New TSA Screening: Empty Out All Your Electronics

The TSA is testing a new level of security screening at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and it requires you to take every electronic component out of your carry-on luggage and put it in a separate bin, reader John tells us. He writes:

“According to the TSA this is a new test program designed to speed up the screening of carry on-baggage…”

“…but, based on my observations, it’s not real clear on how this is going to speed things up as each bag had to be passed through the X-Ray, all of the electronics people forgot about removed and placed in a separate tray, then both the bag and the tray X-Rayed again.

The TSA could not explain how they thought this would speed things up but they seemed sure that this additional screening will make all of traveling lives much easier, “once everyone gets used to it.”

If this plan gets deployed nationally, travelers who like to bring a lot of gadgets on-board will have to put with the hassle or rethink their packing strategies..

(Photo: DevWalla)


Edit Your Comment

  1. medic78 says:

    Isn’t this an old rule? I mean St. Louis has been doing it at least since I last flew in June. And yes, it was a giant pain in the ass, since I had a bunch of gadgets, and it was just making the TSA peon get pissed at me (which is ridiculous since it isn’t MY rule).

  2. vr4z06gt says:

    o yea speed up huh? I call bullshit, do you know how much time this is going to add, people fidgeting trying to get it out then back in, most people are retarded and don’t do this before hand making things worse.

  3. humphrmi says:

    I already use three trays:

    – Shoes
    – Laptop
    – Pocket contents

    (Because you’re supposed to keep the shoes and laptop in a separate tray than everything else).

    So now I need a tray for shoes, laptop, pocket contents (unless some of those are electronic, in which case each needs it’s own tray), USB Key, cell phone, airplane AC inverter, IPOD, … I’m up to seven trays. Just for me to go through. And I’m not nearly as loaded with electronic crap as other travellers I see.

    Yeah, sure, it’ll make things go lots quicker.

  4. Tankueray says:

    This is ridiculous. Now I have to take my computer out of its bump case, its DVD drive, my cingular card out, my iPod, bluetooth headset, and cell phone which are all in separate pockets of my backpack. This will make things go slower if anything. Then I have to repack all that crap when I get to the other side of security. Way to go, TSA.

  5. dirtymoney says:

    I see a rise in theft from sticking all of your valuable electronics in bins to be inspected.

    Isnt there a scam where someone puts their bag on the conveyer belt & another person holds up the line so someone else can steal the first person’s bag as it comes thru on the other side?

    Lordy! Its bad enough that your electronic get stolen if left in checked luggage…. now they are gonna get swiped when you attempt to bring them on in carryon luggage!

    I got pulled aside for a patdown while my passport & other important travel documents were put thru the conveyer-belt x-ray (they FORCED me to do it) & I was watching it like a furkin’ HAWK!

    Airport thieves must be jizzing in their pants hoping this new procedure takes permanent effect all across the country!

  6. humphrmi says:

    Oh yeah and don’t forget:

    – Car keys remote
    – Home security system remote
    – SecureID FOB
    – …

    Methinks TSA didn’t think this through. They don’t have enough trays for one each, I guarantee it. This will die the first time they implement it somewhere big, like Chicago or LaGuardia.

  7. DrGirlfriend says:

    Agreed that this will just slow things down. How many things do I need to go through and pick out, and then have to remember to retrieve? It would certainly take longer and cause more confusion to do all that than the current situation.

  8. mattatwork says:

    TSA is probably thinking about the times that they have to dig through bags to find the one potentially-suspicious electronic equipment that was buried at the bottom.

    However, I feel that the current method is FAR more efficient than making every business traveler use 8 bins.

  9. Torabo says:

    Some airports already ask people to do this, and it in no way speeds things up… more like slows everything down. and i really doubt it makes a real difference in the x-ray machine whether the item is in a bag or not, just saves them the trouble of asking you to take it out IF they’re unsure of something. Its like wasting a lot more time to save a little bit of time.

  10. Kezzerxir says:

    I’m a photographer and I take my backpack with me that is LOADED with lenses and bodies. So now I have to take them all at the risk of damaging my lenses and bodies. This is just ridiculous. Last time I flew I was asked to remove my laptop from my bag. I did that and before I could set it down the TSA agent took it from me and tossed into a bin. This resulted in scratches all over the top of my laptop, since she put it in upside down.

