TSA PreCheck - SS Apple Watch and Metal Detector

convergent

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 6, 2008
3,024
3,073
I know there are a few threads asking about the boarding pass function of the Apple Watch and TSA, but I am wanting to get a poll on leaving the watch on to go through the PreCheck metal detectors.

I like to sail through TSA quickly so I preload all my belongings into my carry on before even going into security, and have only my phone and ID left in my hand. As soon as they are scanned at the PreCheck checkpoint, I put them in a pouch on my backpack and I'm good to go. I fly a lot, and only one airport has been a problem with this approach, Boston's Delta terminal ... their metal detectors go off with my Bostonian dress shoes so I have to argue with them that I need to take them off, when they are confidently demanding that I leave them on. Went through that experience over 100 times in the last couple of years and was quite frustrating. Every other airport I've been to my shoes were not a problem. But I digress.

I just got a Stainless Steel Apple Watch and would love to leave it on to go through security. Taking it off always makes me nervous about a drop to the floor. I'd rather not go through with it on and have the metal detector go off, and end up putting it in the bucket. It takes a lot of time and slows down the process for everyone, and I also don't want the watch to disappear while TSA is being slow letting me through. So, I pack it away.

So has anyone worn their SS AW through the TSA Precheck scanners regularly? Any problems?

Thanks.
 

convergent

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 6, 2008
3,024
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Shouldn't be any different than any other watch.
I've always taken off my non-smart watch before even getting to the PreCheck checkpoint... so maybe that was always unnecessary!

I just like to be very efficient going through security and wish that others did the same. It amazes me when people get to the conveyer belt and it seems that this is the first instant in their life that it occurred to them that they have to go through a metal detector (or body scanner if not in precheck). They proceed to then dismantle themselves and all their belongings making everyone wait. Last week I watched a lady taking stuff out of her carry-on bag for some bizarre reason, then she shook her head, and put it all back in. At that point I went around her and cut in line because I didn't want to spend all day watching her brain spin in a million directions because she was confronted with a conveyer belt and didn't know what to do!

They should have spectator seats at TSA checkpoints next to the conveyer belt, and sell tickets. This, and boat launches are two places people seem to lose their ability to think.
 
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Jessem1133

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2014
368
233
They should have spectator seats at TSA checkpoints next to the conveyer belt, and see tickets. This, and boat launches are two places people seem to lose their ability to think.
Now that I can get behind! I love people watching at airports.
 

NavySEAL6

macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2006
602
73
I can't comment on AWSS or TSA precheck, but I recently went through standard TSA with my Sport and had no issues. I also go through with my silver chain so I don't think jewelry in general matters
 

Rogo117

macrumors regular
Sep 18, 2012
128
72
With regards to the space grey, I fly twice a week (using precheck when available) and have never had any issues ever with the watch going through security.

Though, recently in Dublin they made me take it off calling it an "iwatch".
 

lordhamster

macrumors 6502a
Jan 23, 2008
691
281
Before more people respond, I think we need to get some basic info:

  • Which Model Watch do you have? (Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Gold alloy will all behave differently in metal detector)
  • What strap do you use? A sport strap will be different than a SS strap.
Also, to be clear, we are talking about the Magnetometer here... not the Nudeoscope used in the peon security lines.

I've not tried going through the magnetometer yet since I've only traveled once since I got my Apple watch, I just took it off. I do know that with my old Citizen Skyhawk stainless steel it would vary depending on airport. In Cleveland, if I had the stainless steel band on, it would beep and I have to take it off. If I use a Nato-strap with the same watch, no beep.

Titanium or Aluminum of any kind don't seem to set of the detector. I switched my belt buckle to titanium a long time ago as the stainless buckle sets off the machines.
 

Sylon

macrumors 68020
Feb 26, 2012
2,032
80
Michigan/Ohio, USA
Flew recently out of Detroit. I actually forgot to take mine off. The TSA guy said that I didn't need to anyway, just that he had to look at it. He slightly lifted it off my wrist to look under it, but that's it. Flew out of Dulles heading back, they never even bothered with it or my Fitbit.
 

lordhamster

macrumors 6502a
Jan 23, 2008
691
281
With regards to the space grey, I fly twice a week (using precheck when available) and have never had any issues ever with the watch going through security.

Though, recently in Dublin they made me take it off calling it an "iwatch".
Is your Watch Stainless or Aluminum?

Nevermind. I just noticed you put in Space Grey
 

convergent

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 6, 2008
3,024
3,073
Before more people respond, I think we need to get some basic info:

  • Which Model Watch do you have? (Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Gold alloy will all behave differently in metal detector)
  • What strap do you use? A sport strap will be different than a SS strap.
Also, to be clear, we are talking about the Magnetometer here... not the Nudeoscope used in the peon security lines.

