I know this is flying against the crowd, but sometimes wierd thing happen. Checked airline baggage coming back from LAX to Toronto YYZ two summers ago. The two 500mL bottles of e-6 reversal bath concentrate ( a clear liquid) that I bought on the trip (taped plastic bottle caps on plastic bottles , zip locked just to be sure) made it. The bottle of opaque BBQ sauce my wife bought was confiscated.
i brought chemistry to and from france back in 2008.
dry cyanotype 2 part chemistry ( to france ) , and then liquid,
also ... 2 curious white powders ... sodium carbonate and vit c ...
they were in sealed labelled containers and did not cause me
or anyone any problems.
make sure the stuff is sealed and labelled that is what i was always
told to do, and it all worked out OK ..
of course that was in 2009, and it is 2012 so YMMV
There is no reason to think that sincere terrorists couldn't purchase packing machines and duplicate Kodak or any other companies packaging.
Ship the film and/or chemicals ahead. Why bother with the potential hassle/confiscation?
If you can't legally ship the chemicals, you definitely shouldn't be stowing them away in your checked baggage. I've shipped film ahead several times after a poor experience trying to get it hand checked at the security gate.
A few years ago, but well after 9/11, I was carrying about 20 rolls of ISO100 and ISP400 120 roll film in their original sealed boxes through airport security. I didn't want the film scanned by their x-ray machine, so I was determined to get it hand checked. I even went to the TSA web site and printed the page that explained I had the right to get the film hand checked. I was prepared.
When I got to the security gate, I put my keys, belt, shoes, and other assorted items in the tray and held up my clear plastic bag of film boxes asking (very politely) if I could have it hand checked.
"The scanner won't hurt it if it's less than 1000 speed film," the TSA guy droned at me in a much less than interested voice.
Like I said, I was prepared for that possibility. I explained, again with no attitude whatsoever, the x-rays were cumulative and I was traveling several legs and I'd appreciate it if I could get it hand checked.
"You're kidding, right?"
"No, please. May I get it hand checked?" I really didn't want to pull out my printed paper with the rules.
He sighed a most disinterested sigh and told me he'd get someone to hand check my film. I gave it to him and went through the metal detector to collect the rest of my stuff. He whined at another TSA agent and told him to hand check my film. By this time, I had put my belt and shoes back on and refilled my pockets with keys, change, etc. All I needed was my film checked.
The second guy pointed at a chair and told me to sit while he checked my film. He proceeded to open every single box (there were about 20) and individually swipe each foil packet, one at a time, and run the sample through the machine. He was in NO hurry. It probably took him 20 minutes or more to individually test every single roll of film. I sat there quietly and when he was nearly done, I commented to him that he was doing it that way because he could, right? He nodded and winked at me. Then he left me with 20 foil packets of film and 20 empty boxes in a big tray. Thanks.
The moral is, you can make them follow the rules, but you can't make them hurry. I ship film ahead now. It's so much more convenient.
Yeah, I ran in to the same thing when I came back from New Orleans after Katrina, although in this case the TSA people were very polite and swabbed all 70 exposed rolls by hand.
On the other hand when I flew out of Heathrow, London the lady at the security point looked like she was going to gut me like a fish, when I asked her to check 10 fresh rolls of Delta 3200. When she insisted that it was safe for them to be run through the machine I told her to just throw them in the trash, since they would be ruined.
I'm taking about 70 rolls down to NZ. If you want to make your life and everyone else's a lot easier there are two things you can do.
Show up 1-1 1/2 hours early to give yourself time for the inspection.
Take all rolls out of the plastic containers and dump them in a giant ziplock or storm bag. I put a strip of masking tape marked 1600 asa on the outside and inform the TSA that these need to be hand checked because they are being push processed. There is a certain amount of truth to that since I really do push Tri-X to 1000-1600 on a regular basis.