  11. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    Not only will stuff get stolen, but the idiots employed by TSA will also get to break expensive electronics!

  12. Freedomboy says:

    Can I get a small bin to put my shredded copy of the Bill of Rights?

    Maybe a sandwich size baggie to go in the same bin with my 3 oz. K-Y gel?

  13. finite_elephant says:

    I, for one, would like to thank Kip Hawley for the increase in the chocolate ration.

  14. Canadian Impostor says:

    @humphrmi: The TSA thinks everything through and doesn’t just institute new pointless policies as knee-jerk reactions.

  15. dirtymoney says:


    And if you call them on the damage they do to your stuff…. they threaten to have you arrested.

  16. Canadian Impostor says:

    @Freedomboy: The Bill of Rights doesn’t apply since you’re not guaranteed the constitutional freedom to fly in an airplane or hang out at the airport.

  17. bigdirty says:

    Laptop, PSP, Cell Phone, DS, Digital Camera, XM Radio, Zune, Noise Canceling Headset, Wireless Mouse – and that’s just everything in my backpack/laptop case on a regular basis, not even traveling. What next, an individual bin for every item?

  18. yg17 says:

    @medic78: When I flew out of STL in July, I threw my bookbag into a bin, my keys, wallet, iPod, phone and shoes into another and my laptop into a 3rd. I didn’t need separate bins for everything

  19. headhot says:

    No right to hang out in the airport? Really, you should proabably read the first admendment, especially the part about the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

  20. Jaysyn was banned for: says:

    @Canadian Impostor:

    Wow. You have zero idea what you’re talking about do you?

  21. Freedomboy says:

    Well first the comment was based anger from a personal experience this past spring. I was refused entry into the local IRS office to get a booklet on the law about independant contractors and the tax law that applies.

    Because my state issued ID was 3 days out of date!! I had with me also my photo ID for my secured building, all the other ID anyone in modern America would have in their pocket and the rent-a-thug stopped me and the whole experince was one step away from a taser event. I KNEW I had to ask permission to just leave because if I turned to exit I would have been jumped.

    Now do I have a right to go into a public building? THAT is not in the Constitution in specific words either.

    So just where does one draw the line?, I draw it under the words “the right of the people.”

    Guess I lose,……. huh?

  22. tedyc03 says:

    @headhot: Supreme Court ruled that an airport is not a public forum thus you don’t have a first amendment right to be there.

    See International Society for Krishna Consciousness v. Lee (505 U.S. 672, 1992). You can read it here: []

  23. Munsoned says:

    I don’t want to give them any more ideas, but there is one federal agency that I frequent here in DC that makes you actually TURN ON and use any electronic equipment that goes through security. Yes, that means that if you bring in a laptop for a presentation, you must take it out of your briefcase and boot it up in front of the security guard to prove that it actually works. Same thing for all cell phones, blackberries, etc. Think about how long of a line THAT would create if done in an airport…

  24. Munsoned says:

    @tedyc03: Gotta love those Krishna cases…

  25. dirtymoney says:

    eventually we are going to be forced to send all our luggage/possessions in days in advance so they can be screened/searched/inpsected …. while we will have to strip down & given cups to put our genitals in as we pass thru the security checkpoint.


  26. Freedomboy says:


    The cups would be:

    the wrong size
    cost extra of course
    an express lane would be started for the rest of the idiots who refuse to see the pogrom for the trees, since they have seem to have no balls to be scanned.

  27. Brad2723 says:

    I’m sorry but anyone who thinks TSA is actually making air travel any safer is sadly mistaken. Anyone remember the federal Air Marshall who was allowed to board a plane with a loaded gun (in the performance of his duties) but had the finger-nail clippers on his keychain confiscated because they were unauthorized?

    They have not made us any safer, and the terrorists know this.

  28. Leiterfluid says:

    @Jaysyn: Actually, he’s right. Flying on an airplane is not a protected right. When you enter an airport, you agree to abide by the terms and conditions required for travel, regardless of how arbitrary and useless they might be.

