Laptops

Seven rules for flying with a laptop: Share these tips with clients

A client is planning on flying for an upcoming trip, and you know he may not have time to check the TSA's guidelines on traveling with a laptop. Be a good little elf and prepare your client for what he can expect by telling him these seven helpful rules.

 The holidays are just around the corner, and some of your IT consulting clients are going to take their laptops over the river and through the woods to grandma's house. Many companies allow employees to take company-provided laptops and other electronics on personal trips. It makes it easier for key employees to get away from it all, without really getting a way from a thing.

If clients aren't used to flying with a laptop, they'll need a little education, and that's where you come in. Even if clients are familiar with the routine, it won't hurt to give them a few pointers to help make their trip memorable -- in a good way. Flying with a laptop is a nonevent most of the time, but if a client encounters security officers devoid of holiday cheer, knowing how to react could make or break the trip.

Here are my seven rules for flying with a laptop:

Rule #1: You have no rights in regards to your laptop.

This is a hard rule to explain to people: A border guard can confiscate your laptop at any time and without cause. You should hand it over when asked. Don't argue, don't negotiate -- just hand it over. This isn't just a flying rule; this could also happen if you're driving across a border. The good news is that I don't know a single person that's had their laptop confiscated.

Rule #2: Your laptop is a carry-on item.

It might be tempting to check your laptop with your luggage, but don't. Chances are that you'll never see it again. Most of the time, you're allowed a laptop bag in addition to one carry-on bag. Check your airline's Web page in advance of going to the airport just to be sure. Also, check foreign destinations and layovers.

Rule #3: Arrive early and read the signs.

The people that have trouble getting through security checkpoints are the people who fail to follow the rules. If you don't know what to do, go to an information desk and ask. Breaking a rule probably won't get you into trouble, but it will delay your wait in line. Most airports have two lines: One for those who follow the rules and are prepared and one for those who don't. Guess who gets through their checkpoint quickest?

Rule #4: Your laptop goes in a separate bin at checkpoints.

When you go through a checkpoint, remove your laptop from its bag and put it in its own bin. One laptop in one bin. Don't put anything else in there, or they'll send you to the line for people who don't read signs (see Rule #3).

There's a bit of good news on the subject of bags. If you use the right kind of bag, you might not have to remove it. Butterfly and trifold bags are checkpoint friendly, but accordion and backpack bags are not.

Security needs an unobstructed view of your laptop's insides according to "Checkpoint Friendly" Laptop Bag Procedures from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Regardless of your bag's type, an officer still might ask you to remove your laptop from its bag. Remember: just do it.

Don't worry if an officer swabs the laptop's surface. They're checking for explosive residue. It happens routinely, and they're not singling you out. Dusting your laptop before reaching the checkpoint might prevent this check, but it might not.

(Check out security blogger Chad Perrin's post about Evan Roth's T.S.A. Communication project. Although the project is sometimes described as art, Chad warns that it might also get your bag searched.)

Rule #5: Remember to retrieve your laptop from the checkpoint.

Congratulations! You flew through security so fast that you forgot to pick up your laptop. It happens -- a lot. It's hard to blame folks. The process is a bit unnerving, especially to someone who is not accustomed to flying. Tape your name and phone number to the laptop, just in case.

Rule #6: Ask about on board use.

Each airline is different, so check their Web site or ask a flight attendant before turning on your laptop once you board the plane. Most airlines require that you turn off your laptop when the door closes. Once the plane reaches cruising altitude, you can turn it on. However, they won't allow wireless transmissions, so remove your card. (Delta Air Lines recently announced that it will begin offering Wi-Fi connectivity on all domestic U.S. flights by the middle of 2009.) If you forget, a polite flight attendant will remind you. A not-so-polite flight attendant might take your laptop for the duration of the flight. Before the plane lands, you'll be required to turn off your laptop and stow it away.

Rule #7: Don't forget your adapter.

