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Travelling through Cyril E. King Airport - security question #307981
11/01/2023 07:52 PM
11/01/2023 07:52 PM
Joined: Nov 2023
Posts: 3
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Steve82 Offline OP
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Steve82  Offline OP
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Hello

My wife and I are thinking of visiting the Virgin Islands, probably both the USVI and BVI. We wondered, if one of you might be able to help us with a question we have regarding the security procedures at Cyril E. King Airport? My wife is pregnant and for that reason we would like to avoid the now widely used full body scanners. All the places in the Caribbean we have been to so far used the older type metal detectors but since St. Thomas is part of the US we thought it might be different there. If body scanners are in place, could she opt out having to go through them and choose a physical pad down instead? Here in Europe this is possible. However, we have not travelled to the US before and are not familiar with US regulations. The other option would be Beef Island Airport instead but our preference is to depart from St. Thomas.

Your feedback would be much appreciated.

Many thanks
Steve

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Re: Travelling through Cyril E. King Airport - security question [Re: Steve82] #308026
11/02/2023 08:57 AM
11/02/2023 08:57 AM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 986
Northern Virginia
ecm56 Offline
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ecm56  Offline
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Northern Virginia
Cyril E. King has a millimeter wave (full body scanner) and magnetometers (metal detectors). I believe you can always request a pat-down but I haven't been able to find documentation of that on the TSA site. The TSA site does say you can request privacy for the pat-down and/or you can request to be seated . . . they have a whole section on pregnant travelers but it seems overly simplistic (frankly I think it's so childish as to be insulting) and doesn't mention requesting a pat-down.

You can request special assistance - see https://www.tsa.gov/travel/passenger-support This does appear to be available at Cyril E. King.

Last edited by ecm56; 11/02/2023 09:01 AM.
Re: Travelling through Cyril E. King Airport - security question [Re: Steve82] #308083
11/02/2023 05:41 PM
11/02/2023 05:41 PM
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Steve82 Offline OP
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Steve82  Offline OP
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Hi ecm56, many thanks for your feedback, much appreciated. That's good to know, so it shouldn't really be a problem. Is there any particular reason why both technologies are in use? I mean, why not just have the newer millimeter wave ones, if the decision was taken to go with that technology? Or is it that it depends on which destination you are travelling to, e.g. travellers to the US are asked to pass through the body scanners because security requirements are higher when flying to the US mainland? Or is selection simply randomly? Just curious because here in Europe it's one or the other, not a combination of both technologies.

On the off chance we decide to depart from the BVI, do you happen to know what the process is at Beef Island airport? I saw you posted over on the BVI forum, you seem to know both places well... ;-)

Cheers again
Steve

Re: Travelling through Cyril E. King Airport - security question [Re: Steve82] #308088
11/02/2023 06:23 PM
11/02/2023 06:23 PM
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MIDiver Offline
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We just traveled back via STT yesterday. We have TSA precheck (via global entry) and that line was using only the metal detector.

Last flight out of EIS (last year), only metal defectors were used.

Re: Travelling through Cyril E. King Airport - security question [Re: Steve82] #308093
11/02/2023 06:42 PM
11/02/2023 06:42 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 986
Northern Virginia
ecm56 Offline
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ecm56  Offline
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Northern Virginia
I think they have more of the old magnetometers - probably a cost and budget issue. I always go through the millimeter wave scanner if they have it because I have a bunch of metal replacement parts and I always trip the magnetometers which then requires a manual pat-down which just wastes a lot of time.

Re: Travelling through Cyril E. King Airport - security question [Re: Steve82] #308210
11/04/2023 06:33 AM
11/04/2023 06:33 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
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GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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Hi Steve, keep in mind that you are going to get vastly more radiation exposure on a flight from Europe and back than you would from using the full body scanner hourly on your trip. A typical flight will expose you to the equivalent of 5 chest X-rays. The airport scanner 1/1000 of a chest X-ray. In addition you likely will get far more radiation exposure just being near the luggage x ray machines.

