I am currently travelling from Edmonton to Maui for 10 days. During this trip I was planning to get a lot of shooting done for both school, and personal. I was bringing a one light set up, packed all in to my new Think Tank backpack. Everything was looking good until the airport happened. To power my flash I use a Lithium battery made by Paul C. Buff. I had checked beforehand to make sure it was allowed on the flight. I arrived at the airport well in time to sort out any problems that might incur with bringing an item not usually seen. That meant getting to the airport at a little before 4 a.m. I asked the front desk, to which they had no answer. I then proceeded to go through security to see what would happen.
By now I was running out of time and needed to get through security to catch my flight. I was greeted by a very gracious woman at security who said that it would be no problem to take through. I was ecstatic! I had cleared security in minutes and was now rushing through customs en route to the departure gate. Time was getting tight, but we managed to squeeze through and were running to our gate. Home free! Or so I thought… As I was handing my boarding pass to the gate officer the front desk people approached me… again. They pulled me out of the line and said they had to phone to check on the battery. They proceeded to talk to a person on the other line who simple had no idea what the rules regarding such a battery were. As time was running out they decided this lithium battery was just too unknown to be allowed on board. I was pissed, but I got over it. So it goes I suppose.
Travelling as a photographer can be hard with red tape like that, not to mention having to predict what you might need to bring without breaking your back. It is also incredibly rewarding.
This event reinforced in me the idea that it is better to ask for forgiveness than to ask about getting something on a plane. I also learned that a beer by the ocean makes anything better!