Handchecks of Film ARE Possible in Heathrow & Other Intl Airports

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Despite what others have reported, I just got back from a trip through London (Heathrow), Madrid, and Morocco. In all three airports, I obtained a handcheck of about 50 rolls of 120 roll film and 15 rolls of 35 mm film. In Heathrow, the first time through, they would only handcheck 1 of my 2 backs; so I had the 120 roll film checked. They also opened the foil wrapper of a few of the rolls. On the way home, they handchecked all of my film at Heathrow and did not open any of the foil wrappers. In Madrid, the first time through, they would not hand check my film. The second time through, they hand checked all of my film. In Morocco, hand checks were easy to obtain both times.

Just thought I'd let you all know that, despite what I've read here about the impossibility of hand checks in some Western European airports, they are still possible. I asked and was steadfast (and polite) in seeking hand-checks.

-- Howard Slavitt (info@enaturephoto.com), June 18, 2001


I had the same experience in a few airports in North America and Europe. The magic word to focus attention of the security personel and to stick out of the traveling crowd seem to be "Proffesional". My typical conversation was something like: "These are photographic films - The equipment is photosafe - But these are Proffesional films - Oh, I see". Then usually a manager was called and things were passing through (Politnes, medium format camera at hand and at least one film with "Proffesional" in the name were helping, I guess)

-- Tomasz Barczyk (tomasz@solinetsystems.com), July 10, 2001.

You can forget it in Switzerland!

-- Bill (bmitch@home.com), July 10, 2001.

And there is always the Don Logan method. You'll have to see the movie "Sexy Beast" to understand.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (evphoto@heartstone.com), July 11, 2001.

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