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I will be boarding on an international flight from Europe to USA. My outfit will consist of velvet pants and a jacket. Both these have a few metal zippers and buttons. Nothing fancy, though. Just regular clothing.

Will I be given the green light to board my flight, considering the above mentioned? Will they put me through manual inspection and then go through?

  • People already mentioned that you'll have to take off your jacket (regardless of whether it has metal pieces or not). In some places (e.g. Beijing) they will re-check practically everyone manually, after they went through the metal detector. It's quick, common, and it's nothing to worry about. – Szabolcs Nov 3 '14 at 20:11
  • The security check in Budapest was a walk in the park. Easier than I thought. I'll see how it goes when boarding on my final flight to US. – s.brody Nov 7 '14 at 10:30
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Before boarding, actually before entering the duty-free zone, you will go through standard security screening checks. Your jacket will have to go through an X-ray machine, and you (and your trousers) will have to go through the metal detector. In case you set off the metal detector you will be pat-searched by the security officers. Consider that metal detectors have a threshold beyond which they are activated, so to accommodate for standard metal bits-and-pieces people usually carry, including buttons and zippers. Bottom line is you will safely pass these security checks unless you are hiding illegal stuff on you or in any of your belongings.

So to answer your question: you will be allowed to proceed if you have nothing you shouldn't be carrying. If all you have are buttons and zippers I see no problem.

On a different note, from your questions I am deducing that you are not an experienced globetrotter. :) No problem there, but I want to make sure you are informed about the new regulation regarding electronic devices on flights to/from the USA. I think this is way more important than worrying about buttons and zippers. ;)

  • There seems to be quite a bit of variability on metal detector sensitivity. Coming back from Canada someone I know set off the metal detector with a scrap of foil-lined paper. – Peter Green Jun 8 '18 at 17:01
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Yes you should have no problems.

You will be asked to remove the jacket before you go through the metal detector along with any other items with metal objects on them (e.g. belt buckles, jewelry, watches).

Metal Zippers and Buttons on pants don't normally set off metal detectors. This is because most metal detectors have an adjustable threshold setting, exactly for the reason that most pants have metal zippers or buttons.

If, for some reason, the alarm does go off, you might be asked for a quick pat-down. Even if that happens, you should have no problems whatsoever with boarding the flight. It's just a security measure.

  • 3
    There is generally no "if possible" for jackets. They 99% likely won't let you through the frame with a jacket or a loose jumper. – yo' Nov 3 '14 at 17:12
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    Just to clarify tohecz's comment for inexperienced flyers - this is totally normal and nothing to worry about. Jackets are put through the same scanner that hand bags, belt buckles, watches etc go through and (assuming your jacket isn't full of knives) you'll get it back seconds later after you walk through the metal detector. Even if your trouser zippers do set off the metal detector, you'll just be patted down and (assuming your trousers aren't full of knives) you'll go straight on through with no problems. – user568458 Nov 3 '14 at 17:28

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