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Next month will mark 12 years (twelve!) since the TSA introduced its liquid restrictions for carry-ons. While whipping out your quart-sized bag is now synonymous with airport security, it may not be for much longer. Both London-Heathrow and New York-JFK airports are testing new Analogic ConneCT scanners that take 3-D images of your luggage—basically the same computed tomography (CT) used in neurologists' offices, but for your carry-on. Here's how it works: You put your bag on the conveyor belt and a camera that rotates around your bags in one big circle takes hundreds of X-ray images from different angles. At the same time, the technology applies an algorithm to detect explosives that current X-ray machines can't (i.e. why you've had to take your liquids out for the last 12 years). An added bonus: The TSA and other security teams shouldn't have to pull as many bags to get double checked, saving you precious airport bar time.If all of your carry-on items are categorically approved for air travel, there is no reason for any of them to be taken from you during the security screening process. From your coat and shoes to your laptop and your boarding pass, everything should make it back to you by the time you’ve gone through the walk-through metal detector. Don’t leave security without all of your items returned to you! At this point in the process, you’ve already checked the luggage you’re going to check and the security personnel knows this. There is no reason for them to keep your luggage from you at this point - it’s just meant to flow through the scanners and join you on your way. Any metal jewelry you’re wearing while you navigate an airport needs to be removed when you go through airport security.Even a wedding or engagement ring can set a metal detector off and halt your progress through the security checkpoint, so professionals advise you to just remove it all. 30,000 watch to its owner after the owner misplaced it at a security checkpoint! Chances are, your jewelry is in safe hands. Don’t get nervous if a security agent starts unpacking your carry-on and asking questions about what’s inside. Your instinct might be to tell them off for revealing your personal belongings to the world, but resist the temptation and keep cool. This is a totally normal part of a standard airport security screening. Your bag might have an item in it that the scanner couldn’t identify, like an oddly shaped hair dryer or a plug adapter for outlets in a foreign country.Stranger things have been found in carry-on bags! If you truly have nothing to hide, it should be easy to let the agent take a peek, confirm that your contents are harmless, and move on. This is not normal. In this day and age, passengers are given the choice between having their body scanned by the touchless body scanner OR being pat-down by a same-gender security officer. If you have chosen to undergo one, there is no reason for you to have to undergo the other in most modern airports. "Passengers undergoing screening will have the opportunity to decline AIT screening in favor of physical screening," according to the TSA’s Frequently Asked Questions page.Enjoy your ability to always choose for yourself. This process is invasive enough without security officers using the palms of their hands to pat you down. The backs of their hands or a small metal detecting tool are the appropriate things for you to be pat down with, giving the pat-down process a sense of strict professionalism. If a security officer ever pats you down using the palms of their hands, you have every right to ask why, request that they use the backs of their hands, and complain to the security authorities at the airport. They will likely face serious consequences for breaking protocol.It wouldn't be the first time. You might think that the shortest line at an airport’s security checkpoint is the best line to join, but that’s not always the case. Some agents have the role of managing the lines, and they know more about which lines are appropriate for which tasks than we do. Trust the person in charge to put you in the right line for your circumstances, even if that means changing lines after you’ve begun to wait. And don’t worry if you end up being put in a long line. Even if this makes you miss your flight (we hope it doesn’t!) most airlines will work to accommodate you at no extra charge, according to TIME Magazine.Touchless body scanners are a reality at the airport these days! Welcome to the 21st century, everyone. As you likely have experienced for yourself, most major airports now have the technology to scan your body without touching you at all by centering you in a high-tech x-ray machine. When you step inside one of these machines, expect to be asked to stand with your feet on the designated markings and stand up straight. Then according to Smarter Travel, "millimeter wave" or "backscatter technology" is used to map out a digital image of your body that a security agent can check for concealed items. It might make you feel vulnerable, but it’s easy, quick, and completely legal.This is so bad, but it happens. Can’t you picture it? A busy security checkpoint line, some frazzled security agents, and all of the sudden you’re standing on the other side of the walk-through metal detector wearing somebody else’s coat. Ending up with someone else’s bags at the luggage carousel is one thing, but having your bag switched with someone else’s at this point in your journey is inexcusable. It should be very clear whose things are whose because you’re walking through in order! Any other way is a sign of a terribly disorganized airport, and will likely be just the first of your problems there. At least TSA has a lost and found.It can be tricky to travel with prescription medication, but experienced fliers know that the most important thing is to bring it in its original packaging within your carry-on bag. Prescription medication is even exempt from some liquid carry-on content rules, according to some government agencies. Your medication is yours to bring wherever you go! Don’t let security agents intimidate you into surrendering it if you have already followed all of the flying-with-prescription protocols. An officer taking this medication from you for him or herself is just not okay, so be aware! Nobody should ever take your prescribed medication besides you.The TSA is introducing new scanning machine for security lines that might not require the removal of laptops or liquids from carry-on bags. Apparently, TSA officers hate yelling instructions repeatedly at long lines of dazed travelers as much as we hate hearing them. According to a press release, the TSA's new X-ray machines use CT scanners and 3-D modeling, which give officers the ability to rotate images when looking for explosive devices. That should result in fewer bag checks, the agency said. And if we're lucky, "in the future" it may allow travelers to keep their clunky laptops and mini-bottles of shampoo zipped up.It's vague, but we'll take it. The new machines are already being used in Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, Boston's Logan airport, and New York's JFK airport, with 15 more airports getting machines in the coming months. By 2019, the TSA wants them in 145 airports. Of course, this improvement is coming from the agency that reportedly keeps a secret list of misbehaving passengers that is shockingly easy to get yourself on. It's also the agency that has been accused of racially profiling travelers. And just this week, the Boston Globe reported on a TSA program called Quiet Skies that allows federal air marshals to track the movements and behaviors of random travelers who are not under investigation for being criminals or terrorists. Welcome to the travel surveillance state. At least your laptop might not get banged up in the process.Carnival Cruise Line is adding 3D x-ray security scanning at nine of its North American cruise ports, bringing the latest technology for travel and facility security to the cruise industry. VOTI Detection, a Canadian firm based in Montreal, took the contract for 91 of its 3D scanning units. VOTI president and CEO Rory Olson said in a statement that the design's durability in a maritime environment was a key factor, along with remote diagnosis capability and advanced imaging capability. VOTI claims that its equipment enhances detection and speeds up screening by giving operators a 3D view of the scanned object. The scanners save the imaging files in a format that allows them to be re-analyzed later if needed. Dominick Froio Jr., Carnival Cruise Line's VP of security services. Carnival has already begun deploying the units and expects to complete the rollout by the end of this month. Carnival Cruise Line also uses a visual identification security access system to restrict access to its ships to authorized passengers and crew. The system records the movement of guests and crew who enter and exit the ship and requires the capture of a security photo. In addition, a keycard system is used to identify authorized persons and control access during port calls.For many pregnant mamas, they may feel like hitting the open road or flying high in the sky to go on a trip before their baby arrives — especially if it’s their first child. They call these little trips "babymoons" for a reason, as it’s sort of a last hurrah before the baby comes and you can travel child-free one last time and really focus on your partner. If you do choose to fly to your destination, how safe is it for your unborn baby, in the airport and on the plane? Are airport scanners safe during pregnancy? Is it safe to be on that airplane with all the cabin pressure? According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website, these scanners have been tested thoroughly to ensure the safety for everyone going through them — and that includes pregnant women.
Лях-Породько Олексій Олексійович - кандидат наук з фізичного виховання і спорту, доцент кафедри історії спортивного та олімпійського руху Національного університету фізичного виховання і спорту України.