If you're traveling abroad, make sure your laptop will work on 230-volt current. If so, you'll also need a plug adaptor. You can purchase these before you leave, or you can usually purchase an adapter once you reach your destination.

Some clients may need additional tips

There are many tips for getting through airport security quickly and without embarrassment, tears, or name-calling (which will probably get you sent to the third line, which includes an escort off the premises). The above rules deal only with laptops. You might want to add more tips for your clients, especially the ones who don't fly much or haven't flown in the post September 11 era.

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About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

72 comments
stan
stan

Since my laptop contains propriatary information (as well as some personal information), I simply refuse to travel anywhere outside of the US. There is no way I'm going to let some government flunky take my laptop for several weeks/months.

floppydisk
floppydisk

I travel all over Europe and the Far East and agree with all the rules. HOWEVER, don't forget to backup your data prior to flying and carry key data and presentations on a separate memory key. Good news is that London Heathrow has recently updated its scanning software and no longer requires laptops to be removed from bags.

chris
chris

Of course, what I really want to know is how many lives have been saved by making life so hard for so many millions. I bet banning alcohol would save more. Or restricting cars speed automatically. I wonder how many crimes happen in Iran or N Korea? I'd rather have more freedom and live with more potential harm that be hurt by my government. Sorry

mrmiata7
mrmiata7

Our borders are wide open and ports unsecured during a War on Terror. Hundreds of Mexican trucks from a country rife with corruption (run by drug cartels) cross the border daily. Despite what DHS tells the American people those trucks are not adequately inspected by Customs and Border Protection but are given a 15 second "electronic waive through" and in instances where there are long lines at border crossings are not even subject to those screenings but just sent through. Border patrol agents and other law enforcement authorities also tell us they constantly stop trucks miles north of the border loaded with illegal aliens, drugs and weapons. They estimate from 5,000 to 10,000 illegal aliens sneak cross the border every week and "on a good day", for every illegal alien they apprehend 4 or 5 evade/elude capture. They also found prayer rugs, Spanish for Dummies used by those from countries of special interest to blend in with the invading hordes and parts of IED's and other bomb making material. An undercover government security team successfully smuggled enough simulated fissile material across the joke of a border using backpacks and bags (also used by illegal aliens to smuggle drugs and weapons) to make a small bomb and transported the material right up to the steps of the Federal Building in Phoenix. The U.S. visit program designed to track those who are here on visas and ensure they leave upon expiration of those visas is a total failure allowing millions to remain here with no knowledge of their locations and intentions with many actually taking jobs from Americans. The Visa Waiver program has been expanded to include those from countries possibly supporting terrorism. I haven't even covered the out of control drug cartel violence raging along our southern border (aided and abetted by Mexican Military units engaged in hostile actions against border patrol agents and sheriff's deputies on our side of the border) resulting in murder, rape, robbery and other crimes against innocent Americans living along the border and is quickly spreading throughout the U.S. National security....Both candidates have refused to and will not secure our borders and ports. National security.....what national security??????

ashishkgtm
ashishkgtm

HOw many laptops one can carry along. 1 official and personal ?

charles.homsy
charles.homsy

If you have the time take a train or drive yourself that way you don't have to worry about these infantile posturings of a few tech brainless wonders. Also, there is nothing written into the law that says they can go fishing around inside your laptop beyond it's operating correctly. The TSA has no rights to inspect the contents of your hard drive without a warrant signed specifically with those intents. They might like to think they do but they don't. The only thing they are allowed to check is if it turns on and off properly.

Marty R. Milette
Marty R. Milette

Read the rules. Homeland security can confiscate ANY electronic media -- flash drives, digital cameras, iPod -- ANYTHING. Encryption will only result in your stuff being taken for a longer period -- maybe forever. There is no obligation of 'reasonable cause' -- and they can search it for anything from terrorist information -- to anything copyrighted such as MP3 files or images. The only real answer is to either: a) Never cross the US border with anything containing information you don't want the nazis to have. Considering how adept the government is at 'losing' information, that isn't such a bad idea. CEOs should be especially wary -- their new business strategies could be quite interesting to 'people' browsing their drives. b) Have nothing but a bare operating system on the computer and put the 'information' somewhere you can get to it reasonably safely -- such as through a VPN. (Not great for accessing more than a few hundreds megs though -- and some VPNs have issues with some gateways used by hotels/businesses.) As for myself, I just refuse any US contracts. Plenty of good work in countries where 'freedom' and 'privacy' still exist.

