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Can my 27" Cinema Display fly?
May 22, 2014 9:40 AM   Subscribe

I have one of the 27" Apple displays. I am flying from Seattle to Hawaii next week, and need to take the display along for work purposes. I have the original box, and the airline is fine with me checking this kind of 'luggage'. But I have a few concerns...

... will the display be safe in the cargo hold of the plane? Is high altitude or low temperature a problem for this kind of equipment when not running? Should I do more than pack the display in the original box and label it fragile? Is there a reasonably priced insurance policy I can purchase to cover the display (and other photo equipment) in the event of damage or loss?

I've Googled and found very little about flying with an item like this. If there is a better way to get the display to Hawaii, do tell!

Thanks hive-mind!
posted by roygbv to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
 
I would ship it fedex overnight the day before ather than take it on the plane, really. Aside from damage there is also a reasonable risk of theft when you travel with visibly expensive items in the checked luggage area of planes.
posted by elizardbits at 9:46 AM on May 22 [2 favorites]


Or you might see if it is cheaper and/or easier to rent a monitor while you are out there. There seem to be businesses that do this. This place specifically mentions high-qaulity monitors, if you are on Oahu.
posted by procrastination at 9:49 AM on May 22 [3 favorites]


I too believe that checked baggage is for disposable items only, and you're far better off using a shipping service, but...

I believe the cargo hold is mantained to roughly the same climate control situation as the rest of the passenger cabin.

Have you considered just renting a display for your presentation(s)? By the time you spend the extra in shipping fees and lugging that thing around, you can justify a couple of hundred bucks to a local AV company to just provide you with the hardware for the time you need it. Searching for "Hawaii computer display rental" pulls up all sorts of possibilities.
posted by straw at 9:49 AM on May 22


Have you ever watched the baggage guys load bags into the plane. They are not careful with anything. Even in the original box, there's no way I would trust it to survive the baggage guys.

Ship it to yourself.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:15 AM on May 22


I would not put a $1000 monitor in the cargo hold, especially with how assholey airlines are about damage, and what actually counts(i swear, they're 1000x worse than car insurance companies).

Go to UPS and ship it like, tomorrow or something. Insure it, and don't bother with getting super fast shipping, just something guaranteed to get there on or before the day you'll be there.

UPS charges such a small difference for the volume of the box that i'd probably say put the original box inside another box and fill that with peanuts.(this is often how apple ships things as well).

If i thought i'd regularly be needing to take a display around though and this wasn't just a one off deal, i'd just buy something like this and leave the fancy one at home. Much better a $400~ monitor gets smashed/stolen than a $1000~ one.
posted by emptythought at 10:16 AM on May 22 [1 favorite]


Ship it, or rent/borrow one. airlines explicitly don't cover electronics from theft or damage. And the baggage folks aren't gentile, so even if it wasn't outright stolen, it would be nonfunctional upon arrival.
posted by TheAdamist at 11:07 AM on May 22


Double box it and ship it.

No amount of packing will save it if TSA decides to bust it open.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 11:14 AM on May 22


Unless you are comfortable picking the monitor up and throwing it as hard as you can against a wall, I would not check it. Are you certain you can't take it as your carry-on item?
posted by kate blank at 11:16 AM on May 22 [1 favorite]


As far as the actual conditions - I'm sure it would be fine. My 27" monitor (probably the same panel as in your apple) made it all the way from Korea to Seattle in under 48 hours. It didn't do that on a boat. As far as checking it? I wouldn't.
posted by wotsac at 1:09 PM on May 22


Highly relevant anecdata:

I checked my 27" Thunderbolt display in its original packaging on PAL (Philippine) from Manila to SFO to RIC. I was flying First so it received "Priority" and "Fragile" stickers at the counter, and when I went to pick it up in bag claim it was wheeled out by a person on a cart rather than chucked down the chute.

On a second move, I double-boxed the same monitor (Apple box inside sturdy cardboard) and shipped it via UPS, insured. The box was a bit beat up when it arrived but the monitor works.

I think as long as you have all the packing foam intact and you use stout tape it will be fine.

Welcome to Hawaii! Memail me if you'll be in Honolulu.
posted by a halcyon day at 7:19 PM on May 22


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