TSA - Always needing to go through the XRay

Kim&Chris

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 23, 2000
I've had two knee replacements (so far) and whenever we travel I ALWAYS need to go through the xray machine. No problem, except that the knee never shows up on the xrays. What DOES show up on the screen is metal (or something) in my lower stomach/pelvic area!

I have no metal or masses in that area, yet every screening shows something in the exact same spot.

And of course, they give me a pat down that is very personal & unnecessarily embarrassing. I mean, they put their hands 'everywhere' 😫.

My physician even wrote a prescription so I could get a medical xray just to confirm there's nothing there. And....there's nothing there.

Anyone else have this issue? I mean, it's to the point now where I'm really aggravated.
 
My mom has 2 knee replacements and they just use the wand to make sure that's the only place that detects the metal. She's never given a full on pat down.

I've found if I wear leggings my crotch lights up.... Its so obvious that I'm not hiding anything in leggings yet they still need to feel the area. I think its because I wear velour leggings and the texture throws off the machine.

I also have multiple tattoos and only one of them shows up. I tell them that's what it is and they never believe me. One time I just went to lift the pant leg so they could visualize that there was nothing there and they practically tackled me.
Its funny how the rare occasion I wear shorts they see the spot on the body scan and then see I have a tattoo there and don't want to touch my leg...
 
You kind of answered your own question? The "x-ray" machine is not an "x-ray" machine at all, it's actually just a radio wave scanner(millimeter wave machines). It's taking a picture of your body looking for any annomoly not looking inside of it.

“Millimeter wave imaging technology does not detect items inside a passenger’s body or penetrate the skin,”
 
You kind of answered your own question? The "x-ray" machine is not an "x-ray" machine at all, it's actually just a radio wave scanner(millimeter wave machines). It's taking a picture of your body looking for any annomoly not looking inside of it.

“Millimeter wave imaging technology does not detect items inside a passenger’s body or penetrate the skin,”
Interesting, I really did think it was an xray, lol. It's just odd that it does not pick up the knee, but it does pick up something else. And it's happened on 4 different trips so far. So freaking annoying and embarrassing!
 
Interesting, I really did think it was an xray, lol. It's just odd that it does not pick up the knee, but it does pick up something else. And it's happened on 4 different trips so far. So freaking annoying and embarrassing!
Could it be the zipper or some other metal from your pants? Since someone else mentioned leggings setting it off, could it be the material of your underwear?
 
I use to fly often from Sanford Fl. To Allentown Pa. and back. I always wore pocket shorts and for some reason in Sanford airport, the furthest machine from where you enter it would signal on my right hip. It always drew a lot of attention. lol. I asked one day when I was the only one going through security at that time why does it always hit on my right hip? There is nothing there, inside or outside.
The gentleman told me it’s my shorts, the machine is sensing it is thicker in one spot. There are two lines they use and the far line you have to take out laptops, electronics etc and the closer line you don’t have to. Which explains why only one machine is picking it up.
I no longer own that type of pocket shorts. lol.
 
Curtain shirts my wife wears will also set it off. She has since figured out what shirts will not set it off and that’s what she wear when she flys.
The other thing you will run into is if you ask questions, chances are they won’t tell you how things work or their methods. Makes sense or it wouldn’t be security.
 
Yeah my daughter got a couple of very personal physical checks after her shorts set it off a few time. Luckily now we have precheck and go through the metal detectors. I have to with an implant I have. Once my daughter was randomized to go into the scanner which luckily she passed through without issue. Oh and twice my bare knee set it off. I have never had surgery and it was a fully exposed knee with nothing over it. They still had to quickly feel it lol
 
I use to fly often from Sanford Fl. To Allentown Pa. and back. I always wore pocket shorts and for some reason in Sanford airport, the furthest machine from where you enter it would signal on my right hip. It always drew a lot of attention. lol. I asked one day when I was the only one going through security at that time why does it always hit on my right hip? There is nothing there, inside or outside.
The gentleman told me it’s my shorts, the machine is sensing it is thicker in one spot. There are two lines they use and the far line you have to take out laptops, electronics etc and the closer line you don’t have to. Which explains why only one machine is picking it up.
I no longer own that type of pocket shorts. lol.
The thickening of the material is an interesting point. All 4 times it's happened, I've had different types of bottoms on.

