Over the last few years we’ve seen a huge crackdown on security in airports and those who travel fairly frequently are well versed on TSA procedures such as taking off your shoes and the maximum volume of liquids one is allowed to take on board.
However, a recent report in the New York Times suggests that the Transportation Security Administration could be about to eliminate one step from the long process of getting through airport security.
As it stands, when you’re bringing your laptop on in your carry-on luggage, you’ll be asked to remove it from its case and place it in a separate tray on the belt. The TSA - those wonderful guys and gals that check your luggage before getting on a plane - says that this is because travellers often overstuff their laptop bags with cables and other accessories that make it difficult for TSA officials to examine the laptop on the x-ray.
The Transportation Security Administration is partnering up with luggage companies to produce a checkpoint-friendly laptop bag. Kip Hawley, the agency’s director told the New York Times on Monday that laptop bags by Targus and Pathfinder, designed to get you through security without having to unpack your computer, have been approved by the Administration and could be here by the holidays.
A few months back the TSA called for luggage manufacturers to design a case that would allow the x-ray to see the laptop easily and it seems most have opted for a separate compartment specifically for your notebook and another for whatever mice and cables you happen to cart around with you.
While the TSA is all for the new bags, Hawley told the NYT that they were being very careful about certifying any bags.
“Everybody is aware that the process of the government certifying a piece of security equipment involves a lot of time and red tape.”
To avoid confusion as to whether not your case is a checkpoint friendly bag, the TSA encouraged designers to come up with “self-evident features” such as no buckles or zips. Prototype versions of these bags have been tested at Dulles, Austin-Bergstrom and Ontario Airport in the past months.
Now if only the TSA can just authorize checkpoint-friendly shoes so that we don’t have to take them off all the time.
The TSA and its laptop shenanigans made headlines earlier in the year when security pulled one traveller’s MacBook Air off the belt for inspection because they didn’t believe it was a real laptop.
Michael Nygard missed his flight when a baffled TSO spied his MacBook Pro.
"There’s no drive. And no ports on the back. It has a couple of lines where the drive should be."
It turns out TSA officials aren’t very well versed in the ways of SSDs.
Eventually a tech-savvy member of the TSA (or you know, someone who doesn’t live under a rock and is actually allowed leave the airport every once and a while) explained that the MacBook Air is actually a real computer and not some kind of terrorist trickery.
Shortly after the incident, the TSA’s official blog announced that the Administration would be contacting Apple for a review copy of the MacBook Air to x-ray and show the TSOs.