Washington D.C. – The Transportation Security Administration- those wonderful guys and gals that check your luggage before getting on a plane – is partnering up with luggage companies to produce a checkpoint-friendly laptop bag. The bags, made by Targus and Pathfinder Luggage, will be sold this fall and will have no extra clutter, buckles or cords that can fool X-Ray machines. The hope is that travelers will be able to just put the bag, with the laptop inside, on the conveyor belt and through the screening machine.
In an interview with the New York Times, TSA Director Kip Hawley said these cases will be available in September and October. Other companies will begin rolling out their TSA-friendly bags by December. Targus and Pathfinder responded to a TSA request for the bags three months and will sell both a backpack and briefcase version of the bags and they will be made from materials that are easily scanned by X-Ray machines. In addition, there will be no extra buckles, pockets or zippers. According to the article, the TSA currently makes people take out their laptops because laptop bags are often cluttered with cords, cables and power supplies.
Director Hawley stressed that the agency will not actually certify the bags, so you won’t be seeing a big TSA sticker on your next Targus bag. He says certification would have added extra “red tape” to the process. However, companies will be able to call their bags “checkpoint friendly” or the equivalent.
Prototype versions of these bags have been tested at Dulles, Austin-Bergstrom and Ontario Airport in the past months.
Now if the TSA can just authorize checkpoint-friendly shoes so we don’t have to take them off all the time.