Chicago Sun-Times
With Lori Rackl

Laptop bags at the airport: things are about to get a bit easier

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Starting Saturday, TSA will allow passengers to leave their laptop computers in bas that meet new "checkpoint friendly" standards.

Bags that provide a clear, unobstructed view of the laptop are considered "checkpoint friendly." Here's the rest of the criteria for the proper bag:

-- must have a designated laptop-only section
-- the laptop only section must completely unfold to lay flat on the X-ray belt
-- no metal snaps, zippers or buckles inside, underneath or on top of the laptop-only section
-- no pockets on the inside or outside of the laptop only section
-- nothing packed in the laptop-only section other than the computer itself.

Click here for images of what bags are allowed and what bags aren't.

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What annoys me so baddly about this whole process is that it is utterly useless. It is nothing but high theater to impress the masses into feeling that the government can protect them from the unknown. Barring having people fly nude, after fasting, being checked for disease, having a full cavity search, and an x-ray, you cannot stop damaging devices from coming aboard an air plane. In fact you only inspire terrorist to come up with better way to hide things. The idea it serves as a deterrent is misguided because even if you succeeded in deterring a terrorist from doing something to a plane you have only set them upon something else. I true detterent stops the would be criminal from want to commit the act at all. One could argue this actually creates soemthign more of a challengge.

For that matter, I would rather risk the terrorist on a plan that in my house. For that matter, I would rather risk death than have to go through what TSA screenings the rest of my life. It is like handing them victory.

Examples of why security screening can never work.
Glass blades (No Magnetic Field)
Plastic or Ceramic Guns with Ceramic or Plastic Bullets (No Magnetic Field)
2oz bottles of liquids Do you know how little it takes of nitros to blow a window out? Some chemicals will not scan as explosives or as chemical weapons until after they are mixed. (You can take it on, if done correctly it will pass chemical test. Did I mention diseases?)
Even if they check a lap top for power, a spare battery can often take the place a drive or CD bay. These may really be plastic explosive shaped like a battery. For that matter there are known defective Lithium Batteries that when shorted produce a fire hot enough to melt aluminum.
Jamming devices. I hobbyist could make one from a cheap radio.
A baby (Yep most people will do anthing short of being killed to save a childs life. Who needs a weapon when you have a child)
Well I had 5 minutes and those came to mind, I wonder what terrorist would come up with after years of planning? Get it now?

I travel frequently between Chicago and Detroit, Michigan. My travel time to Detroit Metro Airport from my home takes one hour. It takes one hour to clear security and get to the gate. The flight is often less than an hour to MWD or ORD. Then I have a minimum of 15 minute walk from the gate to catch either the orange or the blue line into the Chicago Loop and then a 40 to 60 minute ride depending upon the time of day and the day of the week. Thanks to the new airline luggage fees, and the ever changing TSA rules it has become more convenient to travel short distances via Amtrak. While Amtrak trains are often delayed by freight trains and other monumental excuses I do arrive in the heart of downtown which is where I need to be. Because I have two places of residence I often fly without any luggage. Often times I'm asked why don't you have any luggage? There simply is no win for those who must fly.Next week will there be pay toilets on airplanes?

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This page contains a single entry by Lori Rackl published on August 13, 2008 11:29 AM.

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