Charter Member||Sat 27-Oct-12 10:18 PM|
#13. "RE: Stolen Nikon D4 and other equipment"|
In response to Reply # 0
- You explained to the flight crew the importance of keeping the bag in the cabin.
- If they wouldn't allow you to try to stow it under the seat in front of you, tell them that. Passengers should always be able to stow carry-on in the seat in front of them, unless it won't fit.
- Explain that the flight crew wouldn't try to find a space in the overhead bin, or ask those who put both their carry-on and personal item in the overhead bin, to remove their personal item to make room, assuming that's correct.
- Explain that you specifically told the flight crew what was in the bag and that Delta was therefore notified of its contents and therefore should accept liability for the equipment, to the extent of their liability limit. (They do have the out, which they will likely take, that this wasn't done at initial check-in.
- Explain that if the flight crew had properly informed you (Actually they had no responsibility to do so. Under FAA rules you are expected to know what's in the Contract of Carriage you're flying under.) that you could declare a higher value than $3,300 and pay for excess valuation up to the max limit of $5,000, for $50, you would have done so. Explain that they should therefore reimburse you minimally for $5,000 less the $50 fee, or $4,500, not just their $3,300 limit (depreciated value).
- Tell them that while they should reimburse you at least for $4,500, they really should cover the whole cost (You'll have to get a precise handle on this immediately.) because the crew should have made a reasonable effort to accommodate your bag which had contents the flight crew knew Delta would not accept liability for, and didn't inform you of that fact so you could make an informed decision of what to do.
I hope this helps.
Now for what you should have done.
- Every airline passenger needs to understand their liability rights as a passenger. Whether the plane is flying domestically or internationally can affect the limit of the airline's liability. Where the plane originates can make a liability difference too. For US domestic flights the limit is generally $3,300. For US airlines flying internationally, it's about $1,800 as per the Montreal Convention. All value is depreciated value.
- The airlines don't accept liability for valuables and breakables, which means they don't accept liability for cameras, lenses, and other photographic equipment, unless you declare the equipment when you check in and pay extra for the privilege of having the airlines cover them during your flight, however, typically they only will cover to $5,000. They only cover depreciated costs, not original purchase or replacement costs. Therefore, my rule of thumb is all photographic equipment goes in my carry-on, plus I have purchased insurance for my gear.
- You need to realize that the airlines don't guarantee you space in the overhead bins of your airplane. In fact, they don't even guarantee you space under the seat in front of you. Some seats don't have a seat directly in front of them, such as exit row and bulkhead seats. Some seats have obstructions under them which prevents there use to stow a carry-on bag of any reasonable size. Some seats have substantially restricted space underneath them, such as on regional jets. That being said, no one is permitted to put anything under the seat in front of you, if there is one, except you. Each passenger has the right to that space to use, if it exists.
- Before leaving on your trip you should determine the type of plane you're flying on each leg of the flight. You need to do that because some planes have substantially reduced capacity for carry-on luggage both under seats and in the overhead bin. For example, most regional jets have very small spaces for carry-on luggage under the seats on the window, due to the curvature of the cabin walls, but the aisle seats (which aren't also windows seats) have more room, similar to larger narrow body jets, and wide body jets. Some seats have obstructions under some seats which prevents their use for a photographic equipment bag. The overhead bins on regional jets normally can't accommodate wheeled carry-ons in the overhead bins. Boeing 737 overhead bins are probably the least roomy of the narrow body jets in the overhead bins.
- Once you know the planes on which you'll be flying, you need to plan for flying on the one which is the most restrictive with regard to your carry-on for your photographic equipment.
- To be safe, unless you're flying in First Class, or are absolutely certain you'll have early boarding to ensure you'll have a space for your photographic equipment bag in the overhead bin, you need to assume you'll need to stow your photographic equipment bag under the seat in front of you, to be sure you'll be able to bring it on board the plane, in the cabin. Even if flying in First Class or have early boarding guaranteed, you must recognize that some planes, such as the regional jets, can't accommodate most camera equipment bags in their overhead bins, unless they are small briefcase size. They can't accommodate roller camera bags in their overhead bins, for example.
- For regional jets, you need to reserve a seat in the 2 seat side if it's 2 on one side and 1 on the other, and reserve an aisle seat. If your regional jet has rows of 2 and 2, you still need to reserve an aisle seat. The aisle seats on the side of a regional jet with 2 seats on that side have almost the same amount of space under the seat in front of you as larger jets.
- Don't reserve a seat which has an obstruction under the seat in front of you which could prevent you from stowing your photographic equipment bag under it.
- Don't reserve a bulkhead or exit row seat as they normally have no seat in front of you to stow your photographic equipment bag, or have no space for the same.
- Use a bag for your photographic equipment which can fit under the seat in front of you. That means you'll need to fit your equipment into a smaller bag than could likely fit into the overhead bin of non-regional jets.
- If when you try to board, the flight crew says there is no room on the plane for your photographic gear, insist on putting it under the seat in front of you, since you have chosen a bag of equipment which will fit. If the seat in front of you is already stuffed with gear, have the flight crew remove it. That's your space.
- If you're in First Class, or absolutely certain you'll have early boarding, you'll still need to make sure the plane will have overhead bins able to accommodate your photographic equipment bag, or you'll still have to make sure your bag will be able to fit under the seat in front of you.
I think that should do it. Let me know if you have any questions.
A Nikonians Team Member
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