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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Traveling with a PowerBook in an ATA case? (airport security?)

Traveling with a PowerBook in an ATA case? (airport security?)
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dcarmich
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Oct 6, 2003, 03:36 AM
 
I carry my PowerBook and associated sundries in a heavy-duty ATA
flightcase (basically a heavy briefcase-type case with lots of padding
in it.) Does anyone else carry their laptop in a similar type of case?
What have your experiences been both carrying the case on a plane
(I'll bet it'd be best to preboard with the case) and dealing with
airport security?

Any comments welcome.

--Douglas
     
zankoku
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Oct 6, 2003, 03:50 AM
 
In my experience when traveling, regardless of what kind of case or bag your PB is in, airport screeners will ask you to take out your computer to go through x-ray. I doubt there should be any problem for your case, but just be ready to take your computer out to pass through screening. They might occasionally ask you to start it up or swab it to test for explosive residue though.
     
hazelnutcoffeeg
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Oct 6, 2003, 10:08 AM
 
hey guys!
i'm a flight attendant!

1) ata case is a FANTASTIC idea as things do have a tendency to shift right into precious laptops during take-off, landing, and turbulence.

2) all laptops MUST be removed from their cases and placed in a seperate bin to go through x-ray.

3) if it's the metal ata case, you may have to send it through the x-ray opened.

4) take off all metal; that means shoes, belts, hair clips, watches, change in your pocket. the screening machines are not just looking for mass amounts of steel, they are assessing the total amount of metal on your body now. at long beach airport, the underwire from my bra sets it off. doing this before you go through will make it easier to pass through to the other side and get you on your way a hell of a lot faster.

5) don't give the TSA guys any ****. be polite to a fault. otherwise you might find yourself dismanteling all of the removable components of your laptop and missing your flight.


any other questions? i'll be so happy to answer.
     
parsec_kadets
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Oct 6, 2003, 04:05 PM
 
They made me take my laptop out of my neoprene sleeve, and that was just an eighth of an inch of rubber. If you're going through with a metal case I guarantee they'll make you open it, regardless of what's in there. Just make sure you don't let anyone touch it unless you're right there with them. Whether or not you get searched depends on the mood of the TSA agent. I got my bags searched entirely (i.e. all the contents taken out) because I had a box of paper clips.
     
KP*
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Oct 6, 2003, 05:43 PM
 
Sorry to butt in here, but since there are some airline experts here, I hope you can answer my question which has gone un-responded-to in the peripherals forum:

Are there any problems with flying with a printer? I'm going to be touring with a mobile inkjet, packed in a container with other equipment, which will fly as cargo. Will anything bad happen to the ink because of bumping around or air pressure? Can I just leave the cartridges installed normally? The printer will be well-packaged, just wondering if there are any other factors I need to be aware of besides that. Thanks so much!
     
bonk
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Oct 6, 2003, 05:54 PM
 
Personally, I would only take unopened ink cartridges and not have any installed when flying. The air pressure changes might have some affect on them. Maybe like how your not suppose to open some pens upside down on an airplane, heh.

Just my $0.02
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hazelnutcoffeeg
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Oct 6, 2003, 08:40 PM
 
of course they made you take it out of it's sleeve. all laptops must be out of anything you are carrying them in.

paper clips are metal. metal that can be straightened out and used as "potential" weapons. depending on the airport, the TSA are stricter. depending on what you are wearing, the TSA are stricter. i've even been searched while in my uniform, airline ID clearly visible, because my suitcase lock looked like a pen knife on the x-ray machine. ****, i get searched at Long Beach because my stupid underwire bra sets it off.

travelling with a portable printer.
two things:
1) the cargo area is NOT pressurized. at all. so the cartridges will be subjected to 39,000 ft. not good.
2) cabin pressure is usually set at 8,000 ft or less. my airline tends to set cabin altitude at 6,500ft. i do see plenty of Precise pens explode. don't even think about using a fountian pen.

i suggest you take the cartridges out, pack them in seperate ziplock baggies and carry them on with you. i highly recommend the freezer weight zip locks.

hope this helps.
~hazel
     
chabig
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Oct 6, 2003, 08:42 PM
 
During most flights the cabin altitude will reach 8000 feet. Now I'm sure inkjet printers work fine at 8000 ft altitudes, but the cartridges don't go from normal elevation to 8000 ft and back in a short period of time. So I'd be somewhat cautious and remove the cartridges from the printer just in case they leak.

