>> It's that time of the year, holiday season. And as much as I love to see my friends and family, I honestly hate traveling. I'm Wilson Tang, and I've got a couple of tips and tricks on how to get through airport security with your gadgets quick and easy.
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It's hard to know what you can and can't bring on an airplane these days. You can check the TSA.gov to find out more information, but we got a chance to actually speak to a TSA spokesperson, and here's what she had to say.
>> The TSA has worked with over 60 vendors to come up with a checkpoint friendly laptop bag. And what it allows for passengers to do is not to have to remove their laptop from a carry on bag. So that requirement is that you have your laptop bag be able to be like a book fold or a bifold in a manner so that the laptop is able to be viewed by our officers without anything blocking the view of it. Because again, our officers are looking for threats, improvised explosive devices, or electronics that have been tampered with.
>> Now, the worst feeling in the world is getting to the airport and realizing that your flight's either been delayed or cancelled. And the best way to prevent that is actually a website called flightstats.com. Now on this website, you can actually sign up for free emails or text messages to be sent straight to your cell phone, so you can know whether you want to stay in another hour or two, or head to the airport. Wait times going through security can kind of be a bummer, but you can save yourself a lot of grief by going to waittime.tsa.dhs.gov. Now this online tool can tell you how long it's gonna take you to get through airport security at any given day at any given terminal. So you can plan your schedule appropriately. If you're like me you kind of just want to throw all of your stuff into a bag like this and sort it out once you get to the other side. But, that's not really a good idea. The TSA would actually rather you bundle up your wires and keep them separate from your laptop. Now the reason they want you to do this is because the security officers actually want to see whether your electronics have tampered with. Now, if that's the case, the wires are gonna get in the way of everything, and it's just gonna take you a lot longer to get through security. When you used to go to the airport, you would take out your laptop and put it in a separate bin. But the TSA has actually worked with several manufacturers this year to create what they call "checkpoint friendly" laptop bags. Now, these bags are generally made of x-ray see through material, plus they have a compartment where your laptop goes in to it only. The reason why the do this is so you can fold it out like this butterfly-style -- now there's also a tri-fold style kind of laptop case -- and just send it through the x-ray machine. Now, as much as you hate it, you're gonna have to get off your phone and your iPod. I'll admit it; I'm a bona-fide Internet addict. So I always have my cell phone tethered to my laptop so I can get 3G Internet access. But if you don't have a 3G cell phone like me, you can always connect to the Internet with the public Wi-Fi here at the airport. Now, these plans generally cost about 10 to 20 dollars a day. And they're a little bit pricey for the amount time that you're gonna be spending here. Well, there's an alternative. At the URL on screen right now, it's a list of airports that have free public Wi-Fi, and they're springing up all across the country. The thing to be careful about are these ad hoc Wi-Fi computer-to-computer networks. These are networks set up on a laptop by some rogue guy, and all he really wants is your user name and password. There's usually an icon on screen, or some sort of indication that this is not a base station Wi-Fi hot spot, and that's what you really want to look for. Now that your electronics are safely through security, you'll probably want to juice up your iPod and your laptop. And the best way to do this is to go to this website, airpower.jeffsandquist.com -- the URL's right on the screen -- and you'll be able to find power outlets all across the country at various airports to plug in your gadgets. Now, as much as I love to watch CSI for the next eight hours, I'd rather watch my own movies on my own iPod. I'm Wilson Tang with CNET TV, and this has been an Insider's Secret.
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