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TSA to relax laptop screening at airports

by on07 August 2008


Starts August 16th

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that effective August 16th it will allow travelers with notebook bags that have a “checkpoint friendly” design to leave their computer hardware inside the bag. The new regulations will allow the notebooks to go through x-ray screening as long as the case meets certain criteria.

According to the TSA, a "checkpoint friendly" case must have a designated laptop-only section that completely unfolds to lay flat on the X-ray screening conveyor belt and the bag cannot contain metal snaps, zippers or buckles inside, underneath or on top of that laptop section.

The case must also not have pockets on the inside or outside of the laptop-only part of the case. Needless to say, this will create a new niche market for bag and case makers, because who wants to be delayed in security lines if they don’t have to be?

There are currently two models that claim to be “checkpoint friendly,” which include Targus’s Zip-Thru bag, available now for $99.99, and Skooba Design’s new upcoming line of Checkthrough bags.

But just as you thought you were set to pass “go” and to collect $200, as in the Monopoly game, the TSA has issued a caveat to its guidelines on its Web page: "Given TSA's use of random screening protocols, TSA reserves the right to re-screen any bag or laptop regardless of the design of the bag."

Of course, this doesn’t address the fact that the TSA can still check your notebook for its contents. Better get one of these checkpoint friendly designed bags so as not to arouse suspicion.

Last modified on 07 August 2008
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