Now that you have your shinny new iPad, you are going to want to take it on trips with you. The TSA, might make you take out your iPad so that it can be inspected, or run through their security scanner. We all remember what happened to fellow writer Michael Nygard, who was pulled aside when his brand new MacBook went through the scanner. Well, it appears that the TSA is keeping up with technology, and our buddy Blogger Bob is on the case.
Blogger Bob who is part of the TSA Blog Team wrote that the iPad amongst other small footprint devices will not necessarily have to be inspected, or removed from your bag. He states, “It’s that simple.”. Blogger Bob goes on to explain the procedure in more detail:
“It’s important to remember, however, that our officers are trained to look for anomalies to help keep air travel safe, and if something needs a closer look, it will receive secondary screening. The key to avoiding bag searches is keeping the clutter down. The less clutter you have in your bag, the less likely it will be searched.”
So, basically use common sense. If you jam your iPad in your carry-on, and it’s somewhat hidden, you will probably be asked to remove it from your bag. However, this does not apply to laptops, game consoles, or DVD players. These items are still subject to scrutiny. The exception for laptops is if you have a TSA checkpoint friendly laptop bag. The TSA states that you won’t have to remove your laptop.
As I mentioned at the top of my article, Michael Nygard wasn’t greeted with this level of open thinking. Two years ago the MacBook Air was Apple’s latest in sleek and sexy laptops. The TSA at the time didn’t know the difference between a MacBook Air and a MacBook. So when Nygard was going through security the TSA personnel did not recognize the MacBook Air when it went through the scanner. Nygard’s MacBook Air had the Solid State Drive. It took several TSA personnel looking at it, and coming to the conclusion that this was a fake laptop, based on the fact that the device didn’t have a CD-ROM drive or a hard drive. Finally, another TSA member came to inspect the suspicious laptop. He looked at all of them, and said this isn’t fake it’s a MacBook Air. All of them had no idea that Apple made this laptop.
In an attempt to save face, the TSA had Blogger Bob make a public video vaguely explaining what happened. He also goes on to explain how they are taking steps so that this won’t happen again. I did a very small write up on this on my personal Tech Blog two years ago, and I attached the video to the post. You can click here, and you’ll be taken to my Tech Blog where you can see the video. Personally, I think it’s pretty funny. But you can’t fault the TSA for trying to improve on their security.
So folks, remember Blogger Bob is on the job, and looking out for your protection. So to keep the security lines moving, and everyone else happy, leave your iPads unobstructed. Or, at the very least, have your iPad out and ready for inspection.
Photo Credit: TSA Screener with Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Case