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Warning for photographers departing USA

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Joined: Oct 02
Points: 75132
Posts: 411

Posted: 2004-07-08 20:42:00   

Hi Globies!

Due to the traffic jams in LA I arrived to LAX airport in

the last minute. Check-in for my flight to Europe fortunately was still open. I checked my backpack, got my boarding pass happy to be on time for departure...

But then the clerk said: -Now take your checked backpack

and go with it to the screening machine! -Strange... But I

did!... On the huge machine it was written: TAKE ALL YOUR


All may films (50 or so) were at the bottom of my pack...

Can you imagine all my stuff on the floor? People around had a lot of fun! So departing US better keep all your films in the cabin luggage!


You can lose everything, but nobody will take away what you saw and what you experienced... W.D.

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Joined: Oct 03
Points: 8654
Posts: 164

Posted: 2004-07-13 16:12:00   

Or -- start shooting digital :-)

Thanks for the good advice, Wojtek... I would add that you should try to get the security agents to hand-inspect the film rolls, as the carry-on machines can also damage film (they say it is only a concern with ASA 800 and above, but x-ray damage is cumulative, and with security concerns these days, those rolls are likely to go through several screening processes before they are developed).

The last time I was traveling internationally, I asked for hand-inspection and the screener took every single one of my 30+ rolls and swabbed each individually for explosive residue. What a colassal waste of time, as they were all grouped in one clear plastic ziplock bag, with no cannisters. If there had been explosive in one, it would have easily transferred to the others. Whatever, it certainly felt very punative and unnecessary. Sure, go ahead, check one, or three... but ALL 30?!

All this, and it's still PERFECTLY LEGAL to take 4 books of matches and 2 butane lighters on board in your pocket or carryon bag!

OK, I've had my rant for the day, I feel better now.


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