As passengers became more and more frustrated with the long lines at security checkpoints, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) took action to relieve the problem. In March 2008, it announced a new plan that would let passengers move through security checkpoints without having to take their computers out of their cases. At the same time, it requested computer bag manufacturers to design "checkpoint friendly" laptop computer cases.
The TSA sent each manufacturer a list of guidelines that they must follow if their bags were to be certified. The first requirement was that the computer compartment must be independent, that is, it could not be inside another larger compartment. This compartment could not contain anything besides the computer and it could not use metal zippers or other metal material. When the bag was opened on the x-ray belt, the computer must be clearly visible to the TSA screener. Only bags that meet these guidelines will be cleared for use at U.S. airports.
When the TSA issued these guidelines, it had one goal in mind. That goal was to speed up the process of getting passengers through the security checkpoint while maintaining the highest level of security for passengers, crew and aircraft.
Carrying a checkpoint friendly laptop bag on your next airline flight will make it easier for you to get through the security gate. A smoother transition from the checkpoint to the gate will reduce you level of anxiety about getting to your gate on time. Fellow passengers who follow will also be grateful that you did not have to remover your laptop for screening.
Computer bag manufacturers offer a variety of checkpoint friendly laptop cases. One of the most popular designs is the clam shell model. You can unzip the two compartments of this model. One hold the computer and the other holds all the computer accessories. This allows your computer to be screened without emptying the bag.
One fact that most people seldom think about is that 4,902 laptops are lost at the security gates of U.S. airports each week. However, that number has been going down since the introduction of checkpoint friendly laptop cases. Use of one of these specially designed bags will not only speed up the process of getting through security, it will also reduce the chances that you will walk away from the checkpoint without your laptop.
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