Raymond Danner
Raymond Danner

Oddly enough, I went from BHM to MDT recently (round-trip) with a laptop backpack (that didn't have the laptop in it) and lo and behold, the TSA made no quibbles about it at all, even though one pocket was jammed full of small electronics (a Sansa e260, earbuds, etc.) and my cellphone was in the backpack's cellphone carrier! Can anyone give a brief rundown on the rule on a spare battery? I've an iRecharge universal laptop battery that I'll need to take, since my laptop has abysmal run-times on its battery. Whilst I will indeed be running on AC at the airport (while waiting on whatever), it would be a major inconvenience to have the thing confiscated for no sane reason. (see www.cellboost.com for more info on the iRecharge)

PCcritic
PCcritic

I suspect that the last rule is about traveling abroad.

cballinger
cballinger

And Check TSA's web site about batteries. You can no longer carry LI batteries as spares without all sorts of rules posted on TSA's web site, the same goes for extra batteries for your camera, DVD Player etc. To avoid hassles travel with the set in the device and if needed buy another set when you get where you're going and then figure out how to get them home if they were expensive....

wynnsb
wynnsb

All laptops look the same when going through security. I have my business card taped to the top of my laptop so I can quickly tell mine from the other guy's. Plus, if in my mad dash to the gate I forget to put it back in my bag, TSA can call me instead of making a general announcement about the laptop left at the security checkpoint. (This has not happend to me, but I have heard the announcements.) Something else to think about is taping a business card to external USB drives. Drives are easy to leave behind at customer sites and in hotel rooms. It might increase your chances of ever seeing it again.

---TK---
---TK---

Ha, this reminds me of when I had 8 flights in two weeks... I was pre-flaged for a random search, it wasnt to bad. Yes I had a laptop, pda, two cellphones... all of it was swabbed for bomb making material... lol and it took all of 5-10 minutes, aslong as you follow their directions... They asked why I was carrying so much electonic stuff, I simply old them what I was traveling for. About one minute of explaining what I was doing, they told me to go on... Need less to say I was using all Acronyms, then explaind about what each one was... lol... That didnt last to long... The crappy part is gathering up everything that they dump out... what a mess...

jonc2011
jonc2011

That makes two of us Stan - except that I am going to do everything I can to avoid travelling to the US. I once visited what you think is part of the US (Guam) on my way to Marshall Islands. Had unpleasant officers (filled in the wrong transit form), serious search and a suitcase destroyed. And I was only in transit! Have added US to my travel blacklist, along with Somalia and Saudi Arabia. So have several hundred thousand students who find getting a visa difficult and hear stories of harassment at airports by those who do make it. What happened to your welcoming nature? All this talk about TSA "borrowing" my laptop, possibly stealing its contents and dusting it for explosive residues reinforces my decision. I hope that a new administration will soon make it possible for me to take your great country off my blacklist.

bwatkins
bwatkins

I work for a global company. All our personal laptops are encrypted at the drive level. As a result, we cannot take our personal laptops into some countries that restrict the use of encryption. The company's policy is that if you are traveling to such a country, you will be issued a "safe" laptop for just that trip, and must carry any data such as presentations in unencrypted form on a flash drive or USB hard drive. I like the tip someone gave of taping your business card to the top. (Like corporate logos, maybe you should tape it upside down, so that when it's in use it's an advertising billboard?) I just have a simple sticker on mine, but it's saved me more than once from grabbing the next person's identical Dell.

