Do you hate having to yank your laptop out of an overstuffed bag at security while at the same time battling to take your shoes, belt and jacket off along with emptying change from your pockets? Stay tuned, TSA friendly laptop bags may be coming from Targus and Skooba very soon.
Back in March the TSA made an announcement that they would be interested in bag companies coming up with prototype bags that would allow them to screen laptops while still in the bag. The TSA set the following requirements:
- The carrying bag cannot exceed any one of the proposed dimensions – 16 inches in height, 24 inches wide and 36 inches long.
- The materials that make up the bag cannot degrade the quality of the X-ray image of the laptop.
- No straps, pockets, zippers, handles or closures of the bag can interfere with the image of the laptop.
- No electronics, chargers, batteries, wires, paper products, pens or other contents of the bag can shield the image of the laptop.
Apparently a number of companies saw the light and rushed to design bags that met these requirements. The prototypes were submitted to the TSA this month. The TSA is now testing prototypes of these new laptop cases that allows them to see the laptop clearly without removing it from the bag. According to a USA Today article:
The TSA received 52 written proposals after announcing in March that it was looking for "checkpoint-friendly" cases. Many ideas feature "clamshell designs" with two sides that fold together like a book. One side holds papers, cables and other accessories; the other side holds only the laptop.
At a checkpoint, the case would unfold and be placed flat on the X-ray belt so screeners would see the laptop in its otherwise-empty sleeve as clearly as if it were in a security bin with nothing else.
Targus says that they submitted four prototypes and should be able to put laptop bags on store shelves that satisfy the TSA scan-friendly requirements within three to four months. Skooba has indicated they will also have these TSA friendly bags out around the same time.
Taking a laptop out of your bag adds stress to an already unpleasant experience, just yesterday I tore skin off of my finger causing it to bleed as I pulled my laptop from a stuffed backpack while being herded through security at Houston International. Furthermore, the TSA gets several claims each month for laptops damaged during the security check process, so the they are interested in reducing traveler stress and the headache involved with these claims.
Stay tuned, you can be sure the second these bags come out we’ll be reviewing them!