Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 33

Thread: Recent TSA Experience

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 1998
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    76

    Recent TSA Experience

    Having just returned from a trip with my medium format gear, my experience with the TSA procedures has left me somewhat befuddled. While going through security on flight from Montana to Houston, when I requested a hand check of my 120 roll film (placed in a clear plastic bag), the TSA screener proceeded to remove each roll of film from the factory foil packaging and swab each one. The screener informed me that this action was due to a revised standard operating procedure and recommended that for future travel, I simply remove all rolls of film from their boxes and packaging and place them in a clear plastic bag. On the return flight from Houston, the TSA screener simply examined the bag and took one swipe of the inside with the swab.

    I bring up this experience because on a trip to Ireland last spring, the local screeners in Montana had removed the film from the sealed boxes (foil packets were left intact) and the screeners in Boston complained that they now had to swab each roll of film because the factory packaging was opened (by the TSA screeners in Montana). The folks in Boston said that the factory packaging should have been left intact.

    If I plan to fly with my large format equipment in the future, it looks as though QuickLoads or Readyloads will be the safest bet regarding inspection procedures. I don't know what they would do with a sealed box of sheet film.

    It would be nice to know what the exact prodedure is that the TSA is required to follow when checking film. However, if the policy is enforced inconsistantly, my desire would be irrelevant. Have other forum members had recent experience with inconsistent TSA screening policies in various locations? BTW, the TSA screener also told me not to waste my money on a lead lined film bag -- if they can't see inside the bag when it is scanned, it will be subjected to a hand search anyway.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2

    Recent TSA Experience

    I bring up this experience because on a trip to Ireland last spring, the local screeners in Montana had removed the film from the sealed boxes (foil packets were left intact) and the screeners in Boston complained that they now had to swab each roll of film because the factory packaging was opened (by the TSA screeners in Montana). The folks in Boston said that the factory packaging should have been left intact.



    LOL.....I dont know what is the answer to your question, but I find this very funny. Don't you feel like you are trapped in an episode of the Twilight zone?

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 1998
    Posts
    1,972

    Recent TSA Experience

    "I simply remove all rolls of film from their boxes and packaging and place them in a clear plastic bag."

    As a professional photographer , this has been my standard OP for me and most of the other pros i know and has been for years.

    As for the twilight zone ref, Jorge: this particular series ("The Real World- Twilight Zone" bought for you by Enron) started in Nov. 2000 although others likely think it started in 1968 or maybe 1980 or maybe even in 1992.

  4. #4

    Recent TSA Experience

    I went through this last fall. O'Hare just looked at the film, picked a pair of boxes at random, checked those, and let me through. Phoenix took each roll out, swabbed each one, and then (even after I said that it would be ok for them to leave it to me), stared at each foil package to make sure it went back inside the right box. Almost felt sorry for the guy as he tried to make sure the Portra 160 didn't end up in the Delta-400 boxes. I've taken to fed-exing (or leaving caches) large format ahead of time.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Calgary, AB Canada
    Posts
    611

    Recent TSA Experience

    What's Enron got to do with the way TSA screeners operate? I travel all over the world with my photo gear and have never had a hassle anywhere but the US. It seems the TSA apes seem to feel they have to exert their authority whenever possible and have little clue as to what the real procedures are. I wish there was a website we could go to so as to download the manual these clowns have to work from. Maybe I should take a pocket full of jelly beans and reward them for each complete sentence they can mumble. But then again one of the bright ones would figure they need to swab each and every jelly bean, just in case.

    Whenever possible I try and avoid having to touch down in the US when I'm travelling. The added stress just isn't worth it. Would rather sleep for an extra couple of hours and route elsewhere.

    I'm leaving for Costa Rica on Sunday and taking LF gear. Going via Toronto where Air Canada has a direct flight to SJO. If I took Continental I would have to change planes in Houston. No thanks! The trip will be a bit longer, but what the heck the business class seats are comfy and the booze is free.

    If I'm travelling into the US for a period of time then it's not so bad. It's the added hassle of trying to make connections that I'm trying to avoid.
    *************************
    Eric Rose
    www.ericrose.com
    yourbaddog.com

    I don't play the piano, I don't have a beard and I listen to AC/DC in the darkroom. I have no hope as a photographer.

  6. #6

    Recent TSA Experience

    I've taken to fed-exing (or leaving caches) large format ahead of time.

    A word of caution, if you plan to do this when going to another country, customs might open the film boxes to see what is inside, even if you make an 11x14 sign that says "photographic film, please, please do not open or expose to light!!"



    My standard procedure now, when I order film from the US is to order two of each, so they can ruin one box and leave one box unopened. So far UPS has had to reinburse me $750 and Fedex $245. And there seems no end to this. So if you are comming to Mexico, bring your film with you...or send two boxes...:-)

  7. #7

    Recent TSA Experience

    BTW Ellis, I think "the real world-the twilight zone series" started when they phased in scanners in the supermarket. It amuses me to no end seeing the clerk go, beep, beep, beep, beep, give up, put the product code..NOT the price only to have it happen again with the next item....and this saves times they say....:-). Of course the REAL twilight zone/the real world really hits home when you try and make your own income taxes by reading the instruction booklet.......

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Location
    Buford, GA
    Posts
    13,044

    Recent TSA Experience

    " If I took Continental I would have to change planes in Houston."

    Then that would be a connecting flight. Your screening would have been done in Canada. Not in Houston. Unless it was an open jaw trip and you were going to collect your luggage in Houston and then fly to SJO another day you would not experience a screenin in Houston.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Location
    Buford, GA
    Posts
    13,044

    Recent TSA Experience

    "flight from Montana to Houston,"

    Houston is a fairly civilized city. They even have camera stores that stock 120 film of all types. You could have eliminated all the headaches flying down by calling a Houston dealer, ordering whatever film you needed and just pick it up in the store. Or had them UPS it to your hotel marked "Hold for Arrival".

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 1998
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    76

    Recent TSA Experience

    "As a professional photographer , this has been my standard OP for me and most of the other pros i know and has been for years. "

    Me too, Ellis. This has been my SOP for years as well, but this is the first time that the film has actually been removed from the sealed wrappers. Will the TSA insist on opening up sealed sheet film packets as well?

    Shipping the film in advance has always been an option, but what a pain having to load holders on location (assuming that I am not using pre loaded packets). I just wish that there was a procedure that is consistantly enforced so that we, as photographers, could plan and/or adjust our methods accordingly.

Similar Threads

  1. recent plunge
    By Janko Belaj in forum Introductions
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 25-May-2006, 20:06
  2. Signing prints-- what was the recent thread?
    By chris jordan in forum Business
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 24-Mar-2005, 09:34
  3. S.K. Grimes Recent Experiences?
    By Neal Shields in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 21-Jan-2005, 15:29
  4. Any recent experience at EUROPEAN airports?
    By Peter Rip in forum Location & Travel
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 2-May-2004, 02:46
  5. Recent Topics
    By S. Preston Jones in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 26-Jan-2004, 17:31

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •