Photographer’s Gear Destroyed During United Airlines Flight

Photographer’s Gear Destroyed During United Airlines Flight

A camera case is open, showing a collection of photography equipment. The gear includes Canon lenses, a Canon camera, lens hoods, and various camera accessories, arranged in padded compartments for protection. The setup is shown from two different angles.
$15,000 worth of camera gear collected over 10 years, broken.

A professional photographer who was required by United Airlines to check his camera bag got to his destination to find all of his equipment broken after it had apparently been dropped and opened.

Lifestyle and fashion photographer Anvar Karimov had all of his photo equipment destroyed after arriving in Chicago from Los Angeles leaving him unable to do the job he was traveling for and unsure as to whether he will be able to fulfill his work commitments throughout the summer.

Karimov claims that United is trying to wash its hands of the incident, only offering him $100 travel credit and being generally unresponsive. He estimates the damage to be around $15,000 and doesn’t have equipment insurance.

“I don’t feel defeated, yet,” Karimov tells PetaPixel over the phone. “I’ve never been in a situation like this before but I have so many people messaging me that this happened to them and United has ignored them.”

A hard protective case with foam padding holds a collection of camera equipment, including several Canon lenses, a camera body, a flash unit, and various camera accessories. The gear is securely nestled within the foam compartments for safekeeping.

The photographer has shared what has happened to him on Reddit and Facebook but is nervous about sharing it on Instagram where his clients will see what’s happened.

“It’s all the camera gear that I’ve accumulated and upgraded through the years of photography,” he says.

“We start with small cameras in the beginning and through the years you keep getting more and more. You need a lot of different styles of gear nowadays to keep up with trends and to be a photographer that has an edge over a lot of competition.”

A camera bag with foam padding holding various photography equipment including two cameras, multiple camera lenses, charger, cables, and accessories. The gear appears slightly disorganized within the compartmentalized sections of the bag.

Many people have pointed out that Karimov should never have checked his bag and he “100% agrees with them” but while waiting in line an announcement was made that all bags needed to be checked because of limited space in the cabin.

“And I was like, ‘Hey, I have valuable things in there.’ They’re like, ‘Yes, but we don’t have any space for it. Everyone checked in their bag and you’re going to have to’.”

He urged them to be careful with his bag and staff told him that they would take care of it.

“I’m feeling some sort of responsibility should be taken here because I don’t have control over my bag at that moment anymore,” he adds.

Karimov says that when he eventually got his bag from the carousel in Chicago he immediately realized how bad the damage was. He took a photo of the broken gear and sent it to United which apparently replied by saying it is not liable for any electronics.

“I’ve had cameras and lenses that took damage but never in my life have I seen internal hardware break,” he says. “They were dropped. This thing was 100% dropped from a super high position.”

PetaPixel reached out to United Airlines which did not respond as of publication.

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