TSA'S brand new bag
Technicalities | TSA is seeking ideas for the Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Bag
- By Kevin McCaney
- Mar 14, 2008
Let it not be said that the Transportation Security Administration isn't looking out for you, the harried and stressed airline passenger. In a recent request for information (GCN.com/992) posted on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site, TSA is seeking ideas for the Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Bag, an item that could make traveling a little easier. The request for information points out that more than 25 percent of airline passengers carry laptop PCs with them, a practice that slows the slog through security checkpoints.
TSA requires passengers to take laptops out during screening because other items in the bags prevent the X-ray machine from getting clear pictures. So TSA is asking for a bag design that would allow for a clean X-ray image, and the RFI goes into detail on the performance criteria.
Having the right kind of bag, the RFI states, could 'lower passenger stress levels, increase checkpoint throughput' and improve the overall passenger security experience.' It's all about the passengers. You thought TSA enjoyed those tiresome and intrusive security checks? Apparently not. They're really out to make your security experience more enjoyable. Though there might be another reason the agency has undertaken the search for the Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Bag. In listing the potential benefits of the bag, the RFI does mention that it could 'reduce the number of claims TSA receives for laptops that have been damaged during screening.' The agency gets more than 20,000 claims a year about items damaged or lost during security screenings, with laptops a common object of complaint. The average settlement is about $150. Keeping them in the bag could save the agency ' and taxpayers ' a bit of money.
So call it a bit of enlightened self-interest.
It's still not a bad idea.
Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.