Flying with the iPad


macrumors 68040
Original poster
Aug 1, 2010
Hoping for a little help here. My wife and I are flying to Vegas next week and I was curious as to how security handles the iPad. Can I leave it in my carry on, or do they make you put it in a bin?

I'm only asking because I really hate how the airport has handled my electronics in the past. My backpack is the "airport friendly" variety if that helps.


macrumors member
Sep 8, 2008
Technically you should remove it just like any computer but I have been able to leave it in my bag a few times. When in doubt, take it out.


macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2010
Phoenix, AZ
I've always left mine in its neoprene sleeve in my bag. Never has it been taken out and inspected.

But as far as TSA goes, your mileage may vary. Some days you get the grumpy one, some days you get the one that ignores everything.


macrumors 68000
Jul 8, 2008
Alone it should be fine. I travel all the time and before I got my MacBook Air, I never had a problem. My MacBook Air 11" AND my iPad is hit or miss. Sometimes it causes problems, sometimes it doesn't.


macrumors newbie
Feb 28, 2012
The reason regular laptops get inspected is because they come in all types of shapes and flavors, and thus easy to take apart and hide stuff in. This is why security will sometimes ask you to turn it on - to prove that it's a real laptop and not a case for cocaine.

iPads don't have this issue. I've never had my iPad inspected. Never even had to take it out and put it in the plastic containers. I've actually asked TSA agents before if I need to, and they told me to just keep it in my bag.

If you are asked to take it out for inspection, the agent is either new at the job or just retarded. And with TSA, you never know these days...


macrumors 6502
Dec 28, 2006
While flying in the UK I've always treated my iPad just like my MacBook & left it in its wallet when going through security. Never been asked to open the wallets, but European security checks may be less strict? I flew 16 times last year without any ID, but a home printed boarding pass :eek:
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macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2011
All the airports I've taken it to they tell you to leave it in any bag. At one airport the TSA lady yelled at me because I was waisting their time by taking it out. I'd still put it at the top of the bag


macrumors 604
Jul 5, 2009
Never had to remove my iPad from my carry on but I usually just ask the agent at the scanner if it's necessary.


macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2010
Plano, TX
The first time I flew with mine (in a leather portfolio case) I took it out of my backpack. The agent looked it and asked if it was and iPad. I said yes and he told me I could put it back in my bag.

I have flown twice since then. Each time I left it in my bag and went through security. No questions or problems.

Enjoy your trip! :)


macrumors 68040
May 9, 2006
Supposedly you don't have to take it out of your bag. I have been asked to take it out a couple of times though.
I leave it in a backpack that goes through the scanners - never had to take it out in probably 40-50 flights since getting my first generation iPad.


macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2008
Beach Cities, CA
I treat mine as laptop and I put it in a separate box. I only have a smartcover on it, so I put it face down. I've never had any problems with it. TSA never handles it. I'm the only one who touches my iPad from the moment I put it in the basket to the moment I remove it. There's really no issue.

However, all of this is done rather quickly. I start putting everything in the basket as soon as I can so that the TSA doesn't wait on me, especially since I usually have to take off a jacket, belt, shoes, ring, bracelet and my bag.

Funny, how I always think I'm undressing to go through security and how awkward it is to be putting some of my stuff back on. I should dress simpler, I know, but it's a moment to go through security and I don't want it to dictate what I'll be wearing the rest of the time.
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macrumors 65816
May 23, 2010
The official rule is that you can leave it in your bag. I travel LOT and have never had it questioned.


macrumors member
Mar 17, 2008
Chicago, Illinois
The official rule is that you can leave it in your bag. I travel LOT and have never had it questioned.
I agree, as someone that travels every other week, you do not have to take tablets out only laptops. In the past 12 months I never took my tablet out of my backpack, only my laptop.


macrumors 6502a
May 12, 2008
I travel with a laptop bag since I don't have a very good smaller bag for just the iPad. Each time the TSA agent asks me if I have a laptop, I respond with "just an iPad". He/She lets it go through no problem.


macrumors 65816
Oct 2, 2011
On every flight I've taken I've left the iPad in my bag while taking out my laptop and running it through x-ray separately. Never had a problem. I recall reading somewhere that the TSA is fine with iPads staying in the bag as they are not technically laptops.


macrumors 68020
Oct 3, 2007
Los Angeles
I travel several times a month. I always leave my iPad in my bag when putting it through the Xray.

I have never been asked to remove it.


macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2011
Austin TX
Never had to take it out in the US. I asked a couple of times and was told 'no' so I just quite asking. One of those times was in Vegas.

London Heathrow though wanted it out.


macrumors regular
Mar 25, 2010
I'm on a plane twice a week and never take my iPad out.... I think out of the hundreds of times I've flown with it, I've been asked to take it out and rescan twice.