airport security and problems with film?


Earning My Ears
Sep 27, 2001
has anyone had problems with their film being exposed because of increased security (more xray machine/stronger xrays). someone said to buy your film at your destination and develop them before you fly--is this true????
We just got back from 1 week at WDW and 1 week Magic Cruise and I brought back 28 rolls of film and had no problems. They were x-rayed many times and it was 400 speed. I think the problems come when you have higher film speeds like 800 and 1000:wave:

Good Luck
When I flew down to Orlando in November, I asked the security folks at Akron/Canton airport to hand screen my film (which they did). I had heard horror stories about the higher power xray units that are in place at some airports. On my return flight, the security folks at Orlando REFUSED my request, saying that 200 speed film would do just fine in the xray machine.

So there you have it. The definitive "I don't know" answer. I guess the ultimate answer is to get a digital camera and be done with film once and for all.

Since they aren't xraying checked bags (yet), your best bet might be to pack you film in your suitcases.
We had no problems with our 400 and 800 speed film in our carry ons. I already had the film developed and the pictures came out great. I would never put film in checked baggage though. I was told the machines they use for that are twice as bad as for the carry ons. If you are really unsure, then ask them to hand check the film.
We got x-rayed both ways.....In the Philly airport, I put my new film in my carryon and took it out of the bag when we went through security. But the girl said it also needed to be scanned and wouldn't be hurt...okay...and I held my breath.

On the way home, because dh wasn't paying attention at the debarkation meeting (I love him so;) ), our bags never made it to the plane. When we landed in Philly, we learned our bags were still in Port Canaveral. Then, because they were "unaccompanied bags", they said each checked bag would need to be x-rayed....okay... and I held my breath.

Three days later, I had our film developed....and held my breath while I opened the kodak film processing bags.......and they were perfect! Whew! And we used only cheap disposable cameras.

Just hold your breath....that seems to work!:D
The only warning I have read about concerns the new stronger x-ray equipment for checked bags. The news article quoted the airlines warning people not to put film in their checked bags. The carry-on x-ray machine must not be as strong, we have always sent our film through that machine, exposed and unexposed. I also saw a newspaper article about some celebrity(can't remember their name) who lost all of their vacation phots because it was in their checked bags. This was right after the new equipment started being used. Just keep it in your carry-on to be safe. Kathy
I guess that I got the xray thing backwards, although I know that they can crank up the xray flux on the security checkpoint machines if they see something suspicious. They ran my camcorder bag through 3 times before they ended up examining it by hand. It seems that I had a ziplock bag full of state quarters (about $10 worth) that I was taking to Orlando to trade with some friends that I was meeting there. I had forgotten about it and it appeared as a very large hunk of metal. I was glad that my film didn't go through the same xray scrutiny.

I don't personally know anyone who has had film fogged by airport xrays.

On a somewhat related thread, I can hardly wait until the post office starts irradiating our mail. That should put all the mail order film processing firms out of business very quickly as the gamma rays will most definitely destroy film, both developed and undeveloped. Someone wake me up when this nightmare is over.
There was a written warning at Orlando Airport (came back Sept 16) where are baggage had to go through the Super X-Ray machine that any film would be damaged (exposed/unexposed). I started to panic, but found out it was only our checked luggage going through this powerful machine. Our hand luggage went through the normal machines on the way to the gates.
In January, I put my unexposed film in my carryon. I also packed York Photo Lab mailers (and pre-written checks). On the way home, I mailed the film at the Orlando airport post office.

('Course this won't work in the future if Towncrier is right about irradiating the mail.) :(


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