Why TSA Thinks Your Laptop is Dangerous

May 5th, 2014 by The JetSetter Team | Comments Off on Why TSA Thinks Your Laptop is Dangerous

JS0407If you’ve traveled recently, you’ve probably noticed that just about everything must be placed in a tidy bin before you head through security. Your pockets have to be empty, your coat or jacket removed before you head through the metal detectors. If you’re traveling for business, you’ve probably experienced travel with a laptop or tablet. While a tablet can remain in your bag, a laptop may cause some additional trouble. Remember the number of bins it has taken you to get through—one for your shoes and jacket, one for your carry on, one for the random things in all of your pockets, and another (separate) bin for just your computer.

Ever wonder why? The inconvenience of a separate laptop bin stems from the complexity. Along with gaming systems and DVD players, laptops are dense machines and therefore require a closer inspection by a TSA agent. By putting your laptop in a separate bin, you allow security agents to get a better, more clear view of the machine.

In the past, TSA agents have found items hidden in laptops. Each bin takes approximately three seconds to scan, so the increase in bins is of little concern to agents. The larger the laptop, the more likely it is to have the capacity to conceal something—hence the singular bins.

So what can you do to speed the process of airport security? Experienced travelers like Jason Hartman usually have their own system, but we’ve got a few tips to help you make your often tight flight times. First, wear shoes that are easy to slip off and on. Avoid lace-up boots or anything smelly.

Next, make sure your liquids are in TSA approved containers, and place them in an outside pocket that will be easy to access when you need to remove them for security. Wear a jacket that is easy to remove (or no jacket at all) and empty all of your pockets. Don’t wrap gifts (they probably won’t stay that way) and check TSA’s list if you’re unsure about what can and can’t go in your luggage.

If you’re traveling with a family, make sure you allow extra time and read up on family-specific travel rules.

Do you have a favorite travel security tip to share? Let us know your all-time airport security record in the comments below!
(photo credit: Shamanic Shift via photopin cc)

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