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Charles Papert

Airline media rate - ID solution

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I got nailed twice last year on US Airlines and American Airlines when they said they had no media rates. The worst was about $1,800 round trip for my cases + one personal check bag. I can't remember the details, but I remember I had my 3 steadicam cases, 2 were overweight and a 4th bag that was my personal bag (it was a 5 day outside shoot, couldn't fit everything in a carry on)

 

flying with gear on anything other than Southwest domestic is a pain!

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FYI something is wacky in the Delta system--had same issue on return flight with them where the counter agent was seeing 75 lbs as the upper weight limit on their system instead of the actual policy of 100. Definitely bring a printout and be prepared to fight. I spent 20 minutes on the phone yesterday trying to explain to three different people that there was a glitch in their system that needed to be fixed..

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FYI something is wacky in the Delta system--had same issue on return flight with them where the counter agent was seeing 75 lbs as the upper weight limit on their system instead of the actual policy of 100. Definitely bring a printout and be prepared to fight. I spent 20 minutes on the phone yesterday trying to explain to three different people that there was a glitch in their system that needed to be fixed..

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I was recently traveling to Porto Rico with American Airlines and everything worked perfect . .I used the ID page, created the ID. ask for rates ..all good .. no problem ..

 

thank you very much for the tip. it was very helpful

 

Libor

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Our crew is issued IDs so they don't have an issue.

 

We typically don't have an issue.

 

We also look at the cost of a first ticket vs baggage fees. A lot of times the first class ticket gets us an extra bag at no cost and a happier crew.

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The Media discount is for ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, so Network media. We usually are able to finagle discount rates for commercials, but they want Network ID. I have tried MTV, VH1 and not succeeded. If you are really nice and they are having a good day, you should get whatever you asks for.

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Actually, I beg to differ. If you read the airline rules it applies to any commercial film making company, not just the networks.

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If the agent or agents at the counter aren't familiar with their own rules, you may need to school them on their own policies by showing them a printed version with the area of interest highlighted. And if you don't have the time to sit and wait, be prepared to dish out the cash..... USAair just plain and simple told me "We stopped offering that a long time ago" and there went the first of a dozen $1250 payments PER leg.

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AMERICAN AIRLINES: http://www.aa.com/i18nForward.do?p=/travelInformation/baggage/baggageAllowance.jsp&anchorEvent=false&v_locale=en_US&v_mobileUAFlag=AA#!specialty-items

$50 per bag. For network, local tv & commercial filmmaking co. and pro photographers. Max 25 bags for American Eagle, 40 for American Airlines. Standard size and weight policies.

$75 for extra bags. For network, local tv & commercial filmmaking co. No max size, no oversized/overweight fee. Can secure a camera on a seat if you pay a ticket for it.

 

National $50, International $70 if over 50lb or 62in. For network, broadcasting & commercial filmmaking co. with credentials, co ID or media card. or ID the bags with the company name. Subject to extra baggage embargo.

DELTA: https://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/traveling-with-us/baggage/before-your-trip/special-items.html#media

$50 or 50CA$ or 50€ (love the conversion rate) if over 50lb (see chart at link for specific weight limits) For network, broadcasting & commercial filmmaking co. Need company photo ID. Maximum 25 bags.

 

USAIRWAYS: No media rates, :angry: they say to upgrade to 1st class.

 

Print a copy of the linked page when you go to the airport.

They also all say to double check/call for connecting flights.

 

(as of July 2013)

 

Hope that helps.

  • Upvote 1

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Upgrading to first class could make a lot of sense. If they are spending thousands of dollars per-flight already and it appears you get 3 free checked over-weight bags on the major airlines to begin with.

 

Factor in the free booze and you've got a win.

Edited by Kyle Wullschleger

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Took a Southwest flight the other day. The skycap asked for my media credentials. I showed him my business card and he told me that they didn't accept that but he would see what he could do. Left to talk to supervisor came back and checked my overweight cases for no charge at all. Not sure why it was free but oh well.

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Southwest has been, hands-down, the most accommodating airline. Between the Rapid Rewards card offer and the fact that you can change your reservation without paying a penalty (only the difference in ticket price, if one exists), they are very media friendly. A little tip, since most folks consider Southwest airlines to be the Greyhound of the skies: be very very nice to the ladies at the ticket counter as they have probably encountered a whole bunch of disgruntled and angry people before you. Your smiling face and calm demeanour may very well get you excellent customer service as a reward. I have had extra pelican cases chucked into the plane at no charge more than a few times simply because my religion is DBAD.

 

I have shown my SOC card and my Safety Passport and I always have either a call sheet or a signed Deal Memo to show them. I try and keep it on the up and up at all times because it is very cool that we can load our gigantic and heavy cases into the plane for nothing or next to nothing.

 

Very nice list you compiled there, Victor. Kudos.

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I've created authentic cards in photoshop using a self portrait and bar code generated from some Internet site. Laminated at kinkos.

 

Be sure to use the real company logo and contact info for your employer. They might try phoning them. Logo seems to be important as well.

  • Upvote 1

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My carry-on is usually a computer case (with munchies and gotta-haves stuffed in with the laptop) and a big Sony shoulder DVCAM in Porta Brace armor. My checked cases and my sticks are stenciled with the company name. I haven't been asked to show company ID in years, they somehow seem to just KNOW . . .

 

About 10 years ago, I watched Delta strand a guy and his service dog in Seattle. The guy rushed to Southwest, which had closed their counter for the night -- the staffer came back out and had them hold the plane at the gate while she re-opened, cut his ticket and put them on a cart to get to the plane. I've flown a lot with Southwest since then, and this was the last straw with Delta, I haven't been on one of their planes since then.

 

Kaze

Edited by Keith Wood

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