How to Protect an Unopened Disposable Camera in a Terminal
Disposable cameras are very convenient for vacations and other circumstances where you do not have a standard camera handy. They are cheap and easy to get and use. The film in disposable cameras can be vulnerable to x-rays and care should be used when taking a camera through an airport due to the security checkpoints that use airport security baggage scanners. Protecting an unopened disposable camera in an airport terminal just takes some planning.
Buy a digital disposable camera when possible. The digital memory in the camera will not be affected by x-ray machines and the camera can be carried hassle-free.
Pack a film disposable camera in your carry-on bag instead of checked baggage. Kodak reports that carry-on baggage is subjected to less intense radiation that should not damage film. Checked baggage undergoes heavier x-ray levels and this likely will damage any unprocessed film. More on baggage x ray scanner.
Request a hand search of your carry-on baggage if you have a disposable camera and will be going through five or more security checkpoints on your trip, since multiple exposures to the lower x-ray levels still can damage the film. Hand searching of photographic film and equipment is permitted by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations if requested, but this might not apply at foreign airports.
Keep your disposable camera in a lead-lined carry-on bag. Check with the manufacturer to verify the level of protection but a lead-lined carry-on can minimize the effects of the X-ray luggage scanner on your film.