During security checks at airports, isn’t it annoying to remove your laptop out of the bag? I mean can’t the x-ray machine see through the bag? Why do we have to place the laptop in a separate bin for it to be checked? Especially because E-readers and tablets can be kept in the bag for the screening process, however, not the laptops. There is more to the story than you think. Bob Burns from the TSA blog has the answer.
The density along with the complexity of the machine has a role to play here. The denser electronic equipment such as Laptops and gaming devices and DVD players can obstruct scanner’s vision from seeing other things in your carry-on bag. The E-readers and tablets usually do not cover the vision of the x-ray operator and hence, can be scanned from inside the bag.
“Larger laptops and game consoles appear more dense and need to be removed in order for the X-ray operator to get a good look at [what’s in] your bag.” Bob Burns, TSA Blog
Outside the bag, in a separate bin, the electronic devices are scanned easily, meaning lesser queues at security checks.
“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.” TSA Blog
Some of the previous incidents that involved such means to hide illegal substances include gun magazines hidden inside DVD players, grenades, stun guns that appeared as smartphones, books carved to hide guns, sword canes and even marijuana inside a peanut butter jar. With that variety of creativity, it is only reasonable to have your laptops put aside for a thorough scan. Here are some sneak-peaks into these incidents.