I've not tried going through the magnetometer yet since I've only traveled once since I got my Apple watch, I just took it off. I do know that with my old Citizen Skyhawk stainless steel it would vary depending on airport. In Cleveland, if I had the stainless steel band on, it would beep and I have to take it off. If I use a Nato-strap with the same watch, no beep.

Titanium or Aluminum of any kind don't seem to set of the detector. I switched my belt buckle to titanium a long time ago as the stainless buckle sets off the machines.

The thread was really just asking about SS, but sure... if folks want to talk about the other materials then let us know its not SS... otherwise I assume it is. I kind of focussed on SS because I believe it would be more of a problem, and that's what I have.

It seems like its not an issue, so I will try it Friday when I fly to Paris from the US. I've only flown a few times since having the watch and just took it off like I always did with my dumb watch.

If I can leave it on then maybe I will try to use the watch at the checkpoint. From what I've heard though, you have to touch the scanner and I don't really want to do that with my watch because the screen protrudes out so much.
 

lordhamster

macrumors 6502a
Jan 23, 2008
691
281
The thread was really just asking about SS, but sure... if folks want to talk about the other materials then let us know its not SS... otherwise I assume it is. I kind of focussed on SS because I believe it would be more of a problem, and that's what I have.

It seems like its not an issue, so I will try it Friday when I fly to Paris from the US. I've only flown a few times since having the watch and just took it off like I always did with my dumb watch.

If I can leave it on then maybe I will try to use the watch at the checkpoint. From what I've heard though, you have to touch the scanner and I don't really want to do that with my watch because the screen protrudes out so much.
Let us know what watch band you use. I think a metal watch band could put it over the threshold.

As for the scanner, I've always been able to scan my phone and androidwear watch by holding it 2-3 inches above the scanner glass. Unfortunately the orientation and location of the scanner at the TSA pre-check podium means that unless I do some contortions, or rotate the watch to my wrist, it just isn't comfortable to scan the barcode that way.
 

convergent

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 6, 2008
3,024
3,073
Let us know what watch band you use. I think a metal watch band could put it over the threshold.

As for the scanner, I've always been able to scan my phone and androidwear watch by holding it 2-3 inches above the scanner glass. Unfortunately the orientation and location of the scanner at the TSA pre-check podium means that unless I do some contortions, or rotate the watch to my wrist, it just isn't comfortable to scan the barcode that way.
I don't have any metal bands, I have the leather classic and sports... both Apple OEM. My dumb watch had a metal link band, so that may be why was needing to always take it off now that I think about it. I currently have the sports band on the watch and was just playing with how easy I can spin it around my wrist. If I let it out one hole, I can then spin it around easily. I can do all of that without losing contact and getting password prompt. I may try to use it Friday. Would be cool to already have my phone tucked in my backpack, and just have my license in my pocket. I'll see how many people are in line at the checkpoint to decide if I want to take a risk it doesn't work.
 

Böhme417

macrumors 6502a
Mar 11, 2009
614
665
I've always taken off my non-smart watch before even getting to the PreCheck checkpoint... so maybe that was always unnecessary!

I just like to be very efficient going through security and wish that others did the same. It amazes me when people get to the conveyer belt and it seems that this is the first instant in their life that it occurred to them that they have to go through a metal detector (or body scanner if not in precheck). They proceed to then dismantle themselves and all their belongings making everyone wait. Last week I watched a lady taking stuff out of her carry-on bag for some bizarre reason, then she shook her head, and put it all back in. At that point I went around her and cut in line because I didn't want to spend all day watching her brain spin in a million directions because she was confronted with a conveyer belt and didn't know what to do!

They should have spectator seats at TSA checkpoints next to the conveyer belt, and sell tickets. This, and boat launches are two places people seem to lose their ability to think.
To be fair, people wouldn't have such an issue with it if all the airports were CONSISTENT. I swear I haven't been to any two airports that enforce the same rules. I've been in a precheck line where they were making passengers remove their computers and take off their shoes. I've also been in a non-precheck line where they weren't making people remove their shoes. I've also never taken off my watches until just recently when one made me take mine off. He wouldn't let me go through the metal detector until I took it off (space gray sport). I've never set it off with a watch (titanium, aluminum, or stainless) or belt.
 
