Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Why do Laptops Have to be Removed When Tablets can Stay in the Bag?

Laptop***Update -- 4/11/12*** 
 
Why can an 11” Laptop Stay in and a 13” Laptop has to Come out? 

I’ve read where some people are asking why an 11” laptop can stay in and why a 13” laptop has to come out? 

As with any policy or procedure, we have to set general guidelines so passengers know how to prepare for security and  our officers  know what procedures they need to follow.

For laptops that need to come out of your bag, we describe them as a “standard size” laptop – which loosely translates into approximately 12x14” or larger. We’re not measuring every laptop that comes through the checkpoint but that is the general dimensions of what we consider to be standard size.  Also, the larger the laptop, the more stuff that can be hidden in it. So if your laptop is approximately 12x14” or larger it must be removed from the bag, but remember, if you choose to leave the smaller ones in your bag, our officers still need to be able to see clearly on the X-ray what else is in the bag with your laptop, so there is always a chance they might ask you to remove it to give them that clearer view.  ~ Blogger Bob Burns

------------------------------------------------------

Why do Laptops Have to be Removed When Tablets can Stay in the Bag?

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, 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 more dense 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.

Now to get down to solving that dad-blasted Easter Island mystery… 

If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.

69 comments:

Anonymous said...

"larger laptops and game consoles appear more dense and need to be removed in order for the X-ray operator to get a good look at your bag."

That's totally understandable. Unfortunately, it doesn't give the American public a better understanding of what needs to be removed from their bags. Larger than what? It would be really nice to see numbers, a la 3-1-1.

Anonymous said...

I thought taking the laptop out was to make me question why I take my laptop with me sometimes. On my last trip, I took my laptop out of its case twice and both times were at the airport checkpoint.

Taking the laptop out of the bag wouldn't bother me except for the chance of theft or damage to the laptop. I have to opt out of the AIT scanners due to a medical condition. If I'm travelling alone, some airports configurations leave me at a greater risk for theft while waiting for my opt out fondling.

Anonymous said...

You finally write something that I am agreement on with you. Yes, it baffled me too. It baffles me that your fellow TSA spokespersons are out of the communication loop with each other, and so they end up classifying what they personally think SSI, or just simply don't know the answers to the questions they are being asked.

How about providing a link to the story so your blog readers can see the conversation for themselves instead of using decietful writing on your blog to make it sound like the NY Times writer was the misinformed idiot. Here, I'll do it.......

The article was in the Travel section of the NY Times, which has been updated since Bob posted this post. The writer asked a screener at SFO if he had to remove his iPad along with his laptop. The screener replied, "Not here. Other airports might be different."

The writer then contacted a TSA spokesman with the question and was told that the agency has its reasons for still requiring that traditional laptops go through X-ray machines in a separate bin. But he declined to share them, saying the agency didn’t want to betray any secrets.

Perhaps TSA spokespersons need to read the TSA Blog site more often. Either that or get pulled off of their spokeperson job for retraining.

http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/travel/the-mystery-of-the-flying-laptop.html?pagewanted=1&ref=travel

Anonymous said...

People have also hidden objects rectally, that doesn't mean that everyone gets body cavity searches (yet) because of it. The idea that people hiding stuff in laptops warrants the added scrutiny doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

In the most recent period for which information is available, please tell us how many laptops were found to contain prohibited items.

Anonymous said...

I do not believe your response to the question "Why do laptops have to be removed when tablets can stay in the bag?" has anything to do with TSA's security or counter-terrorism mission.

Based on data from 1999 through 2010, there is one chance in 22 million a flight anywhere in the world would be hijacked or attacked by terrorists. It is difficult for me to believe taking computers out of cases while allowing iPads to stay covered would have any impact at all on those odds. The costs associated with that one action -- aggregated across the 30,000 daily US flights -- do not seem even close to any reasonably expected security or counterterrorism benefit.

I think -- from a security perspective -- a more authentic answer would be "we do that because we have always done it, and we're not yet ready to change."

Anonymous said...

How about providing a link to the story so your blog readers can see the conversation for themselves instead of using decietful writing on your blog

-------------------------------

Bob,

It does appear your blog post is less than honest.

Is that how the public should view the TSA?

Ask yourself what an ethical man would do.

Anonymous said...

In 3 different airportsI have had to take out my tablet and have it screened like a regular laptop. Today a somewhat rude screener told me she didn't care what it was, it had to be screened separately and I had to go back to the end of the line and start the screening again. If there is an official policy it should be known, understood, and applied the same no matter the airport.
Thank you,
Linda Sanet

Anonymous said...

In 3 different airportsI have had to take out my tablet and have it screened like a regular laptop. Today a somewhat rude screener told me she didn't care what it was, it had to be screened separately and I had to go back to the end of the line and start the screening again. If there is an official policy it should be known, understood, and applied the same no matter the airport.
Thank you,
Linda Sanet

SSSS for some reason said...

First, why would you be baffled? You wrote the original post.

Second, I did a rather aggressive search on the internets and couldn't find your 2010 article. The NY Times, I would hope would try harder than i did, but that is still no guarantee.

Third, you still haven't answered the question as to why laptops have to come out of the bag and netbooks/laptops have to stay in. Unless the Agent tells you differently when you arrive on-line. And you can't know before hand because to tell you would be giving SSI to the bad guys.

And lastly, how old are you? "Dad-Blasted....." You're not even using that correctly. And there is no mystery to Easter Island. The monoliths were erected as effigies to those leaders who were so good at protecting their people they actually protected them right into extinction. Kind of like what the TSA is trying to do with America.

Anonymous said...

Makes sense to me. Thanks. Now explain the "dadblasted" baggie thing. PLEASE!!!!

Anonymous said...

I frequently go to courthouses for my work. When going through the security screening, my whole bag with my laptop inside goes through the x-ray machine. It should also be noted that the screening involves NEVER touching anyone physically, except for incidental touching with a handheld wand scanner to resolve an alarm with the metal detector. Also, there are no body scanners taking naked pictures and bombarding people with radiation. Lastly, I don't have to remove my shoes or suit coat.

The screening is quick and efficient. I have never heard anyone say that the screening is ineffective and that they felt unsafe. There have been no incidents where inadequate screening led to a threatening situation. By visiting a courthouse, TSA could learn quite a bit about quality security, which means stopping the obvious threats without intimidating, assaulting, or hassling those being screened .

I get the feeling that the reason we have to remove laptops from bags for TSA screening is "because we told you to do it". The same for suit coats, shoes, etc.

Anonymous said...

Your clerks always make me remove my Xoom.

Anonymous said...

SSSS - Maybe you're the problem here.

Dad-blasted - http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dad-blasted

Bob linked to the 2010 post. Did you click on it? Did you see the google search box in the upper right corner? After typing in "iPad" the post in question was number one on the list.

If you have trouble with these simple things it is easy to understand why you have trouble understanding the complex world of screening. :\

Anonymous said...

Yes,please tell us how many laptops were found to contain prohibited items.

Roger said...

Your explanation does not help explain why 11" and 13" MacBook Airs are treated differently.

RB said...

"Only electronics the size of a standard laptop or larger"


Exactly what defines the size of a standard laptop? Would that be 13 inches, 13.5 inches, 14 inches, 14.5 inches, 15 inches, 15.5 inches.... would that be physical size, screen size, diagonal measurement or other?

Is it any wonder that not only do the TSA employees not know what to do but the public is left trying to decipher these unenforceable standards?

The public requires exact policies that they must comply with to transit a TSA Drug Enforcement Checkpoint. Anything less is unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

If this is the case, why are there 'TSA approved' laptop bags.

Theater.

Anonymous said...

Of course, even when screened separately it's pretty easy to hide all kinds of stuff inside a laptop if you have half a brain and understand how x-rays work.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

A less then honest blog post by you and an example of TSO's not following the rules.

