Flying with a Steel Boned Corset: Are There Issues with Airport Security?

Flying with a Steel Boned Corset

There’s nothing quite like the speed and convenience of air travel. Sure, you’re going to have to deal with long lines at TSA. You might have trouble fitting your carry-on bag in the cramped overhead compartment, the seats are small, and armrest etiquette is sketchy, at best. Then there are delays, layovers, cancellations, and other hassles to deal with.

All that being said, you can get from one coast to the other in a matter of a few hours with a direct flight. Compare that to our ancestors who had to plan for up to six months in a wagon train to make the same journey – suddenly, the difficulties of modern travel seem small.

Of course, if you wear a steel boned corset for waist training or health reasons, you naturally have an added concern. 

What will happen when you step through a scanner at airport security? Will it set off an alarm? Will you have to disrobe? Will you suffer the embarrassment of holding up the line when everyone is trying to get through in a hurry?

Before you head to the airport en route to your destination, you need to know how your corset might impact your journey. Here’s what you can expect when you go through the TSA security check at the airport.

Metal Shows Up on Scanners

As you probably know, the body scanners at airport security checkpoints are designed to help agents spot potential threats, including weapons. How do they do this? The machine uses millimeter wave imaging to spot both metallic and non-metallic substances that could qualify as threats.

Body scanners are looking for weapons like guns, knives, explosives, and so on, but because they can detect metal objects, the steel boning and busks in your corset will certainly present as suspicious and cause the machine to flag the area in question. This, in turn, will alert the TSA agent to pull you aside and investigate the source.

The Attention You Get May Depend on the Airport and Agent

Often, an agent will ask you if you have any metal objects on your person, and they may wave a wand over the portion of your body indicated on the scan (i.e., your torso). 

The agent may simply wave you through if you’re forthcoming about wearing a steel-boned corset. They might also ask you to show them the area by lifting your shirt, if convenient.

Alternately, you may be asked to remove the garment (just as men are asked to remove belts or those with items in their pockets must put them in a tray). This could cause quite an issue and take some time. 

Because you’ll have to remove an undergarment, you may be taken to a private area. It will all depend on the airport policy, the perceived threat level, and the agent you get.

It Could Cause Delays

As you can imagine, getting stopped and asked to remove your corset could not only be a hassle but could create extensive delays. If you’re in a hurry to get to your gate, this could be a major problem you don’t want to deal with.

While you’ll probably get waved through most of the time when you explain that you’re wearing a steel-boned corset, it only takes one overzealous agent to hold you up and even cause you to miss a flight. Unfortunately, you could also end up delaying a lot of other frustrated travelers in line behind you.

How Can You Avoid These Travel Snafus?

The easiest way to avoid getting stopped by security for wearing a steel-boned corset is to simply place it in your carry-on and head to the restroom to put it on after you go through screening. Or just wait until you’ve reached your destination to add it to your ensemble. 

This situation is not ideal if you’re waist training, but many people can go without for a couple of hours or even the whole day if it means greater convenience during travel.

What if You Wear a Corset for Medical Purposes?

If you wear a corset for health reasons, such as back support or reducing anxiety, you may be hesitant to go without or take it off for security screening. In this case, your best bet is to bring a doctor’s note stating your condition and why you need to keep your corset on. 

Plan Ahead for Smooth Traveling

While modern travel can entail various challenges, some simple planning will help you avoid known hassles and breeze through airport security checks. Taking a little extra time to plan can save you time overall.

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