Do International packages sent thru a company like UPS or FEDEX get xrayed

Discussion in 'Travel' started by bob_doroh, Oct 20, 2003.

  1. I think the easiest way to solve the film at the airport problem
    will be to send the film to my home via UPS or whoever ships
    internationally, but does anyone know if they xray packages shiped
    internationally? O rdo they treat it like anyother piece of mail
  2. You could check with the post office, FedEx, or UPS: but a good guess if the box 'flies' on a aircraft, it will be x-rayed to insure nothing like wire-and-timing goodies are within the container.

    (The x-ray equipment for baggage and boxes is a bit on the strong side for film safety.)
  3. My understanding is that, yes they do xray - even intermitently within the US domestic flights and probably more frequently internationally. The only thing you can do is to make sure UPS or FedEx puts a stamp on it that indicates it is film and they'll (hopefully) do a hand inspection.
  4. Remember FedEx uses their own aircraft as does UPS. But, I'll ask my FedEx person tomorrow.

    If you are a "known" customer an account they mark the package accordingly on international shipments. Yes, with a known sticker.

    I have carried lots of ISO 100 thorough airports both domestic and international with no fogging. Some of the international airports were questionable to say the least.

    If this gets any worse, I'm going digital when I travel.
  5. What airport problem

    unless it is high speed film then film in carry on bags is fine.
  6. Given that this is your 3rd post about the same/similar topic, I guess you're still not convinced, even after assurances from most, if not all, respondents.

    So, given that, if you really, really do NOT want to subject your undeveloped film to airport or shipping xrays, your only option (other than shooting digital) is to buy the film at your destination and have it processed there, before coming home. And NO, xrays do not have any effect on developed film.
  7. I made it all the way to Moscow (via St. Pete and the Volga River)and back with nary a bit of fog on my film. I put it in an extra thick lead bag and then pulled that bag out of my case and sent it through the X-ray machine separately. On one occasion it was ALL taken out of the lead bag and checked with a "sniffer" for explosives, but by in large it went through with little or no hassle.
  8. Airport x-rays for hand luggage are fine, and sending film with FedEx is fine too. When was the last time anyone actually had their film fogged by doing this??

    I spend 6 months traveling around S. America last year, carrying film in my hand luggage on several flights, and posting it home. Sometimes FedEx, once even the Bolivian postal service. Everything got home looking just fine. This is a non-issue.

    The ONLY time I have ever had damaged film from x-rays was when I stupidly left 5 rolls of undeveloped film in my CHECKED-IN luggage when leaving China in 2001. The film had long white "lightning" lines all over it when developed. Hand luggage films were unaffected.
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    This very topic has been discussed many times. Generally speaking, as long as you bring your film as *carry on* luggage, there is no airport X-ray problem. Some of my ISO 400 film has gone through 15 scans between two trips to Australia and Europe with no problems. However, never put undeveloped film inside checked luggage because the X-ray machines for inspecting checked luggage use much higher dosage that can seriously damage film.

    Unfortunately, people try to solve this non-existing airport X-ray "problem" by shipping film to foreign destinations or buying film at those destinations, thus creating self-inflicted problems such as delay or loss in shipping or inability to find the film they need at some unfamiliar foreign location. It get worse if you don't speak the local language there. There may be additional issues if you try to get your film developed at foreign locations while under a tight travel schedule.
  10. All airmail in Australia is X-rayed, though obviously the authorities
    are vague about the details. Also, it could get very hot, which is bad for unexposed film.

    Considering your 3 recent threads together, you are seeing problems
    where none exist. You can buy any kind of film here and get it
    developed to any standard. For unusual stuff, you might need to
    use the Yellow Pages. You can also carry film from the US and
    back home with you undeveloped. You can even buy Kodachrome and
    let Kodak send it back home for you after development.

    Stop worrying and enjoy your trip.
  11. Not always, but a good percentage of international mail gets x-rayed. FedEx and UPS do own their own planes, but much of their international freight gets consolidated and shipped on different airlines (e.g. United, British Airways, Japan Airlines,...). As with other cargo, these airlines will often x-ray these consolidated shipments.

    Also keep in mind that the package may be X-rayed again by US Customs, and yet again by US Dept of Agriculture. Granted, these are all pretty low dosage X-rays, but the effects are cumulative.

    Best thing to do is to hand carry your film and request that it be hand-checked. In the US, TSA is required to hand-check film by law (no such laws exist in many other countries--just ask nicely). Also, try to keep your connections to a minimum to avoid the security checks. Be sure to get to the security checkpoints early enough--during busy periods, I've had TSA inspectors tell me that I'd have to wait a half-hour before they would hand-inspect my film.

    Just keep in mind that this is all in the name of security--it's good for everybody.

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