Good News for Air Travelers

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Date: Wednesday, November 21st, 2001, 12:13
Category: Archive

Not all the news for `Book toting air travelers is bad: airport security checkpoints are now more commonly equipped with bins for your computer so that it doesn’t have to travel “naked”, security personnel are often friendly and helpful, and this reader report from Patrick Murphy suggests that the experience may even be a positive one.

Not all the news for `Book toting air travelers is bad: airport security checkpoints are now more commonly equipped with bins for your computer so that it doesn’t have to travel “naked”, security personnel are often friendly and helpful, and this reader report from Patrick Murphy suggests that the experience may even be a positive one.

“I’ve taken too many flights since 9-11 and have encountered a variety of different security procedures for handling laptops; I can echo some of the experiences already posted at Go2Mac. I had a new one today, though: the United terminal at O’Hare now provides large bins in which to place laptops for passage through the X-ray machine. Even better, they had no problems with me cushioning the ‘book with some clothing underneath it. This is a tremendous improvement over the previous requirement of sending your laptop through security totally unprotected.”

“The only better arrangement I found was at the Portland airport, where security personnel were so amazingly polite and helpful that they actually had a dedicated employee responsible for safely lifting laptops off of the conveyor belt and gently handing them to you. To quote a movie star best left unnamed, “Whoa.”

“Some airlines are actually handling laptops carefully and respectfully. My recommendation is that travellers call ahead and ask about the specific procedures for checking laptops through security – at both their departing and arriving airports (since your computer can be injured on the return trip just as easily as on the trip out). I would bend over backwards to avoid sending my ‘book through the machine without any protection at all, but placing it in a bin is a reasonable solution – especially if you can put a jacket or foam case beneath it.”

“In other news, there was a family behind me in the security line, and when I removed my ‘book and placed it in the bin I heard the father remark, “Now _that’s_ a nice laptop!” It reminded me that even though the TiBooks are drop-dead gorgeous, the Pismo still sports a beautiful design – and runs like a charm.”

“Finally, I’m writing from Gate C20 at O’Hare, where the monitors above the service desk are displaying an error message from the “Service Control Manager”: “At least one service or driver failed during system startup. Use Event Viewer to examine the event log for details.” So, uh, where do you want to go today? ;-)”

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