JohnJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1640 posts, RR: 3 Posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3865 times:
I tried to reply to the previous thread with the same title, but it's archived and locked now - so on to a new thread. The circumstances I encountered at JFK's Terminal 4 last Monday are pretty much the same as the previous poster, only not quite as severe. Read on...
I flew out to London on Aer Lingus on Monday (via SNN) and was pleasantly surprised with the conditions at Terminal 4. It was really quite nice and sparkling new. Best, there are huge (and clean!!) windows at the end of the concourse that are excellent photo vantage points. I spent about a half-hour there with my camera while a KLM 777 boarded at an adjacent gate. I left to converse with my colleague for a few minutes, and came back to find the 777 had nearly completed it boarding process, leaving the area relatively empty. I was continuing to take pictures as a Delta 767 taxied past when the woman who had been manning the KLM desk came over to me and asked me if I was taking pictures. I said yes, at which point she told me that I would have to delete the picture from my memory card. I asked her if photography was prohibited at the airport, and she said yes and in fact it’s an FAA regulation that you can’t take pictures at an airport. What a load of crap. I told her I didn’t want to delete the picture and asked to speak to her supervisor. The supervisor turned out to be the guy collecting the tickets for the KLM flight, and he backed up the woman’s story and also demanded I delete the picture. A passenger with (I assume) a Dutch accent waiting at the KLM counter didn’t help much, either, as he announced to me that photography is forbidden at most airports around the world.
I had two possible courses of action: refuse to delete my shot, and probably have a lengthy talk with airport police (or worse) while my Aer Lingus flight left me behind, or comply and fight later. There was a third option, fortunately. I reluctantly agreed to delete the photo, and went through elaborate motions to show the woman that I was indeed deleting the picture I had taken. She was satisfied and thanked me for complying, then I walked back down toward my gate after I found out that she worked for Swissport, the T4 contractor. The only thing she apparently didn’t grasp is that through the wonders of modern technology, digital cameras today are able to take and store more than one photograph. I only deleted one of the 8 or so shots of that Delta 767, and had the rest of my shots from that day intact as well.
When I get back from the UK, I’m going to call the Port Authority public relations department and get the real low-down on the photo policy. If indeed it’s against Port Authority regulations to take pictures, I’ll let this matter quietly fade away and will know better in the future to keep a lower profile. If not and if the PA indicates that Swissport can't set its own photo regulations in T4, I’m going to invoice Swissport for $250 for the picture I deleted and accompany the invoice with a scathing letter with a demand for apology that will also be copied to the Port Authority. Nothing is likely to come of this, but I’ll feel better about it.
Columbia107 From Gibraltar, joined Aug 2004, 357 posts, RR: 2 Reply 2, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3793 times:
Perhaps its time that a body is set up to take on the airport and police authorities to identify who is right and who is wrong. What is allowed and what is not inside an airport terminal.
Funny but my understanding is that to take a photograph is not illegal as long as the location is not privately owned. And then it is only the owner of the property who can ask you to stop taking photographs from within the perimeters of his own property.
I for one would support in financial terms a body which protect the rights of practitioners whose only love is to take photographs of planes.
Cancidas From Poland, joined Jul 2003, 4112 posts, RR: 12 Reply 3, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3781 times:
johnj, to be perfectly honest with you... fighting swissport is not worth your time. at least not in my opinion. you came out one ahead so just leave it at that.
now, gentlemen, i'll just warn you as i do most people about this. if you make a big public stink about what they did PORT may just decide to ban photography at all 4 of its airports. this will inconvenience a lot of people, especially those us of on the inside. there is a grey area about this rule. take a lesson from me, fly under the radar. if you get the shots and get away be happy. if you happen to be stopped, they just cut bait and walk away. there will always be another opportunity.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
BigPhilNYC From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 4075 posts, RR: 55 Reply 4, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3769 times:
I agree with Matt in some cases. Now, I CERTAINLY don't think that we should lie downa nd tolerate having our rights violated or being mistreated by law enforcement, but I think that there is a way about doing things the right way, because there is a risk involved for us.