    The problem is that most people are complacent about it it because they don’t have any other option. How else are going you to get from Seattle to Phoenix in just a few hours (as I did last night, and had to take my laptop, portable DVD player, Nintendo DS, iPod, and cell phone out).

    Guess whose wife got scrutinized when he forgot to take a pocketknife out of her carry-on. ;)

  29. it requires you to take every electronic component out of your carry-on luggage and put it in a separate bin

    I will award a small cash prize to the first person who goes there with a carry-on bag filled with half a million loose resistors.

  30. emt888 says:

    Let’s see, that would be bins for:

    -digital camera
    -cell phone
    -car opener
    -mp3 player

    Oh, wait, my dignity actually goes into the trash bin…the minute I step into the airport.

  31. clickertrainer says:

    I wish there was one line at TSA for travelers with carry-on luggage, and a different and faster line for the rest of us.

    Of course, I also think Starbucks should have a separate line for those who just want coffee.

  32. dreamrot says:

    What’s going to actually make the whole flying process easier is when we all realize that the TSA is doing nothing to actually make us safer by doing this. The whole process is a joke. As it stands right now…I have to put my laptop in a bin, but my portable DVD player can stay in my bag. Is there that much of a difference? No. One has more buttons than the other.

    They told me it was because they can’t scan through the laptop battery…doesn’t the DVD player use a similar battery?

    And besides, so many people travel with so many portable electronics that this will only serve to make things more complicated for everyone involved.

  33. Jozef says:

    Based on my last few flights, this would mean rifling through my carry-on and pulling out the following:
    – Laptop
    – Laptop’s power source
    – MP3 player
    – Digital camera
    – Film camera (has electronic components)
    – USB external drive
    – Power converter
    – Cell phone

    I’m sure people behind me will be jumping of joy at seeing me speeding up the security line so much…

  34. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    The TSA could not explain how they thought this would speed things up but they seemed sure that this additional screening will make all of traveling lives much easier, “once everyone gets used to it.”

    Hmm hasn’t that idea been used before? Say 1930’s Germany. Submit to our authority or be crushed.

  35. njtrout says:

    Every one is right on with the problems of this policy. What is even more interesting when you travel from Europe to the USA you do not have to take off your shoes or belt.

    I have no problem with it as long as

    * Safeguards are but in place to prevent theft
    * I am allowed as much time as needed to get dressed again and time to properly repack my back back.
    * Clearly posted policy on dealing with stolen and/or damaged electronics
    * Guarantee that the TSA agent will actually look at the screen when my items pass through. There’s nothing like going through the drill only to watch the TSA agent looking somewhere other than the monitor. This happened about a month ago coming back to US from Europe. Was forced to go through the extra bag scan coming into the country and a bunch of us watched as bags passed through the machine and the agent was turned around in his chair talking to someone else. If I’m going to go through with this hassle then the TSA should as well.

    * I know profiling is “illegal”, but c’mom the little blue-haired grandmother taking her shoes off emptying her purse etc. is ridiculous.

    *TSA uses common sense in creating their security screening protocols.

    Need I go on….heading to Asia in a week…I’m sure I can contribute more on the return.


  36. ChChChacos says:

    What difference is it going to make, an ipod going through your backpack or in it’s own tray? I already get looks from people when I pull out my laptop, then have to remove it from it’s thin sleeve to protect it.

  37. LeopardSeal says:

    @Canadian Impostor: Wow. You get my nomination for least informed post of the year. You’re up against some pretty strong competition, but I think you’ve got a shot.

    As for the mater at hand, words cannot describe the stupidity (yet again) of the TSA with it’s “everyone’s a terrorist” mentaility and highly trained staff of high school dropouts.

  38. Spiny Norman says:

    The irony is almost palpable. This morning NPR runs a Morning Edition story about how the TSA missed 70% of the fake bomb test articles run past the checkpoints at LAX. (That’s only marginally worse than the data two months back from DIA). Now we have to shred our tech bags? I think not! The most recent data supports the concept that they’d miss it anyway.

