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  1. #11
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    On a related theme, travelers to and from the UK should be aware of this:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7174527.stm
    On the ground, the situation is every bit as chaotic as the BBC suggests, as I found last night at Stansted Airport while putting my wife on a plane to Germany. Last night, ALL airlines were applying a one-bag carry-on limit, the airport apparently recognised that passengers would not be aware of this in advance, since in the airport foyer were re-packing stations, with tables for people to put their cases on and a poster in English only "explaining" the situation.

    For us, this meant an opportunity to deploy our extensive knowledge of German obscenities, following which I went away carrying my wife's second bag with a can of (non-pressurised) styling mousse (too big, should have been 100 ml instead of 200), the carton for her digital camera and a pack of Earl Grey teabags (thank God that people are being prevented from carrying such potentially lethal objects onto planes).

    If you are non-British, be sure to study up some episodes of Fawlty Towers before you come here, so that you will be prepared for this totally insane situation!

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dxphoto View Post
    Hi, questions related to this have been asked many times. I know the X-ray might not hurt the film and people have happy stories. But I really don't want to take any chance.
    I am taking a trip with about 50 rolls film (120, 135, ISO 64 to 400). I intend to bring all the film back and have them processed in US. Thus I will have them x-rayed at least 4 times. (TSA suggests no more than 5 times). So I will politely ask to have them hand-inspected.

    I will have them in clear ziploc bags. Some rolls don't have the original packaging (bulk loading). Some of them are in the original carton boxes, some of them are in the plastic wrap. Should I open them up and put them in the clear bags? Or leave as is. TSA website says leave them in original packagings, then at the time it says leave them unwrapped...

    So what is the best way to prepare for the hand-inspection.

    Thanks.
    -D
    I took out about 50 rolls of 135 to Tucson a couple of years ago. Here's what I did.

    I got a gallon size ziplock baggie to hold all of the film that would also lie flat inside my x-ray proof bag. I carried that bag just in case.

    Prior to going through security, I removed all the film rolls from the plastic cases and put them in the ziplock inside the x-ray bag.

    Just before putting it on the conveyor belt, I removed the ziplock baggie with film and requested a hand inspection.

    No problem with that - I was treated very courteously and they examined the baggie - did a "swipe" test on a couple of rolls and then closed it up and gave it to me on the "far" end.

    What I think is key - is taking the rolls out of the plastic cannisters so that a hand inspection looks "easy" to the TSA folk rather than a PIA where they then just say - "Put it through the machine."

    You want to help them do the right thing by making it easy for them to do so.

    BTW: the other advantage of taking the rolls out of the cannisters is that once you get through security - you have something to do while waiting to board your flight. Namely, you get to put all those rolls back in their cannisters!

    Note: We travel a lot - particularly b/w NY and Tucson. I've long ago learned that being pleasant and helpful with the TSA folk will work wonders. If you "cop an attitude" you will get the "full treatment". And you'll deserve it, because it doesn't have to be confrontational at all.

  3. #13
    tim_walls's Avatar
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    I'm confused, are you saying that complying with the handbaggage restrictions in the UK which date back a year or more constitutes 'chaos' to you?! The announcement in the last day or two was about relaxing the restrictions in certain circumstances, not tightening them.

  4. #14
    Will S's Avatar
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    This is probably a dumb question, but what exactly will the big metal detector that you walk through do to film? I thought it was essentially a big magnet and therefore wouldn't hurt film. I've walked through with a roll of 120 in my pocket and it seemed fine when I processed it, but maybe I got lucky.

    Thanks,

    Will
    "I am an anarchist." - HCB
    "I wanna be anarchist." - JR

  5. #15
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will S View Post
    This is probably a dumb question, but what exactly will the big metal detector that you walk through do to film? I thought it was essentially a big magnet and therefore wouldn't hurt film. I've walked through with a roll of 120 in my pocket and it seemed fine when I processed it, but maybe I got lucky.

    Thanks,

    Will
    Will,

    It shouldn't harm the film. I often do the same when I only have a couple of exposed rolls of 120. Since there is no metal - they won't set off the alarm. And since what they ask you to do is remove all metal from your pockets - you're in compliance.

  6. #16
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will S View Post
    This is probably a dumb question, but what exactly will the big metal detector that you walk through do to film? I thought it was essentially a big magnet and therefore wouldn't hurt film. I've walked through with a roll of 120 in my pocket and it seemed fine when I processed it, but maybe I got lucky.

    Thanks,

    Will
    The big metal detector won't hurt film, 120's on plastic spools and won't set it off, but you can only take through what you can fit in your pockets, without sticking out. 30 cylinder like thingies bulging in your pockets will probably get you noticed, metal detector or not. Airport proctology is an unpleasant sidetrack from your travels.

  7. #17
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBrunner View Post
    The big metal detector won't hurt film, 120's on plastic spools and won't set it off, but you can only take through what you can fit in your pockets, without sticking out. 30 cylinder like thingies bulging in your pockets will probably get you noticed, metal detector or not. Airport proctology is an unpleasant sidetrack from your travels.
    Ouch!

    This is why I said a "couple of rolls of 120"!

  8. #18

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    Thanks for all the help. I will have my film unwrapped and go to the airport earlier. The only thing is I only got 2 hours for the connection between two fights. I hope that will be enough.

  9. #19
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dxphoto View Post
    Thanks for all the help. I will have my film unwrapped and go to the airport earlier. The only thing is I only got 2 hours for the connection between two fights. I hope that will be enough.
    Hey, look, I cannot speak for what things are like in the UK right now - one bag carry on is a rule we don't have here in the US.

    But I can tell you about the salami!

    Last Thursday night, planning to take the red eye from Tucson to NYC, an object in my carry on "caught" the eye of the guy doing the x-ray scanner.

    He called over the "bag checker" for a look and they agreed that an object in my bag looked "suspicious", perhaps a small bomb or a club etc.!

    The bag checker asked if he could open the bag - as if I could say anything but OK.

    Now, I knew what they'd "flagged" and just stood idly by.

    Sure enough, he opened the bag to find the plastic sack containing stuff from our refrigerator that we didn't think would "keep" in Tucson before we got back out there. This included a four-inch hunk of Italian salami.

    Being friendly and all, once he'd "discovered" the "bomb" we all had a good laugh and the salami made it onward to NYC.

    Doesn't seem all the worse for wear even if it has been X-rayed!

    Be nice and it's likely you will be treated nice.

  10. #20
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim_walls View Post
    I'm confused, are you saying that complying with the handbaggage restrictions in the UK which date back a year or more constitutes 'chaos' to you?! The announcement in the last day or two was about relaxing the restrictions in certain circumstances, not tightening them.
    I think "chaos" is a justified description of a situation in which foreign visitors to the UK find without warning on their departure that the applicable regulations are different from those governing their inbound flights, that the regulations vary from one UK airport to another and one airline to another, and that press reports are mostly inaccurate and unhelpful. Believe me, I saw a LOT of confused and angry people on Sunday night!

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