cowen80194
cowen80194

How did the update fix radiating your items with no care that it would actually wipe out data from floppies and dongles or hard drives. I had a flash drive wiped out by the XRAY and threatened with jail if I filed a claim on it. I posted my experience above so I wont re post it here but its stupid they can get away with the 100% XRAY safe statement.

buddm
buddm

Well, the average annual traffic fatality rate in the US has been around 37,000 for the last 10 years or so (http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/index.aspx). But then, traffic fatalities occur every day, and we take them as if they are a normal part of every day life. The reason 9-11 got so much attention and response was not becuase of the number that were killed, but simply because it was an unusual event, which the administration then used to consolidate power. So please don't apologize. We need more people with soap boxes....

cowen80194
cowen80194

Dallas Schools is firing teachers due in part to an 84.??? million dollar shortage in tax money for the school year. Even with a policy that is illegal in Texas. A plan called robin hood here takes money from doing good tax wealthy cities and transfers that to tax poor cities. Which is illegal and fights to repeal it so far have not go anywhere. Tax "poor" cities will not raise taxes being scared they can not and would loose big business that is only there because of tax breaks. Some others like Dallas just mismanage budgets ever year with internal theft. Yeah firing teachers in one of the worst school districts (Dallas) will really "Help". We have a constitutional requirement to school illegal children in this country. With all those kids in school and the parents are here illegally not paying taxes, and now firing teachers so the kids are not get a proper education. Well Dallas has a mexican running the whole district. It does not look impartial. He took a 20% no a 10% no a 5% pay cut to help but he should be fired. He should have stayed with the original 20% pay cut, but I guess he had time to figure out he could not afford to live high on the hog and then announced the lower cuts in pay, after he figured out what it would take to live in Oak Lawn in his fancy house, and expensive car. The problem is if he is FIRED it would COST more to pay him his "being fired bonus for messing the whole budget up" Fee then to live with his mismanagement until he leaves or retires. These things need to be stopped! NO bonus' for messing things up. And no more free for non citizens no paying taxes. Farmers Branch has the right idea. You must have a "I am a legal to be in the US" card to live, work and commute with in the city limits. Verified by the City. And making it illegal for someone to provide work and housing to a non documented person and steep penalties for those who break the laws. No TAX = No budget, No budget = No school, heath care, government, or any other items that are funded by above TAXes. Keep US money in the US, convert monetary funds exiting the border to foreign fund rates, and lets stop the res session before it becomes unrecoverable. Globally. We are firing teachers in a School district that needs them. And kids are taking the easy way out.

peter.cousins
peter.cousins

Whilst the approved list keeps changing there do exist constraints about the software on the laptop (e.g. at one time MS Office was banned from entering Cuba). Failure to abide by this restriction can lead to penalties.

OH Smeg
OH Smeg

Refusing the request of a Official is tantamount to admitting guilt. Sure they may have no rights to make some requests which in the case sited here they most certainly do but if you refuse to comply at the very least results in a full Search because they do now have Probable Cause to launch an Investigation. At the very least refusing a request like this will result in you missing that Aircraft not being refunded for the lost airfare as it's your fault not arriving early enough to pass through Security and even if they don't catch you thins time you will be added tot eh Must Watch List to be singled out for [b]Special Attention[/b] on the next and all subsequent trips. 9-11 was the best thing that could have happened as far as [b]Big Brother[/b] is concerned the Public willingly accepted loss of Freedom so you can not complain when it bites you on the Butt. Col