  39. Trai_Dep says:

    TSA should simply stop fooling around and demand everyone strip naked, insert a wide glass tube in their rectum (for improved visibility, not arousal but hey…), bend over then (optionally) squawk like a chicken.

    Although if the highly-competent TSA agent doesn’t say “Simon says” first, you have to do it all over again.

  40. bostonguy says:

    @humphrmi: When I flew between Boston & Myrtle Beach in September, I avoided alot of the fuss with the personal screening by putting everything on my person into my backpack!

  41. Spiny Norman says:

    @mattatwork: Not quite. The TSA is thinking it will be much faster than the old process of sifting through your belongings to figure out what is pawnable or thrashable.

  42. noutoo says:

    Well since I don’t check electronics because they will get stolen or broken I carry everything with me. Let see
    Laptop, Charger, Second laptop battery, Cellphone, Camera, Camcorder, Bluetooth head set, USB thumb drive, Cordless mouse, GPS, IPod, Battery Charger.
    Yeah I can see how removing all of that, Shoes, Coat, wallet, belt, coins, and anyone 3oz liquid, plus show ID and plane ticket could speed things up. Plus if you have kids in strollers and their toys and crap it would make things smoother. Maybe in the rush and confusion I might leave something behind, like a camera, for the TSA to keep for them self. Why does the TSA not have to follow any legal stature like other government agencies?

  43. QueenHawkeye says:

    Wow, can the TSA get any worse? This just screams, “STEAL MY ELECTRONICS!!1!”

  44. Jaysyn was banned for: says:


    Yeah, I guess you’re right. Another reason I haven’t flown since 2000.

  45. Freedomboy says:

    And would ANY of this stop a thin piece of aircraft grade nylon sharpened to a point & taped to a leg or inside a roller bag tube from getting through? No, it would not, can a person threaten and control a cabin attendant with one?, you bet.

    Would anything like that, or anything else you could carry on ever then bring down a plane, now?

    Of course not – the best security in the world now is the pent-up stress and anger of flyers who would rip the attacker to death.

    Best security advertisement in the world would be that poor jerk coming off the plane in parts, 1,2,3,4,5….

    The real reason is to acclimatize us to the process of surrendering our rights folks. One lttle cut at a time.


  46. mschlock says:

    I travel with an Ethernet cord and an extension cord. Do those count? I’m wondering if this is really about electronics, or “anything that looks kinda cably.” The thing is, things that are cably get shoved deep into my carryon because I don’t need them during the damn flight…

  47. Techguy1138 says:

    “requires you to take every electronic component out of your carry-on luggage and put it in a separate bin,”

    That can be read that you cell phone,camera,pda,ipod, headphone etc are all placed in the SAME bin.
    That would be same and could save time if there was a question.

    It can also be read that each device needs it’s own bin. That would be anarchy.

    Anyone know where to get clarification?

  48. LeJerque says:

    Yes… once we get used to it, all will be fine.

    ’cause we’ve TOTALLY adjusted to the “liquids” thing. You never hear anything about that anymore. People will take this totally in stride.




  49. jwissick says:

    @tedyc03: The court also ruled that Slavery is constitutional as well. (Dred Scott) Just cause the court says something does not make it right.

  50. ideagirl says:

    I had to do this last fall flying out of Hartford, CT. It was posted at the security line. Definitely slowed things down.

  51. Nakko says:

    @Techguy1138: It would not be anarchy. Nobody seems to care that we have to take off our coats, shoes, throw away bottled water, etc. We’re too compliant. It would be nice if we’d revolt…

  52. Landru says:

    I guess the TSAs ultimate goal is that no one goes anywhere. Just make it so inconvenient that we all jus stay home.

  53. Major-General says:

    @finite_elephant: Nice.

    @jrstren: That’s what they did pre-9/11 at the now Bob Hope Burbank Airport.

  54. Sparkstalker says:

    Brad, I’ve got to disagree with you. These TSA regulations do make everyone safer…everyone knows that terrorists hate standing in long lines.

