I had to fly down to LA for a shoot recently and settled on a couple of things. This roller luggae case by Lowepro (here) and this monopod by Sirui (here). I had to be absolutely sure that the airline wouldn’t check my gear, otherwise I wouldn’t fly. No way I trust them handling $15k (yikes I didn’t realize until now) plus worth of camera bodies and lenses. The smallest of this Lowepro series met Virgin’s carry-on specifications and I could convert it to a backpack if they gave me trouble and also could use it to fit more stuff once landed if needed. Also, my trusty Manfrotto 561 monopod was just too big to lug around especially since we were already packing a heavy duty tripod, light stands and light panels. The Sirui holds something like 22 pounds and I can attest that is supports a lot. I mounted a 5d3, battery grip, lcd monitor and 70-200 2.8 is mark ii and it didn’t break a sweat. It didn’t even slide down which the Manfrotto does occasionally before retightening.
The trip was super brief but I snuck in a few shots and clips here and there.