The TSA’s New Electronics Rule Is Why You Finally Sign Up for PreCheck

Unless you like unbearably long security lines

July 27, 2017 9:00 am

It could be worse. 

Months after rumors suggested the TSA might require laptops and other bigger-than-a-cellphone electronic gear to be checked into bags, we have arrived with a different but lessor problem.

The laptop-checking plan has been scrapped — in its place, a new rule for crossing through security: All electronics bigger than a cell phone (i.e. tablets, e-readers and the like) will need to be removed from your bags and presented for inspection in a separate bin. 

So it’s not the end of the world — but it’s still a hassle and it’ll surely mean longer lines at security checks, from an infinite number of travelers groping through bags for misplaced cameras, explanations of the new policy and secondary bag exams for anyone who forgot about a laptop in a backpack sleeve. This will be most annoying for photographers, and least annoying for Luddites who travel with paperbacks and little else. 

The new procedures are already in use at a few airports, including LAX and Boston’s Logan, but look for it to hit an airport near you in the months to come. 

As always, the easiest way to avoid this particular mess is by enrolling in PreCheck — which, if your airport/airline offers it, means you get to leave all your stuff where it belongs: in your luggage. 


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