As you head to the airport for your next trip in the coming weeks, you’ll be required to remove your Kindle and any tech item larger than a cellphone from your carry-on bag. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is now requiring passengers at all U.S. airports to place these electronics in a bin, similar to the requirements in place nationwide for laptops. This extra step helps officers obtain a clearer X-ray image.
The new security procedure was tested at 10 airports over the last few months, as previously reported by AARP. The pilot program was to address an increase in passengers cramming more and more items into carry-on bags, according to NBC News. The tight packing makes it harder for screeners to properly inspect bags using the X-ray machine and has increased the number of bags sent on for an additional manual inspection.
“It is critical for TSA to constantly enhance and adjust security screening procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats and keep passengers safe," said Huban A. Gowadia, the TSA acting administrator. "By separating personal electronic items such as laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles for screening, TSA officers can more closely focus on resolving alarms and stopping terror threats.”
While it may seem this proposed change would make security lines longer, the change could cut down on bags sent for additional screening. During the rollout over the next few weeks and months, TSA officers will be stationed in front of the checkpoint X-ray machines to guide passengers through the new screening process.
Passengers with TSA PreCheck will be exempt from the new rule. But there are no exemptions to the new electronics policy for passengers 75 and older. TSA does, however, allow those older passengers to leave their shoes and a light jacket on during screening.