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Airport Body Scanners – Are They a Risk?

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airport body scanners x-ray image of heavyset woman from the back. She has a handgun hidden in her waistband. The  background is black, and her image is a light blue and is shadowy.

You’ve been looking forward to this day for months.  You’re at the airport, and you are ready to board a flight that will take you to your rented yacht.  You finally proceed to begin your Virgin Islands yacht charter vacation.  As you pass through the new airport body scanner, it crosses your mind that you may be concerned about the radiation and what this exposure could mean for you.
Some researchers agree.


We are very concerned about that being imposed on travelers,” says Dr. Robert Stroud, a  professor of biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).  In a letter sent to the White House, Stroud and his researchers shared their concerns.  “I don’t think we do know what risk we are taking. X-rays are intrinsically ionizing radiation. They damage human tissue,” says Stroud.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Government assure the public that passing through the body scanner is safe. A TSA spokesperson even stated, “We consider it a miniscule amount of radiation.”


The scientists at UCSF  believe that it is time for outside scientists to take a closer look at airport body scanners and their risk.

I do think it is time for an independent investigation that really allows people to understand what the risk is that they take going through the scanner,” says Stroud.


If you have a concern about the exposure to x-rays coming from the body scanner, simply opt for the pat down,” says Sheeder.  “When you are on your way to enjoy a luxury yacht charter in the islands, the last thing you need is more travel-related stress!


In conclusion, do you believe airport body scanners pose a risk to you when you travel?  Please share your comments with us at

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Nude No More | Airport Body Scanner Update

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Photograph of a woman in an airport security body scanner. The passenger being scanned is at the left of the screen with her hands in the air while being scanned. The technician is standing on the right side of the photo, looking at a screen of the woman being scanned.

While questions may remain as to whether or not airport scanners pose a health risk to travelers, there’s good news for airline passengers uncomfortable with screeners viewing their naked image. 

New software for screening passengers at U.S. airports will do away with naked images, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

After hundreds of complaints from travelers, the TSA began testing software for uses a generic body outline and highlights the area where any anomaly is detected during a full body scan. Now, as you prepare to board your flight, your body image will not appear in this new scanning software.

We often hear our clients express their concerns about the body scanning process,”  says Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters.  “While we appreciate the importance of airport security, we are hopeful the new software will effectively address the privacy issues of our luxury yacht charter customers.”

Made by L-3 Communications, scanners at the 40 domestic airports that currently use the equipment will be upgraded over the next several months, the TSA said.

This software upgrade enables us to continue providing a high level of security through advanced imaging technology screening, while improving the passenger experience at checkpoints,” said TSA Administrator John Pistole.

The agency also plans to test similar software later this year for the 247 backscatter scanners that are in 38 airports and made by OSI Systems Inc’s Rapiscan Systems unit.

Later this year, the TSA will unveil a pilot program that will allow some frequent fliers at four hub U.S. airports to go through expedited screening.

Now if we can just get airline food and service to be half as good as the meals and crew service found onboard mega yacht charter vessels…  




Want to save time at the airport?  Read our quicktips for hassle-free airport screening HERE.

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Top Four Airport Security Travel Tips

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Body scanner photograph of tsa agents at the airport


You are on your way to the airport, ready to hop a flight to the Caribbean. You are ready to begin your Virgin Island yacht charter vacation.  You are running a little late.  You think to yourself, “I hope I don’t get held up in the security screening and end up missing my flight.


Prepare before you arrive at the airport in order to move quickly through security. Here are four suggestions to make the airport screening process as smooth as possible:

  • AVOID heavy metal.  We are not referencing the Metallica album on your iPod.  Certain clothing and accessories can set off alarms on metal detectors.  Metal buttons and belt buckles can set off alarms.  Do not wear clothing or jewelry that contain metal when traveling.  Security checkpoints are unforgiving of metals.  Pack metal items in your carry-on baggage.
  • PACK your coat.  All items that you are carrying must go through the X-ray machine for inspection.  If you wear an outer coat at the screening checkpoint, you will need to put it in one of the X-ray bins.  This slows down your security process.
  • WEAR shoes without laces.  You are required to remove your shoes before you pass through the metal detectors.  All types of footwear, even sandals, are removed. Avoid leaving the security line to sit and untie laced shoes (like Timberland boots worn when headed to snow country). Wear shoes that you can easily and quickly slip on and off.
  • DECLUTTER your carryon bag.  Security agents get a clear, uncomplicated X-ray image of a cleaner bag.  Limit liquids in carry-on bags to what you need for the duration of the flight.  This is especially important if you are taking a crewed luxury sailing or mega yacht charter.  The crew on your vessel will have plenty of onboard provisions for you to use.   If you must take liquids, pack them in your checked baggage.  You will get through security faster without obstructions.



Related Article:  Do Airport Body Scanners Pose A Risk to Travelers?

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