Airport scanners at Manchester Airport

Discussion in 'Pregnancy - Second Trimester' started by erikab922, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. erikab922

    erikab922 Well-Known Member

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    I would really like to fly back to Chicago in January to see my family, and my closest airport is Manchester Airport. Now I read this article:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...aked-airport-scanners-fears-cause-cancer.html

    and it scares the bejesus out of me because Manchester is the only airport with these scanners and they are being allowed to use them until November 2012.

    My OH doesn't want me going through these scanners but I fear that if I get there and cause a stink they won't let me board. It would be a massive inconvenience to fly from any other airport, especially as these flights leave in the early AM so I'd have to travel (on my own, with all of my luggage, preggers) the night before, get a hotel, get to the airport super early etc and the cost of all of that will pretty much be the same as the cost of the ticket.

    This is a major shot in the dark, but are there any pregnant ladies who have flown from Manchester Airport and did they allow you to get a manual search?
     
  2. twilliamssbt

    twilliamssbt Well-Known Member

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    I fly from Manchester airport alot, and those are not the routine security scanners.

    I am guessing those scanners are reserved for people coming through customs that they suspect to be carrying drugs etc on their body.

    The normal security scanners are the same as are used throughout the UK.

    I actually do not have to pass through any of the scanners at any airport, being disabled, I pass in a wheelchair at the side of the scanners and get a manual pat down, my wheelchair is dusted for drugs traces, and they take my shoes and crutches and put them through the hand luggage scanners.

    If you were faced with one of those scanners on entry and voiced concerns being pregnant, they would not make you go through one.
     
  3. Blue_bird

    Blue_bird Active Member

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    I went through Manchester airport at 17 weeks - and spoke with the streward who motion you through. He advised that the first scanner that you go through is the one that you should mention that you are pregnant, and they put a 'wand' over you. The scanner that is shown in the papers, is the second scanner (so you go through the first scanner - and if it doesn't bleep you just pick up your hand luggae and go... whereas if the first scanner does bleep - you would have to go through the scanner pictured in the paper...) TIP - if you are wearing high heels, take them off first before going through the first scanner - as this always sets it off for me!!!! Also unless you are a very very frequent flyer, it really is negligible. You will be fine - have fun!
     
  4. Robynx

    Robynx Mammy to Kaia

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    I had to go through it in september when I was 7 weeks pregnant at manchester airport, don't think its anything to worry about :)
     
  5. Lief

    Lief Well-Known Member

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    Like twilliamssbt said, I think once you tell them that you're pregnant then they should do a manual search or use the normal scanner. If you're not allowed to have xrays in hospital because of the radiation, without using a shield to protect your baby I don't see how the airport staff can force this on you.
    Maybe you can call the airport and voice your concerns, tell them you're pregnant and ask what they do for cases like yours.
     
  6. Mrsmitch80

    Mrsmitch80 Well-Known Member

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    Hi, not sure for what flights they use these scanners, might be worth calling the airport first and explaining before you get your ticket.

    My oh is a police officer and worked at Manchester airport until recently, all I know is that if they want to search/scan you and you refuse without a medical exemption they will not let you fly.

    Just check if they'll be using them first xx
     
  7. erikab922

    erikab922 Well-Known Member

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    You guys are awesome - I don't have any problems in general with why the scanners are there, I get all the science-y stuff, etc I just would like to have the option for a different kind of search (strip search included!). I do know that I will probably get more radiation from the flight itself, but I'm just trying to minimise my exposure.
     
  8. kat2504

    kat2504 Well-Known Member

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    If you read enough Daily Mail, virtually everything you do or don't do will give you cancer.

    If you are "selected" for screening, ask to be frisked or whatever instead. Since you will be visibly pregnant they are fairly unlikely to make you go through this scanner. Phone the airport and ask their policy about pregnant women if you are really worried.
     
