Anybody have experience carrying on a new in box MBA on planes?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by thuglove, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. thuglove macrumors member

    May 12, 2011
    I am travelling overseas tomorrow and will be bringing two new in box MBA's with me for friends of mine. I know that I am definitely allowed to carry them on, however I was worried about going through security. Will TSA allow the boxes themselves in the X-Ray or do I have to take them out of the box? If it's the latter, I think I would rather check them in with luggage to keep them sealed but I run the risk of getting my luggage lost/stolen. Does anybody have any experience with this? Any tips would be appreciated.

    Thanks ahead of time.
  2. optmi macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2011
    Yep, I brought one from NY to CA for my dad for his birthday. They made me take off the wrapping and open the box.
  3. alecgold macrumors 65816


    Oct 11, 2007
    I wouldn't check them in, I would try to get them on the plane. But that can be tricky. And taxes/import fees might apply, dunno how that goes in the States, but in Europe you're likely toast because it will cost you dearly.

    @optmi, he's taking them overseas, which has different rules, often more strict.
  4. Faux Carnival macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2010
    I put my Macbook Air in my checked in luggage. However, there was also a Playstation 3 in the bag. So TSA opened it. :)

    Neither of them was stolen.
  5. thuglove thread starter macrumors member

    May 12, 2011
    Ouch. I would prefer to keep them sealed in the wrapping. I guess I have to check them in. Argh, that sucks :(
  6. johnhurley macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2011
    There is little to no consistency in how the TSA staff members operate in different airports. Staff in bigger cities like NY or Chicago may be somewhat more consistent ... maybe.

    If you really want to avoid having them potentially stolen out of your luggage ( and yes it can happen ) ... carrying them on the plane may be the best idea.

    My guess is that at some of the airports if you tell them they are new apples in the box that they will send the whole box thru the scanner. It also probably depends on what you look like etc ( suspicious or not etc ). The bald old Irish guy might have a good chance of getting them on the plane still in the box ( just a guess ).
  7. ritmomundo macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I would NOT put them in my checked luggage. Baggage handlers are notoriously rough (and why wouldn't they be - they move/throw hundreds of 50+ lb bags per hour). Carry them on. Your friends will understand if you are forced to open them for security (they shouldn't care that they didn't get to break the seal on the box, but they will care if it arrives with a cracked screen).

    Edit: Unless you're not really taking them for friends, but rather to resell them. Then it makes sense why you're so adamant about keeping them sealed.
  8. thuglove thread starter macrumors member

    May 12, 2011
    Well, I am flying out of Dulles, which is one of the strictest airports in the nation along with Reagan. I was really hoping to just scan the boxes themselves without opening them. I also have TSA approved locks which might prevent theft from the airport handlers but not TSA agents themselves.

    Does it help being asian? :p
  9. rosemary1 macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2011
    Checking them does not guarantee that your bags won't be opened and that the MBAs will stay wrapped, and if they do go into your bags they're not going to be gentle.

    Carry them on and do whatever TSA asks you to do.
  10. thuglove thread starter macrumors member

    May 12, 2011
    Alright. I think that's the safest way. Thanks for the advice everyone.
  11. Simon86, Sep 27, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011

    Simon86 macrumors member

    Sep 27, 2011
    As everyone else has mentioned, don't put them in checked luggage - the consequences are so much higher.

    If I were you: if requested to open the boxes I'd explain to the TSA official why you'd rather not, all the time being as polite as you can be - and you might be lucky and they'll just scan the boxes.
  12. bluez3 macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2010
    whats your situation? traveling alone or with others(family).

    i would say spread the MBAs around to other passengers in your party if you can. carrying 2 sealed boxes on one persion will be suspicious. not just to TSA on our shores, but to customs on the other side. unless you are planning to pay them off to look the other way, they may want to know why you are bringing them. if you say they are for friends, either as gifts for for sale, they will want taxes/tariffs/duties. professional samples require further business related explanations etc.

    easiest thing to do is open the boxes, keep the MBAs in laptop bags in your carryon, and put the boxes and other crap in your checkin. let your brother carry one and you the other and declare them as personal items, nothing suspicious about that.

    then when you get to your place, rebox them to give to your friends and be done with it. they should understand that you had to open them and you are doing them a favor. luggage allowances are slim and every ounce is valuable.

    also opening them gives you the opportunity to inspect them and get any problems fixed here. Apple in the US is probably going to be more generous with swapping defects than overseas (as evidenced in these forums by someone going back 6 times).

    if they are for other purposes and really need to be sealed, there is nothing special about the shrink wrap apple uses, so you can easily repackage them and reseal them if you needed to.
  13. thuglove thread starter macrumors member

    May 12, 2011
    Unfortunately, I am travelling alone, which means if I carry them with me I will be carrying 4 laptops (I have 2 MBAs of my own). I have already unboxed one of the new MBAs since it is for a good friend of mine. It is, however, still in its new shrink wrap and sealed with the Apple sticker. Hopefully, TSA won't request me to turn it on. I plan to just take it out and place it in the tray still sealed along with my other laptops. As for taxes, I am not as concerned about since the country I am entering has probably the most lax custom clearances I have ever seen.
  14. outie2k macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2010
    I did not bring sealed MBA but I did have 2 sealed iPads2 and my old 2010 MBA all stacked together in my carry-on. We were traveling out of country. The only issue we had was that they wanted us to take them out of carry-on and put in the tray to re-scan. No need to open/turn on anything. They said we can't stack them because the scanner can't see through them.
  15. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a


    May 19, 2009
    Midwest US
    You can typically keep one 11" MBA in your carry-on bag and send it through screening - but I cannot imagine a scenario in which any TSA employee will allow you to carry a sealed box on the aircraft.

    The problem apparently arises with the "noise" created by the power adapter and cord sitting beneath the MBA in the box.

    For the 13" MBA, you usually have to have it out-of-bag and sent through the scanner separately, as you would a "normal" laptop.

    I have sent through a carry-on shoulder bag with both an 11" MBA and iPad inside and have gotten it through the scanner without hassle three of four times. On the fourth time, I had to remind the TSA employee that TSA allows the 11" and iPad to go through the scanner in the bag. He still complained about the "noise" from my earbuds and power adapter, which were in the same bag.

    I echo what a previous poster suggested: Send each through out of the box, then rebox them after you've cleared security.
  16. thuglove thread starter macrumors member

    May 12, 2011
    Yea, that's what I plan to do. I'm still considering checking in one of them though. I remember two years back I checked in a 21.5" iMac in it's original shipping box and it came out fine on the other side.
  17. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    Dulles...know it well.

    Break the box seal but keep the MBA wrapped. Put the MBA in separate bin and send through xray. Chances are they will not do anything further. Only unwrap the MBA itself if asked to do so.

    I dont think you can get around opening the box. I doubt that's a big deal.


    Dont do it.

    BTW international security lines can be terribly long. Get there early.

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