Please explain to us why we should trust the TSA?

Anonymous said...

"Now explain the "dadblasted" baggie thing. PLEASE!!!!"

There is no explanation for that, beyond TSA's congenital and pathological dishonesty, stupidity, and cowardice.

chancer said...

As when I unfortunatly have to travel under the abuse of TSA, I purchased a little net book just for travel. Why? Well, I need to have a computer with me for work, and I got tired of wondering if my regular laptop was going to be endangered of being stolen once again (YES, I DID litterally grab it out of someone's hand one day when TSA just let it sit out by itself because it got through before I did) OR would it be picked up out of the bit and just dropped back in, like it was more than once.

Multiple complants, INCLUDING one on the attempted theft, resulted in not one response from either TSA or the airport(s) where it happened.

Blogger Bob said...

In response to the comment about the TSA Approved Laptop Bags, they're approved because they allow the laptop to sit flat on the X-ray belt obstructed by nothing other than a layer of cloth.

As far as Easter Island not being a mystery, please tell me how they moved 80+ ton pieces of rock from the center of the island.

More to come later on the 11" vs. the 13" laptops.

Blogger Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said:

"As far as Easter Island not being a mystery, please tell me how they moved 80+ ton pieces of rock from the center of the island. "

First off, the largest statue is approx 82 tons. The average statue is only about 13 tons. As to how they were moved, the best method found so far that is consistent with archaelogical evidence is that the statues were transported upright on wooden sledges and travelled on wooden rollers. Also, it should be noted that the era of statue-making ceased rather conveniently at the same the island's trees were all cut down.

Really, Bob, you could easily have looked that up.

Unfortunately, we the citizens who pay your salary, cannot just look up information about TSA policies, procedures, etc., and must depend on you to share with us. Sadly, you seem to be incapable of answering many of our questions, and in some cases you have actively lied about certain events.

RB said...

Blogger Bob said...
In response to the comment about the TSA Approved Laptop Bags, they're approved because they allow the laptop to sit flat on the X-ray belt obstructed by nothing other than a layer of cloth.

As far as Easter Island not being a mystery, please tell me how they moved 80+ ton pieces of rock from the center of the island.

More to come later on the 11" vs. the 13" laptops.

Blogger Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

April 11, 2012 1:47 PM
....................

Everyone knows aliens moved the stones, just like aliens do all the heavy lifting nowadays.

Why was my comment about the latest TSA employee with a penchant for Child Porn not posted?

These people are screening the public, including children yet TSA cannot control the criminals within the TSA organization.

Where are the TSA BDO's or is this more proof that TSA BDO's are worthless?

Anonymous said...

I read a blog reply from TSA today stating that Easter Island was a dad-blasted mystery because they didn't know how 80+ ton pieces of rock was moved from the center of the island.

This kind of baffled me because archeologists have explained the feat for years.

TSA's days are numbered Bob, and with your ego-laced mindset sitting on a one track course, when your agency becomes abolished and dissolved into the private sector, the reason will be a mystery with you.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me like they have their own ideas, but are still unsure of how the statues were moved. It appears you gather your "facts" through assumptions and hearsay. No surprise really.

http://www.eisp.org/

Anonymous said...

Roger said...
Your explanation does not help explain why 11" and 13" MacBook Airs are treated differently.


Inside of a Macbook Air:
http://semiaccurate.com/static/uploads/2010/10_october/macbook_air_2010_inside.jpg

Inside of most laptops:
http://smartech.blogetery.com/files/2008/04/asus-eee-pc-900-inside.jpg

I'd imagine most laptops obscure a large portion of the image, versus a tablet/Air which is probably pretty easy to see through.

Blogger Bob said...

Updated Blog Post

Blogger Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Bob, can you update the post to explain why you were so dishonest in describing the article this is a response to?

Anonymous said...

TSA does not screen at SFO. SFO participates in a program that allows private contractors to replace TSA. The program has been around for sometime and is in place at approximately 20-30 airports.

Anonymous said...

