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Hand Inspection at Airports?

Discussion in 'Help Team' started by NDoyle, Aug 22, 2002.

  1. NDoyle

    NDoyle Member

    I am going to be flying from London to Cairo to Luxor, then, after a wonderous week and a half of train & car through Middle Egypt, flying Cairo to London, then, five days later, flying London to Philadelphia to Portland, Maine. (Home at last!) There are also X-rays at the Cairo Museum. Needless to say, I am bringing my photography gear and am concerned about X-ray exposure. I'll have some of the film processed in London. However, because of cost and especially because most of the film will be slides (and some b&w print), I don't think I'll be able to get it all done before returning home.

    I have read on photo.net that it's impossible to get a visual inspection of carry-on luggage at any British airport. (I don't know yet which airport Egypt Air flies from, but my US trip is out of Gatwick.) Yet the staff of the local (Liverpool) Jessops tells me that AP once printed a notice to show to the X-ray operators, indicating that BAA airports do, upon request, hand-check film. (I've been buying the magazine reasonably regularly for the past year and didn't see it.) Also on photo.net, however, I saw mention of a 1999 (?) agreement between AP and BAA that BAA later negated. Is this was the Jessops people are thinking of?

    I do have two of the "stronger" lead-lined bags (Hama Film-Safe Super), which will hold untubbed film in Ziplock bags, and two Hama Film-Safe Xs. Given all I've read about the lead bags, their effectiveness, and how they are treated by security, this might be more psychological protection than anything else. The film will range from Velvia to a few Ilford Delta 3200, and an assortment in between.

    Any suggestions?

    Many thanks!
    --Noreen
     
  2. Reading

    Reading Well-Known Member

    Show them that you have film faster than 1600 and you will usually be OK, unless you get someone difficult, or you annoy them.

    Many peiople put a super fast film in their bag purely to use as a tactic to get hand searches. Having said that, as long as it goes through the hand luggage scanner rather than the checked in luggage scanner, the Xrays shouldnt really affect it. I hear that the damage is more prevalent AFTER exposure anyway so on the way out it is even less likely to be a problem - its coming back that you will have to try and persuade someone in Egypt to do it!

    If you put a lead bag through a scanner, they may (and should) want to see what is in it.
     
  3. sinister

    sinister Well-Known Member

    Absoulity no chance of a hand inspection at Cario. I have asked at Luton, Glasgow and London Heathrow since 9-11 and all requests refused. Both Glasgow and LHR are BAA run airports.

    Your commentJessops tells me that AP once printed a notice to show to the X-ray operators, indicating that BAA airports do, upon request, hand-check film. That I believe was prior to 9-11.

    And I would not recommend the film safe bags. All the staff do nowadays is to increase the power of the machine in order to see inside.

    I have recently come back from abroad and the film was damaged but it now appears not to have been X-ray problems. More due to heat. I would say the Delta 3200 may be more prone to x-ray damage than any of the other film.

    Also remember to ensure any sharp objects, including nail sciccors, nail files, small pen knives etc are packed in your hold luggage. It will be taken from you and as I have seen don't protest. You will miss the flight. Not to mention piss everybody else in line.




    <font color=red>Sinister</font color=red>
    <font color=blue>Flash, bang, wallop....Bum, left the lens cap on</font color=blue>
     
  4. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Yes, I would agree - virtually no chance of a hand check. In theory they can be pre-booked, but BJP is full of stories of them not happening. The only films that would worry me are the fastest ones - but DON'T use a lead bag, they're worse than not using anything! They turn up the power to get through the bag - but it's to get through BOTH walls of the bag, so the film actually gets MORE of an x-ray dose than if you hadn't used the bag! Apparantly that's not the case in the US, but it is here. I would recommend putting all the film in a clear plastic bag - you MIGHT then get that hand searched, but I doubt it - and I've flown over a hundred times in the last year, I have asked often and always been refused.
    I did a test (prior to the events of last September) on a roll of Elitechrome ExtraColour - it passed through 12 lots of x-rays without even the slightest effect.
    It might therefore be worth getting the Delta 3200 developed, but I would think your Velvia would be safe as houses.

    Nick BSRIPN
     
  5. philipbowman

    philipbowman Well-Known Member

    Coming back from Montreal via Newark a couple of months back my Delta 3200 and Superia 1600 appear to have come through unscathed, but my girlfriend had her nail file confiscated.

    On our holiday last year (eventually returning 9-13) they physically checked the cameras too, checking the light path, and opening the back of the one with no film in. I always carry all my photo equipment as hand luggage. They didn't like the look on the X-ray of the tripod and monopod in my rucksack and made me empty it.

    Also make sure all your electronics work (no flat batteries) as they'll ask you to turn them on and off.
    Have fun (if you ever get there!)

    Phil Bowman, Watford

    <font color=blue>I think I have too much blood in my coffee..</font color=blue>
     
  6. mikeh

    mikeh Well-Known Member

    Another tip!! I came back from Vancouver in April (having a broken arm from skiing --- but that's another story!!). At Vancouver airport they took out my digital camera and my camcorder, and made me switch 'em both on. The camcorder battery was flat, so they then made me get the charger and wait and charge the battery until there was enough juice to switch the camera on. Luckily I had chargers etc with me, or else I would have had a real problem. Also I had plenty of time too, but it could have been a real hassle.