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convergent

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 6, 2008
3,024
3,073
To be fair, people wouldn't have such an issue with it if all the airports were CONSISTENT. I swear I haven't been to any two airports that enforce the same rules. I've been in a precheck line where they were making passengers remove their computers and take off their shoes. I've also been in a non-recheck line where they weren't making people remove their shoes. I've also never taken off my watches until just recently when one made me take mine off. He wouldn't let me go through the metal detector until I took it off (space gray sport). I've never set it off with a watch (titanium, aluminum, or stainless) or belt.
Yes, I always wonder if it's incompetence or they are being kraft to keep the bad guys guessing!

Funny thing, I've had PreCheck for about a year and prior to that I never ever took my bag of liquids and gels out of my carry-on and they never stopped me....for years. But those silly little half bottles of water they had out in first class nailed me a lot on my return flights... I'd throw them in my backpack for the hotel and forget.

What annoys me the most is when they just dump a bunch of people in the PreCheck line that don't have PreCheck and create mass confusion and slow the whole thing down.
 

douglasf13

macrumors 68000
Jul 2, 2010
1,601
782
I've always taken off my non-smart watch before even getting to the PreCheck checkpoint... so maybe that was always unnecessary!
Most of the people I've talked to on watch forums don't take their watches off when going through the metal detectors, even with a metal band. I'm not sure I'd feel great about taking off a $10K watch and putting it on the conveyor.
 

convergent

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 6, 2008
3,024
3,073
Most of the people I've talked to on watch forums don't take their watches off when going through the metal detectors, even with a metal band. I'm not sure I'd feel great about taking off a $10K watch and putting it on the conveyor.
Oh sorry, that was the point of this whole thread. I don't put anything individually on the conveyor. Before I even get to the security checkpoint I put everything that I need to take off in my computer backpack. I then walk up with my iPhone (boarding pass) and drivers license. As soon as I clear the checkpoint, they go in a pouch in my backpack so I am ready to through my backpack and carry-on onto the conveyor, and then walk straight through. So my wallet, change, comb, watch, etc.. are already all in my backpack. That is why I asked the question, because I don't want to be forced to take off my watch and put it in a bucket for the conveyor if the alarm goes off (or the TSA agent just decides its Friday and they want me to take it off).
 

douglasf13

macrumors 68000
Jul 2, 2010
1,601
782
Oh sorry, that was the point of this whole thread. I don't put anything individually on the conveyor. Before I even get to the security checkpoint I put everything that I need to take off in my computer backpack. I then walk up with my iPhone (boarding pass) and drivers license. As soon as I clear the checkpoint, they go in a pouch in my backpack so I am ready to through my backpack and carry-on onto the conveyor, and then walk straight through. So my wallet, change, comb, watch, etc.. are already all in my backpack. That is why I asked the question, because I don't want to be forced to take off my watch and put it in a bucket for the conveyor if the alarm goes off (or the TSA agent just decides its Friday and they want me to take it off).
Yeah, I didn't mean loose on the conveyor. I still would be nervous to put an expensive watch in a bag on the conveyor.
 

convergent

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 6, 2008
3,024
3,073
Yeah, I didn't mean loose on the conveyor. I still would be nervous to put an expensive watch in a bag on the conveyor.
Well, my laptop, phone, wallet, passport, cash, etc, etc. is in my backpack on the conveyor, so if someone gets that then the watch will be the least of my worries. It REALLY pisses me off to no end when they flag you for random additional checks and take you out of site of the end of the conveyor, meaning that your stuff is just setting there for several minutes unattended while they give you the extra whatever. Remember when they used to ask you if any of your bags have been out of your possession at any time? They don't ask that anymore, but force you to have your belongings out of your possession.
 

Archer1440

Suspended
Mar 10, 2012
730
301
USA
No problems with domestic pre-check, at five different USA airports (LAX, SLC, SAN, SEA PDX), and no problem at either Narita, Kansai or Haneda airports in Japan. SS with SS link bracelet.
 

convergent

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 6, 2008
3,024
3,073
Thanks for all the feedback... on the way to Paris tomorrow, so will definitely give it a try at my home airport in Raleigh, and on the way back in Paris.
 

RichardF

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2006
565
78
New York City
Follow up post on your latest above? :) How did it go?

One of your posts made me smile RE: the dress shoes. Why not simply wear another pair on the days you are flying?

The Apple Watch won't set off the detector but in my case it's dealing with the TSA staff.
I type that from experience: I wear a tiny Sony ICD-TX650 voice recorder at all times, clipped onto my shirts at chest level or the neck contour of my sweaters.
They spot it and always ask that I put it into a small bin they hold out.
Now, like you, I pack it away before putting my stuff through, which of course defeats the purpose because I don't have it on my to record my eventual interactions/ dealings with them.





 
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