If you've flown with a computer recently...

asherman13

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 31, 2005
914
0
SF Bay Area, CA
...and by recently I mean since the UK bomb/liquid issue, what was the deal with going through security with your Mac? I'm traveling to NY on Friday and then to Israel the following Sunday, so what precautions should I take while flying with my MacBook Pro? Will I need to show that it's a working computer (so should I put it to sleep rather than shut it down?) ? Should I make it easily accessible?

What has worked/not worked for you?



Yes, this would go under the "Advice" portion of the forum.
 

EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
10,648
31
San Francisco, CA
You should always have your laptop easily accessible - even before the recent terror threats I had to take it out of its bag and send it through the x-ray machine in its own bin.

I have flown since the UK bomb/liquid issue; I didn't fly to/through London, but security was still increased, but as far as my laptop was concerned it was exactly as before.
 

Andrew7724

macrumors member
Jan 17, 2006
35
2
I just flew back, Shanghai to Vancouver.
they didn't even ask me if I had a computer.

but when I left vancouver for shanghai they did ask if I had a computer and asked to turn it on. I always put my mac to sleep so I just flipped open my laptop and as soon as they saw the screen they said "okay". that took like 5 seconds to check... haha

but then again, that was more than 1 month ago, so...
 

Mammoth

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2005
938
0
Canada
I haven't been on a flight in a while and I don't own a laptop myself, but keep it on sleep until you're through all security and if you have to wait ages turn it all the way off unless you want to use it plugged in. Other than that, keep it close by, so you can really streamline the security check.

On a side note, I am amazed the FAA or whoever hasn't banned laptops from flights, because you could probably mod the laptop so that it can turn on normally and make it short circuit or something and explode/ catch fire. This would be a major security risk if it was taken advantage of. :eek:
 

ZoomZoomZoom

macrumors 6502a
May 2, 2005
767
0
Just take your laptop out separately when passing through the x-ray. Nothing else. Just flew two days ago, and another flight today.
 

dmw007

macrumors G4
May 26, 2005
10,635
0
Working for MI-6
EricNau said:
You should always have your laptop easily accessible - even before the recent terror threats I had to take it out of its bag and send it through the x-ray machine in its own bin.

I have flown since the UK bomb/liquid issue; I didn't fly to/through London, but security was still increased, but as far as my laptop was concerned it was exactly as before.
Yep, that is all that you should have to do. :)


Last time I flew, I brought two laptops with me (MBP & iBook G4) gotta couple looks, but nothing else. :D
 

mini.boss

macrumors member
Aug 8, 2006
59
0
Mac Newbie Question

Mac newbie question here. Do macs have a "hibernate" mode or is it just sleep. Hibernate on PC's dump memory content to a file on the hard drive so there is ZERO power consumption. But "sleep" mode trickles battery to sustain the information in memory.

Im curious because the Li-Ion battery problem can't happen to a laptop that isnt powered so if a notebook travels in "sleep" mode then under the right conditions it can theoretically blow up in your bag or in the overhead bin. Also, im a fan of hibernate on pc since it uses no power.
 

Voidness

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2005
847
65
Null
I had the same concerns before I flew recently, since my bag is loaded with all sorts of gadgets! Macbook Pro, iBook G4, 2 Cameras, a tablet, mice, cables, CDs, and a bunch of other stuff. The funny thing was, my bag wasn't opened at any airport, they didn't even ask about the notebooks. However, my father and brother both had their own PC notebooks in small bags, and they both had their notebooks opened and inspected! :D

Another advantage of Macs :p
 

Voidness

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2005
847
65
Null
mini.boss said:
Mac newbie question here. Do macs have a "hibernate" mode or is it just sleep. Hibernate on PC's dump memory content to a file on the hard drive so there is ZERO power consumption. But "sleep" mode trickles battery to sustain the information in memory.

