If you’ve flown in the US at all in the last few years, you know the TSA wants you to pull out your laptop and place it in a separate bin for security screening. Well, now they want you to do the same with your tablets, e-readers and even game consoles.
Photo via AP Images.
The TSA announced the new procedures last week, but the changes will be rolling out to airports across the US gradually over the coming months. That said, the new screening procedures are already in effect at the Boise, Colorado Springs, Detroit Metropolitan, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, Logan International, Los Angeles International, Lubbock Preston Smith International, Luis Muñoz Marín International, McCarran International and Phoenix Sky Harbour International airports.
I recently experienced the new rules firsthand. I didn’t have a tablet on me at the time, but my Nintendo Switch console tucked away in my carry-on caused a fuss at the security checkpoint and led to a full baggage check before I could continue. So, this does, in fact, apply to all devices larger than a typical smartphone — including video game consoles.
Whether you travel with these types of devices or not, be aware that these new changes will probably lead to longer waits in airport security lines in the US. Make sure you get there even earlier than usual. If you do tend to travel in the US with tablets, e-readers, laptops and game consoles, be sure to pack them in a way that’s easily accessible. You need to be able to pull them all out quickly, then put them back. However, if you’re enrolled in the TSA Pre-Check program, and you use a TSA Pre-Check lane, you won’t be subject to the additional screening of electronics.