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TSA clears Apple's 11-inch MacBook Air to stay in carry-on at airports

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Owners of Apple's new 11-inch MacBook Air will not have to remove the thin-and-light notebook from their bag at security checkpoints in U.S. airports, the Transportation Security Administration has announced.

TSA spokesperson Nicholas Kimball told CNN that the new 11-inch MacBook Air is small enough that it doesn't need to be removed from a bag when going through an X-ray machine at airport security. Larger devices, including the MacBook Pro, must be removed from a bag when being scanned so that TSA officials can get a closer look at the internal components.

"If someone has a lot of stuff in their bag, it's sometimes difficult to get a clear view of it," Kimball reportedly said. "It might need some additional screening."

TSA has not yet made a decision on the larger, 13-inch MacBook Air, which means travelers will likely have to take the notebook out of their bag for the time being. But the larger MacBook Air could be exempt in the future, because it also lacks an optical disc drive, as well as a traditional hard drive.

Apple's new 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch MacBook Airs were unveiled earlier this month, and the larger model weighs just 2.9 pounds. Both devices rely on flash memory for storage, making the hardware smaller and faster than a traditional laptop.

Earlier this year, when the iPad launched, TSA announced that fliers could leave their iPad in a carry-on bag when going through security. The minimal amount of components inside the iPad makes it easier for security officials to analyze in an X-ray machine.

Officials can, however, ask a traveler to remove their iPad, MacBook Air or any other electronic device if they cannot get a clear image of it in an X-ray scanner.
post #2 of 35
Sweet. Assuming the 13" still needs to be removed from the bag (and I don't know why the TSA would change their mind now since it's basically the same dimensions as earlier MBAs), that'll make the 11" a favorite among travellers. I hate having to take out my MBA while emptying my pockets and taking off my shoes. And one fewer opportunity for someone to make off with my laptop (apparently and surprisingly, it is pretty common at airports).
post #3 of 35
This is the number one selling point for the 11in. Less hassle at the airport!
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post #4 of 35
Back in 2008 a flier was detained and missed his flight because the TSA monkeys couldn’t believe it was a real computer.

http://www.michaelnygard.com/blog/20...ss_my_fli.html
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #5 of 35
The problem now being that the TSA seems to entrust their policies to a random collection of jacked up lunatics who never got the memo. I can guarantee that trying to argue that the TSA has issued guidelines that contradict what they are ordering you to do will result in a cavity search.
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post #6 of 35
Gawd I hate flying. Would love a MBA though!
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

The problem now being that the TSA seems to entrust their policies to a random collection of jacked up lunatics who never got the memo. I can guarantee that trying to argue that the TSA has issued guidelines that contradict what they are ordering you to do will result in a cavity search.

I agree. In half the airports I've been at, I've been asked to take out the iPad (with the subsequent dressing-down "gee, can't your hea/read/follow instructions.... blah blah...."). This, despite the fact that the TSA has said the iPad can stay in the carry-on as well.

Now, I just pre-emptively take it out so as to avoid the likelihood of getting hassled.
post #8 of 35
In fact I was wondering if I should get a MBA or one of the ultraportable PCs, and....
This may be a deterministic fact!!!!

I go through security checkpoint 3-4 times a month, and it is always painful to have to take out the laptop out of the bag.

I wonder why other PC mfr's did not come up with such advantages......
post #9 of 35
Yep. They've given the TSA so much authority (TERROR! TERROR!) that most people know they could end up in some windowless cubicle undergoing enhanced interrogation if they look at anyone funny.

Interesting state of affairs, in that most sensible observers agree the whole thing is little more than Kabuki theater that does almost nothing to insure safety.

But, you know, THEY HATE OUR FREEDOM.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #10 of 35
I fly 2-4 times a week, 50% of the rime they make me take my kindle DX (much smaller device than MBA or iPad) out of the bag and scan it alone. I see them constantly remove iPads from peoples bags and the airport agents always tell them they must remove any electronic device that large from their bag. This happened to me as recently as last week even though the TSA made a similar announcement when the iPad was launched.

These TSA announcements appear to be completely worthless because they never follow them up with directives to the people in the field.
post #11 of 35
Not that I don't feel the pain of frequent fliers, but do you really expect TSA folks to be able to keep up on the various laptop permutations that you and I take for granted?
To most, a thing with a screen is a computer. The differences are not as obvious to the non-geek world as it is to us.