  55. taney71 says:

    @Canadian Impostor: That made me laugh. TSA thinking things out will solve everything. Remember TSA hires people who would normally be working at McDonalds. A monkey would give a TSA worker a run for his/her money in ability to follow simple regulations.

  56. humphrmi says:

    @Landru: Nah, we’ll just take the train, or drive. Airlines will become only long-haul carriers. Then we’ll have fewer people in lines, and everything will balance out.

  57. trujunglist says:

    Good god, I can’t wait for this to happen. I am going to just love traveling for business! They won’t have enough trays in the place for all of the electronics I have to take…

  58. Dr.Ph0bius says:

    …and with all of this, didnt a recent story state that TSA is missing upwards of 70% of “suspicious items” when they were tested at LAX and over 50% missed as a national average?

    Its funny what people will give up for a percieved sense of security.

  59. taney71 says:

    Oh, since this is a TSA post I have a question for those who fly. Has anyone noticed TSA employees are not properly checking IDs?

    Sometimes I see workers actually talking with each other and skimming the ID. This has occurred several times at Reagan airport in the old wing. There you have two employees about 3 feet apart sitting there while customers pass. Usually they are just talking to each other and look pissed when you hand them your ID.

  60. FLConsumer says:

    Does anyone know which airports do this? So far I’ve seen St. Louis, Hartford CT, Cincinnati mentioned. I travel with too many electronics to possibly go through this mess. Let’s see:
    Laptop, scanner, PDA, router, cell phone, cell/PDA charger, AA battery charger, AA battery->Cell charger, AA batteries, digital camera(s), VoIP adapter, MP3 player, headphones, voice recorder, cordless phone + base, power supplies for all of those.

    Yes, my carry-on case has all of that, neatly arranged into specific spaces and compartments.

    I’ve said it before, but now I’m dead serious — how to we get rid of the TSA?

    As it stands now, the TSA is making air travel even more unsafe by pissing off passengers who are already pissed off about the airport delays & airline mistreatment. We’ve seen plenty of passenger-goes-apeshit stories in recent years since the TSA was created. They’re not doing any actual security, as cargo and supplies are 100% unscreened. Very simple to slip into the secure area and then gain entry to the airport gate/plane from there.

    I don’t see what good they’ve done other than employ the otherwise unemployable. If we really need to employ these people, there’s plenty of graffiti to be painted, grass to be mowed, trash to be picked up around the country. Or hell, roads to build! Bring back the WPA if we really need to employ this many people and give them something PRODUCTIVE to do.

  61. itsgene says:

    This is the new Doublespeak America, where slow is fast, freedom is tyranny, and safety is theater.

  62. FLConsumer says:

    @taney71: I guess TPA is making up for this. They check your ID + boarding pass when you try to go to the terminal, then again at the front of the security line, then again when you go through X-ray, then again at the gate. Give me a break, fake IDs were a favorite pastime and money make for us in high school, and we didn’t have the great computer equipment which exists today. My fake ID looked more real than my actual driver’s license back then.

  63. dirty foreigner says:

    @taney71: I don’t know about the TSA, but United certainly didn’t seem to follow procedure when I checked in last time. I wasn’t allowed to check in online, I called United they said I needed to check in at the airport and have them check my ID and credit card (I think it might have been because I used a $100 coupon from someone else, and then paid the rest with my credit card). So I check in at the airport and they never check my credit card. I asked them why I wasn’t allowed to check in online and she responds, “Oh yeah, I should have checked your credit card. Ok have a nice flight.”

  64. silvanx says:

    Sounds like it’s completely conceived from the point of view of TSA. “Speed up” just means easier for them. It will slow things down for actual people.

  65. synergy says:

    @Nakko: “The peasants are revolting!”

  66. overbysara says:

    can we fire tsa?

  67. jinjin1080 says:

    I’m not siding with TSA (They are morons and completely uselss), but I can’t sympathize with those who make traveling that much harder on themselves. I mean let’s face it, airport security is getting more and more ridiculus, so instead of trying to packing a bunch of electronics and miscellaneous items with you, you should only take what you really really need. You should also wear slip on shoes, and outter wear that’s easy to take on and off.

