25

I'm moving from one country to another every 0.5-1 year. Mostly Europe and Asia. Among all the things that I need for life, there is one thing that I have to sell and buy each time I'm moving: a good monitor. It can fit into my luggage without problem, but considering that the luggage itself is seriously damaged every 2nd-3rd flight, I think this monitor will not survive even the very first flight. And sending it by post is even more complicated than selling/buying.

What can I do about it?

Hopefully, soon VR will get developed enough to be able to replace monitors :)

  • 4
    While this may not be a practical idea for moving between Europe and Asia, have you considered moving not by air but by train (or car/bus/ship)? If you are the one handling your luggage, you can treat it however gently you wish. – mts Dec 9 '17 at 17:31
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    @EJP It sounds like the asker says that's exactly what they've been doing. – David Z Dec 10 '17 at 11:16
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    Anecdotally, airline baggage handlers are extremely careful with anything that resembles a TV, including monitors. Provided, of course, that they're in the box that shows them to be such an item. – Michael Hampton Dec 10 '17 at 23:30
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    @MichaelHampton Maybe this changed, but maybe a decade ago, I took my desktop from Canada to Europe. Nicely packed in original box, with very visible "Fragile" signs all over. I was made to sign a waiver, and at layover in Toronto, I could see the handlers just throwing it around like a football. You wouldn't want to see the results. Wouldn't ever do that again. – Dan Mašek Dec 10 '17 at 23:42
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    @DanMašek Your desktop would probably be handled the same way today. – Michael Hampton Dec 11 '17 at 0:29
40

The original packaging boxes are a good place to begin; your monitor survived its journey from the factory to your house in that box. Your main concern will be about protecting the box from other items falling onto the box, which you can mitigate by storing the monitor in a hard-shell case if possible. (I don't bother with this for wine.)

It is also worth noting that under the Montréal Convention, an airline participating in an international journey is strictly liable for damage to luggage in its care up to about 1500 USD, regardless of any contractual term or waiver. I won't go into the legal detail about that but it provides you with a measure of insurance in the unlikely event of damage.

I am regularly shipping bottles of wine around in polystyrene boxes as luggage on aircraft; no damage yet. Personally I would say pack your monitor as well as you can, try to protect the screen side from impact damage, and ask the airline to tag it as fragile. It will probably survive > 95% of journeys.

25

The best it to have the original box. This usually comes with styrofoam that fit the shape exactly of the monitor. Within it the monitor is inside a large anti-static bag and I plastic wrap the box for protection in case it gets wet.

As thing would have it, this year I travelled twice with 2 monitors. One was in its original box since still had it. Nothing happened to it. It was labelled on 3 sides over the plastic and 3 sides under the plastic in case it got unwrapped. The airline also affixed fragile labels on 3 sides and had someone carry it to the transport rather than going on the conveyor belt. It survived perfectly 4 flights this way.

The other monitor was an older but still high-end color-calibratable model for which I no longer had the original box. That one went into a hard-shell Samsonite (other brands make them too but I own four of these and they outlasted newer ones I bought later) suitcase. The monitor was first wrapped in bubble wrap (the kind with large, roughly 1" bubbles) and then wrapped in towels. Another time I had it inside a rolled yoga-mat. The monitor arrived intact from all its flights. Make sure the suitcase is full of softish items though and do not leave empty space as that will cause the monitor to shift and it may lose a bit of its protection.

Anecdotally, at one of the stopovers I was asked by customs to come watch them inspect my luggage and they kept asking why I would be travelling with a monitor! I had to explain them it was special and showed colors that others didn't.

  • 1
    I seriously doubt the plastic wrap is doing anything useful here. The original boxes are usually quite sturdy and have. And even it it would soak through there is still a lot of styrofoam. And the only time your luggage gets wet would usually be when it rains during loading/unloading, which is a rather short time. But then again, I guess I never get why people use this over-expensive (and in my opinion useless) plastic wrapping things at airports. – dirkk Dec 10 '17 at 10:56
  • Suitcase get wet often when you travel to areas with bad weather. I have had wet suitcases before and even one of the time, the plastic wrap was wet. It's a complete all-around-protection while the Styrofoam has gaps. In my case, I used my own wrap, not the airports, so that I can easily do it and undo it which was required on 2 flights for custom inspection. – Itai Dec 10 '17 at 16:30
  • @dirkk That plastic wrapping is very good in one situation: when you are afraid something can be stolen from your luggage, unfurtonately a real concern in some places – jean Dec 11 '17 at 11:44
  • I can see the "wrap in soft material" approach being a good one for a "hard screen" monitor but I wouldn't want to do it for one with a soft screen. – Peter Green Dec 11 '17 at 16:56
5

Wrapping it massively in bubble wrap, and asking the airline to put a fragile sticker can help. I carry bottles of alcohol on almost every flight, and have had zero breakage so far. In close to twenty years. So it's mostly down to your wrapping - and the airline of course...

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    i think, bottles are not nearly so fragile as monitor – stkvtflw Dec 9 '17 at 14:30
  • Oh yes they can be. Especially the cheaper stuff... – user67108 Dec 9 '17 at 14:35
  • @dda Even the cheapest bottles I've seen were about 2mm thick. LCD panels have much thinner glass plates. – Dmitry Grigoryev Dec 11 '17 at 14:46
5

An original box will only survive a few times. They are designed to ship to the end user once and maybe for return to the manufacture.

The proper option is a hard case with foam inside cut to fit the monitor. These cases are designed for transporting expensive and delicate equipment. The are water proof and designed to survive significant abuse.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transit_case

  • 1
    We use cases like Pelican makes to transport expensive electronics. You can practically drive a truck over them. They do add a lot to the weight compared to a flat panel monitor. At some point it might just make sense to buy new monitors every few moves. – Spehro Pefhany Dec 9 '17 at 21:51
  • There are several much cheaper clone manufactures of the pelican cases. Not as good in my experience but fine for a >200USD monitor. – mjnight Dec 9 '17 at 22:45
  • any recommendations on where can i order one for a monitor in Poland? – stkvtflw Dec 10 '17 at 4:45
  • That type of case is called a 'flight case'. First usable search result for 'flight case Poland: case-pack.com.pl – Hobbes Dec 11 '17 at 10:12
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    "They are designed to ship to the end user once" Sure but I don't see any wear on it. Why shouldn't it last twenty flights? The box itself with foam inside isn't hard enough to distribute a shock (for example, from a pointy object falling on top), but inside a normal (hard) suitcase I'd say it should be equally fine in the original box as in any other foam-filled box. – Luc Dec 11 '17 at 10:58

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