Marty R. Milette
Marty R. Milette

I'm sorry to point this out, but in fact it IS written into law that the DHS CAN and DO have the right to inspect the contents of your hard drive WITHOUT a warrant and with NO NEED of probable cause. There are hundreds of articles on the topic - a few I'll list here. The Electronic Freedom Foundation has been fighting this, and other violations of the constitution, but it seems a losing battle: http://www.eff.org/issues/travel-screening Welcome to the REAL world of Big Brother thanks to George W. Bush. http://www.eff.org/press/archives/2008/09/23 Unfortunately, it seems that the official policy document has mysteriously vanished from the DHS web site: http://www.dhs.gov/journal/leadership/2008/08/answering-questions-on-border-laptop.html tries to justify their policy and links to: http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/travel/admissability/search_authority.ctt/search_authority.pdf (File Not Found) AND, you don't even have to be crossing a border to be searched, detained and have your electronic devices confiscated. Most people are unaware of the 100 mile 'constitution-free' zone enclosing the borders. The ACLU has information about this at: http://www.aclu.org/privacy/spying/areyoulivinginaconstitutionfreezone.html Again, I'm amazed at how few people know any of the nonsense that is being done in the name of 'security'. The terms 'theatre' and 'fishing expedition' are quite appropriate.

Marty R. Milette
Marty R. Milette

Yesterday, I entered the UK from a direct flight from Russia. Not only did I NOT have to have any luggage scanned, or walk through a metal detector or have any minimum wage jerk give me a pat-down -- I didn't even have to show a passport or answer any stupid questions from border control goons and CERTAINLY didn't have to submit any electronic equipment for confiscation. All it takes is walking up to the UNMANNED retina scanner booth and in less than 10 seconds you're through. That's the way to run a border. Bloody marvellous! (And by the way, exiting the UK is even EASIER -- there are NO border controls - just the usual screening for any kind of flight.)

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Deletes ALL torrents, movies, music etc. that has been downloaded. While we Canadians can get beyond our own copyright protection, due to new laws and the old privacy rights that still exist and are applicable, the US is not quite the same. They have decided to forfeit such rights in their ongoing effort to thwart piracy, erm, I mean stop terrorism, yeah that's it, terrosists/US citizens who download and watch AlJazeera news which contradicts the pure BS that the US media spins.

Timbo Zimbabwe
Timbo Zimbabwe

Perhaps you just look guilty? Or maybe, judging by your post, you were just disliked by the comments you made as you were passing through....

daniel
daniel

Now you tell me, how much more idiots can they be? How many more laws violating privacy else will they pass by claiming them to fight against global terror? Don't you Americans see what your government is doing, all in the name of "Freedom"???

kahnt
kahnt

Don't assume that you can find adapters or power converters overseas with ease. See if you can get a multi-adapter kit - when I was in central Europe, the adapter I had was "kinda" right in that it had two pins to insert into the outlet, but no spot for the ground pin that sticks out from the socket, which is recessed from the cup in which the plug is inserted. Unfortunately, my adapter was quite useless, and no electronics store or even travel store had anything along these lines. In the end, I got a charger for my cellphone and was grateful that I was a guest of a local who had a compatible voltage laptop power supply, and a hair dryer.

good.o.joe
good.o.joe

1. Keep the lap top in a well padded bag. Make sure that no heavy bags go on top of it. The laptop LCD screen is frail and can break easily. 2. Before going on a trip, backup all your information and take only the information that you need for your trip. Keep a backup on a disk on key or USB disk. 3. Make sure that your laptop is password protected and do not have your password written down. 3. Put your contact information in your screen saver and also offer a reward for the safe return of the laptop in case of lose/theft. 4. take QUALITY earplugs and a mike with you - this is a must for talking in public places. Besides, you can save a mint making longdistance phone calls over the hotel's wireless system. 5. If necessary, your digital camera can be used as a scanner for documents. 6. All planes and train wagons have plugs. Make sure not to leave your laptop plugged in during takeoff or landing. You can get spikes that can damage the lap top. 7. All airports have electric plugs usually for the cleaning equipement, but you have to look for them to find them.

