money belt and security ?

Can we leave our money belts on going through security in US and European airports? This is our first time traveling with those and I didn't see it mentioned in Rick's book. ours have the protector in them to prevent thieves from scanning card info. thanks

Posted by Matt
Washington, DC, USA
571 posts

In my experience, airport security usually sees money belts below the clothing and asks them to be removed. I personally think you bring more attention to your money belt by being stopped at the scanner and asked to remove it. Better to take it off discretely beyond the security area, pass it through the machine inside some other carry on so it's not obvious, and then duck into a rest room on the other side and put it back on.

Posted by Laura B
San Francisco
782 posts

And the answer is - maybe, but don't count on it. On our last trip my husband got through security at SFO, but I got stopped, wanded, and required to put my money belt through the luggage scanner. In Amsterdam they asked to see inside the money belt, but I kept it on (advantage of elastic waistband on pants.)

Posted by Charles
Austin, Texas, USA
325 posts

You should take it off. Think about it...normally you would be removing your wallet or purse and putting in the bins so it is the same thing. One time I forgot and they caught me and made me take it off.

Posted by jerry
14 posts

THANK YOU EVERYONE. so we'll put them in our hand carry items before we start our airport venture (we start at a very small and quiet airport so theft risk to start security with is extremely minimal). I never have a purse when doing airtravel so hadn't through thru that one...

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
12675 posts

No you cannot. You might slight through but if caught it will just delay things. Wife was caught in Germany because she simply forgot and the result was a visit to the little room and strip search to underwear. And this was a 60 year old librarian. So much for profiling. We stuff everything into the carry on luggage and put it though the screen with no problems. The probability of thieves scanning your credit is just a market scare to sell the protective items. It can be done but the probability is so low as to be impossible. Toss 'em, you don't need them.

Posted by gone
2081 posts

i forgot about my necklace type passport w/$$$ and they didnt ask me to remove it afterwards but pulled me aside and felt for it. best to remove it and put it in your carryon. when you get airborne, go to the head and put it back on. now what i do is to talk or have all of my crap in my carryon bag. once i get airborne then i put the stuff back on or once i pass security. happy trails.

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2193 posts

Related somewhat to your question... Be careful about placing anything of value in a bin in plain sight (i.e. wallet, iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, etc.). First, these items do not need to be taken out separately like a laptop. Second, maybe not so much at a small airfield like DSM, but theft of these items by TSA workers (and their counterparts abroad) right there at the busy security checkpoint is a very real problem. Place these items in your bag first (as already recommended) & try to keep an eye on it (easier said than done). It's unlikely a security worker would take the time/risk to actually open a bag and steal something at the checkpoint, but it's pretty easy to lift an iPad Mini that's just there in plain view in a bin all by itself. Rifling through checked luggage is a different problem altogether. Cheers!

Posted by Diane
Westford, MA, USA
334 posts

I use both the neck and waist belt item. I put my passport, boarding pass, one credit card, and a small amount of USD/Euro in the neck holder. The rest goes into the money waist belt. The money belt is already stashed deep into my carry on tote bag. When I get in line I shove the neck holder deep into the same tote bag and hold my passport & boarding pass in my hand. After I am scanned, wand, and patted down(my TKR always gets me here), I go to the WC and put my money belt on. I put my passport & boarding pass back into the neck holder. I either rearrange the neck holder where I can get to it more easily inside the tote, or I wear it, or put it inside my blazer pocket if I am wearing one. By the written law we do not have to take off our money belts, or take our wallets out and paper money out of our pockets, but TSA just does it this way. A TSA agent was on my RS tour last year and they explained this to me.
By removing these items AIT has less to screen and it speeds up the lines as less inspections are needed to determine what AIT can not for the TSA officer. When a traveler protests against removing these items they are correct and TSA is incorrect. However, it raises red flags, causes line jams, and delays the traveler who is protesting. So most people just go along with it. After I had to remove my money belt or open it up to show TSA what was in it, I went to this method as I don't want the whole airport to see what I have on me.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
12675 posts

I would love to see a citing as to where that is in the "law." I assume that there is really is no law on that subject, nothing that precise, and that TSA is free to develop its own guidelines or procedures. During a body scan I was jumped and searched for having a tissue in a pocket with the rather stern comment, "What part of having nothing in your pocket did you not understand?" I could have had a discussion about his name and badge number but I did want to make my plane that day.

Posted by Rebecca
Nashville, TN, USA
1076 posts

In some airports, the TSA personnel are on a power trip, and go way beyond what is called for in their job.

