the argument).

As I connect the dots, either the first 2 checks did not receive an updated memo regarding photography equipment or they deliberately did not tell me to exploit me with the fee. I really hope it was the former.

Going back to the issue. I told the personnel if the airline will take responsibility if it ended up broken. Instead of a courteous reply, he must have selectively listened to it as a sarcasm or an attack to him. Long story short, that particular statement added to the argument's fuel. He is now forcing me to have it charged but I resisted , pointing the first two checks cleared me of it. Good thing though that I boarded last and no co-passengers heard the argument. Except of course to the other passengers who are waiting for their flight in the lounge. (Hope no one took a video of it).

Knowing that it will not end until one of us bowed down, I just chose to apologize about my I statement (if it was sarcastic) - I am still not paying though. He must have mellowed (felt a sense of authority I guess) and processed the tripod as an addition to my excess baggage. I really thought that the situation was already good until I boarded the plane and saw someone carrying a kid's guitar and the other one an umbrella. As per their rule, those items can be considered as blunt objects - Why single me out?!

In conclusion, their rule of what is allowed or not is a hit or miss process. It totally depends on how the information is passed to their personnel and how updated the info is. However, to just err to the side of safety, if you are carrying something that can be considered restricted as per their rules, better check it in as an excess baggage. Also to AirAsia, kindly specify the items that are allowed inside the aircraft, it will be an exhaustive list but at least, it is much better compared to a generalized description that can be interpreted in so many ways.


  - Your Life In Perspective by Ælfræd "Elf Counsel"

















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