I think your idea sounds fine as long as you are not pushy towards the Port Authority.
I think the invoice is a cute idea and gets your point across, but I wouldn't expect to get paid for it.
Newark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 31 Reply 5, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3749 times:
I have only once been requested to delete pictures from my camera, from a rent-a-cop near Toys R' Us in Elizabeth. I just slipped my card out of the camera so he wouldn't see, and then turned the camera on and it said "No images." He was pleased and walked away. I put the card back in and kept shooting.
Mikephotos From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 2923 posts, RR: 55 Reply 8, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3720 times:
A quote from a PAPD cop that stopped by when we were shooting 13L sunset approach shots on Sunday: "You guys are doing nothing wrong, but let me check with my boss to see if it's okay to be here shooting....pause while he calls....no problem guys, have a good time."
Photographing aircraft is perfectly legal. I would have not deleted my pics but then again I seem to only have good run-ins around JFK. Maybe it's my way of handling the situation. On Sunday, twice visited by NYPD and once PAPD while showing the UK guys around. All 3 incidents ended with the cops (professional) driving away with the "no problem" attitude.
Futterman From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1301 posts, RR: 47 Reply 9, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3696 times:
While it may not be appropriate to pursue a sergeant or lieutenant when a gate agent starts complaining, that's the only surefire way to get the all clear. Not ONCE have I ever heard of or experienced a conversation with a superior and been told that photography is illegal, wrong, or prohibited. Nine times out of ten, actually, they support it. Mike's story is a good example of this.
Quoting Cancidas (Reply 3): if you make a big public stink about what they did PORT may just decide to ban photography at all 4 of its airports.
Same way they banned photography in the subways, Matt?
Delta717 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 455 posts, RR: 1 Reply 10, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3651 times:
Quoting Mikephotos (Reply 8): A quote from a PAPD cop that stopped by when we were shooting 13L sunset approach shots on Sunday: "You guys are doing nothing wrong, but let me check with my boss to see if it's okay to be here shooting....pause while he calls....no problem guys, have a good time."
The same thing happened to me at LGA in February. PAPD is much nicer than swissport officials are. I only wish T4 was run by them instead.
Cancidas From Poland, joined Jul 2003, 4112 posts, RR: 12 Reply 11, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3627 times:
futt, the MTA is a private organization. they never allowed photography, especially now after 09-11. that's it. now, PORT could do the same if they wanted to. i see no reason to press the issue with them.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
Cancidas From Poland, joined Jul 2003, 4112 posts, RR: 12 Reply 12, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3616 times:
phil, i also don't think that infringing on our rights as citizens of this city is a good thing. in fact i hate it. problem is that if you fight someone bigger than you you're liable to get very badly hurt.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
JohnJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1640 posts, RR: 3 Reply 13, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3588 times:
I have no intention of raising a big stink with the PA. What I plan is a phone call to their public relations office with a fairly generic question about their photo policy at T4. If they reply that photography is not illegal, then I'll explain my specific situation with Swissport and ask them if their actions are line with PA policy. I did the same thing in Memphis last month with good results, and if anything I think the woman with whom I dealt with their public relations department came away with a good impression of photographers.
However, if the PA gives me the all-clear, I do plan to raise a big stink with Swissport - cute or not, if they were violating PA policy by demanding that I delete my picture, I'm entitled to compensation. I do make money from this hobby (granted, not much...), and they're potentially denying me of my income.
CX777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 152 posts, RR: 3 Reply 14, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3581 times:
Like Mike said b4.... we had 2 encounters that morning and both were positive. Show respect and understanding and you can have a successful day. I have travelled the world over the years and have been able to get positive experiences on most of the cases.... And I think authorities (domestic/foreign) does not like being questioned...so showing that you are responsible goes a long way. Last but not the least, sometimes a larger group is better than a solo or 2 person spotting.
PS: Look at the shot... keeps a photog busy even inbetween landings! Think we should have another outing for TG791 "sendoff" on May 1st. (yup thats the 340-500 scheduled to depart Kennedy at 15:00 zulu)
JohnJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1640 posts, RR: 3 Reply 16, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3556 times:
"Not saying that is right or fair, but I don't see what hassling the PA about it is going to achieve."