This is great news! I have a 13-inch MacBook Pro which I won't have to take out of my bag anymore. The computer is marketed as 13-inch model which refers to the diagonal dimension, but the diagonal measurement is actually 13.3 inches. However, it is the depth (8.94 inches) and width (12.78 inches) that are well under the 12x14" cutoff. The 13-inch MacBook Air has these same dimensions, thus ending the debate about which MacBook Airs do not need to be taken out; they can all be left in your luggage.

For those that have a 15-inch MacBook Pro, your dimensions are 9.82 inches depth and 14.35 inches width. Even though it is 0.35 inches greater than fourteen inches, these laptops should be ok too. After all, the 12x14" figure was "loosely translated". Well, 12x14" is 168 square inches, and this size MacBook Pro is only 141 square inches, which means it is 25 square inches smaller than the allowed cutoff (loosely translated, of course). The depth (9.82) is 2.18 inches less than 12, more than adequately compensating for the fraction of an inch greater than 14 inches in its width.

Anonymous said...

Bob

You care to explain why TSA has this kabuki theater montra for everything it does. Like why secuirty at LHR, CDG, SIN, BKK, MNL, SCL, EZE, NRT, HND and other major international airports I dont have to pull anything from my carry on. Yet I have to strip my carry on into a average of 8 bins with TSA and is never the same twice at the same airport.


Airport security in other countries dont pull this junk and planes arent falling out of the sky. They do it with professionalism, courtesy, and a smile. None of which I have ever seen from TSA.

All this kabuki does is to expose ones property to a greater chance of theft. For which there is a well documented criminal element with in TSA.


(Screen Capture)

Anonymous said...

I have been screamed at repeatedly by your officers for not removing my netbook after reading a previous blog entry on the subject. To all readers - remove your netbook if you don´t want to be needlessly harassed.

RB said...

Why can an 11” Laptop Stay in and a 13” Laptop has to Come out?
...............

No much help Bob. Are you saying that 13' and larger laptops have to be removed from bags? Is that 13" a diagonal measurement, linear, depth + width, or some other TSA only knows measurement?

Will TSA employees be properly trained in this secret laptop measurement system so not only TSA but the public will know when TSA screeners are being dishonest?

What possible harm to National Security could possibly come from having a published standard that everyone can access? I suggest none, but that would require TSA screeners to be knowledgeable and perform professionally instead of how they act now.

0megaman said...

My wife daughter and I usually travel with a 13” laptop and a 10" tablet. (Android not that other one). I would recommend a tablet if you want to avoid inspection delays. The integrated design of tablets reduces the likelihood of squirreling away items inside it. in other words, the laptop gets opened and to date the tablet has gotten through without delays, sure it gets scanned but has never had to come out of its bag.

Someone asked,” As far as Easter Island not being a mystery, please tell me how they moved 80+ ton pieces of rock from the center of the island.”

Well its real simple. There was this strange substance that used to be in great abundance earlier in human history that is extremely hard to find now. Its called ELBOW GREASE.

Seriously, The PBS science program NOVA did an episode on the MOI of Rapa Nui (the real name) of “Easter Island” and easily showed how with local materials and a lot of hard work humans were able move and erect multi toned stones pretty quickly using log rollers and basic block and tackle. The big mystery is how they were able to erect the stones on coasts just yards from the shore. The calculations of the block and tackle set up needed would require workers be offshore, now how did they do that? Boats or peers?

Sorry if this double posts, that Please prove you're not a robot thing keeps getting harder.

Jack said...

I have to remove my 10" tablet because the TSA screeners claim that it is a laptop.

Anonymous said...

"I frequently go to courthouses for my work. When going through the security screening, my whole bag with my laptop inside goes through the x-ray machine. It should also be noted that the screening involves NEVER touching anyone physically, except for incidental touching with a handheld wand scanner to resolve an alarm with the metal detector. Also, there are no body scanners taking naked pictures and bombarding people with radiation. Lastly, I don't have to remove my shoes or suit coat...."

