Computers, bags and TSA screening


Mobile Health Computing: “Electronic devices that are smaller than a standard laptop can stay in your bag. There is no need to pull them out. The TSA told us this back in 2010.” Good to know.

I was told by TSA that anything with an SSD (vs. a standard HD) can remain in your bag; iPad, Android tablet, eReader, etc. I tried to apply this logic to my laptop, but it didn’t work. The TSA is inconsistent with how they apply the rules. I only travel about 20 times a year, but it can be different from one airport to another. Most handle things the same way, but it’s not 100% across the board.

I used to travel with two machines, a work laptop and my Lenovo tablet PC, but eventually dropped the tablet from most of my trips because of hassles with TSA.

Even so, I’ve found traveling with a laptop to be a bit of a pain at times. And like every red-blooded American male I whine to my wife about it all the time. After several months of whining she went out and bought me a Tumi “Alpha T-Pass Expandable Laptop Brief”. She treats me better than I deserve. I’ve been using it for about two years now; awesome bag. Fits my needs perfectly and is virtually indestructible.

The bag has a zipper that allows you to open the bag up and lay it flat on the TSA screening belt with the laptop in its own little compartment. The compartment even has a tag on it that says “Tumi T-Pass Check Point Friendly”. Most airports don’t give me any trouble, but on rare occasion some douchebag TSA agent will get a burr up their butt and make me pull my laptop out.

The problem with TSA is that they’re all powerful, their rules don’t make a whole lot of sense at times, they make things up as they go along, and they’re inconsistent. Other than that it’s all good.

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