TSA Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Bag Procedures, a Tutorial

We’ve mentioned some of the bags that will comply with their “Checkthrough” regulations the past, and now the TSA has finally posted the official procedures for getting through their checkpoints without actually removing your laptop; of course all will hinge on consumers purchasing the proper type of bag…

TSA Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Bag Procedures, a Tutorial

TSA screens laptops to see if the electronics have been tampered with. TSOs know what the inside of a computer should look like, and can recognize irregularities. This is why they need an unobstructed view as the item moves through the X-ray machine.

Purchasing one of these bags will not guarantee that you can leave your laptop in your bag for screening. If a TSO finds that the bag does not present a clear and distinct image of the laptop separate from the rest of the bag, the laptop will have to be screened separately.

How can you be sure that your laptop bag is “checkpoint friendly”? Here are the guidelines:

TSA Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Bag Procedures, a Tutorial

Of course, nothing can ever be as simple as we might like, right? The TSA isn’t “approving or endorsing any bag design or manufacturer” and they “will only allow laptops to stay in bags through screening if they provide a clear and unobstructed X-ray image of the laptop.” In addition, the TSA “reserves the right to re-screen any bag or laptop regardless of the design of the bag.”

My guess is that there will still be a line at the beginning of the TSA conveyor belt for some time; between the people who won’t want to upgrade their bags and the bags that simply won’t pass, I suspect the time saved will be minimal. Hopefully that will improve in time. 🙂

Link: TSA: New ‘Checkpoint Friendly’ Laptop Bag Procedures

Link: Skooba Design’s Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Bags: Yes, We Have Photos!

Link: More Checkpoint Friendly Bags; These From Mobile Edge

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct smaller.com; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.

2 Comments on "TSA Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Bag Procedures, a Tutorial"

  1. Joel McLaughlin | August 16, 2008 at 7:31 am |

    I hate that my proffered bag isn’t on the list…..what of someone made a trifold backpack?? I guess this also means my Proporta Gadget bag I use for my Eee PC will be ok….as long as I zip off the little pockets on the side of it.

  2. Feh; I figure that for now I will just slip my Air in and out of its case, and continue on as usual; it’s certainly not too big of a PITA. 🙂

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