Pet Owners Urged To Follow TSA’s Urgent Warning About Airport X-ray Scanners

In our bustling world of travel, it’s crucial to ensure that every member of the family has a safe journey, and that includes our furry, feathered, or scaly friends. The airport security screening process can be intimidating for pets and their owners alike, and it’s essential to understand the potential dangers of putting pets through X-ray machines.

Recent incidents have prompted the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to emphasize the right way to travel with pets. Let’s explore why you should never subject your beloved animals to the X-ray scanner and what the proper procedures are to ensure their safety.

Always use a proper pet carrier when traveling with your pet through an airport.
Photo: Pexels
Always use a proper pet carrier when traveling with your pet through an airport.

The TSA’s Warning

In a recent reminder from the TSA, pet owners have been urged not to send their animal companions through airport X-ray machines. These machines are designed for screening passengers’ personal property and carry-on luggage, not living creatures. The TSA has encountered instances where pets were left in their carriers and sent through the X-ray tunnel, exposing them to unnecessary radiation and stress.

Never place your pet in the X-ray machine tunnel at the security checkpoint.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Airman 1st Class Kate Thornton, License: Public Domain
Never place your pet in the X-ray machine tunnel at the security checkpoint.

The Correct Procedure

So, what’s the right way to travel with your pets? The TSA has outlined a straightforward procedure to ensure the safety and well-being of your furry friends:

1. Use a Hand-Held Travel Carrier

All pets should be brought to the security checkpoint in a hand-held travel carrier. This provides a secure and comfortable space for your pet during the screening process.

2. Remove Your Pet

Just prior to the screening process, take your pet out of the carrier. This step ensures that your pet won’t be subjected to the X-ray machine’s radiation.

3. Place Carrier on Conveyor Belt

Once your pet is safely out of the carrier, place the empty travel carrier on the checkpoint conveyor belt. The carrier will go through the X-ray scanner, ensuring there are no hidden items.

When traveling with an animal, carry essential items for your pet, like water, food, and comfort items.
Photo: Pexels
When traveling with an animal, carry essential items for your pet, like water, food, and comfort items.

4. Walk with Your Pet

While holding your pet or using a leash, walk with them through the walk-through metal detector. Alternatively, the pet can walk through the screening process if it’s on a leash. Follow the guidance provided by a TSA officer.

5. Explosive Trace Detection

A TSA officer may swab your hands to check for explosive residue after the screening process. This is a routine procedure to ensure security.

6. Return Your Pet

After the screening process is complete, return your pet to the travel carrier. This should be done at the re-composure area away from the security checkpoint. This ensures the safety of your pet and other passengers.

Choose flights with pet-friendly policies and services.
Photo: Pexels
Choose flights with pet-friendly policies and services when traveling with an animal.

The Importance of Proper Procedure

While it might be tempting to leave your pet in its carrier to avoid potential hassle or stress, putting them through the X-ray machine can be dangerous. It exposes them to unnecessary radiation, and the loud noises and unfamiliar surroundings can lead to anxiety and behavioral problems, WTOP reports. Additionally, aggressive or excessively anxious pets may be denied entry onto the flight, causing further complications for travelers.

The TSA’s message is crystal clear: pets should never be sent through airport X-ray machines. These machines are meant for inanimate objects, not our beloved animal companions.

Traveling with pets can be a source of stress for both pet owners and their furry friends, but following the proper procedures outlined by the TSA ensures a safe and smooth journey.

Always communicate with airline staff about your pet's presence and needs.
Photo: Pexels
Always communicate with airline staff about your pet’s presence and needs.

Check Airport and Airline Policies

Remember that every airport and airline has its own policies regarding traveling with pets, Conde Nast Traveler reports. It’s essential to do your research ahead of time to understand the specific requirements and guidelines for your journey. By being well-prepared and following the TSA’s recommendations, you can ensure that your pets have a safe and comfortable travel experience.

Traveling with pets is a responsibility that pet owners should take seriously. Let’s prioritize the safety and well-being of our animal companions and ensure that their journeys are free from unnecessary stress and danger.

Make the commitment to take proper safety precautions when flying with a pet. Click below and sign the pledge!

Help Rescue Animals

Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free!

Whizzco