TSA Today

Due to the fact that I am frequently disgruntled, and many times confused, by the inconsistencies of the Transportation Security Administration, and being that I would consider myself an expert on security process as I have flown more than 150 times this year alone from approximately 40 different airports, I introduce a new series called TSA Today.

Basically, I will simply state the situation which irked me, and let the facts speak for themselves.

To set things off:

At the end of this past summer, the TSA approved specific computer cases that would eliminate the hassle of removing your laptop from its protective sheath. Here is a photo of the very MacCase that I utilize:


While enjoying the security process at John Wayne Airport in Orange County CA on September 6, a TSA agent even acknowledged with a smile that my laptop case passed muster.

I flew more than 30 times after that instance before the issue was raised again, this time at McCarren International in Las Vegas NV on October 27. While pushing my bins towards the x-ray machine, the TSA agent told me I had to remove my laptop from its case. I mentioned that it was TSA-approved and his answer was, “It is? Okay, move along.”

I was flabbergasted to be dictating policy to a TSA agent! But that is beside the point, for the time being.

The third leg of this issue occurred at the International terminal of McCarren as I was outbound for Hawaii on November 14. Again sliding my bins towards the x-ray machine, the TSA agent stated that my laptop had to be isolated from its protection. I countered with the TSA-approval angle, but he denied my appeal. Unsure now, I mentioned that I had flown through many airports in the last few months without extracting my laptop, to which he barked, “Then they’re doing it wrong.”

What? I’m not sure what got me more shook: The blatant lack of solidarity within the TSA ranks or the fact that this particular agent was so misinformed about policy.

Or was he? Maybe I was wrong. I did as he asked and successfully made my way through security.

But on November 17, as I was returning via Honolulu International Airport, I noticed this sign at the entrance to the security checkpoint:


Please notice the symbol in the lower lefthand corner which clearly indicates my laptop case is all good.

The reason McDonald’s is so successful around the world is that you know exactly what to expect walking through the Golden Arches. As safety is as equal a necessity as food, I don’t see why the same notion doesn’t apply.

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