New TSA Guidelines for Tablets and Ultrabooks




The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently implemented several new policies regarding laptops and tablets. As it stands now, if you have a traditional laptop or Ultrabook, it has to be removed unless you have a TSA compliant laptop bag like the ScanFast Collection by Mobile Edge.

However, if you have a tablet or iPad, you do not have to remove it from your bag. If you have both, a laptop and an iPad, you will still have to remove the laptop unless again it is in a TSA Compliant Checkpoint Friendly laptop bag.

Here is a blog post from the TSA which outlines the topic of Tablets versus laptops, and explains which ones would need to be removed.

By Bob Jones, TSA Agent

I saw some headlines today stating that TSA refuses to explain why laptops have to be removed and tablet computers do not. This kind of baffled me, because a post has been up on the subject since April of 2010. Most of the post explains what can stay in and what has to come out, but we give a reason why towards the end:

“Only electronics the size of a standard laptop or larger (for example Playstation®, Xbox™, or Nintendo®), full-size DVD players, and video cameras that use video cassettes must be removed from their carrying cases and submitted separately for x-ray screening. Removing larger electronics helps us get a better look at them and also allows us to get a better look at the contents of your bag.”

Basically, tablet computers, iPads, Netbooks and e-readers are less dense than your typical laptop, so it’s easier for our X-ray operator to inspect your bag. However, larger laptops and game consoles appear denser and need to be removed in order for the X-ray operator to get a good look at your bag. With that said, there are still times that tablet computers, Netbooks, and e-readers have to come out. If our Officer can’t get a good look at your bag or if they see something out of the ordinary, they’ll have to remove it.

The larger the laptop, the more stuff you can hide in it. Items have been found concealed in laptops in the past, so we have to be able to get a good look at them. Our officers have about 3 seconds to make a call in order to keep lines moving, so the less clutter, the easier it is to clear your bag and get you on your way.

To read more about TSA guidelines, click here.

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