If you’ve ever traveled on a plane with a laptop, you know that it’s a pain. You have to place your laptop into its own separate bin with nothing in it, while your carry-on, shoes, and jacket go through separately. Today, the Transportation Security Administration announced a new regulation that requires that every electronic device larger than a cell phone will have to be placed in their own container.
Up until now, you’ve been able to leave an iPad, Vita, or Nintendo Switch in your backpack or suitcase to go through the luggage scanner. That’s no longer the case. Those devices will now have to be pulled out and put in a separate bin to go through security. Although the TSA announcement was unclear, it appears that smaller devices can go into a single bin together, as long as they do not overlap.
Personally, I move relatively frequently, and there have been instances in the past where I have brought an Xbox One, PS4, laptop, iPad, and Vita through security in my carry-on luggage. Large consoles already had to go into their own bins, but now that the smaller devices need to be separated, it’ll mean that I attempt to go through the scanner with six or seven bins. That’s surely going to make the people behind me pleased.
But, of course, if it means safer flying for all of us, then it’s probably worthwhile. The TSA stated in a press release, “Due to an increased threat to aviation security, DHS Secretary John Kelly announced in late June new security requirements for nearly 280 airports in more than 100 countries. In an effort to raise the baseline for aviation security worldwide, TSA continues to work closely with airports and airlines to enhance security measures and stay ahead of the evolving threat.”
The new rules will be phased in over the coming months. Eventually, they’ll be in place in every airport in the United States. If you happen to be enrolled in TSA Pre-Check, however, the rule doesn’t apply.