You are going to court not traveling in the air. They are not similar life events. People in a court house can run in the event of danger...people on a plane are stuck. Terrorist aren't really known for attacking US court buildings are they?

debby clark said...

The problem is no matter how many times you blog about it, Bob, the fact remains that every TSA checkpoint is different. This is wrong. Some say, no don't take the tablet out, others say yes. Why??? If there is a standard, stick to it. It's the inconsistency of the whole policy from airport to airport that is the biggest frustration. It makes no sense. So what do we do, just take every darn thing out and hope it doesn't get lifted by a TSA agent or someone else, or in the rush to get through the line with folks behind us, we forget or miss putting it in our bags. The whole thing is "security theater" as one guy said in the NY Times article. Oh yeah, I feel safer.

Anonymous said...

Easter Islanders can't reveal how they did it because it's SSI.

Anonymous said...

Censorship yet again bob. That's fine since you and your ilk want to suppress free speech on this blog. Complaint filed with the OIG & and congress critters.

RB said...

Jack said...
I have to remove my 10" tablet because the TSA screeners claim that it is a laptop.

April 12, 2012 11:45 AM
...............

Proves the point that unwritten, unknown rules and exceptionally poor TSA training causes confusion for TSA employees and the public.

Not only is there unneeded confusion but the public is left a lasting impression of TSA incompetence.

If any student of management wants to see the negative results of not having well defined policies all one needs do is look to TSA.

Anonymous said...

As someone who works at the airports, it is much easier to continually announce "Please remove all laptops" Then it is to say: "Please remove all laptops bigger than 12" in the diagonal direction. 13" MacBooks can stay in your bags, however 15" Macbooks must be removed. Tablets don't count as laptops so please leave them in unless they are larger than 12 x 15"
Can you see the dilemma? While Bob has kindly provided dimensions, I can tell you which announcement is being made at the actual checkpoints.

Anonymous said...

"there is always a chance they might ask you to remove it"

In other words, you people will continue to make stuff up.

Anonymous said...

As a Working TSA officer I get the question of whether a small item such as an iPad can remain inside the bag quite often. The answer is always yes. It is stated right on TSA's website.
However, I also inform people that it is possible that their bag could receive additional screening or be subject to a rescan through the x-ray.
As for the question as to why large laptops need to be removed and small ones do not, it has to do with the way the computers are built. A tablet computer is much less dense than a standard size computer because of the way they are made.

Anonymous said...

Because my question in the other thread seems to have been accidentally overlooked, i will repost it here:

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "Peanut butter in a 16 oz jar is not allowed because it is a threat, yet when it is seized, it is not treated as a threat, correct?"

Peanut Butter surrendered to the TSOs at the checkpoint are disposed of according to policy, just like the other surrendered LAG items.

.......

Just so we're all clear here, you're saying it is policy to open up a potential threat item, e.g., a jar of peanut butter confiscated by the screener, to search for non-threats, e.g., leafy organic substances?

April 9, 2012 7:57 AM

Gomar said...

Hi Bob,

Why can't the TSA invest in better technology for laptop screening within the bag?

Seems the consultants have sold TSA on body scanners, but not better carry-on x-rays?

Also, why is the technology ok for PreCheck patrons to leave their laptops in their bags, but not general pop?

Thanks,

G

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"You are going to court not traveling in the air. They are not similar life events. People in a court house can run in the event of danger...people on a plane are stuck. Terrorist aren't really known for attacking US court buildings are they?"

You can't outrun a bullet or a bomb. If you are close to the attacker it makes no difference if there are exits.

Actually, a courthouse is probably much more dangerous than an airplane. Maybe you've noticed, there are a lot of criminals there. Many have friends who would like to help them escape.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Just so we're all clear here, you're saying it is policy to open up a potential threat item, e.g., a jar of peanut butter confiscated by the screener, to search for non-threats, e.g., leafy organic substances?"

Personally, if I believed that a jar was a potential threat the last thing I would want to do is open it up. The fact that they search inside says they don't see it as a threat.