Posted by Sean
New York
148 posts

You don't need the wear your moneybelt at the airport. There risk of getting pickpocketed at the airport is extremely low. Or if you want, you can wear it on arrival. ours have the protector in them to prevent thieves from scanning card info Where did you hear that thieves can scan card info?

Posted by Linda
Beaverdam, VA, United States
11 posts

I totally agree with Matt..or else your money belt could get lost very should take good care of it.

Posted by Roy
East Alabama
1004 posts

One of the problems with posting virtually anything on a forum such as this is that someone (say, for example, Diane) will post a very sensible statement, then someone else comes along, ignores the entire post except for a few words, and then uses those words to attack the individual. They may be only a small percent of the population, but there are two types of thieves out there: Professionals and opportunists. The latter may be honest most of the time, but when an opportunity presents itself, say inside an airport security zone, they act.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
5640 posts

I don't understand why anyone should have an issue with how someone else wants to do things. Again, let's take Diane for example. Is her method going too far? Maybe for some, but clearly it works for her. Why criticize? It doesn't hurt anyone for others to do things differently than they choose to do for themselves. And let's talk about thieves. Hasn't anyone out there worked in an office that things have gone missing from people's desks? What are the odds that a professional thief snuck in to take things? I would bet those thieves fly from time to time. Crimes of opportunity do happen and I definitely don't think that just because someone is in an airport they can be trusted. I'm not paranoid. The odds are everything will be fine. But it only takes one incident to prove someone wrong.

Posted by Swan
Napa, CA
3082 posts

A little paranoia at the security check is justified IMHO. This is the place to pay attention to your belongings and what is going on around you. Belongings and you sometimes don't arrive on the other end of the line at the same time. By having belts, cellphones, watches, wallets inside a bag, they are less likely to be forgotten when leaving the security area. If possible, it is a good idea to have money belt and other valuables tucked away inside a bag before security but if you wait until the last minute (as I often do) just do it then and keep your eyes on your stuff. The body scan sees everything, including a tissue in your pocket. You can hold that in your hand. If you don't want the scan, you can be checked by a pat-down. After you have been through this routine a couple of times, it will become a smooth operation.

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
3180 posts

What is so wrong with not wanting the whole world around you to know what is in your moneybelt? She didn't say she was paranoid that roving gangs of thieves would mug her at the boarding area. She just didn't want people to see things. I'd rather not expose all my possessions either. Besides, many posters here are AGAST that I sometimes suggest there is nothing wrong with accessing one's moneybelt system in public. There most definitely is a level of paranoia about moneybelt use on this board. It's no wonder that some people would then be very cautious about exposing the moneybelt or its contents, under any circumstances.

Posted by Swan
Napa, CA
3082 posts

Great minds, Andrea. I had no problem with Diane's posting. The good news: if you are old enough you can leave your shoes on.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8332 posts

I just took for flights in a the week period. The only place I had to take off my shoes was Chicago.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8332 posts

I just took for flights in a the week period. The only place I had to take off my shoes was Chicago.

Posted by Andrea
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
608 posts

My husband wears a money belt and never once has security batted an eye about him wearing it under his clothes through security. The only time he had a very small issue was in China. A female security person got rather friendly down there altogether and had a look at the belt. Several guys on our tour got special treatment from the female officer and were rather pleased! The only time I have to take my shoes off is when I fly to or from the States.

Posted by Keith
United Kingdom
892 posts

Jerry - you did ask about Europe as well as the US (since, presumably you are planning to fly home at some point!). Obviously arguments about what may or may not be in the "written law" so far as the US goes become irrelevant for your return journey. I don't have direct experience of a money belt, since I never wear one, but I have been in queues at screening several times where someone wearing one "activated" the machine and so had to take it off before going back through - it might be just a question of luck and how much metal, etc. is in your particular make of money-belt. I think the very first advice you got above is the best way forward. Also, at least at Heathrow, if you get selected to go through the "nudo-scope" body scanner then you definitely have to take it off beforehand. On shoes, which someone else mentioned, it seems to be pretty random whether you take them off or not - both between European airports and between the same airport on different days. I guess this apparently random approach is part of the security measures (though thick soles/high heels/boots seems to get selected more often).

Posted by Lo
1346 posts

I never had a problem with wearing the money belt until we flew out of Atlanta. I had to remove it and run it through the scanner in a separate bin. I had my passport in hand and the TSA agent even flipped through that! By the way, for all of you who fly out of large airports, our wonderful little Airport here in Tucson has no nudo scanner.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
11639 posts

Sean, I've never had to go through it, just the normal scanner. How often have you had to go through it?

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
11639 posts

Where did you hear that thieves can scan card info? With the right equipment, and in the right environment it CAN be done if the card has NFC. Extremely rare, but technically possible.