What Exactly Can Airport Scanners See In Your Luggage?

What Do Airport Scanners Detect?

Being nervous about flying is perfectly natural. Whether it is the fear of flying itself or it is the airport that causes you distress, it is normal and something that we all go through. One thing that a lot of people seem to feel nervous about is the screening process that their luggage goes through as well as the body screening. Some people may worry that the scanners can see inside of our bodies and our suitcases, but this may not actually be the case.

The simple fact is that the body scanner machine is not as problematic as you might think. What you need to keep in mind is that actually, not everyone even has to go through the machine. If you have removed any prohibited items, then you should be able to simply walk through the small scanner and carry on with your journey. It is only if you set the machine off that you will be redirected to the larger scanner. If this happens to you then don’t worry, sometimes it will just flag up randomly.

The reality is that we should be very glad that the airport baggage scanner and the body scanner are in place because they are actually incredibly important in this day and age. With terrorism on the rise and criminals everywhere, it is important that we are protected when traveling internationally. It is because of this that airport scanners really are a very good thing.

How Does the Airport Baggage Scanner Machine Actually Work?

When thinking about all of the technology that is involved in a baggage scanner machine, it’s obvious that it is very complex, given that these machines are able to not only see inside of our suitcases but also our bodies. Although there is a lot of technology involved, the process of scanning your suitcase and your body is actually quite simple.

The x-rays are sent from one side of the machine and they are picked up by the detectors on the other side of it. The curtains that surround the scanner are actually lined with lead so that no rays can cause problems to those outside of the machine.

These machines are very clever. They can calculate the mass and density of the contents of your luggage within a matter of seconds. It is this that airport security uses to determine whether or not you have anything suspicious in your suitcase that would require further investigation.

European and American airlines don’t actually use an x-ray machine. Instead, they use a CT scanner. These scanners take longer to determine the results of the scan, but they are less harmful. Not every bag will have to go through the scanner, nor will every person, simply the people and suitcases that flag up as suspicious.

What Do Airport Scanners Detect?

This is a question that a lot of people will be wondering about. To put it simply, with an x-ray scanner, the security staff will be able to see everything that is contained within your suitcase. They can see the density and mass of everything that you have packed. They are not always able to determine what the objects are, but if they arouse any suspicions then they will want to take a look through your bag.

If you want to avoid any delays when you reach the airport, then there are a few things that you can do in order to avoid security having to rifle through your hand luggage or your suitcase. The main thing that you should do is take a look online at the rules and regulations for traveling with your airline. They will usually have a guide on their website.

Do keep in mind that the rules these days are far stricter than they once were, so you will need to be careful. There are new regulations regarding laptops and electronics that differ between airlines, so you should always find out about these if you intend on carrying anything that could fall into this category.

As long as you are careful and you have done your research then you should have no trouble getting through airport security without having your bag searched. If you are worried that you might end up getting searched then the best thing to do is to contact the airline directly who will be able to better advise you of rules and regulations that are specific to traveling with them.


About this Guide

Written By Alex
Last Updated On June 21, 2022
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4 minutes
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