I had the pleasure of encountering the full body scanner at McCarran Airport last month. Coming soon to an airport near you. Some lines of passengers are now directed to the scanner, and get a full patdown as well. You will be directed to take ALL contents out of your pockets, and put them through the conveyor belt. On protest, you will be allowed to pocket cash and other valuables, and put just your empty wallet or empty pouch on the conveyor belt. However, staff will not volunteer this information. I suggest putting all cash and chips in baggies, and carrying the baggies inside your bankroll pouch. Then before approaching the screening area, take out baggies, and put only them into your pockets, while putting your empty pouch and wallet in your carry-on bag or coat to go on the conveyor belt.
Or you may be able to avoid all of this by looking for a line that has no full body scanner. However, TSA staff routinely merge two adjacent lines, and then direct passengers from the combined line alternating between the regular metal detector and the full body scanner. They don't want to make it too easy to evade.
Check your dignity and any hope of receiving basic human respect at the door before you leave home.
By the way, with those machines they can see the size of your schwanzstücke.
I have no intention of letting my cash out of my grubby fingers, especially after reading reports of theft by TSA agents such as this (which came to my attention courtesy of another contributor):
I have printed this article, and will carry it with me whenever traveling. It may be useful if I ever encounter TSA agents who try to insist that I put cash on the conveyor belt.
The following notice on the TSA Web site explains the requirement of completing a customs declaration when transporting $10,000 or more out of or into the United States. This impliedly acknowledges that it is lawful to carry any amount of currency WITHIN the United States, as well:
This one, "Traveling with Special Items," might also be helpful, as it impliedly says that you can keep your cash on your person, saying, "We recommend that you carry these items with you at all times:"
Here's a link to the ACLU's press release concerning the settlement of Bierfeldt vs. Napolitano, which stemmed from the March 29, 2009 incident in which Ron Paul's assistant was confined for a half hour, rudely interrogated, arrested, and then quickly un-arrested, for carrying cash through an airport:
This give information on two new TSA directives to its agents, issued in connection with the settlement. The first states that “screening may not be conducted to detect evidence of crimes unrelated to transportation security.” The second states that “traveling with large amounts of currency is not illegal,” and that to the extent bulk quantities of cash warrant searching, it is only to further security objectives. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to locate the full texts of these directives. Top secret, I suppose.
These directives appear to supersede the position taken by the TSA in the following press release, which asserted that the TSA had authority to investigate "movements of large amounts of cash through the checkpoint ... if suspicious activity is suspected":