  9. wondertwins

    wondertwins Well-Known Member

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    I have no knowledge about the Manchester airport, but I recently flew through LAX. They have those scanners, and they make everyone go through them. However, as soon as the TSA agents saw my pregnant belly, they ushered me through a regular medal detector instead. Honestly, it hadn't even crossed my mind until that moment!! (I think the risk is extremely low, but I was appreciative that they were so proactive at such a busy airport.) I don't think anyone will give you a hard time if you ask for an alternate scan or pat down.
     
  10. erikab922

    erikab922 Well-Known Member

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    It's funny, I usually read the DM if I'm feeling like a laugh because so much of it is ridiculous, and I did feel a bit shameful linking to it ;)

    I know, I know... next thing they'll say is that Frankie Cocozza causes cancer!
     
  11. amberlindsay7

    amberlindsay7 Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    I also travel a lot through a US airport with these scanners (San Francisco) and they just give you a pat down if you want to opt out of going through for health related reasons - I'm sure the UK is the same :) x
     
  12. needspatience

    needspatience Well-Known Member

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    At both the LAX and ATL airports I mentioned that I was pregnant, so without question both times they directed me through their regular scanners.
     
  13. looley

    looley Well-Known Member

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    I flew from Manchester Airport in August when I was 10 weeks.
    I went throught the first mini scanner (after telling them I was pregnant and reading a leaflet they had given me explaining how it's not dangerous to pregnant women!!!!!!!!!!)

    They said if I didn't set off the first walk through 'bleep' then I wouldn't have to go through the second scanner - 'the naked scanner' as in DM article above, I didn't beep on the first one... however they said if I had and I refused to go through the 2nd scanner then I wouldn't have been able to fly! They said they don't do 'pat downs' anymore.?? Looley x
     
  14. twilliamssbt

    twilliamssbt Well-Known Member

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    Oh yes they do, they do pat downs on all wheelchair passengers, been through Manchester twice this year and both times avoided any scanners, got pat downs and wheelchair swabbed for drugs.

    Never even seen those scanners, went through Terminal 3 and terminal 2.
     
  15. JessPape

    JessPape Myself, Husband, DD

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    Any airport i've been in have given me the option of using the scanner, or being patted down. You do have the right to choose. The worst they can do is ask to be stripped searched.
     
  16. bababel

    bababel Well-Known Member

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    If you explain to them that you are pregnant then they will probably allow you to get a pat down instead. If not, ask your OH to wheel you around the airport in a wheelchair so that they automatically pat you down instead of scanning you. Being pregnant is an excellent excuse to be pushed around.

    I've never had to go through one of those scanners here in the States or Canada. I always ask to be pat down instead and it's never been a problem.
     
  17. amjon

    amjon Guest

    In the US you can opt out for a pat down if they pick you. I would NOT go through one even if I wasn't pregnant. There is no certainty that they are safe and I read an article today that said the low level radiation could cause cancer. I'm sure if you tell them you are pregnant they would have no problem giving you the alternate screening (pat down).
     
  18. Eleonora

    Eleonora Well-Known Member

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    I think the scanners are safe. I went through one in the USA recently. Remember they say the natural radiation you receive from being on the airplane at high altitude is much more than from the scan. I think the European debate is really about the principle of using x-ray technology for a non-medical purpose (and it is a legitimate debate regardless of the amount of radiation!). If you are still worried, it sounds like you should feel confident about asking for an alternative and that they will be prepared to accommodate you. Bon voyage!
     
  19. Chiclet2012

    Chiclet2012 Well-Known Member

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    They have these scanners in most US airports now. You always have the choice to be patted down instead of scanned... you do not even have to give them a reason. Just tell the security person at the scanner and they will get a female to pat you down. I've done it a few times earlier in my pregnancy when I wasn't showing and they have never given me any problems.

    The scanners are supposed to have very low radiation... but my worry is that they are not regulated or checked, so someone may have it on the wrong setting and give you more radiation than you are supposed to receive. Why risk it when you always have an alternative?
     

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