New Customs Ion Scanning at Tullamarine a Shambles

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Dec 25, 2004
Here's my story...

Arrived at one International airport in Australia and queued for checkin.

A security officer was doing Ion testing of "random" passengers and their baggage. So off they go and start swabbing my backpack and planned-to-be-checked baggage.

Into the machine it goes. Then (in similar fashion to Border Patrol) it makes a little noise and instead of it being green bar at the top, it went red.

Ooops. Apparently traces of explosives have been found on me.

So I get asked a couple of questions about my baggage.

Next step is for them to clean the machine down, and retest me.

I was advised that I would be scanned again twice. If both came up clean, I'm fine, otherwise my baggage would be hand searched.

So off goes sample #2 into the machine.


And then Security person scrubs all over my bags and puts in sample #3.


I'm thanked, and allowed to continue.

I'm wondering how much of a search the would have performed, and how much time it would have taken if one of the additional samples went red????


Junior Member
Mar 11, 2005
Ion false positives

I had an interesting experience at one regional airport that uses an ion scanning machine also. I received a 'red' scan result on the screen, so they retested (the criteria is that you need two consecutive 'greens' to be cleared). After 10 minutes or so of alternate reds & greens, finally I received the two greens. The screener told me that if I hadn't got two greens then it would be at the captain's discretion whether I would be allowed to board.
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