Money belt

Does Rick Steves' money belt pass the airport security without taking it off?

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
7476 posts

"...Even on the RS Money Belt, the zipper "pulls" and attachments are metal - I know as I just confirmed that by looking at one..." All of my money belts have been purchased via Rick, none have had metal zippers....including my most recent one purchased six months ago. That zipper is pure plastic.

Posted by Brittany
23 posts

I purchased a RS money belt last month and it does in fact have a metal zipper. Sounds like different times of purchase mean different parts used by the manufacturer. As a pp said, I plan on keeping mine off until I've gone through airport security.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
7476 posts

Money belts contain no metal (the zipper is plastic), so it won't set off a metal detector. I've always worn mine through them without any problem, haven't had a problem have pat-downs either. But if the airport using the new body scanners it doesn't matter because everything in your pockets including your money belts must be removed.

Posted by Maureen
1357 posts

This was a recent topic of discussion on this board. The big deal comes when you're coming back from Europe. You'll go through 2 security checks, the second one being more "hands-on" than the first. You'll need to take your money belt off for that one.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
22011 posts

Judy, I'd suggest not wearing the Money Belt when you pass through security, as it may trigger very sensitive metal detectors. Even on the RS Money Belt, the zipper "pulls" and attachments are metal - I know as I just confirmed that by looking at one. If you have to awkwardly fumble with your clothing to take your Money Belt off, it will not only delay your trip through security but will hold up the line so those behind will not be pleased! Should you have to go through one of the full-body scanners, those WILL detect the Money Belt and will probably result in being ushered into a closed room for the "full Monty". Hopefully they won't decide to snap the rubber gloves on and do a BC search (TIC)! Happy travels!

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7961 posts

I don't wear mine until later. You need access to your passport when boarding and when arriving. With TSA's current search-mania, you don't want them to "discover" anything. Plus I'd rather not make the airline seat any less comfortable than it is already. I put it on after I've used my passport to pass through immigration/customs when I land - during a quick restroom stop before I leave the airport.

Posted by Kathy
Cary, NC
687 posts

I've worn a Lewis N Clark money belt since the RS one went to two compartments (too bulky). I've just got back from a six month trip and had no trouble wearing it through security at multiple Asian and European airports. However, I think it would be a problem with the new X-ray machines in the US. I am thinking I would opt for the grope instead to avoid the radiation, but you'd presumably have to remove for that too. I'm reluctant to send it through on the conveyor belt because of the danger of theft, maybe you can hold it?

Posted by Kari
77 posts

"I am thinking I would opt for the grope instead to avoid the radiation" Note that a transcontinental flight exposes you to about 1000 times more radiation than the scanners.

Posted by Kate
590 posts

I don't wear mine until I have landed in the country I was headed to and have already passed through immigration.

Posted by Crash
Vance, Alabama
146 posts

Alright guys, I had go get our RS money belts out to see if plastic or metal zippers. I have three one-pouchers with metal zipper sliders and stops. The new two-pouch I have, has an all nylon slider and stop. All of the elements, (what the teeth portion is called), are nylon on all four. I had to bite them to check. But, we wear them from the time we leave the house, to the time we get back. They have always gone right through security. When you start taking them off and on, is when they get lost/left or stolen. I had a full strip search going into the Dominican Republic a few years back, and the airport cops went nuts when they found my moneybelt. I had a ton of cash but no drugs, so after a huge discussion, part of which included taking the money from me, splitting it up, and jailing me, they finally let me go. I have also had bank tellers stand back or look really nervous when I reach into my belt to get a credit card or passport out.

Posted by Charlie
Honolulu/Seattle, HI/WA, USA
2150 posts

I also put my money belt on when I leave my home headed to Europe but keep out my passport to use at the airport. When I get to security, my wife goes thru first and then I take my money belt off and stick it now into the middle of my carry on and put it onto the machine belt. This way my wife is at the other end just to keep an eye on those "security experts" as I have to pass thru a "pat-down" due to a medical implant. Never had a problem with that arrangement. As soon as I get thru "security", I put my money belt back on in the "Men's Room" and leave it on until the next "security check point".

