How Can Content Video Creators Deal with – Airlines & Lost Luggage 2023
In 2022/2023 we are seeing an increase in travellers dealing with lost luggage. As content video creators we have to pack a bit different if we want to creat while travelling. For example, you may want to pack extra gear and accessories like a tripod, lights, a gimbal,an LCD monitor, a microphone, or even a drone remote controller. Most travellers will say to avoid check in and just bring a carry on, but the reality is that if you want to create video with audio that is highly produced you need a certain amount of equipment.
I’m this post I’ll share some tips and share my struggles.
On a recent month long trip to Europe and Asia I tried to pack as light as I could. I tried to fit everything in my root hardshell backpack. The problem is that you can’t just pack gear. You need to pack clothes and toiletries as well. Sure you could bring a carry on, but if you are flying to different countries you may be flying with different airlines with different rules (more restricive). I flew from Vancouver Canada to Paris via Westjet. This was probably my mistake. Westjet was offering cheap flights, but they have a reputation of losing luggage this past year. I think they are understaffed or are just not running as efficiently as other airlines. I lost my luggage in Paris along with other passengers on my flight. It took me about 2 weeks to track down my luggage. By that time I had spent about $800 on clothes, essentials, and luggage replacing what I lost. I am still waiting for my reimbursement it has been over a month and a half. Westjet I am waiting for my reimbursement!
It is an anxious moment once you realize you have lost your suitcase. Luckily I had my phone, computer, and high value goods with me. The problem is that I didn’t have any other clothes or toiletries. I had to sleep in the clothes I had wore for the past 12 hour flight on my first night. Not pleasant. I also had my tripod, Panasonic GH5 camera battery charger, USB yeti nano mic, and my drone remote controller for my Mavic mini 2 in my suitcase! This meant no drone flights and limited camera use while in Paris. This is tragic for a content creator and the opportunity cost is tough to quantify. In other words you never know when you’ll be back to this part of the world again. Make the most of the opporunity.
Needless to say my first priority was finding new clothes the next day while in Paris. The good news is that on the way to the Wework at Champs-Élysées I came across this store called Ceilo. They had stylish clothes at reasonable prices. I was able to at least get some underwear and socks. I checked into the Wework to film some content. I’m lucky I had my Gopro 11 with me and extra batteries. I was still able to film with my primary GH5, but I had to ration the battery power. My charger was in my lost suitcase and of course I forgot to charge my spare battery. One of the wework’s I went to had an amazing rooftop with a view of the Eiffel Tower. This would have been an amazing opportunity to get some aerial footage from a safe distance as well. I could not fly without the remote controller. Here are some tips I learned during this struggle.
Gopro & Small Tripod
I carried my 2 small tripods, which are strong enough to carry the payload of the Panasonic GH5 and the sigma 18-35mm lens as well as the Gopro (with the tripod adaptor). This allowed me to at least film some videos while in Paris. The Gopro 11 became my everyday cam. I was good enough for vlogging, time warp (walking hyperlapses), and allowed to create quickly while zipping about Paris.
Facebook support groups for Camera & Universal Camera charger for the Panasonic GH5
I used my Panasonic GH5 for the key moments during my stay in Paris. For example visiting landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe, On top of the Eiffel tower Desk, & at the Louvre.I also joined the Panasonic Gh5 groups in Paris. It’s amazing how many support groups there are around the world around a certain camera. One of the members shared that I could charge my Gh5 battery using a universal charger. It was tough to find an electronic store that would carry the official Gh5 battery charger and would probably be too expensive. I ran out of time to find a professional camera store in Paris, but a digital nomad in Lisbon told me that Media Markt might carry it. In Barcelona I went to the media markt and was lucky I found a helpful english speaking staff to help me find a hama li-ion universal charger. I picked this up for about 30 euros. I struggled a bit because this device looks cheaply made, but i figured out how to charge my GH5 batteries using this device while in Grand Canaria, which helped me film with my GH5.
Skype & Twitter
Skype was invaluable for making those international calls to the westjet airline. As annoying as it was to stay on the line listening to the droning repetitive music at least I could call back to Canada without breaking the bank. I actually found that Westjet’s twitter account was more responsible and at times more helpful than the call center reps.
It can be tough to find a drone store while travelling and even tougher to find just a remote controller for your drone model. It used to be that you could fly some drone models with just the phone ,but there are some serious limitations to doing this. You can find 3rd party drone resellers just by searching for drone store on google map. You can also use google translate if you are not finding enough results. I found a drone store in Grand Canaria that sold a use remote for 200 euro’ that was compatible with the Mavic 2. The alternative would have been a DJI Smart controller for $400. I’m lucky it wasn’t available when I returned to the store as I found my luggage the next day.
It’s ironic I bought my Dad a airtag for his birthday, but I didn’t use one myself before my trip. The airtag technology would have helped in my case as once my bag started travelling to the countries I was going even the airlines lost track of it. The airtag could at least tell you which country, city, and specific location within 10 meters, which is valuable. If you don’t have an iphone perhaps you could look at devices for android like Tile or Chipolo. I haven’t tried them yet personally.
yes it’s great to have insurance coverage whether from your credit card or travel insurance. Unfortunately I didn’t want to pay the expensive Canadian insurance and opted for safety wing, which you have to do once you leave Canada. Unfortunately I should have activated my insurance while in the air (airline wifi) as I lost my luggage as soon as we landed.
Travel in 2023 will continue to be a bit risky for travellers especially content creators. Precautions can be taken by packing strategically and having a backup plan to create even if you loose your primary gear. For example, if you lose you main tripod you could always use a smaller one in your backpack. Airlines should re-imburse you after so you need to get whatever you need to get that magic footage as the clock is ticking. You can use google map and social media as helpful resources to find things you need in a foreign country. Technology like airtag for iphones or Tile for Android are must have devices traveling in this day and age.
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