Anonymous said...

"A tablet computer is much less dense than a standard size computer because of the way they are made."

Nonsense. As an engineer who is familiar with both tablets and notebooks, tablets are MUCH more "dense."

Does anyone in the TSA know what he is talking about?

Anonymous said...

Why do laptops have to come out of your bag? Because that makes it easier for TSA screeners at DFW to steal them from you.

The whole 11" rule is pretty much ignored by the screeners. It's not like they follow their own rules anyways.

Anonymous said...

Just so we're all clear here, you're saying it is policy to open up a potential threat item, e.g., a jar of peanut butter confiscated by the screener, to search for non-threats, e.g., leafy organic substances?

April 9, 2012 7:57 AM

April 13, 2012 11:23 AM
-------------
No. What we are saying is that we are opening a PROHIBITED ITEM to search for something that is obviously secreted inside it.
We said peanut butter is prohibited under the 3.4 oz rule. YOU are stating that it's a potential threat item. There is a difference between a prohibited item and a potential threat item.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "Just so we're all clear here, you're saying it is policy to open up a potential threat item, e.g., a jar of peanut butter confiscated by the screener, to search for non-threats, e.g., leafy organic substances?"

Answered other thread.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "Just so we're all clear here, you're saying it is policy to open up a potential threat item, e.g., a jar of peanut butter confiscated by the screener, to search for non-threats, e.g., leafy organic substances?"

Answered other thread.

West
TSA Blog Team

April 19, 2012 4:40 AM

....................

Not exactly. As I pointed out, the the jar of peanut butter is ALREADY deemed a threat, and is not allowed past the checkpoint. So, why would you investigate further, rather than throw the whole thing in the trash, as a full jar of peanut butter would have been?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"No. What we are saying is that we are opening a PROHIBITED ITEM to search for something that is obviously secreted inside it.
We said peanut butter is prohibited under the 3.4 oz rule. YOU are stating that it's a potential threat item. There is a difference between a prohibited item and a potential threat item."

If it isn't a threat what reason do you have to search it? Your only job is security. Searching specifically for drugs is very likely illegal.

Either way you lose. If the item is a threat then opening it is dangerous. If it isn't a threat then searching it is illegal.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Anonymous said...
"No. What we are saying is that we are opening a PROHIBITED ITEM to search for something that is obviously secreted inside it.
We said peanut butter is prohibited under the 3.4 oz rule. YOU are stating that it's a potential threat item. There is a difference between a prohibited item and a potential threat item."

If it isn't a threat what reason do you have to search it? Your only job is security. Searching specifically for drugs is very likely illegal.

Either way you lose. If the item is a threat then opening it is dangerous. If it isn't a threat then searching it is illegal.

April 19, 2012 8:37 AM

------------------
Once again - PROHIBITED vs. THREAT.
2 different words, 2 different meanings. We have PROHIBITED the PB. That gives us the right to remove it. If we see something inside it on xray that we think may be a THREAT, that gives us the right to search/open it.

Anonymous said...

Once again - PROHIBITED vs. THREAT.
2 different words, 2 different meanings. We have PROHIBITED the PB. That gives us the right to remove it. If we see something inside it on xray that we think may be a THREAT, that gives us the right to search/open it.

......................

Semantics. Why is a 16 oz jar of peanut butter prohibited if it is not a threat?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Once again - PROHIBITED vs. THREAT.
2 different words, 2 different meanings. We have PROHIBITED the PB. That gives us the right to remove it. If we see something inside it on xray that we think may be a THREAT, that gives us the right to search/open it."

I get the difference - do you?

The TSA opens and searches searches PROHIBITED items. How does that fit into your definitions?

Anonymous said...

anon said:
"Nonsense. As an engineer who is familiar with both tablets and notebooks, tablets are MUCH more "dense."

Does anyone in the TSA know what he is talking about?"

i believe that what they are talking about is image clearity on the xray screen as it relates to density. who knew such smart people are on here.