    So the moral is, make sure if you have these things in your hand baggage that the batteries have some charge in 'em!

    Mike
     
  7. sinister

    sinister Well-Known Member

    Nail Files. Yes they will remove them. However and as yet no comment from Lufthansa. Why do they give you steel Knives and Forks for your meals on long / medium haul. Now is that stupid or what.

    And yes I have been asked to turn on my laptop at the secruity. So i said to it. " hello baby do you want to play" /img/wwwthreads/wink.gif

    But to be serious, it is best to make sure that all the hardware is working. BTW this power up check has only happened to me at German Airports.

    <font color=red>Sinister</font color=red>
    <font color=blue>Flash, bang, wallop....Bum, left the lens cap on</font color=blue>
     
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Also in Paris. And mobile phone power-up checks in the UK.

    Nick BSRIPN
     
  9. 0

    0 Guest

    In spring this year we went to Italy; I had a lead bag in my camera bag and the guy recognised it as a film bag and instead of cranking up the x-rays, he hand inspected my camera bag. I guess I got lucky! This was at Stanstead.

    I wonder if it'd be possible to send a parcel of film to the hotel instead of bringing it with you to the airport....hmm....I suppose someplace like Italy I could have just bought film there, seems to be something of photography-loving place, lot's of old skool little camera stores with good stocks of film.

    <font color=green>I should be studying....</font color=green>/img/wwwthreads/frown.gif
     
  10. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Well you can post the film, but it can then be subjected to hold baggage dose x-rays - which WILL fry the film. And runs an increased risk of theft.
    IMO, the risk of x-rays in normal circumstances is way overstated, at least with most films.

    Nick BSRIPN
     
  11. sinister

    sinister Well-Known Member

    One reason why you may have a got a pat down of your hand luggage at Stanstead is that it is a very little used airport compared to the other airports around London.

    I don't wish to sound how you say, light hearted, it is a fact. Try a hand search of luggage on a Monday Morning at LHR for a flight into Mainland Europe.

    The que for security is long. This is also true for London Luton.

    So I would not expect it.

    <font color=red>Sinister</font color=red>
    <font color=blue>Flash, bang, wallop....Bum, left the lens cap on</font color=blue>
     
  12. 0

    0 Guest

    Royal Mail x-ray stuff as well? or the flight operators that they use for transport?

    <font color=green>I should be studying....</font color=green>/img/wwwthreads/frown.gif
     
  13. sinister

    sinister Well-Known Member

    Flight Ops.

    <font color=red>Sinister</font color=red>
    <font color=blue>Flash, bang, wallop....Bum, left the lens cap on</font color=blue>
     
  14. CHIPS

    CHIPS Well-Known Member

    The lead bag has obtained a hand search for me several times - certainly better than asking anywhere in Britain. Cairo and Luxor (and Aswan ) were happy to hand search when asked politely but may have changed in the past 3-4 years. Why do film canisters cause such concern ? 3200 asa did do the trick in Belfast but not at Gatwick whose security staff are a very good reason to avoid the hole .
     
  15. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    My turn.

    I put all my film in clear(ish) Fuji plastic film containers and then
    put that in a clear plastic (Ziplock) bag so that the security people
    can see that it is film. This, however, rarely works and they still
    put it through the X-Ray. Also, I found another good thing to do is
    to have all the gear ready for the security personnel when it is your
    turn to go through the search because it makes their job a little easier
    and is usually quicker for you.

    /img/wwwthreads/smile.gif

    Jack

    It's amazing what one can do when one doesn't know what one is doing!/img/wwwthreads/wink.gif
     
  16. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    And HM Customs!

    Nick BSRIPN
     
  17. sinister

    sinister Well-Known Member

    One more thing, Place all your metal / large objects in the hand luggae before going through. Saves time on going through the metal dectector.

    <font color=red>Sinister</font color=red>
    <font color=blue>Flash, bang, wallop....Bum, left the lens cap on</font color=blue>
     
  18. sinister

    sinister Well-Known Member

    Dont knock the secruity staff. They do get a lot of stick. And remember it is your safty that is of concern.

    A recent study has found that the number one problem to flight safty. is not an aircraft failure, bombing, pilot/ATC error, but your fellow pasagenger.



    <font color=red>Sinister</font color=red>
    <font color=blue>Flash, bang, wallop....Bum, left the lens cap on</font color=blue>
     
  19. CHIPS

    CHIPS Well-Known Member

    Fail to see how their (OK not every one at Gatwick just the one's I've conversed with - politely) pig ignorance contributes to my safety. See very clearly how my (our) presence contributes to their wage packet. Still don't understand the paranoia about film canisters. They don't seem to pick on batteries or cosmetics containers. And now you tell me the greatest threat is other passengers - so why do they let the buggers on - that's why I can't get leg room.
     
  20. sinister

    sinister Well-Known Member

    You don't fly very often then CHIPS.

    <font color=red>Sinister</font color=red>
    <font color=blue>Flash, bang, wallop....Bum, left the lens cap on</font color=blue>
     

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