  68. FLConsumer says:

    @jinjin1080: I am taking ONLY what I need. Some of us travel for BUSINESS and must WORK when on the road. Sure, I have a few offices where I can leave some equipment or use theirs, but more often than not, I’m on own.

  69. armonde says:

    I’m wondering when this went into effect at CVG. I just flew out of there on Monday and was instructed to put all electronics IN my carry on to expedite.

    Only thing I had to remove was my shoes and laptop (and later my deodorant, we know what a threat to national security BO can be)

  70. Andr0 says:

    I actually had the misfortune of flying out of Dulles this thursday, early enough that the crowds were mostly still asleep. Lucky me.

    It seems screeners there were receiving the training in the above-mentioned process as I was made to do exactly what article says.

    At first, I thought they wanted laptop in one bin, all other electronics in one. But no… screener was actually so anal he had me place -every- electronic component in its own bin. Now, between being a geek and an IT tech on a business trip, here’s how the thing looked in the end:

    Bin 1 : Wallet, belt, watch, ziploc bag of hygiene.
    Bin 2 : Laptop.
    Bin 3 : Spare battery for laptop.
    Bin 4 : Charger for laptop.
    Bin 5 : MP3 player.
    Bin 6 : Cellphone.
    Bin 7 : E-book reader.
    Bins 8-14 : Various electronic tools and test devices (some of them as small as a box of matches, each in its own bin).
    Bin 15 : CDs. (Screener declared them electronics).
    Bin 16 : Box of Flash Cards.

    And no… as god-awful as it says, it is as it was. It took me 20 min to get through the screening – and there was no-one in front of me when I got there. I politely expressed my opinion about the new screening and was cheerfully told that “Oh, we’re just testing the possible new method – don’t think it’ll be implemented, personally”. At that point I asked why was I not informed I was being their hamster and was informed that “You were directed to this screening line because screener saw you have more than an hour ’till your flight.”

    That, obivously, was all the justification they needed to harass me early in the bloody morning…

  71. jamar0303 says:

    This wouldn’t be such a problem if the load was spread out (thus less people in the security line and more time to arrange all their stuff). Big international flights shouldn’t all be concentrated at the same few airports- how about the Midwest or the South instead?

    Anyway- yes, this is dumb. Even China’s better about this.

  72. adrianm says:

    There is no point in protesting about the constitution – or the bill of rights, that isn’t how your administration works.

    Write to Steve Jobs or your mobile phone provider. If you remember, after the “shoe bomber” incident, lighters and matches were banned from planes.

    It took the tobacco industry no time to persuade Homeland Security, that just one lighter or two books of matches weren’t enough to ignite anything of significance.

  73. Sestos says:

    This is nothing new, when I flew back to the states on R&R in SEPT into ATL we had to take out all the electronics into a special bin.

    My only problem is that TSA employee’s do not follow their own policies. If you go to TSA’s webpage it shows the updated list of what is approved for carry-on, checked and non-approved. I would think that a list would be posted up against the machine so that TSA personnel could reference it instead of enforcing old policies that are no longer valid or just making up policies.

    Last time I flew into ATL from overseas, we basically stripped down to just top and bottom’s in the terminal and it took forever to process though.

  74. banks says:

    Wow. If this ever goes into effect, people will need to start showing up at the airport the day BEFORE their flight, just to have a fighting chance of getting on a plane. I would fill at least twenty bins with the electronics in my standard carry-on, assuming chargers and their devices are counted separately. I don’t think I’m particularly unique, either. I have a co-worker who could fill a dozen bins JUST with the cellphones and accessories he brings with him on ever trip.

    It really does feel like TSA is just making baby steps towards an eventual goal of completely banning all carry-on luggage. The terrorists hate us for our freedom, so let’s get rid of freedom, and we’ll win!

  75. mikecolione says:

    They already do it at Philadelphia’s airport. It’s a giant time waster as I had several bins, and end up holding the line up while I repack all my gear to my liking. They weren’t to happy I was taking my time, but if the stuff isn’t packed right it could get broken… will they pay me for that?

    I also had to go through the same crap coming back from Orlando’s airport on the return trip…

    I think someone got bored and had to create a new rule to make everyone think he’s doing something.

