TSA: Leave Your iPad in Your Carry-on Bag

Apple’s recently released iPad is already making its way onto flights, raising the question of what to do with the tablet device at airport security checkpoints. The answer, according to the Transportation Security Administration, is to leave it in your carry-on bag — no need to send it through security scanners separately.

“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 Government agency said on its blog.

Electronic items such as Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod touch fall in this category, as do Amazon’s Kindle, the Sony Reader, and the Nook from Barnes & Noble.

“It’s important to remember, however, that our officers are trained to look for anomalies to help keep air travel safe, and if something needs a closer look, it will receive secondary screening,” the TSA blog said. “The key to avoiding bag searches is keeping the clutter down. The less clutter you have in your bag, the less likely it will be searched.”

Telling travelers that they can leave their iPad safely tucked away in their carry-on bag, however, and getting through security check points without any hassles don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. Inconsistencies in rule interpretations by TSA agents can leave travelers frustrated and confused when they are given different instructions every time they fly, so be prepared to pull out your iPad, iPod, Kindle or Nook just in case TSA agents want a closer look.