Posted by Annaliese
Seattle, WA
27 posts

I recently returned from a trip to Florence where I wore the RS brand money belt, and going through security in Seattle didn't pose a problembut as soon as I hit Amsterdam I had to take it off. On the return trip, it set off the metal detectors in Florence and I had to have a pat down. I was wearing a dress and the security woman still made me take off the moneybelt. I was wearing it around my stomach, so as you can imagine it was not an easy task to do so modestly or gracefully. Needless to say, next time I would carry it through and hopefully avoid awkward and uncomfortable situations.

Posted by Margaret
726 posts

The answer is NO for the more current full-body scan type technology. YES, if the old metal detecting type. The new technology looks for more than just metal (for obvious reasons). Leaving Nashville for our most recent trip, my dear husband went through the new-type body scanner, and he was pulled aside because he had the Rick Steves' neck wallet type money belt on. The security scanners that did the resulting pat down in a private room, explained that because they could only see "something" was under his shirt, they had to check further.
When finished doing the exam, they then check their gloves under a device to see if there is any residue of explosives. Waist type money belt would have had the same issue. So, if the new technology...take it off and send it through with your shoes, bags, coins, etc.......but, of course, you want to time the send-thru so your travel partner can grab your deep-storage money/credit cards so that it is not "sitting there" while you complete the body scan (which can take a minute or two to hold up arms, turn, etc. One frequent traveler has advised us to ALWAYS ask for the pat down instead of the scan.....but one has to allow 10 extra minutes or so, in case they are busy. Next time we depart BNA we will just put the neck wallet in our scan thru and then put it on right after that. So, the short answer is no, yes, and maybe :) depending on which screening technology is used at a particular airport.

Posted by Kathy
Cary, NC
687 posts

Of course, if you're traveling solo the partner system won't work. I wonder if they'd let you go through the scan holding the money belt? If not, I guess I'll have to bury it in my carry-on. Aaargh!

Posted by Maryam
Washington, DC
766 posts

We carry our money belt in our carry-on bag through check-in and security and then put it on as soon as we get on the other side of the security check at the airport (discreetly, of course). We always wear the belt on the plane because I have some weird fear that the content of the money belt can easily be taken while I sleep on the plane.

Posted by Sylvia
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
331 posts

I have worn my RS money belt on 8 flights without a problem. My underwire, however set the detector off on 2 different occasions.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
13063 posts

Maryam, I don't think a thief is going to pay $1500 for airline ticket with the hope of stealing something greater than 1500 with no way to escape. Lets be reasonable with our paranoids.

Posted by Eileen
Texan in CA
4188 posts

Think again, Frank :-( Does theft on airplanes happen often? No. But it does happen. And if I wanted to start a life of crime in the air, an overnight flight is where I'd start - (except for me - I'm always w-i-d-e awake) the passengers look like the morning after a drunken orgy, and in darkness, too. Easy pickins...

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
13063 posts

Get serious - we are posting on a two year old question. Cite me one statistic or report of theft on a plane. People lose things on planes. Remember on one plane everyone looking under their seats because someone had lost an expensive ring. But someone looking through overhead luggage trying to steal, going through seat bags when your are in the restrooms. Don't think so.

Posted by Laura
Virginia, USA
3317 posts

Cite me one statistic or report of theft on a plane Well, this one was all over the news a couple of years ago ... Business Class Theft

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8466 posts

I'm with Frank. Considering that seats are jammed together so closely that you can barely move, much less quickly check out someone else's bag without anyone detecting it, I seriously doubt that there is a risk of theft. The space is just too small and there are too many eyes.

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

And the guy with the parachute in Oregon. You can never be too careful.

Posted by Thomas
Snyder, Texas
504 posts

Do not wear a money belt through security if they have the full body scan type system. Every airport I've been through lately has that type. It does not matter if the belt is all plastic and cloth. The scanner will see it, and you will have a hassle. I know. I did it. I had to go with 2 men into a private area. I had to take it off. They had to take it, with me along, and pass it through the X-ray. Then they let me go back in the room and put it back on. They were concerned someone would see what it was, very considerate. The 2 TSA men were very nice, but it was a hassle for them too. Fortunately, this was at our small home airport. It didn't hold other travelers up since they weren't very busy. The whole thing took about 20 minutes.