TSA Tripped Up By Technology

We all can agree that the TSA agents tend to be operating at just above your average McDonald’s employee. (Perhaps this is part of why the Jihadists hate us – their inability to get past such simpletons) If not here’s some more proof: TSA didn’t believe the MacBook Air was a laptop (and therefore must be a bomb). Really though, if you’re going to make a laptop bomb wouldn’t you go for the 12lb gaming rig instead of the super thin 3lb MBA? Perhaps this terrorist was saving the rest of the C4 for later?

I am equally amused at the whole “turn on your laptop to prove its not a bomb” theory. As the MacBook Air proves, you can fit a fully functional lappy into a small space. Put the MBA innards into a Dell 17 inch “desktop replacement” and you have room for a 10+ lb of plastique! Hello TSA! Am I the only one that sees this stuff?

I’m standing, watching my laptop on the table, listening to security clucking just behind me. “There’s no drive,” one says. “And no ports on the back. It has a couple of lines where the drive should be,” she continues.

A younger agent, joins the crew. I must now be occupying ten, perhaps twenty, percent of the security force. At this checkpoint anyway. There are three score more at the other five checkpoints. The new arrival looks at the printouts from x-ray, looks at my laptop sitting small and alone. He tells the others that it is a real laptop, not a “device”. That it has a solid-state drive instead of a hard disc. They don’t know what he means. He tries again, “Instead of a spinning disc, it keeps everything in flash memory.” Still no good. “Like the memory card in a digital camera.” He points to the x-ray, “Here. That’s what it uses instead of a hard drive.”

The senior agent hasn’t been trained for technological change. New products on the market? They haven’t been TSA approved. Probably shouldn’t be permitted. He requires me to open the “device” and run a program. I do, and despite his inclination, the lead agent decides to release me and my troublesome laptop. My flight is long gone now, so I head for the service center to get rebooked. – michaelnygard.com

What makes this worse is that the MBA is that new.  It launched nationwide six weeks ago – this wasn’t some pre-production prototype.  If you’ve been to a mall of any significance since then, you’d have seen it on a spinning, glowing pedestal a la the Apple store window.  Perhaps we need to let the agents get out a bit, or perhaps we should raise our standards a tad.