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Q&A: Empty pockets and more for airport screenings

Pare down for airport screening

When I travel, I always wear a nonmetallic money belt. Is that going to be a problem with the new airport scanners?

Passengers should completely divest of items before advanced imaging technology screening.

Jon Allen, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, said: "We recommend that loose items such as change, keys and wallets be placed inside a carry-on bag (or purse or laptop bag, for example) for safekeeping. Jewelry such as necklaces and watches could trigger an alarm at the metal detector, so these are items that frequent travelers are already accustomed to removing. Items such as billfolds and money belts should be removed before advanced imaging technology screening."

Removing items including wallets, belts, bulky jewelry, money, keys and cell phones will reduce the need for additional screening after exiting the machine, according to the TSA.

Body scans and medical devices

I have a metal joint replacement and always have to have a pat-down when going through airport security because I set off the metal detector. If I submit to a full-body scan (which I am quite ready to do), will I still have to undergo a separate pat-down for the joint replacement?

If there are no anomalies during advanced imaging technology screening, then a separate pat-down is not required.

Jon Allen, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, said passengers with joint replacements or other medical devices who regularly set off a metal detector often prefer this technology because it is quicker and less invasive than a pat-down.

Only one screening necessary

At airport security, are the full-body scanners in place of metal detectors or in addition to them? If you go through one, do you still have to take your shoes off?

If a passenger is selected for advanced imaging technology screening, that person will not go through a walk-through metal detector, according to the Transportation Security Administration in Atlanta. Shoes need to be removed either way.

Don't fear bedbugs in cargo hold

Can bedbugs travel from one suitcase to another in the cargo hold of an airplane?

The Air Transport Association, the nation's oldest and largest airline trade association, is not aware of any widespread problem involving bedbugs on aircraft, spokeswoman Victoria Day said.

The airlines have protocols for prevention and eradication of insects in the cargo hold, she added. She wrote that the best way to prevent bedbugs from becoming a problem is for travelers to follow advice aimed at avoiding bringing bedbugs home from trips.

Q&A: Empty pockets and more for airport screenings 01/03/11 [Last modified: Monday, January 3, 2011 4:42pm]

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