Last edited by GeorgeC1; 11/04/2023 06:44 AM.
Re: Travelling through Cyril E. King Airport - security question [Re: Steve82] #308636
11/11/2023 09:26 AM
11/11/2023 09:26 AM
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GeorgeC1 Offline
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To add to my above post there has been strong geomagnetic activity from the sun last week and another surge is hitting the earth the next few days. This can dramatically increase radiation exposure on flights particularly in the more northern latitudes. Airlines are supposed to monitor possibly radiation exposure and adjust flight paths and altitudes to reduce risk but in practice tend to fly the routes that burn the least fuel.

Re: Travelling through Cyril E. King Airport - security question [Re: GeorgeC1] #308640
11/11/2023 10:32 AM
11/11/2023 10:32 AM
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Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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George--I hate to say that I doubt you, but you're not pulling our leg, are you? Flight crew have to be exposed to a tremendous amount of radiation??


Carol Hill
Re: Travelling through Cyril E. King Airport - security question [Re: Steve82] #308642
11/11/2023 12:18 PM
11/11/2023 12:18 PM
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Posts: 7,011
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GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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Flight crews are exposed to tremendous amounts of radiation and suffer much higher cancer numbers as a result. One crew member I am aware of carried a dosimeter with him on flights. He was disciplined and told not to take unauthorized equipment in the cockpit when he tried to discuss the results.
“ Air travel increases your exposure to cosmic radiation. A return transatlantic flight exposes you to around 0.1 mSv or around five times the radiation of a chest X-ray.”
“ Aircrew (consisting of flight attendants, pilots, or flight engineers/navigators) are exposed to cosmic ionizing radiation (CIR) at flight altitude, which originates from solar activity and galactic sources. These exposures accumulate over time and are considerably higher for aircrew compared to the general population, and even higher compared to U.S. radiation workers.”

Ask a doctor how he would feel about a pregnant crewmember getting the equivalent of 20 chest X-rays a month. It’s kind of the dirty little secret no one wants discussed.

Last edited by GeorgeC1; 11/11/2023 12:37 PM.
Re: Travelling through Cyril E. King Airport - security question [Re: GeorgeC1] #308648
11/11/2023 01:38 PM
11/11/2023 01:38 PM
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marisol Offline
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marisol  Offline
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Thanks GeorgeC1. Every time I read a post written by you I learn something. That dirty little secret is scary!

Re: Travelling through Cyril E. King Airport - security question [Re: Steve82] #308649
11/11/2023 01:49 PM
11/11/2023 01:49 PM
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GeorgeC1 Offline
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The sad part is if you get a flight with spectacular Northern Lights to view you are getting even higher levels of exposure. Airlines are supposed as I mentioned to be monitoring solar storm activity but in practice I never see route changes. Further south and lower reduce exposure quite a bit during times of high solar activity.

Re: Travelling through Cyril E. King Airport - security question [Re: GeorgeC1] #308659
11/11/2023 03:07 PM
11/11/2023 03:07 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 82,610
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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George--Wow. Yes, for sure, I never heard of this before. Thanks.


Carol Hill
Re: Travelling through Cyril E. King Airport - security question [Re: Steve82] #308685
11/11/2023 11:15 PM
11/11/2023 11:15 PM
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GeorgeC1 Offline
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Here is a good article however it minimizes the risk compared to some other sources.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiec...tourists-say-scientists/?sh=a15662311254

Re: Travelling through Cyril E. King Airport - security question [Re: Steve82] #308907
11/15/2023 03:09 PM
11/15/2023 03:09 PM
Joined: Nov 2023
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Steve82 Offline OP
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Steve82  Offline OP
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Hi everyone,
Thank you all for your contributions and sorry for the longish absence, life got in the way. Some interesting points have been raised here. Thinking about all of this, it may well be too much anxiety on our part. Good to know about the radiation level on normal flights, that kind of put it into perspective...
Cheers!


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