Anonymous said...

I'm a pilot and have to remove my laptop every time I go through security. We are allowed to bring full-sized liquids yet the laptop being in my bag will trigger a bag check. Not once has the screener said anything about not being able to see into my bag...only that it was against policy. So I'm trusted with liquids but my laptop might have contraband concealed in there....really? Come on!

Anonymous said...

i have a theory that laptops or more likely to hold a mechanical hardrive which is easier to build explosives into. however tablets use SSD exclusively which hold no moving parts and are flat. i have a thirteen inch macbook air which is basically a tablet with a flip up screen and a keyboard with no optical drive and no HHD and they still make me take it out. im assuming this is because they dont know the difference and there is no training to change this. laptops are rapidly changing to the SSD standard and eventually i dont see this being an issue.

Margo Mitchell said...

I think that this blog was created so that everyone could vent their anger and frustration regarding TSA policies, and hopefully then not feel the need to complain to the government, which is what everyone should be doing. Write to your representative about how the TSA mandated choice between fondling versus radition is a violation of our consitutional right of Presumed Innocence.

Anonymous said...

As with almost all TSA rules, there is no actual reason behind their decisions. There's just someone behind a desk coming up with a new regulation just because they have the power to do it.
No one thinks, "Wow I'm safer now that the government is limiting how much shampoo I can bring on my trip," or "Yes, everyone should have to rummage through their bag to take out their newfangled laptop machines."

And will they ever tell us how this is actually helping? How many laptops actually had something "hidden" in them? Nope. Because they probably haven't found one yet.

Anonymous said...

Concerning the comment about screening at courthouses being less rigorous. It's logical. Whatever can be hidden in a laptop is not going to bring down a building and, on average, with any hidden materials, perhaps 10 or 12 people might be killed or injured. More people could be killed on a crowded subway. But a laptop size bomb could bring down a plane and if it were a large plane kill hundreds of people which would panic the flying public and bring the system to a halt prompting more onerous screening procedures.

teknik komputer said...

responding to the title of your article.

I think today want a more practical, as well as for electronic devices get smaller in size than the more popular items that are large in size.

Anonymous said...

Well, someone should train the agents at FLL on what the difference is between a netbook and a laptop. I left my 10" netbook in my bag as this blog said I could, but I was given a verbal trashing for doing it by the agent on my line. I then had to send my bag and netbook back trough the scanner, listening to his rhetoric the entire time.

Unknown said...

Your screener at Louisville Standiford Field (SDF) are not aware of TSA policy concerning laptops. A screener insisted on removing my 11.6" Macbook Air yesterday, 11/22/13, from my briefcase (I carry it in a laptop sleeve). I noted to her that TSA states its rule is that a laptop under 13" need not be removed. She said all laptops have to be removed. I had the same problem on 11/9/13 at TPA airport. By contrast, the screeners at DCA have followed this rule and screen my briefcase with 11" laptop enclosed.

It frankly is annoying to have your screeners fail to follow long-established TSA rules since I purchased the 11" (rather than 13") Macbook Air because I wouldn't have to remove it.

The failure to follow TSA rules seems a particular problem at smaller, seconary airports like SDF and TPA (at FLL based on the prior comment.) It is apparent that TSA does not have adequate standardization of rules. In particular, you need to train your screener that the rule isn't "laptops screened, iPads in bags" but that laptops under 13" may remain in the bag. You need to replace the signs you use at the airports to state this so your screeners are aware as this is a recurring problem at SDF.

technology review said...

The screening is quick and efficient. I have never heard anyone say that the screening is ineffective and that they felt unsafe. There have been no incidents where inadequate screening led to a threatening situation. By visiting a courthouse, TSA could learn quite a bit about quality security, which means stopping the obvious threats without intimidating, assaulting, or hassling those being screened .thanks for information..

robot grasmaaier said...

Well one reason could be that a laptop can be used as weapon carrier which is dangerous while on the other hand tablets offer no such utility.