You’ve probably heard the statistic: over 10,000 laptops are stolen each week at TSA checkpoints, according to a survey by the Ponemon Institute. After getting whacked by airlines for fees for everything imaginable, this would be the ultimate air travel insult: have your stuff swiped at the security checkpoint.
But it needn’t happen to you. Keeping your stuff safe and secure isn’t all that difficult; just follow these simple steps:
- A forehead slapper, but: make sure you do everything possible so you don’t set off the metal detector! That simple fact will dramatically reduce the odds of your having anything stolen
- As you approach the TSA checkpoint, stow your cell phone, wristwatch, (or any other item which will trigger the metal detector), in a pocket in one of your bags
- Speaking of laptops, do everything you can to NOT put it in one of those gray plastic bins: use “butterfly”-style TSA compliant bag like the Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer or the CODi laptop backpack recently reviewed here. Why take chances?? But if you must pull your laptop out…
- …when putting your bags on the magnetometer’s belt, use a “bookends” approach: carry-on bag at the front, shoes & 3-1-1 bag next, valuable stuff (read: laptop) next, personal item/bag at the end
- This way, if you somehow set off the metal detector, your laptop will be toward the end of your stuff, yet will be separated from the items belonging to the next person in line
- If you do set off the metal detector, follow the instructions of the TSA agent, but stay focused on your items. If you have any concerns about their security, politely but firmly ask the TSA agent to secure them for you
- Finally, a word about iPads and netbooks: NEVER remove them from your bag at the checkpoint. TSA rules allow them to stay in your carry-on bags. If the agent manning the magnetometer needs to review them, he/she will ask to send them through the machine separately. At that point you should be standing near the magnetometer’s exit, so no worries
Follow these simple rules when navigating the TSA checkpoint, and your stuff should be reasonably safe and secure.
How about you? Do you have any tactics for getting through checkpoints quickly – and with all your stuff? If yes, please share by commenting.
- 9 steps for minimizing TSA security checkpoint hassles
- Traveling with an iPad or netbook… and the TSA
- Declutter your wallet: adopt a minimalist approach with the Storus Smart Money Clip Lite!
- How to foil pickpockets
- 10 Steps to a Perfectly Packed Bag – from TravelSmith
- Win a Tucker & Bloom Mini Messenger bag!