When I travel, I usually carry a backpack and inside, a small leather pouch with various creams and perfumes inside along with a laptop in a laptop briefcase-style bag.

The first time I traveled with this leather pouch, the officers didn't ask me to throw away / empty the contents of my pouch. I thought they just didn't care. But since then, I've traveled many times to many different countries and have never been stopped. Sometimes, I would have various liquids inside in containers of up to 100 ml that otherwise have to have been thrown out. The laptop on the other hand, if I forgot to put it on one of those trays for scanning, the officers would catch it inside my backpack and ask me to remove it from its pouch and place it in a tray for scanning.

Is my leather pouch able to block bag scanners so officers aren't able to see its contents?

1 Answer 1


No. Leather is transparent to x-rays (just like human skin, which is why medical x-rays work). If they see a large enough mass that they can't see through (if you happen to travel with a lead-lined bag for instance), they'll usually want to take a look at it. It's more likely that the officers don't care, especially because the liquid containers in question are small. My experience is that they sometimes aren't particularly strict about the "take all your liquids out separately" rule (and TSA Pre explicitly allows you to leave your liquids in your bag) as long as they don't see large bottles.

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