Don't place single-use cameras or unprocessed film in any luggage or baggage
that will be checked. This includes cameras that still have film in them.
If an attendant or security personnel informs you that your carry-on baggage
must be stowed with the checked luggage or go through a second scan, you
should remove your unprocessed film.
If you're asked to step aside for a more thorough search of your carry-on
baggage, you should be advised that film could be harmed and you should
take it out of your luggage.
Keep your film in a small bag of its own - preferably a lead-lined bag
or, failing that, a clear plastic bag. You should also remove all the
packaging material from your film (both box and plastic canister). These
steps make it much easier to remove film from your bag and also facilitates
any hand-checking of it by security.
Ask to have your film checked by hand - in the U.S., FAA and TSA regulations
allow you to do this. Be aware that not all airport security officers
are aware of this regulation, though. If you have trouble, ask to see
a supervisor. However, even if they insist on x-raying the film, don't
panic - only the highest speed films will have fogging from this scan.
The effects of x-rays are cumulative, so if you expect to pass through
multiple x-ray security checkpoints (4 or more), it is more important
to seek hand checking.
Consider shipping your film. We understand that express air package shipping
services such as UPS, DHL, FedEx, etc. do not employ x-ray scanning of
customers' packages on domestic routes. However, this should be verified
when sending film. The same carriers may employ passenger airlines for
international routes. Goods shipped as freight on passenger airlines are
subject to high-intensity x-ray scanning. It is recommended that film
shipped as unaccompanied freight is labeled:
"DO NOT X-RAY. IF X-RAY IS MANDATORY,
DO NOT SHIP / DO NOT X-RAY / CONTACT SENDER URGENTLY: (details)".
If you plan to travel through international airports sometimes use stronger
scanners or refuse to hand-check film. In time, security measures at airports
may increase, and stronger scanners may be used to scan even carry-on
baggage. Be aware of the signs in the airport. Most carry-on baggage scanners,
at this time, will be marked as "Film
Safe" so they will not damage
Be polite, helpful and patient. Please remember that security personnel
are trying to protect the traveling public.
Take more film than you think you'll need with you. Film in tourist destinations
is often very expensive. Also, try to take more pictures than your first
instinct - remember, you may not return to that destination for some time.
If traveling by car, avoid leaving your film in the car for long periods
of time with extreme heat or cold, both of which can severely damage film.
Many museums and similar tourist destinations are starting to employ airport-like
security. Keep the above guidelines in mind for these destinations as
Keep a few plastic film canisters on hand in case of rain or other wet