Last revised on April 27, 2021
This holiday season, avoid unnecessary radiation exposure when travelling by air. After the 9/11 incident, Transport Security of America tightened security requirements for air-travellers to inclde x-ray screening while checking in. However, you can avoid this measure if you are a military personnal, pregnant, elderly, or under 13 years old.
If you are none of the above, you can still avoid undue exposure to x-rays by volunteering for a “pat down”. Here’s a step-by step guide on how to “opt-out.”
- After you have put your luggage, electronics, and shoes etc on the conveyor belt, tell the TSA staff that you 1 wish to “opt out”.
- They will call another person on duty who’s trained to perform a manual screening procedure called “pat down”. There will be a male staff for screening men and female staff for women passenger.
- Until this staff member arrives, you will be asked to step aside and wait until called.
- When the designated staff appears, you will be taken past the entryway and asked about your belongings (aka property)
- The staff will explain the pat down procedure and ask if you would like a private screening (our advice is to continue the screening in public).
- The staff person will proceed with the pat down explaining when he or she is about to examine sensitive areas.
- They will then ask you to not touch anything until they have finished their test. Stand by and wait for them to give you a go ahead.
- Once done, take your belongings, put your shoes back on, and you’re good to go!
Although the entire procedure may seem like a hassle and, in all honesty it is, there is a certain health benefit in avoiding harmful x-radiation. And even though according to TSA, the amount of x-rays used for screening is too low to do any harm, these claims are inconclusive at best. Even if there’s no significant damage to the DNA in one exposure, a screening will most likely interfere with your natural energetic flow. Therefore, it’s wise to refrain from this procedure altogether.
Note that it can take about 10-15 minutes for the entire procedure. So, plan ahead and come early so you don’t miss your flight due to delays during the check-in.