TSA Says X-Rayable Laptop Bags are Go

The director of the TSA, Kip Hawley, has spoken to the New York Times and confirmed that X-ray-friendly laptop cases will be accepted by the agency as soon as they hit the shelves, potentially bringing an end to the panic that your laptop will go astray in all the fuss at airport checkpoints. We brought you first hints of this back in May, but it looks like the process of getting the bags approved is well underway. And both Targus and Pathfinder Luggage are hoping to have products on sale as soon as September or October.

Pathfinder is currently developing two "checkpoint friendly" models: one wheeled trolley with a removable laptop case, one a briefcase that reveals the laptop when it's unzipped. These new foam and nylon cases will set you back between US$100 and US$200. Targus's X-rayable cases vary from a US$39 backpack and a US$100 business traveller version. And there are at least four or five other manufacturers also submitting prototypes to the agency for checking.

But there's still a catch, of sorts: the TSA is not certifying these bags, and asks that manufacturers use terms like "checkpoint friendly" instead, and avoid buckles pockets or zips in the design. Does that mean your impractical bag won't seal securely and some officious security guard may still make you fish out your laptop anyway, as he doesn't believe it to be "friendly" to the X-ray machine? Time will tell. [NYTimes]

[Image: Nick Veasey]

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