StuManCA
StuManCA

This is more of a practical concern that the airlines have about extra batteries: If they're loose in your bags, could make contact with other metal objects (like other battery cases, pens, coins, etc.) and ground out, getting really hot and potentially start a fire. Keep extra AA, AAA, and camera batteries in their original packaging. Place extra laptop and cell phone batteries in separate plastic bags to prevent them from grounding out with other objects. The plastic bags should be like the zip-lock bag you put your liquid toiletries into.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

You'd be surprised by how much information one can collect with a digital camera. Business cards and other information taped to the back of the notebook announces your information to anyone within eyesight. You could instead tape it under the lid of the laptop so it can still be seen when opened but is not constantly displaying your data to everyone your not paying attention too. It's your decision after considering how that information can be exploited of course but it's worth thinking about. (Johnny Long includes a some good points about it in his No Tech Hacking talk given at various security related conferences.)

jonc2011
jonc2011

Not all laptops look the same. My dell is grey with a white surround. But identifying your laptop is a good idea. I engrave my name and phone number on the outside of the case and also on the keyboard surround. This (hopefully) deters thieves and makes it more likely that the machine can be recovered if lost. I also engrave the machine's ID number so I can quote it when asked by tech support. Since I never sell my laptops, any reduction in sale value is not an issue. Explosive residue?? Are they mad? How many million machines will they have to dust to find some, and when they do, it probably came from a mine site. Surely they have better things to waste our tax on.

Timbo Zimbabwe
Timbo Zimbabwe

Be sure to remove tools from your laptop bag and store them in checked luggage. Most of these tools are not allowed and will be confiscated... as well as earn you a trip through the "pat down" line.... ;)

Derek Schauland
Derek Schauland

If security checkpoints are an issue, the gear could be shipped to the front desk of the business or hotel you are traveling to. With insurance it should be no problem. Also it is a good idea to keep a couple USB external backups of laptop data. One in your office or home and one in your bag. Were you to lose the machine, you could get a new one and restore the data to get you going again.

cowen80194
cowen80194

I bought a camera sony that uses floppies and it still works. missing all the chassis screws and the flash just stopped working but it still works I have to carry a flash light now though. I wanted to update a few things but the economy made that a bit hard to replace personal items. Buying a new battery is still cheaper for now. Ill drive where I am needed for now.

DaemonSlayer
DaemonSlayer

Clinton approved NAFTA taking jobs accross the border to Mexico, just to bring the goods back and sell to those who lost their jobs to those accross the border... we buy less, and they repeat the cycle in the name of profits, losing more of our jobs, and then us buying less because of it. (I should expand this to include China too, as well as other countries.) Our politicians are making sure they get their money... giving up a token of their money to attempt to appease us. And then make sure they have something in place to pay them well when they leave or are ousted. Unfortunately, when we do get someone new in, if they aren't already corrupted, they soon tend to become so. The Who had it right in "won't get fooled again" when they said "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." We don't need the NWO (Big Brother on steroids) or Politics as usual... Vote out all the old blood, and vote out the new when it shows signs of corruption. (MAYBE they might get the picture.) Our founding fathers would be livid over what all three branches of our government are doing.

mrAverage
mrAverage

I just love "experts" that feel compelled to baffle us with BS. and spout about clauses in the laws which have a use and can be used IF there is a need. NO profiling so my mother in law is searched repeatedly because of a cane and her inability to move freely due to health and age so Mr. or Mrs. X are not suffering discrimination. If you wish to experience real security and "hidden laws" I suggest you visit Saudi Arabia, China, Israel, Russia, etc. You will feel like a Movie Star with so many "eyes" on you every minute of the day! (Yes, all 1440 of them in some locations.) I wonder where you place blame for the worldwide economic difficulties. Please stay in the UK where Queen, PM and Parliament are really in touch with the needs of the people and equivalents to these laws do not exist.... The bottom line is the world is not a kind and loving place where everybody exhibits the positive potential of the human spirit. TRUE Freedom is a perception and a goal, but almost never a reality. Regards.

Timbo Zimbabwe
Timbo Zimbabwe

... you have the same issue on your side of the pond. Quit bitchin'....