I didn't say I was going to hassle the PA. What I said I was going to do was to launch a polite phone call to get the official word on the policy without mentioning my specific incident, and depending on the result I would then begin hassling... not the PA but rather Swissport. If the PA gives a thumbs-down, I'll drop the issue without argument.
Further, I doubt seriously Swissport owns T4 - I imagine they're simply the contractor running the operation for the Port Authority. Their policy may well prevail, and again if the PA indicates that Swissport is not out of line in prohibiting photography, the matter will go no further with me.
StealthZ From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5550 posts, RR: 47 Reply 17, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3546 times:
Quoting JohnJ (Reply 16): I didn't say I was going to hassle the PA
Sorry, maybe "hassling" was the wrong word, might have picked that inference up from other posts in the thread rather than yours.
I think you will find, and delighted to be shown to be wrong, that the operators of T4 can set what ever rules they like on their property just as the operator of a shopping mall, sports arena or homeowner can. Having said that, they may have no rules and you struck a couple of over zealous killjoys, be glad to hear if that is the case as well.
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
Newark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 31 Reply 19, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3492 times:
Quoting Mikephotos (Reply 18): Matt, photography is allowed in subways. They tried to put together a band but it was squashed because of all the protests.
Here's what it says on the MTA site:
Photography, filming or video recording in any facility or conveyance is permitted except that ancillary equipment such as lights, reflectors or tripods may not be used. Members of the press holding valid identification issued by the New York City Police Department are hereby authorized to use necessary ancillary equipment. All photographic activity must be conducted in accordance with the provision of these Rules.
Skidmarks From UK - England, joined exactly 9 years ago today! , 7121 posts, RR: 59 Reply 22, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3418 times:
Going off slightly at a tangent, in the North Terminal at LGW there are notices specifically stating No Photography. I presume this is to prevent "terrorists" taking pictures of sensitive areas such as check-in and security.
However, the point is, the notices are there. There is no arguing, photography is banned.
I would suggest that, instead of writing to Swissport/Port Authority and demanding payment for pictures lost etc (satisfying though that may be) you simply ask them their position on photography and where it is laid down. Should they respond and say, no photography you can then ask them why this is not publically stated in the form of signs and notices. If they say that photography is permitted you can then ask why their employees are not aware of this.
Once you have the official stance you can then plan what action, if any, you are going to take.
It might be an idea for spotters around the States to do the same thing. Places like ORD, LAX, SFO etc could all be written to and the position defined. Once this has been done it should be very difficult for employees to legally harrass anyone.
Just my point of view. Bit long winded but then, so is officialdom.
JohnJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1640 posts, RR: 3 Reply 24, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3338 times:
"I would suggest that, instead of writing to Swissport/Port Authority and demanding payment for pictures lost etc (satisfying though that may be) you simply ask them their position on photography and where it is laid down. Should they respond and say, no photography you can then ask them why this is not publically stated in the form of signs and notices. If they say that photography is permitted you can then ask why their employees are not aware of this."
I think making an advance call to an airport to clarify their policy is an excellent idea when feasible. I had a run-in with the airport police while in Memphis recently and called the airport the next morning to clarify their position. Once I knew what was allowed and what was not, I had a fine time taking pictures there and had no further troubles. However, if photography is not allowed in an area I would not question why no signs are posted. Not having signs around gives one the luxury of pleading ignorance if you do get busted for taking unauthorized photos.
25 Skidmarks: Fair comment John, but I personally would rather have signs/notices around if it is forbidden than some Hitleresque thug or pompous prat laying into m
26 Draigonair: Hey guys, yeh sometimes its just wierd...in December i was at Amterdam and i was at the gate...i flew Singapore AIrlines and next to her were 2 Delta
27 JohnJ: Well, I'm back from the UK and just got off the phone with a woman from the Port Authority about the incident. It's clear that they have a very firm p
28 Jwenting: Nick, was that person wearing any airport ID batch? If not it was a passenger with an attitude, if so it was an airport worker with an attitude. Photo