Whenever you go through the metal detectors at the airport, you're asked to remove your jacket and put it in one of the plastic trays. On a recent trip this got me thinking - what if you're wearing nothing but the jacket on the upper part of your body? Would you still have to remove it or could it stay on as you pass the X-ray machine?

For the sake of the question imagine someone wearing a huge winter parka with lots of pockets.

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    It seems like a non-issue, JR - you'd just get a pat down (in the "little tent" if you want privacy) which is completely normal in many situations of unusual clothing. Also of course, obviously, there's no one absolutely locked-in rule about such matters, worldwide, set by the UN or such! :)
    – Fattie
    Dec 30, 2019 at 11:23
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    Very broad, this is airport dependent, security officer dependent and maybe even different depending on the mood of the officer. Just a pad down or a special screening in a separate area.
    – Willeke
    Dec 30, 2019 at 22:02

4 Answers 4


I cannot speak for the female gender and all airports but recently in Da Nang, Vietnam I spilled an entire cup of coffee on my sweater and had only a thin sports jacket with me so I removed my sweater and wore only the sports jacket through customs and once they realized I had nothing under they asked me to go come to one side for a pat down that was all no need take it off


If your jackets is thick enough to hide weapons in it, you will have to remove it. The same is true for your T-shirt(but T-shirts are normally not thick and have no futter), or whatever else you wear. It doesn't matter what is beyond.

If you don't want to remove anything in public, you can always ask for a separate screening, where an officer of your gender will check you in private.

Obviously, being 'naked beyond' cannot be an excuse, as otherwise every terrorist would just come naked under his jacket...


If you are at a TSA controlled security checkpoint then you can ask for a private screening. I don't know about other jurisdictions

I vaguely have heard of this issue years ago with a woman who had a jacket with a lot of metal studs/broaches etc, and it caused a lot of attention.

Not that there have also been instances in the past of people deliberately stripping down so as to protest against the TSA.

Oregon Man Strips Down To Protest TSA At Portland International Airport


Whenever you go through the metal detectors at the airport, you're asked to remove your jacket and put it in one of the plastic trays

Some airport securities don't ask to remove jacket, regardless of whether you're naked underneath.

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    Here's a scary thought. Everyone is naked underneath their clothes!
    – Peter M
    Dec 30, 2019 at 17:46

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