i just got back from Europe, having gone through security checks in Paris, Budapest, Florence, Rome and Barcelona, and managed to have my film hand checked every step of the way.
according to the TSA, it is your right to request an item be hand checked in the states. however, when traveling overseas, it seems to be to the discretion of the security agent as to whether or not to grant you a hand inspection. on the trip out, my film was scanned once, as i could not communicate adequately with the security agent. fearing the additive effects x-raying has on film, i thought i would try a new approach on the trip back to the states.
for a part of the trip i stayed at a farmhouse in tuscany. the owner understood just enough english so that i was able to explain my situation to him. he wrote the following note in italian, which i simply handed to the security agents every time i had to go through a check, and not once was my request refused. the note read:
per cortesia non passare queste pellicole sotto i raggi x perche verrebbero danneggiate. (professional camera film). per cortesia ispezionatele a mano. grazie.
as i said before, this message in italian worked very well for me, so i thought it might prove useful to some of you as well.
maybe some of you multi-lingual users of the forum can translate it into other languages for those traveling to yet other parts of the world.
hope this helps, scott