New Airport Screening for Laptops

Sinochick

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 4, 2010
39
9
Vancouver, BC
With the new enhanced screening procedures for laptops and tablets at the airport for flights going into the US, I'd really love to hear everyone's stories about going through airport security.

I heard that you have to take your laptop hardshell case off before you go through security. Will they make you use your Touch ID to turn on the laptop during screening?

Basically is it worth it bringing your MacBook Pro to the airport now?
 

joeblow7777

macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2010
6,153
7,181
With the new enhanced screening procedures for laptops and tablets at the airport for flights going into the US, I'd really love to hear everyone's stories about going through airport security.

I heard that you have to take your laptop hardshell case off before you go through security. Will they make you use your Touch ID to turn on the laptop during screening?

Basically is it worth it bringing your MacBook Pro to the airport now?
A lot of people have older slower laptops. Are they going to wait for each person's laptop to boot up? What about ones with bum batteries that need to be plugged in?
 

Sinochick

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 4, 2010
39
9
Vancouver, BC
A lot of people have older slower laptops. Are they going to wait for each person's laptop to boot up? What about ones with bum batteries that need to be plugged in?
This is what I want to know! I also want to know how rough they will be with everyone's laptop. If they are going to be rough with it then I may rethink bringing my laptop to Hawaii.
 

Cergman

macrumors 6502a
Jan 1, 2013
852
303
my tesla
This is what I want to know! I also want to know how rough they will be with everyone's laptop. If they are going to be rough with it then I may rethink bringing my laptop to Hawaii.
I have had no issues when bringing my laptop on domestic flights. I just leave it in my bag as it goes through the scanner.

However, when flying back from Turkey to USA, they searched everyone's bags very meticulously (this was only for US bound flights). They swabbed all the items in my bag, and asked me to turn on my Mac and iPad before they swabbed them. Didn't have to unlock anything, but they just wanted to swab the devices and ensure they were real electronics and not a decoy.
 

BorderingOn

macrumors 6502
Jun 12, 2016
453
436
BaseCamp Pro
I thought the recent change was whether they’d allow them in the cabin or not. Is there something else going on with laptops?

I travel mostly in the U.S. and laptops seem business as usual. Some airports are now not requiring tablets come out, which is nice.
 

joeblow7777

macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2010
6,153
7,181
This is what I want to know! I also want to know how rough they will be with everyone's laptop. If they are going to be rough with it then I may rethink bringing my laptop to Hawaii.
Realistically, I don't think that they will actually be booting up people's laptops. There's the issues I mentioned above, but also, if the point is just to prove that it's not a bomb or something, I'm sure it wouldn't be that hard to put the explosives inside a bootable shell of a computer. They're not going to run a complete system check or something.

And if the point is to search for something incriminating, it would take way too long to do a meaningful search of a laptop's contents anyway. With a phone you can access messages, emails, pictures, and social media accounts in seconds. If I wanted to hide something on my computer, I could tuck it away in enough hidden sub-sub-sub etc. folders among so much trivial junk that it would take hours to find it. No one is going to have a folder on their desktop named "terror plot" or something.

(I feel like I'm going to be put on a watch list just talking about this online!)
 
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Sinochick

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 4, 2010
39
9
Vancouver, BC
I have had no issues when bringing my laptop on domestic flights. I just leave it in my bag as it goes through the scanner.

However, when flying back from Turkey to USA, they searched everyone's bags very meticulously (this was only for US bound flights). They swabbed all the items in my bag, and asked me to turn on my Mac and iPad before they swabbed them. Didn't have to unlock anything, but they just wanted to swab the devices and ensure they were real electronics and not a decoy.
Starting today there are new rules regarding flights to the US.....you will have to take out your laptop and put it in a separate bin....and you have to take any hard case/sleeve off.

Are you guys gonna like having to take off your shell case and have the TSA guys possibly scratch your new MacBook Pro? That's my worry!
 

underattack

macrumors member
Oct 15, 2008
62
4
I just flew from France to the US on Friday, and did not experience any unusual security for US bound flights. I arrived in Paris from another European city, so there was no security scan in Paris. The origin airport had just the normal X-Ray / metal detector procedure as it always had and spot checked some passengers with an explosive detector. But nothing special for US bound passengers. I did not have to remove the clam shell case, just remove the laptop from the bag as I always had to do.
 

New_Mac_Smell

macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2016
1,927
1,544
Shanghai
It's always been a requirement that the laptop should turn on no? Last I traveled, you needed to make sure your electronics are charged and capable of turning on should security ask for it (They didn't). If your device will not power on, then you must leave it with them. Although on most airlines you can speak to the desk and they can help you. I tend to get special treatment at airport security, but just the regular swab me with stuff, make me take off shoes, make me unpack everything in my bag, or come stand in a little room whilst they take a harder look at my passport. All lovely really and not at all discriminatory (I'm a white atheist for peat sake! ;)).

My question was on the irony of this however. They ask you to power it on to prove it is a laptop and not a bomb, but what if it actually is a bomb? Surely they must be fairly confident it isn't a bomb before standing next to you turning it on right?
 

Precursor

macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2015
927
871
Istanbul
I have had no issues when bringing my laptop on domestic flights. I just leave it in my bag as it goes through the scanner.

However, when flying back from Turkey to USA, they searched everyone's bags very meticulously (this was only for US bound flights). They swabbed all the items in my bag, and asked me to turn on my Mac and iPad before they swabbed them. Didn't have to unlock anything, but they just wanted to swab the devices and ensure they were real electronics and not a decoy.
It's not only for US bound flights, even when entering the airport you go through the security where they ask you to turn your MBP and iPad on. As a Turkish national, flying abroad is a pain since I go through 2 security checks asking to do the same lol
 
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