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

You are American. People in other countries are used to freedoms that they just don't see in America.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I would have expressed it a little more diplomatically and avoided the reference too poor german political decisions of the past but the points made where spot on and pretty much what is being recommended for travel. a. Transfer your data by VPN or network rather than carry easily lost/confiscated storage media. This is not because everyone is guilty but because loosing access to the latest copy of your business presentation is not an option; leave it safe on the company server and VPN to fetch it when ready. b. Use a clean mobile computer and remote connections to company data. Even when not traveling, this is the recommendation because the company data can be better secured through the VPN and storage server. Also, if your mobile computer is stolen or lost for any reason including by confiscation at the border; you've still only lost the thin-client terminal, not the company data.

buddm
buddm

...haven't you heard the complaining?

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

In such a case would only be used against theft. The TSA can still retain your laptop and instruct you to share your password with them in order for them to conduct further search of your hard drive and any protected/excrypted files, if they choose.

boothby
boothby

Not all trains and planes have electrical outlets. Business class and above, probably. But coach? No way! Quick question--when is the last time anyone ever saw one of those special DC outlets on a plane? I think I gave Targus $75 for nothing...

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I've started seeing notebook stations in the airports more often now too. It's a post with spots around it to plug in your gear and connect to the local wireless. Just be sure to use VPN and encryption if you choose to use the connection.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

If you have batteries installed, no problem, but there are strict limitations to checked baggage batteries. From a C-Net blog: "New rules from the Transportation and Security Administration that take effect on January 1 [b]ban travelers from carrying loose lithium batteries in checked baggage.[/b] Passengers are [b]allowed to pack two spare batteries in their [u]carry-on bag[/b][/u], as long as they're in clear plastic baggies. "If you do plan on bringing spare batteries in your carry-on bag, be aware of some other rules: You can only bring batteries with an equivalent of up to 8 grams of lithium content. (Most batteries for cell phones and laptops meet this requirement.) And for lithium metal batteries, whether carried as a spare or installed in a device, batteries are limited to 2 grams of lithium metal."

cowen80194
cowen80194

If someone is on the Internet looking up how to make that and forgot to wash their hands before they touched the keyboard. Then brought said laptop with them in case they need to browse the Internet for some ebay items while they are at the airport. Like that would ever really happen. I had given more likely scenarios to the Department of Home Land Security Office and was laughed at. I am waiting to see if my "Notridomious" predictions come to light so I can put an application in as the head of the department. There are more serious things that are still over looked that they Could CARELESS about securing. It is nice having family who work for the Government since it could have gone the other way. Take a look around and think like one of those people would and it would scare you at what is left accessible. I wont go into anything I already have done this with the Department of HLS.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

They are quick about it; drag the sample swab around the machine, drop it in a detector-O-matic and wave you on through. Other things like the TSA holding someone for a few hours because they couldn't decide if his new Apple Air was a real notebook or not is a bit of a problem though. You'd think turning it on and looking would be a dead giveaway.

cowen80194
cowen80194

Took a fiber kit to fly to San Antonio for an emergency repair at a WATER TREATMENT center. The fiber that monitors the plant was cut and I was put on a plane within hours to go down and fix the issue. I got to the airport with a 8k+ kit and got off the plane with a 500.00 box. I HAD all the paperwork from Home Land Security with the repair request. I had to race to a supply house at break neck speed (before 5pm) buy more supplies out of pocket. Then hope not to be the lead car of a police chase to the treatment center. The charge for that was then Tripled due to the harassment and all the racing around I had to do. I then was able to Fedex the case back to the shop 1 day air after everything was over. Now if things break down HLS just has to wait until I can drive in from Dallas. TSA is just not there to HELP anyone. And My orders were on HLS letter head and verifiable. TSA is a Communist entity. I do not fly any more if you want me you will wait on me to drive. If you really want me you will pay the speeding ticket or put up with an escort. I find HLS can wait for the security fiber to be fixed.

cowen80194
cowen80194

When I got to Florida the site I was to go to was canceled and I ended up going north instead of south from Miami.

kevinbwood
kevinbwood

Your corporate laptop (or personal) should be the life support system for virtualization Software (VMWare or VPC). Keep your 'latop image' and data as a VM. Then it fits on an acternal hard drive, a backup copy is merely a file copy away. An eternal hard drive raises even fewer concerns than a vanilla laptop and if the laptop dissappears, all you need is a machine with the VM player.

