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Flying with spotting scope (1 Viewer)


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Is it permissible to fly with a spotting scope in carry on? I would be really concerned about having to put it in checked luggage as I imagine those bags get really tossed around. I am in USA and the next trip would be domestic. When looking at rental options, within about 2-3 trips I could have purchased the same quality of scope so considering just buying one.
I travel on planes with an 85mm scope a lot (maybe once a month). I've been able to pack this carefully in a carry-on bag every time, wrapped in clothes and other soft material. I'm not sure I'd trust it in the luggage hold, but carry-on means you get to take good care of it yourself, normally.
Yes, it is fine as long as it fits luggage allowed size, I did it many times. Other times I wrapped it in clothing and put it to the checked luggage.
Anything that is fragile should go as carry-on, unless there is some specific reason why that's impossible.

The main reasons are (one negative, one positive) - 1. Your checked baggage is unlikely to have any special padding/protection, so optics will be very vulnerable to damage, given the way bags are hurled around; 2. your carry-on is largely under your supervision and (if specific to birding) might have protective features.
I have traveled by air to lots of foreign destinations with my 80mm spotting ‘scope, binoculars and camera in my carry on rucksack lots of times.
I do this all the time. Kowa 664 goes in my backpack with primary binoculars. Tripod goes in the checked bag. Most times no issues. Sometimes they want to look.

my carry on is usually full of glass... no problems besides I have to unpack at times at security and one time somebody wanted to look through the scope (seated on the counter as the tripod was checked and held by me)... he was impressed...

On a trip to Israel (admittedly back in the 80s) they wanted to take my scope apart to check that nothing was concealed inside! Eventually they were satisfied with a good look through both ends!!

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