I don't trust the airport screening systems despite what they say. I just made a photo expedition to San Francisco. Shipped the film to the hotel by fedex and had a return shipping label to ship it back. Hotels ship stuff for customers all the time so it's pretty routine for them. I also put those Kodak DO-NOT-X-RAY labels all over the box.
Anyway, everything went very smoothly, I've had film hand checked at the airport, but they usually try to talk me out of it, so they clearly don't like doing it. When I left SF, the line for the security screening was very long, so I'm glad I didn't have to worry about it.
I would say always have film in your carry-on baggage because if it goes as checked baggage there is a risk that you will lose it if the bags go astray. I've never had any problems with 100 or 400 speed film going through the carry-on scanners, even multiple times.
carry on is the only way. All X ray damage film to some degree. The reason you do not see it is it manifests as a low even fog exposure which you print through with some quality losss. Damage is cumulative. There are no x ray machines that do not damage film regardless of what people here say and what the airlines tell you.
Baggage scanners , if you get picked, put stripes of overexposure across the frame rendering it useless.
Digi is better for travel.
If you can budget some extra time, go for a hand inspection. Make it easy by having 35mm in cans and 120 out of 5/20 pacs in ziplocs. They'll likely swab and sniff 'em all but it sidesteps the scanners. Be patient and polite. It sometimes offers the inspectors a break from the stinky shoe bins.
the last times i went to and from europe the film
was all carry on ... and went through scans a handful of times
the time before we didn't fly direct but went through heathrow
and were scanned what seemed every few feet ...
on the way back i put a lot of my exposed film in my luggage
( whoops ! ) and when i returned none of my film was damaged ..
have a fun and safe trip !
I always carry my film with me, and ask for a hand inspection. Often I am told that the x-rays are safe for up to 800 speed film. I have a roll of 800 and 1600 film I have been carrying for years just to help convince security to hand check my film. I carry my film in lead lined bags. If I do have to put the film through the x-ray, this helps protect it. It also helps protect the film during the flight itself. A family member once allowed one of my suitcases to go through one of the larger checked baggage x-ray machines. It completely ruined every single roll of film.
Asking for hand inspection is fine provided you are not making the request in airports like Dubai airport.. they provide strollers for babies which are stored under surveillance just a few feet away from the scanners at the entry point -- in spite of that they will scan the strollers!! The world is large with lots of differences in attitudes across places - so better to be prepared that your film will be scanned..
Thanks again for advices. Going to fly from Vienna and Keflavik so there will be two scans in the worst case. I hope with carry on and just 100 ISO films in would not be a problem. If there will be space and mood I wiil ask for hand inspection
In Keflavík(Iceland), I didn't have any problems with asking for a hand inspection, except for getting some weird looks from the bodacious good looking blonde woman at the x-ray machine ;). I was flying with 8x10, 4x5 and 35mm film. None got x-rayed, and all turned out great once developed.
I've requested hand inspection at British airports recently (Heathrow and Birmingham) and been refused. At Heathrow a few years ago they even asked me to remove the film from the 'film safe' bag and insisted on putting every film through the scanner individually. I objected and the security guard chucked a photocopy of a "which?" magazine article at me which claimed the scanners did no damage. I explained that they tested 100 and 200 ISO 35mm film - in metal cans. I had some Delta 3200 roll films with just backing paper. I would have had more luck trying to explain this to my cat. He can't speak English - but would at least have done me the courtesy of trying to listen...
So, be prepared in some airports to have everything put through the scanner. Bin Laden has a lot to answer for...
Having said that - I couldn't see any bad effects at all on my film afterwards :)