cowen80194
cowen80194

The constitution gives the right to form a militia and over throw the government and re establish it as it was back in the beginning. Who's with me?......................... Rase your hands, I mean your arms. Umm I mean who wants to join me? Everyone has their hands and arms in the air as prisoners to the governments policy. I think the issue is who is comming off the planes and across borders from countries to lax on security, not who is leaving on a plane now a day.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Not to worry, most people out here don't have the foggiest clue what it is like in the UK or Europe. They see the crap that is plastered all over the tube and take it verbatim which is, as usual, warped and misunderstood. I have heard Americans say Canada is a socialist country for years now, I just laugh it off as it shows complete ignorance towards Canada, our laws, government and funded programs. Most people in Canada believe our medical system is the same as the UK's, not realizing that we still pay a monthly premium for our medical and we don't have near the coverage you do at home. People who don't understand a system will always consider their own superior to it. "If it doesn't make sense to us, it can't be good." Big brother in the UK is sold out here as if the SS is watching you 24/7, tracking each and every good and bad citizen like the government's own Father Christmas. Its the only way they can sell the flawed and failing systems we incorporate in North America. In the US, citizens have been trained from birth that anything the government does to secure the nation is in spite of their freedoms and used against good citizens to remove their rights (which they cling onto with sweaty palms and a white knuckled grip as if their last breath depended on it). In reality, as a citizen, I see FAR more freedom in Europe and Canada than in the USA, but they constantly trumpet and remind themselves they live in the land of the free. Hey, say it enough times and you'll actually start to believe it too. Don't mind them, they mean well, as long as it benefits them in the long run and makes them feel like they better than others.

Marty R. Milette
Marty R. Milette

I don't buy any argument that tries to minimalize serious issues or tries to divert attention or blame onto others. These DHS laws are an affront to every honest citizen and every traveler regardless of nationality. Everyone knows the UK has their own "Nanny Nation" tricks, but at least they don't confiscate the property of honest individuals just for crossing the border -- not yet at least. This thread is about what happens to travelers crossing US borders -- not China or anywhere else. In fact, I can't recall a single time in hundreds of trips over the past 10 years where I've had a bag searched -- or even passed through an X-Ray when entering Russia (or any of 20 other countries for that matter). Perhaps I'm old, but still remember when a little piece of paper called the US constitution was something Americans thought worth fighting for. These days, it seems that too many people are willing to stick their heads in the sand, let the government pi$$ one every law on the books and get away with it with complete immunity. Regarding this particular issue, the constitution does actually have something to say about it -- a small clause called the Fourth Amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." When crossing US borders, your property can be seized, with NO WARRANT and NO need for PROBABLE CAUSE whatsoever. They just take as much of your electronics as they want -- keep them for as long as they want -- copy (take and keep) whatever contents they want. And there is NOTHING you can do or say about it. That seems to me to be the very definition of "unreasonable search and seizure". If you're good with that -- and want to live under a totalitarian regime -- great -- just don't insist that others give up THEIR rights and freedoms as well.

Marty R. Milette
Marty R. Milette

Go read the regulations yourself. Nobody is bitching -- don't let the FACTS upset you. I just flew from London to St. Petersburg Russia -- as I do every 2 or 3 weeks. NORMAL airport security in London -- 5 minutes -- there, you keep the laptop INSIDE the bag. No taking off shoes or other BS. Took the "Green Channel" into Russia -- NO SEARCH WHATSOEVER. This is how it is on 'this side of the pond'.

cowen80194
cowen80194

Then you just carry extra Nicad not the LI that is banned/limited. Gel cells? I mean all devices are not equal so they do not use the same types of voltage or battery packs. 12v Lantern batteries maybe?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

If the machine is in the same room or contained area as explosives manufacturing, residue will show up. If your business card doesn't show "Bob's Fireworks Company" then you may have explaining to do.

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