Keep it in your carry-on!
We always recommend keeping your Polaroid Originals film with you in your carry-on baggage, and storing it in the cabin of the airplane. This will guarantee that the film is not subjected to damaging x-rays, remains at room temperature and isn’t mistreated (sometimes checked-in luggage doesn’t get the first class treatment it deserves).
While technically speaking, carry-on x-rays may not harm unopened film, x-rays can pose a serious threat to your film, and it’s simply best to avoid them at all costs. If possible, we recommend asking security agents to hand-check your film. Make sure to avoid keeping your film in checked baggage, as the x-rays used for checked baggage are much stronger than those used for carry-on bags, and can do real damage to unopened film packs.
X-Ray Technology and Polaroid Film
For safety, airports worldwide use x-ray scanning technology to inspect luggage as it passes through. Technically, all film below ASA 800 shouldn’t have any ill effects, as the sensitivity of the film is too low to pick up the x-ray wavelengths (0.1 – 10 nm). Since all Polaroid Original film is rated lower than ASA 800, it technically shouldn’t suffer any negative effects. Did we use the word “technically” enough times there?
Exceptions occur when airports are using older x-ray scanning machines which emit detectable wavelengths, or when making multiple transfers, subjecting your luggage to multiple rounds of x-ray scanning. Film damaged by x-ray typically exhibits a pinkish hue throughout the photo. Great if you’re a fan of all things pink, but not so much for everyone else.
Therefore, for peace of mind, we always recommend bringing your film onboard with you.
A note about exposed film: exposed film (film you’ve already shot) is completely unaffected by x-rays and, will be fine in your checked baggage.