Washington — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has finalized its criteria for allowing laptop bags through security checkpoints without opening them or removing the computer.
The new rules will take effect Aug. 16. They are a result of field-testing prototype bags from more than 40 manufacturers in three airports
The rules for what TSA is calling “checkpoint friendly” bags are as follows:
• The bag has a designated laptop-only section that can lay flat on the X-ray belt;
• there are no metal snaps, zippers or buckles inside, underneath or on top of the laptop-only section;
• there are no pockets on the inside or outside of the laptop-only section; and
• there is nothing in the laptop compartment other than the laptop
Users must completely unfold the bag so that there is nothing above or below the laptop-only section, allowing the bag to lay flat on the X-ray belt.
According to TSA, even “checkpoint-friendly” bags must be packed appropriately to provide a clear unobstructed image of the computer as it passes through the X-ray screener.
TSA screeners reserve the right to open any bag they feel needs more scrutiny.