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Traveling Safely With Film

Warning: Equipment used for screening checked baggage will damage your undeveloped film.


Due to heightened security around the world, the use of lead lined bags is not an effective way of avoiding film damage from security x-ray machines. In fact, a lead lined bag may catch a security officer’s interest by not knowing exactly what the bag contains. The best course is to plan extra time through security checkpoints. Hand carry all your film with you in a clear zip lock type bag unboxed. FAA rules provide that travelers may request a hand-inspection of any undeveloped film. When traveling with high-speed films, such as 800 ISO, a hand inspection must be done to prevent damage from the x-ray at the security checkpoint. When traveling abroad a hand inspection may not be an option due to that country’s airline security regulations. Ask your travel agent or contact that airport’s security office about these rules when you book your trip or before you travel.