  76. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Do they have a separate bin where we can put our indignation at this bullshit?

    I’ve already ranted against this jackbooted Fatherland security shit, but it’s not helping.

    Soon they will stop you IN YOUR CAR at state borders in the name of ‘security’ and the Unaware Sheep of America will collectively say “Well it’s for OUR OWN GOOD”

  77. FLConsumer says:

    Today’s latest terrorist threat: The Mile High Club… []

  78. Rusted says:

    @Brad2723: I’m in more danger from my eye doctor then from terrorists.

  79. FLConsumer says:

    @Rusted: sad, but VERY true. While I do think border security (as in US/CDN, US/MX) is highly important, $34B could provide an awful lot of healthcare for those who can’t afford it.

  80. TsaScreener says:

    I am a TSA Screener and I am hard pressed to understand why passengers are so upset by taking five minutes of their “precious” time to remove some of the many items they crammed into their carry on bag. We don’t ask them to remove these items just to upset them, we ask them to do this so that our X-ray operator can see a clear view of all the items they are bringing with them.
    As far as the consitency between the airports go, we have Federal Operating Procedures as well as airport specific operating procedures. It may seem “inconsistent” to the general public but I assure you we have good reasons to do things the way we do.
    We as screeners are not out to belittle or harass the flying public, our job is to make sure that you have a safe flight. We cannot distinguish between age, race, sex, or religious preference, in our eyes any man, woman, or child could pose a possible threat. Our job is to protect our country from foreign and home-grown terrorists.
    Before your next flight I suggest you call the TSA Contact Center if you have any questions or concerns about Travel Tips (including what needs to be removed from carry on luggage), Permitted and Prohibited Items, or if you need information on filing a claim for lost, stolen or damaged items.

    Phone: 1-866-289-9673 toll-free

  81. fargle says:

    Wow. So I just got back from a firewall installation in San Diego. I took two laptops, two 2.5 inch external hard drives, an Ipod, a Bluetooth GPS, a Bluetooth stereo headset, assorted chargers, assorted cables, wired earbuds, my Cingular 8525 cellphone, several USB thumb drives. and more in my carry-on backpack.

    As it is, I had three trays, my backpack and a carry-on bag to go through. How exactly long would that train be and what exactly is the definition of electronics I have to take out? This will take more time for them to bitch to all the people who have no clue what has to come out and what doesn’t and back up the line to remove things.

    I can tell you, I won’t change things one whit either – I will make sure that going through that security line is just as hellish an experience for the screeners as it is for me if they put this in place.

    Positively moronic, but I expect nothing less from the TSA at this point.

  82. MrDHG says:

    While this will suck, we have to remember that big brother is watching (althought I’m not sure if it’d bacuse of Bin Ladin, or Bush)…

    Where is the 12 items or less line… I won’t be in it:
    Laptop1, Laptop2, Cellphone, Bluetooth headset, RSA Token, IPOD, Charger(AC), Charger(DC), GPS, Camera, USB Key, Bose Headsphones

    Wait, I do qualify… But I’m sure they will take my mail clippers…

  83. Odalchini says:

    Simple answer: don’t fly. TSA don’t want you to. GWB don’t want you to. Global warming don’t want you to. Stay home. Get some dude in San Diego already to install the firewall – there’s some smart guys over there. (Yeah, yeah, nobody else can do it, ya hafta fly, no alternative, yadda yadda. There *is* an alternative.)

  84. Buran says:

    @yg17: I live in STL and fly Southwest. I only have to put my laptop, if I brought it with me, in another bin.

  85. Buran says:

    @humphrmi: Oh, gee, I’ll buy a ticket right now for that high-speed rail line from STL to Miami. Yeah.

    oh, wait, it DOESN’T EXIST.

  86. Buran says:

    @jinjin1080: What, do you think this is the dark ages? We use electronics. For everything. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know this.

    If you want to live where no one uses electronics, feel free to move to the middle of nowhere in Africa.

  87. vladthepaler says:

    Somebody should tell the TSA that knives and guns are not electronic devices, and nobody’s ever hijacked a plane with an iPod.

