Tired of removing your laptop at airport security? TSA is looking into solutions

Are you sick of having to take your laptop out of its case every time you pass through airport security? Apparently, the Transportation Security Administration is sick of it, too — or at least tired of how this ritual is slowing down screening lines.

The TSA is busy soliciting prototypes for laptop bags that would be able to pass through X-ray with the laptop still inside. The plan is to begin testing these bags in June with the aim of rolling out a TSA-compliant model soon thereafter.

What would the bag look like? It’s unclear, though USA Today floats one idea: A bag that looks like a large book, with the laptop fastened to one side when opened and gear fastened to the other (though this still sounds to me like you’d at least have to open the bag, if not remove the laptop). Maybe there is a line of clear bags in the offing, like the ones that popped up in high schools after Columbine, to make viewing what’s inside easier.

Whatever bag companies come up with, TSA-approved bags are likely to have a few identifying features that screeners can spot, allowing the bag to go right onto the X-ray conveyor. (Right now, you have to remove your laptop because it is too difficult for X-rays to see through them and catch what else might be in your bag.)

Clearly there would be a huge market for this, as it’s hard to imagine frequent travelers (the vast majority traveling with laptops) not shelling out for a bag that is pre-approved by the TSA. But then again, who knows how much of an inconvenience travelers really see in removing their computers.

Blogger Andrew B. Einhorn over at OhMyGov has to be joking when he says that removing laptops is the most time-consuming requirement in security lines. Removing shoes and belts is far more cumbersome, in my view.

What do you think? Does removing your laptop each time through security annoy you? Let us know.