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TSA checkpoint question

I plan to take my tablet with me on my trip to London. I have a keyboard that goes along with it. I know the TSA wants to look over one's laptop/tablet. I'm wondering about the keyboard. If I can put it in my "main bag" I would like to do that, instead of in my "personal item."

Thanks!

Posted by
9109 posts

Like a lot of thing TSA it's a grey area. Technically you shouldn't have to take it out of your bag, but when it goes through the scanner it may appear to look like a laptop and they may want to do a hand search of the bag.
If it were me I would leave it in the bag, if they decide to do a hand search it's not the end of the world, it typically only takes a couple of minutes to verify.

Posted by
692 posts

Thank you! I admit I'm a bit nervous about all this. I haven't flown since pre-3-1-1 days. Though I do remember having to take my shoes off when I went to Florida in 2007!

Posted by
3428 posts

why not have it out (in day pack when you arrive at airport) for inspection, then put it in your main bag after TSA? This assumes you are not checking your main bag.

Posted by
980 posts

I have colleague that travel with tablets with keyboard covers and they always leave them in the bags with no problems. The TSA officers see so many tablets everyday I'm sure they are experts at distinguishing a tablet form a laptop on the scanner. And, like others said, if you get picked for a rescan its not that big of a deal.

DJ

Posted by
692 posts

I am not planning to check my main bag. Basically I'm just trying to juggle space/plan. Thanks!

Posted by
3 posts

I have an iPad with a keyboard cover also, and it's gone through TSA screening in several U.S. Airports plus Heathrow and Schipol without having to be removed from my bag.

Posted by
9109 posts

Typically TSA doesn't ask you to remove tablets from your bag.

They do at Newark. Went through there last week and the agents were literally yelling at people who didn't. Same deal at Heathrow terminal 2 last Sunday minus the yelling.

Posted by
8630 posts

SandraL, there is usually a screener who checks to see that you're in the right line. If you have a question about anything you might have in your luggage, you can ask them before you get to the X-ray point. BTW, both your personal item and your "main bag" (which I hope means your carryon bag) get the same treatment, both going through the x-ray machine. Worst case is they will make you take anything questionable out and run it through again.

Posted by
3941 posts

Haven't had an issue with my iPad in Canada or Heathrow, but I'm pretty sure I had to take it out in Nice - so depends on the airport...I just generally have it in the front pocket of my carry on, or on top of my personal item bag (for easy access)...

Posted by
287 posts

I have an iPad Air 2 with a "Clam Case" keyboard which actually makes the iPad look like a small laptop. To avoid hassles I take it out and put it in a tray as if it were a "standard" laptop.

Posted by
4064 posts

Taking your tablet, or any other smart appliance, out of its case and putting it in a security tray is about as small an issue as you can find in flying. It's been decades since any border agent asked me to turn anything on. In an American airport, your shoes are more of a nuisance. Now, if you have several items in a couple of trays, and the line is moving, and you want to rush away, it's an issue if you forget to retrieve the tablet (ahem.....)

Posted by
5260 posts

Sandra,

One more thing...make sure your electronic or battery powered devices are all fully charged before you go through airport security. You may be asked to turn on the device in order to demonstrate how it works. If you are unable to turn your device on, you may not be able to travel with your device and/or be denied boarding.

You may want to refer to this article for more information:http://www.flightcentre.com.au/travel-news/travel-tips/new-airport-security-rules-electronic-devices/

Posted by
692 posts

I have another question, regarding my keyboard. I'm not sure how to protect it. It didn't come with its own case. I wonder if wrapping it on a piece of clothing (like a cardigan) would help, or if I should buy something like a neoprene sleeve to keep it in? Since I don't plan on checking it, I don't think it will get bounced around a lot.

Posted by
7050 posts

Re: keyboard - just make yourself a bubble wrap case (all you need is bubble wrap and some tape and make sure it fits snugly) OR you can wrap it in cardboard like Amazon wraps books (they do a great job now with very little packaging)

Posted by
692 posts

Thank you, Agnes.
There seem to be so many little details to planning my trip. Every time I turn around, there's another one! I hadn't even thought of bubble wrap but it's a cheap and simple solution. :)

Posted by
3941 posts

I would think that if you do wrap the keyboard in bubble wrap, you won't have it all taped up, but as a heads up - security has been known to make you unwrap stuff - my mom had a fridge magnet she had all taped and wrapped up in bubble wrap and tied in a bag - they took it out and opened the bag and bubble wrap to see what it was (they were very careful about it). So just make sure if it is wrapped, it's easily UNWRAPPED. I had bars of soap I got in California in bubble wrap and the same thing. We've taken other breakables home just wrapped in clothing (bookends and mugs) and I don't recall them ever checking those...maybe the plastic wrap sets something off?

Posted by
692 posts

Oy...some of the stories I'm reading online are bizarre. thanks for the heads-up!