TSA admits MacBook Air is a real laptop

TSA agents don't believe the MacBook Air is a legitimate laptop.

The TSA says the MacBook Air is a laptop after all.

You may recall some controversy earlier this week when a mild-mannered air traveler found himself on the wrong side of the X-ray scanner when some TSA agents didn't believe that his MacBook Air was a legitimate laptop.

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.

Eventually, a younger more technologically hip TSA agent came to his rescue, but the entire incident still made for good gadget blog fodder. Now comes word that the TSA has addressed the issue on its official blog (tagline: "Terrorists Evolve. Threats Evolve. Security Must Stay Ahead. You Play A Part."). The post reads, in part:

To make a long story short, it turns out the Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) gave some special attention to his new MacBook...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 six years. They know what laptops are supposed to look like....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.

So, the TSA blogger chalks the confusion up to the fact that the MacBook Air, "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."

We assume this official acknowledgment means the MacBook Air is now cleared to fly, and anyone who runs into similar trouble at the airport can just fire up their laptop at the security checkpoint and show the security officers the TSA's own blog post on the subject.

About the author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.

 

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