A change is coming to preflight security and it’s coming fast, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. Fliers are being charged more for checked baggage which is leading to more carry-ons. Combine that with terrorists finding new ways to pack bombs into electronics and it creates a perfect storm for new security measures. Laptops, tablets, smartphones, batteries, headphones, chargers and cables are making it harder for TSA agents to identify security threats in carry-on luggage. So the TSA is now testing new screening methods of removing tablets, e-readers and anything else larger than a smartphone to improve security. A permanent change is coming to all airports to implement these new security screening measures.
While the TSA doesn’t think this will add time to security screening, as someone who flies regularly I know this probably won’t be the end result. It’s already difficult enough to take off your shoes and belt, remove your laptop, and pass a couple of bags through the scanner. Removing items from your bags also increases the odds you’ll leave something behind.
If you’re the type who isn’t organized and has wires and gadgets spread throughout your luggage, you should do yourself, the TSA and the travellers around you and get it together. There are TSA approved bags, cable organizers and other travel accessories that will make life easier for passing through the security checkpoint.
Let’s check them out.
Zero Grid Travel Electronics Organizer – $25 at Amazon
Organizing your chargers, cables, headphones, battery packs and other accessories will certainly help you save time in the security line. It will also make life a little easier for the technician who is looking through the scanner since they won’t have to look through a bird’s nest of wires.
Choetech multiport wall charger with USB C – $20 at Amazon
Less is more when it comes to chargers. You’re doing it all wrong if you carry single port charger for your portable devices. This USB C charger from Choetech has two extra USB A ports for charging anything that relies on USB power. It also has USB C for the latest smartphones, tablets and laptops that use the newest charging standard.
TSA Approved Clear Travel Toiletry Bag – $12.99 at Amazon
It’s time to retire the Ziploc bag for liquids. They’re good to use on single trips, but over time they wear down and eventually tear. A tear is the last thing you need to deal with when you have to pull out all of your other gadgets in the security check point.
Kensington SecureTrek 17″ Lockable Anti-Theft Laptop & Overnight Roller – $138 at Amazon
Depending on your country of origin, you might be forced to put your laptop into checked luggage. In this scenario you’re going to want a padded suitcase that keeps things organized and safe. The Kensington SecureTrek fits laptops up to 17″ in size, and comes with a TSA approved lock in case they need to search your bag. It also comes with a wide variety of pockets to ensure everything else stays tidy and protected against careless baggage handlers.
Timbuk2 Commute Messenger Bag – Starting at $60 at Amazon
Timbuk2 is based in San Francisco and has been a leader in travel bags. If you’re going to bring lots of gadgets on your flight, you might want to keep them organized in the Commute Messenger bag. It will allow you quick access to your laptop, tablet and other accessories for pulling them out for security screening. Timbuk2’s bags are also made in America so you know you will get a high quality product that should last several years without issue.
FINsix Universal Laptop Charger – $79.99 at Amazon
One downside to owning a laptop is the large charger it comes with. FINsix solved this problem by creating the DART – a universal charger that is smaller than anything else on the market. It’s compatible with all major brand laptops and even comes with an inline USB A port for charging your smartphone at the same time. FINsix will even provide free tips if the included ones don’t fit your current laptop.