The fault lies in the kabuki show that is airport security, a performance designed to make everyone think security is being attended to, while actually only addressing last year's threats, doing nothing in reality.
post #12 of 35
TSA lets me go through security with my MacBook Pro in my backpack. It unzips in the middle so you end up with it being the only item vertically inside the bag. Makes it so much easier to get through security with one less thing to unpack/pack.
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

The problem now being that the TSA seems to entrust their policies to a random collection of jacked up lunatics who never got the memo. I can guarantee that trying to argue that the TSA has issued guidelines that contradict what they are ordering you to do will result in a cavity search.

MacBook Shmacbook! I get stopped and jerked around because my name!!! Let alone a computer! MIne is apparently the same as someone on the no fly list. Since 2003 I get stopped, delayed and hassled. I have filled in the TSA forms to no avail. I cannot check on line like normal folk and always have too allow lots of extra time when I check in at the airport. I was told they have no idea the age, ethnicity or even sex of the person with my same name so they stop everyone with the same name.
p.s. I have a very ordinary anglo saxon name with a hint of Irish.
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
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post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Yep. They've given the TSA so much authority (TERROR! TERROR!) that most people know they could end up in some windowless cubicle undergoing enhanced interrogation if they look at anyone funny.

Interesting state of affairs, in that most sensible observers agree the whole thing is little more than Kabuki theater that does almost nothing to insure safety.

But, you know, THEY HATE OUR FREEDOM.

Yes, I love how easily we give up our freedoms and dignity, to "preserve our way of life".
post #15 of 35
Yet another example of the TSA's incompetence and its arbitrary regulations.

Because we all know that terrorist technology only allows them to integrate a bomb with the 13-inch MBA.
post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

The problem now being that the TSA seems to entrust their policies to a random collection of jacked up lunatics who never got the memo. I can guarantee that trying to argue that the TSA has issued guidelines that contradict what they are ordering you to do will result in a cavity search.

This is a big selling point - and probably the tipping point for me to go ahead and get one. At least in the early stages of this policy change, it's going to be a whole lot easier to just take it out of the bag rather than trying to get an idiot to understand that it doesn't have to be taken out of the bag.
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Not that I don't feel the pain of frequent fliers, but do you really expect TSA folks to be able to keep up on the various laptop permutations that you and I take for granted?
To most, a thing with a screen is a computer. The differences are not as obvious to the non-geek world as it is to us.

The fault lies in the kabuki show that is airport security, a performance designed to make everyone think security is being attended to, while actually only addressing last year's threats, doing nothing in reality.

I expect their spokesperson to only make public statements if they are actual policies they intend to follow...
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

The problem now being that the TSA seems to entrust their policies to a random collection of jacked up lunatics who never got the memo. I can guarantee that trying to argue that the TSA has issued guidelines that contradict what they are ordering you to do will result in a cavity search.

BINGO!!

I've been told that I have to take my iPad out of my backpack at Newark, and they don't care what the rules are.
post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naboozle View Post

Yes, I love how easily we give up our freedoms and dignity, to "preserve our way of life".

So very, very true.
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

The problem now being that the TSA seems to entrust their policies to a random collection of jacked up lunatics who never got the memo. I can guarantee that trying to argue that the TSA has issued guidelines that contradict what they are ordering you to do will result in a cavity search.

Of course, arguing with a TSA agent is about as foolish as arguing with a police officer. You are never, NEVER, going to be able to educate them that they are not current on their guidelines. They have no reason to trust you, that you know what you are talking about and not just making shit up. If they just took your word on it, then anyone could make up any guideline. "Oh, there is a new guideline that says you can take bombs on planes? My manager must have forgotten to pass that one on to me. Ok, if you say so. Go ahead, sir."

If you are concerned about it, print a copy of the guideline. Let them do their search (they shouldn't trust any print out you have either. Easily forged). After you are given permission to continue on your way, give them a copy. Agruing with them BEFORE you are cleared is, like you say, going to get you a cavity search.
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

... Agruing with them BEFORE you are cleared is, like you say, going to get you a cavity search.

As others have pointed out, when we reached that point, the terrorists had already won.
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

I expect their spokesperson to only make public statements if they are actual policies they intend to follow...

You don't travel much in the US, do you?
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Of course, arguing with a TSA agent is about as foolish as arguing with a police officer. You are never, NEVER, going to be able to educate them that they are not current on their guidelines. They have no reason to trust you, that you know what you are talking about and not just making shit up. If they just took your word on it, then anyone could make up any guideline. "Oh, there is a new guideline that says you can take bombs on planes? My manager must have forgotten to pass that one on to me. Ok, if you say so. Go ahead, sir."