  88. yetiwisdom says:

    More TSA faux-security? I’m shocked! I’m surprised they haven’t yet adopted DHS-style alert levels to keep travellers guessing because their implementation of “security” is entirely inconsistent and ineffective.

    Next initiative – mandatory shower caps to prevent hair-bombs. Or, fliers must go thru security in jockstraps only to be totally secure and easily facilitate cavity searches. Heh. Jockstraps.

  89. ltlbbynthn says:

    @TsaScreener: Consumerist, what the hell is this?

  90. ClankBoomSteam says:

    @TSASCREENER: Sorry, but your explanation is total hogshit. I fly
    regularly, both around the US and internationally, and guess what —
    there is ZERO consistency from airport to airport. None. If I flew out
    of three airports next week, I guarantee you that while security at one
    or two of them would ask me to remove my shoes, the other one or two
    would not. Ditto for sorting my electronic devices for a “clear view”.

    I have been instructed to remove my (analog) watch on occasion, and
    I’ve strolled on through the detectors with it securely and obviously
    on my wrist. Hat? It’s been x-rayed, it’s been left on my head, it’s
    been looked under. Hell, I just walked through security a couple of
    months ago having accidentally carried several items containing
    substantially more than the TSA-approved 3 ounces of liquid, and no one
    said a thing to me — meanwhile, there’s a garbage can (well within my
    reach, I might add) filled to the brim with other people’s confiscated
    shampoos, lotions, etcetera. Bang up job the TSA is doing, chief.

    I’ve been berated by a security screener who was demanding that I
    take off my belt (as in, they loudly and repeatedly shouted “take off
    your belt! Your belt, take it off! YOUR BELT!”) — until I held it up
    and waved it at her, having taken it off five minuted before while I
    was waiting in the interminable and incomprehensibly-organized line.
    Or, of course, there is the experience I had wherein I was asked to put
    all my various items and devices in separate bins — and then CARRY
    THEM MYSELF the 20 feet or so to the x-ray machines. When one has six
    or eight individual bins to carry, how — pray tell — is one to do

    Why are we passengers upset at giving up “five minutes” (yeah, right
    — if we’re lucky) for security screening? Maybe it’s because the
    screeners are invariably surly and rude, not paying attention,
    constantly barking at the passengers with their rote, vague, arcane
    instructions which utterly contradict the rules as they had been
    explained to them just days before at another airport? Or maybe it’s
    because we’re aware that every time one of us at the head of the line
    is subjected to some particularly elaborate form of screening, it means
    everyone behind us has just had their own screening process lengthened
    by an additional “five minutes”.

    Or maybe it’s because we all know it’s bullshit.

    Any person with a modicum of intelligence could hijack a plane using
    ONLY the items approved by the TSA, without a single pocket knife, nail
    clipper, or full size bottle of Pert fucking Plus. If one were so
    inclined, it would be pretty goddamned easy to stab someone with a pen,
    a piece of plastic silverware, or god-knows-what-else you can find with
    no difficulty whatsoever on a passenger plane. What about glass? Last I
    checked, I can take an empty bottle, vase or whatever on any plane, no
    questions asked. All I have to do is break it, and I have a variety of
    deadly weapons for me and however many people I’m flying with. Bet i
    can take fishing weights — it’d be pretty easy to brain somebody with
    one of those. And for that matter, all these electronic devices are
    allowed on any plane in the world — why? Each one is a veritable
    cornucopia of potentially lethal components; I just heard it’s easy to
    turn a disposable camera into a taser using nothing but rubber bands
    and a small length of wire — I’m betting all those parts are A-OK as
    far as the TSA is concerned.

    So the next time you whine to a co-worker (or worse, a message
    board) about these ingrate passengers not wanting to have their bags
    full of Disneyland souvenirs scrutinized for pipe bombs, I suggest you
    remind yourself that what you do is about 10% effective, and about 90%
    for show. Travellers are a major backbone of the US economy, and as
    such they deserve some dignity and respect, ALONG with their safety.
    Until they receive it, I suggest you quit patting yourself on the back
    and talk to your superiors about how to actually make this process work.