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Question re: Air Travel Security

Old Nov 13th, 2001, 04:16 AM
  #1  
Dave
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Question re: Air Travel Security

I have a specific question and I was wondering if someone out there knows the answer. I have heard that with the heightened security that if you travel with a laptop, security makes you take it out of the case and send it thru the X-Ray machine. Here's my question: What about cameras? I travel with 2-3 cameras in a camera bag, along with a handful of lenses and film, of course. What can I expect from security? (I know this may vary from airport to airport, but I'll welcome any answers. This will be our first trip since Sept 11.) Thanks!
 
Old Nov 13th, 2001, 09:49 AM
  #2  
cg
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Just got back from Hawaii - we were travelling with one medium-sized camera and a bunch of film, and didn't have to do anything special with any of it. Just sent it through like normal. The only difference is that they sent all our checked luggage through big machines at the Honolulu airport and told us it would mess up any film we had in there - so I'd suggest carrying all your film in your carry-on since those x-rays are safe for film.
 
Old Nov 13th, 2001, 10:09 AM
  #3  
dan woodlief
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I just returned from Italy 2 1/2 weeks ago and took a bag full of gadgets, including two SLRs, and about 50 rolls of film. The only thing significantly different was that I had to ask a little more persistently for hand checking of the film in the U.S. I used a lead-lined bag very successfully in Europe, where they almost never hand checked anyway. In fact, this was the first trip overseas during which my film was never x-rayed without protection. I was a little paranoid beforehand too and expected that they might want to open the cameras, etc. I flew through RDU and O'Hare in the U.S. London Gatwick and Rome in Europe.
 
Old Nov 13th, 2001, 11:02 AM
  #4  
Leone
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Just retruned from Africa with almost 75 rolls ... and I packed it in a separate bag, OUT of the plastic containers, and asked for a hand check at each security point. My camera and lens went though x-ray in a shoulder bag, and the film did not. You may be told that flim below ISO 1600 will not be affected by the security x-ray ... I cannot vouch for that claim. We asked for a hand check and they granted it. Ciao
 
Old Nov 13th, 2001, 12:37 PM
  #5  
cg
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I have a question... I've been passing film through security x-ray machines for the past ten years in various countries including the US, China, Costa Rica, Botswana, and Mexico, without a single roll being ruined. I generally use 200 & 400 film...

I'm usually too disorganized to get lead bags or have them hand check my film, but I've never had a problem with my photos. Am I just lucky?
 
Old Nov 14th, 2001, 03:58 AM
  #6  
Dave
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Thanks to cg, Dan, and Leone for answering. As to your question, cg, I too have travelled a lot in several different countries with loads of film and have never (knock on wood) had any of it ruined by x-rays. I also don't use the lead bags, keep the film in my camera bag (as opposed to Leone, who asks for it to be hand inspected) and I shoot, usually, 200 or 400 speed film. You always hear that the x-rays are more powerful outside the U S, but so far I've been lucky. Probably, what Leone does is the best way to handle it, but, like you, I'm too disorganized. I'm lucky if I get to the right airport at the right time!
 
Old Nov 14th, 2001, 05:15 AM
  #7  
dan woodlief
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cg, I had never used lead bags until this recent trip and had traveled in Asia, Latin America, Canada, and many parts of Europe. I generally just put the film in large, clear plastic bags and ask for hand checking; I have mostly been denied hand checking in Europe but never in the U.S. and rarely elsewhere. This time I was concerned because frankly I didn't know what to expect after September 11, and I had planned the Italy trip for a long time. I took the extra precautions of getting a lead bag and taking the film out of the little containers for easy inspection in the U.S. It probably wouldn't have been damaged anyway, but the extra measures provided peace of mind if nothing else. I did send a few rolls through at the Vatican Museums checkpoint. I generally carry 100, 400, and a little 800 speed.
 

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