TSA Tablet Rules and Guidelines on iPad Minis and Tablets

As a family with a new iPad mini used mostly by the kids, I wanted my kids to know the TSA  rules on tablets and how iPad minis are handled at the airports as we are headed out late next week for Copenhagen, Brussels and London.  The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has several written policies regarding laptops and tablets. As it stands now, if you have a traditional laptop or Ultrabook,TSA-logo it has to be removed unless you have a TSA compliant laptop bag.

However, if you have a tablet or iPad, you do not have to remove it from your bag. If you have both, a laptop and an iPad, you will still have to remove the laptop unless again it is in a TSA Compliant Checkpoint Friendly laptop bag.

Here is a blog post from the TSA which outlines the topic of Tablets versus laptops, and

explains which ones would need to be removed.

“Only electronics the size of a standard laptop or larger (for example Playstation®, Xbox™, or Nintendo®), full-size DVD players, and video cameras that use video cassettes must be removed from their carrying cases and submitted separately for x-ray screening. Removing larger electronics helps us get a better look at them and also allows us to get a better look at the contents of your bag.”

Basically, tablet computers, iPads, Netbooks and e-readers are less dense than your typical laptop, so it’s easier for our X-ray operator to inspect your bag. However, larger laptops and game consoles appear denser and need to be removed in order for the X-ray operator to get a good look at your bag. With that said, there are still times that tablet computers, Netbooks, and e-readers have to come out. If our Officer can’t get a good look at your bag or if they see something out of the ordinary, they’ll have to remove it.

The larger the laptop, the more stuff you can hide in it. Items have been found concealed in laptops in the past, so we have to be able to get a good look at them. Our officers have about 3 seconds to make a call in order to keep lines moving, so the less clutter, the easier it is to clear your bag and get you on your way.

To read more about TSA guidelines, click HERE.