Is your camera bigger than a smartphone? TSA will scan it separately

Jul 27, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Is your camera bigger than a smartphone? TSA will scan it separately

Jul 27, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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As we recently reported, the U.S. has lifted the electronics ban due to the “enhanced security measures.” As it turns out, these measures involve the separate scan of all the electronics from your carry-on if it’s larger than a smartphone. If you’re a photographer, this means you’ll have to put your camera into a bin for separate x-ray scanning. After extensive testing on 10 airports, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will expand these measures to all U.S. airports soon.

The new measures have been implemented due to the high risk for aviation security. From now on, you’ll have to remove all the electronics from your carry-on that’s larger than a cell phone. Then, you will need to put it in a bin with nothing below and on top of it, so that the TSA officers get a clearer scan. It’s like the laptops have been scanned so far. But, if you bring a lot of gear with you, I think this may take some time and be quite a pain in the neck.

According to TSA, the passengers might experience more bag checks, but they have “identified ways to improve screening procedures with quicker and more targeted measures to clear the bags.” At the moment, these measures are in place at 10 U.S. airports:

  • Boise Airport (BOI)
  • Colorado Springs Airport (COS)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  • Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport (LBB)
  • Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)
  • McCarran International Airport (LAS)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)

As TSA reports, after these 10 airports, they will expand the measures to all the airports in the U.S. over the following weeks and months.

There’s one exception to the rule and a group of passengers that don’t need to go through these strict procedures. If you are enrolled in TSA Pre✓®, you are not required to remove any electronics, along with shoes, 3-1-1 liquids, belts, and jackets.

Generally, I wouldn’t be comfortable placing the gear in the bins, knowing that the airport officers aren’t exactly gentle with them. The new security measures will probably make the entire scanning process slower, especially for those who carry more than just one camera with a lens. So, for photographers who are U.S. citizens, it may be a reasonable idea to apply for the TSA Pre✓®program. What do you think?

[via TSA]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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2 responses to “Is your camera bigger than a smartphone? TSA will scan it separately”

  1. JP Danko Avatar
    JP Danko

    Just experienced this first hand at CDG Paris where the screening agent had me put every item in my carry on camera bag into separate bins (ie several camera bodies, several lenses, drone & several accessories). I personally created a 15 bin backlog. I don’t mind the extra security – I get it and I appreciate it – but a little warning and consistency would be nice (I would have packed differently). KEF Iceland just scanned everything together like normal.

  2. Jarret O'Shea Avatar
    Jarret O’Shea

    I also recently had to deal with this, going through Madrid. On the way to my final destination, no problems. Coming back, I had to separate out *all* electronics, which because I had been shooting a wedding, was essentially my entire carryon. There was no sign explaining this, and I had assumed that when they told me “all electronics” they just meant the usual. Nope. I was glad I had been there early (and there weren’t many people behind me,) as unpacking and then packing again took an extra 15-20 minutes. Unrelated, they also had to open and individually scan some booze I had bought in duty free at the previous airport, that was still in the sealed bag.

    I’m really getting sick of “the new normal” being more and more intrusive and time-consuming.