Im curious because the Li-Ion battery problem can't happen to a laptop that isnt powered so if a notebook travels in "sleep" mode then under the right conditions it can theoretically blow up in your bag or in the overhead bin. Also, im a fan of hibernate on pc since it uses no power.
Intel Mac notebooks and the last two revisions of Powerbooks had something called "Safe Sleep". What it does is everytime it goes to sleep, it dumps memory contents to the hard drive, but keeps the memory powered so it can wake up from sleep quickly. In case the battery is removed, it will be able to restore memory contents once it's connected to power again.
 

drummerbooker14

macrumors 6502
Jul 11, 2006
253
0
Georgia
i was on four flights with my ibook, they didn't look at it they just were VERY stringent on taking it out of its bag and into its own tray
 

tehdee

macrumors member
May 7, 2006
89
0
flew recently through calgary, chicago, montreal, and ottawa. each time they made me take the mac out of its' sleeve, and send it through by itself. once i put a newspaper underneath, so as not to scratch the bottom of it, and a very rude security guy ripped the paper out from beneath, and pushed the tray through.
 

Star Destroyer

macrumors 6502
Jun 15, 2006
376
4
I can see it now..They ask you to turn it on and you get that nice macbook startup error where the screen turns black and the LED glows white, so you try it again, and the same thing happends... Then on the last time it glows white and the screen fills with verticle coloured lines and the LED flashes...
Yeah they WONT think its a bomb...
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,753
142
I just got back from New York from CA and I had no issues. I had a camera body, 4 lenses, my powerbook, my phone, ipod, and other little things. I also had my camera's remote. They scanned the bag, told me to remove the laptop and put it into it's own bin. Job done. 4 flights, 2 security check points, not an issue to speak of.
 

jmsait19

macrumors 6502
Jan 26, 2004
378
0
MO
Mammoth said:
On a side note, I am amazed the FAA or whoever hasn't banned laptops from flights, because you could probably mod the laptop so that it can turn on normally and make it short circuit or something and explode/ catch fire. This would be a major security risk if it was taken advantage of. :eek:
Taking that logic a bit further, why don't they just ban all people from flights, being that people could have rigged themselves to explode... Unlike the laptop theory, people have actually blown themselves up before!!

Or maybe their clothes are explosive... Should we all be forced to fly naked?

A bit ridiculous, but at some point you have to draw a line... If it really was worrisome, one could just fly to a lesser populated but still nearby location and then rent a car to drive... ya know? I don't think anyone is looking to demolish Sheboygan! (No offense to any Sheboyganites... I've been there, it is a lovely place...)
 

ShiggyMiyamoto

macrumors 6502a
Mar 29, 2004
563
10
Just outside Boston, MA.
I recently flew home from Paris, France to Newark, New Jersey and on the Paris side they made it so you COULD NOT have ANY carry-on baggage.. Anything you wanted to have on board had to be in see-through plastic bags. They also made you remove all batteries from laptops, cell phones, cameras, etc. It was a nightmare. It wasn't just for me and my family.. it was for everyone flying out of Paris to where-ever. I think somehow in that chaos my iBook's latch got damaged. It's a 2001 model, a G3/600 MHz, but still.. I need it until I can afford something like a MacBook or MacBook Pro... So yeah.. I understand what some people go through when this issue is involved.

tehdee said:
flew recently through calgary, chicago, montreal, and ottawa. each time they made me take the mac out of its' sleeve, and send it through by itself. once i put a newspaper underneath, so as not to scratch the bottom of it, and a very rude security guy ripped the paper out from beneath, and pushed the tray through.
That sucks man. Did you protest at all? Did you give the security dude a look like, "WTF man.. that costs alotta money!!~" ?
 

mark2288

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2006
237
0
on August 21st i flew in to Newark, NJ from Lisbon, Portugal and i brought my MBP with me and at the security check-in they made me turn it on. it was on sleep and it went to the screen where it asked for the password and they said it was all fine.

and then....they made me drink some water out of my water bottle...
 

dmw007

macrumors G4
May 26, 2005
10,635
0
Working for MI-6
FF_productions said:
What if you got a BSOD while they were checking your notebook?? (for all you PC laptop users).

That would be hilarious- especially if they seize your laptop due to it being a "security threat". :D :)
 

Finnxeon

macrumors regular
Aug 20, 2006
114
0
Vermont
flew to bermuda on delta with laptop........nothing at all.......which i found relatively strange because........if there are no carry ons allowed to and from britain.......bermuda is a british colony......but w/e, better for me cause i can have my carry on and my personal item...my laptop! And Use Them Too!
 

minimalistic

macrumors regular
Jul 5, 2006
118
0
Santiago, Chile
FFTT said:
I've always wondered if security xrays could harm the content of your hard drive
or in any way damage delicate components?
I dont think so, I fly alot, and I havent had any problems with my hard drive getting damaged by x-ray machines :p