People often want to bring their laptop computers with them onto the plane instead of checking it with the rest of their luggage. Many travelers fear their computers will be damaged or lost in transit. The Transportation Security Administration has various regulations concerning items allowed and not allowed on planes. One of the pieces TSA permits for carrying on is the laptop computer, and have instituted rules for carrying laptops and going through airport security without incident.

Use “Checkpoint Friendly” Laptop Bags

Consider getting a "Checkpoint Friendly" laptop bag to help speed up the security check process. These “checkpoint friendly” laptop bags include butterfly style, tri fold style, or sleeve style laptop carrying bags. These bags have a separate laptop only sections, lie flat on scanners, do not have snaps, zippers, or buckles, do not have pockets on the inside or outside of laptop section, and do not have additional devices in the bag. The TSA does not endorse any particular laptop bag manufacturer, but travelers can ask for these specific bag styles when planning a flight. People using checkpoint friendly bags do not have to remove their laptops from the pack when going through checkpoints because the security personnel has an unobstructed view of the bag's contents.

Going through Security

People carrying laptops in checkpoint unfriendly bags must remove the laptop from the bag, according to airport rules and place the laptop in one of the scanning bins to pass through the x-ray machine. This is in order to allow there to be an unobstructed view of the laptop. Being cooperative helps alleviate difficulty. Airport security may instruct travelers to turn on their computers or ask questions about the computer. If travelers fail to answer questions or follow security guidelines, airport security has the right to confiscate the laptop computers. Travelers should put their names and addresses on their computers in case multiple laptops are passing through security, or travelers have to go through additional inspections.

In-Flight Instruction

Most airlines do not allow laptops or electronic devices to be on while the plane is taking off so as not to disturb the take off procedures. Flight attendants or pilots will inform passengers when cruising altitude is reached and when people are free to turn on their electronic devices. If passengers want to go on the internet, they usually have to pay a small fee to use the airplane's wireless connection.