TSA hopes to avoid future delays with Apple MacBook Air airport screenings

“To make a long story short, it turns out the Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) gave some special attention to his new MacBook [Air]. Mac fans would tell you the TSOs simply couldn’t resist getting a closer look at a fine piece of machinery. PC fans would tell you the TSOs are all PC fans and flagged the computer just to hassle the Mac guy. As a security fan, I can tell you that TSOs are trained to look for anomalies. Each TSO X-ray operator sees hundreds of laptops a day and some have been doing this for 6 years. They know what laptops are supposed to look like,” Bob blogs for The TSA Evolution Blog.

MacDailyNews Note: According to the blog, “Bob” started with the TSA in September 2002 and works at the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport. He started as a Transportation Security Officer (TSO), and has since been promoted to a Supervisory TSO and a Behavior Detection Officer. The TSA Evolution Blog is sponsored by the Transportation Security Administration to facilitate an ongoing dialogue on innovations in security, technology and the checkpoint screening process.

Bob writes, “Here is my theory. Along comes the new MacBook Air. The thing is as thin as a potato chip, and looks completely different than any other laptop the TSOs have ever seen. They are seldom seen at TSA checkpoints due to their newness and the fact that they can be hard to find sometimes.”

“To help prove my theory, I’ve contacted Apple to see if I can process a MacBook Air through an X-ray and see how it looks. If it does indeed look odd, I’m going to take a picture and send it to TSA Training to help avoid future issues with MacBooks. The jury is out for now, but I’ll post an update as soon as I can get my hands on the MacBook Air,” Bob writes. “One thing is for sure though. This was just a case of diligent TSOs paying special attention to something that caught their eye. Exactly what they are trained to do.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “JMP” for the heads up.]


  1. “…has since been promoted to a Supervisory TSO and a Behavior Detection Officer.”

    Behavior Detection Officer? That sounds to me like a Milk Monitor – a made up job title you give someone so they do all the crap jobs no one wants to do!

  2. Please excuse the first 2 posters, its early and they have a limited education.

    poster #1: I am sure any BDO is 10x more aware than you.

    poster #2: really, you dont get it? read it again. if you still dont get it – wait for it.

  3. @tt:

    Limited Education?

    “No one with any knowledge of design could feel anything but indignation with the pattern that seems to satisfy the official mind.”

    Shame you feel that way my friend.

  4. Please don’t get me started on TSA. OPPPs too late. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    These morons ripped apart my packed luggage and there was really nothing inside that would have given them any issue. Theybroke the zipper flap by ripping it apart (it had a cheap plastic tie to keep the zippers closed during the flight. And then they had the nerve to NOT put one of those sheets indicating that TSA had inspected the suitcase.

    The next flight I packed a steel klingon battlith (fighting weapon) that was18 inches long. They never batted an eye. The suitcase remained un openned.

    They are morons who know that you cannot fire them for being morons now that they are civil employees.

    Just my 2 cents.


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