It's a mystery.
 
Yeah my daughter got a couple of very personal physical checks after her shorts set it off a few time. Luckily now we have precheck and go through the metal detectors. I have to with an implant I have. Once my daughter was randomized to go into the scanner which luckily she passed through without issue. Oh and twice my bare knee set it off. I have never had surgery and it was a fully exposed knee with nothing over it. They still had to quickly feel it lol
We have pre-check also.

Crazy!!!
 
Do you by any chance have some extra weight around your midsection that is hanging over the waistband of your pants? How the AI of the machine works is that it alarms on anything it doesn't think should be there. Folded over clothing, excess skin, a hoodie the system isn't expecting will all alarm and must be cleared by an agent. One of the earlier software releases had an agent hitting a button for male or female, this was changed as it would alarm on the crotch of anyone that presented differently than what private parts they have. People presenting male but having breasts would alarm as would those presenting female but having male genitalia.
Personally I would walk through the metal detector, let it alarm and have them hand wand me rather than going through the scanner. But I hate the scanner.
 
I have had no issues since getting pre check. But before, I did find a couple things that set things off. T-shirts or pants that were sparkly (like glitter or rhinestones) seemed to set it off. I like a bra band that has a little bigger underwire and that would set it off. Now, I am more careful what I pick to wear to try to avoid setting anything off.
 
I had a TKR and even though we have TSA PreCheck I always get a patdown at MCO. Never at our departure airport. Last time, they made me take my shoes off and even checked my hands. I am a senior and walk with a cane and use a chair at MCO. It is so public and intrusive.
 
I’ve had bilateral knee replacements for over 10 years. Almost always have areas that show on the scanner. I’ve come to the conclusion in my case it’s usually excess skin… or fat. At my age, the full pat down is sometimes the biggest thrill in my day! LOL Honestly, it’s not a big deal to me… these people are just doing their job.
 
pants that were sparkly (like glitter or rhinestones)
Yes, I have one pair of jeans with rhinestones on the back pockets. I’ve found from experience not to wear them when flying!

And DH has had to find belts and suspenders with plastic buckles.
 
Yes, I have one pair of jeans with rhinestones on the back pockets. I’ve found from experience not to wear them when flying!

And DH has had to find belts and suspenders with plastic buckles.
I’m confused. Are you doing the walk through metal detector or full body scanner? TSA pre is usually walk through metal detector which is fine with a normal belt or light jacket.

If it’s the full body scanner that thing is a hot mess. My pony tail of no metal sets it off I kid you not! And, that’s so common it’s been written about that people with thick hair get stuck with these hair pat downs so consistently it’s bordering on harassment. Idk if they re-calibrated their systems after that news went mainstream or not as I switched but before I switched to TSA pre I was in the group getting Hair Patdowns every single time I went through if my hair was in a pony tail.
 
Are you doing the walk through metal detector or full body scanner?
I don’t recall which it was - it happened several years ago - but I think it was the metal detector. TSA PreCheck at our home airport uses the metal detector, which I’m happy for because I have difficulty positioning one arm over my head for the body scanner, due to a fracture and subsequent joint replacement. The joint is titanium, so I can usually walk straight through the metal detector.
 
It's just your clothes.

I wear jeans and always set those off such that they have to do a pat down in the genitals area. I'm like, sure, got nothing to hide.
 
And DH has had to find belts and suspenders with plastic buckles.
https://www.thewilderness.com/belts/frequent-flyer-belt/ Wilderness Frequent Flyer belt. I've had these for years and never had an issue with a metal detector. The stupid scanner on the other hand...
I’m confused. Are you doing the walk through metal detector or full body scanner? TSA pre is usually walk through metal detector which is fine with a normal belt or light jacket.

If it’s the full body scanner that thing is a hot mess. My pony tail of no metal sets it off I kid you not! And, that’s so common it’s been written about that people with thick hair get stuck with these hair pat downs so consistently it’s bordering on harassment. Idk if they re-calibrated their systems after that news went mainstream or not as I switched but before I switched to TSA pre I was in the group getting Hair Patdowns every single time I went through if my hair was in a pony tail.
It has to be the metal detector. The scanner will ping on a belt no matter what type it is. On the exceedingly rare occasion I have to go through the scanner, I have to take my belt off and have it go through the baggage scanner.
 
















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