U.S. air travelers can leave their shiny new 11.6-inch MacBook Air laptops in their bags when passing through airport security checkpoints according to the TSA. The 13.3-inch model, however, is too big and still must come out for separate screening.
The TSA’s policy kills the notion that electronic devices without hard drives can stay in traveler’s bags since the 13.3-inche version of the MacBook Air has to pass through X-ray machines outside of carryon bags. Like the 11.6-inch MacBook Air, the 13.3-inch model uses flash RAM for data storage instead of a hard drive.
The 11.6-inch MacBook Air (left) is TSA checkpoint safe
Other smaller devices, like the iPad, Amazon’s Kindle and other ebook readers, can travel through security checkpoints in carryon bags. Netbook computers, even though they typically include internal hard drives, can stay in bags, too.
Electronics the TSA considers to be “standard laptop” size and larger — which apparently includes the 13.3-inch MacBook Air — still get the honor of traveling through X-ray machines in their own bin or in TSA-approved carryon bags.
“Electronic items smaller than the standard sized laptop should not need to be removed from your bag or their cases. It’s that simple,” the TSA states on its blog.
Now that the TSA has deemed the 11.6-inch MacBook Air falls into its magical safe zone, even more travelers may consider buying one for easier passage through airports.
[Thanks to Gadling for the heads up.]