If you are concerned about it, print a copy of the guideline. Let them do their search (they shouldn't trust any print out you have either. Easily forged). After you are given permission to continue on your way, give them a copy. Agruing with them BEFORE you are cleared is, like you say, going to get you a cavity search.

Once upon a time we operated on a presumption of innocence and armed authorities had to show cause for infringing on our right to move about unmolested.

Now, we get You Tube videos of people getting tasered into unconsciousness for not asking how high when the cops say jump, and most of the comments are along of "dumb ass had it coming."

Good times.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #24 of 35
'Yet another benefit of the 'Air...
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I agree. In half the airports I've been at, I've been asked to take out the iPad (with the subsequent dressing-down "gee, can't your hea/read/follow instructions.... blah blah...."). This, despite the fact that the TSA has said the iPad can stay in the carry-on as well.

Now, I just pre-emptively take it out so as to avoid the likelihood of getting hassled.

Sounds like it might be wise to print a copy of the TSA reg from their website that allows MBA 11 so you can wave it in their face. On the other hand, that just might get you "special treatment" for being a wise ass.
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post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Sounds like it might be wise to print a copy of the TSA reg from their website that allows MBA 11 so you can wave it in their face. On the other hand, that just might get you "special treatment" for wise ass.

If they were willing to read and an interest in being reasonable they wouldnt be TSAs. I really have no love for this profession or people as it;s currently handled.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Once upon a time we operated on a presumption of innocence and armed authorities had to show cause for infringing on our right to move about unmolested.

Now, we get You Tube videos of people getting tasered into unconsciousness for not asking how high when the cops say jump, and most of the comments are along of "dumb ass had it coming."

Good times.

Too bad FDR isn't still around. ". . . nothing to fear but fear itself" is a message that we need to hear and understand again.
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post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcarlton View Post

You don't travel much in the US, do you?

As I said in mny previous post I make 2-4 flights per week 50 weeks per year in the US....

Iam not sure why my statement would make you think otherwise. I know they don't follow ANY of their announced policies and that individual TSA teams in each airport make it up as they go along. Security was actually much more consistently enforced before the TSA.
post #29 of 35
Yet another AI thread degrades into a pissing match. It's a shame you guys are so willing to show your immaturity.
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by K.C. View Post

Yet another AI thread degrades into a pissing match. It's a shame you guys are so willing to show your immaturity.

What are you talking about? People are just having a conversation here, as far as I can tell.

Stop being so sensitive.
post #31 of 35
Another effort by paid public servants which will have no impact other than to further hassle those delusional travelers that believe a policy has any meaning to the security employees.

I now automatically unpack my iPad. The first 2 out of 3 trips I was asked to unpack it.

You can all feel safe now. Our Homeland Security folks will protect us with their cunning intelligence and commitment to firmly enforcing known policy.
post #32 of 35
There is no better marketing pitch to a traveling business person than this. It's the little things that make the biggest difference and Apple is the master of the little things.
post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by K.C. View Post

Yet another AI thread degrades into a pissing match. It's a shame you guys are so willing to show your immaturity.

This really seems like the first immature post in the thread.

Are you referring to myself and others who are simply relating the reality of what these announcements from the TSA really mean?

Should we have just ignored the story and left everyone believing they should go buy an 11" MBA because it will let them breeze through security without opening their bag?
post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

As I said in mny previous post I make 2-4 flights per week 50 weeks per year in the US....

Iam not sure why my statement would make you think otherwise. I know they don't follow ANY of their announced policies and that individual TSA teams in each airport make it up as they go along. Security was actually much more consistently enforced before the TSA.

Sorry about that, I missed the irony in your original post.

I too travel a good bit and see wildly inconsistent TSA policies.
post #35 of 35
Assume the position: TSA begins new nut-busting pat-downs

Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic flew several times this week and had a revealing discussion about the new pat-down rules with a couple of TSA agents. Here's an excerpt from his far more lively description:
I asked him if the new guidelines included a cavity search. "No way. You think Congress would allow that?"

I answered, "If you're a terrorist, you're going to hide your weapons in your anus or your vagina." He blushed when I said "vagina."

"Yes, but starting tomorrow, we're going to start searching your crotchal area"this is the word he used, "crotchal""and you're not going to like it."

"What am I not going to like?" I asked.

"We have to search up your thighs and between your legs until we meet resistance," he explained.

"Resistance?" I asked.

"Your testicles," he explained.

'That's funny," I said, "because 'The Resistance' is the actual name I've given to my testicles."

He answered, "Like 'The Situation,' that guy from Jersey Shore?"



* The plot is what I call my penis.
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