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TSA says 'checkpoint friendly' laptop bags on the way

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US airline travelers may have an opportunity to skip one particular round of manhandling by Transportation Security Administration agents this year.

The agency says passengers using new specially designed "checkpoint friendly" laptop bags won't need to remove their portable from its case when passing through x-ray inspection.

TSA director Kip Hawley told The New York Times the agency will accept the new cases without the need for additional disrobement as soon as they come to market.

That should be late September or early October, according to two of the leading luggage brands, Pathfinder and Targus.

According to the TSA, travelers must place their laptops into a separate inspection tray because the case is often so stuffed with power cords and accessories that inspectors can't see inside with an x-ray to the computer.

The new bags will either have a fold-down section or a separate sleeve for easier scanner inspection. Hawley told The Times the agency has been working with luggage manufacturers to develop the new designs.

Although the bags will supposedly get a pass at inspection points, the TSA said it's not formally certifying any bag designs because of the red tape required for an official government nod. Hawley claims, however, there won't be any confusion about what passes or not because security officers will be well informed about them.

Hawley said luggage manufactures will be encouraged to properly advertise their wares as "checkpoint friendly."

Now if only they can come up with human-sized bags. ®

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