Chris (airline pilot)
     
veganpower88
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Oct 6, 2003, 11:25 PM
 
I took my BRAND NEW 17" pb from charleston SC to chicago IL. The metal detector people at my small hometown airport were very gentle with my powerbook and I was a bit nervous to begin with. On my return from the Chicago O'hare airport (i think that was it) I had to take off many items of clothing (wallet, shoes, metal belt buckle belt) I placed all the clothes in one bin, and my powerbook on top of its sleeve in another bin. The dude, took all my clothes and threw them on top of the powerbook. For what reasons, I HAVE NO IDEA, as there was nearly 40 plastic bins there and clearly no shortage. I yelled at him because of his disregard of my stuff. Anyhow the belt buckle left a scratch on the powerbook lid from his "casual toss" as he put it. It is small, thank goodness, but it is there. So travel with caution, and anticipate something possible happening to your powerbook as others will be handling it.
     
Fellow2000
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Oct 6, 2003, 11:46 PM
 
Originally posted by veganpower88:
I took my BRAND NEW 17" pb from charleston SC to chicago IL. The metal detector people at my small hometown airport were very gentle with my powerbook and I was a bit nervous to begin with. On my return from the Chicago O'hare airport (i think that was it) I had to take off many items of clothing (wallet, shoes, metal belt buckle belt) I placed all the clothes in one bin, and my powerbook on top of its sleeve in another bin. The dude, took all my clothes and threw them on top of the powerbook. For what reasons, I HAVE NO IDEA, as there was nearly 40 plastic bins there and clearly no shortage. I yelled at him because of his disregard of my stuff. Anyhow the belt buckle left a scratch on the powerbook lid from his "casual toss" as he put it. It is small, thank goodness, but it is there. So travel with caution, and anticipate something possible happening to your powerbook as others will be handling it.
That would just piss me off beyond belief. I totally understand the need to be careful and check everything. And I have no problem with it, but there is absolutly NO reason to disrespect my property. I love showing respect to people like that and letting them know that they are appreciated, but for them to just throw stuff around, like they don't care.... unbelievable.
     
hazelnutcoffeeg
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Oct 6, 2003, 11:58 PM
 
they don't care.
they have to get thousands of people through security as fast as possible.
we are just warm blurs with lots of carry-on luggage to them.


oh, and according to their rules (at JFK, IAD, LGB, OAK, FLL, MCO, TPA, PBI, SJU, SAN, etc.) at least at the airports I get screened through, nothing but your laptop is supposed to be in that bin, your shoes and other stuff in a seperate bin.

that guy was a jerk.
i'm sorry your PB got scratched.
     
Yose
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Oct 7, 2003, 12:13 AM
 
Flying back from Vancouver this guy had his nail file confiscated and as I saw this I asked them why they never take away peoples pencils—My pencils are very sharp and the mechanical ones could probably pierce anyones skin. They also didn't seem to care and that sort of bothered me, ohwell whatever.

**Breaking News: Boeing Hijacked with Kohr-I-Noor H8 pencil**
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DekuDekuplex
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Oct 7, 2003, 01:10 AM
 
Actually, that is at least the second report in the past four to five months or so on this forum about a TSA agent scratching a PowerBook.

The other one was about another agent tossing a new 12-inch PowerBook (Rev. A) on some keys and scratching the previously perfectly unscratched PowerBook.

These reports really make my blood boil.

They mostly seem to be about experiences at big city airports such as San Francisco and Chicago.

I would rather just save up some money (or charge the cost on a credit card), use a carrier such as FedEx, put it in a box, and send it by overnight delivery, rather than risk my PowerBook.

<flame>
The key problem seems to be that some (but perhaps not all) of those TSA agents are uneducated, proletariat anti-Apple morons who would stop at nothing to get back at anybody more educated, better-off, or more original (read: pro-Apple) than themselves.

This is not an attack on the TSA in general, but rather on those pitiful particular members of the TSA who somehow see fit to throw brand-new PowerBooks into plastic bins full of keys and other sharp metallic objects when there are dozens of empty ones lying around.

And if anybody working for the TSA sees this posting and feels tempted to scratch MY PowerBook the next time it flies: you just wait , 'cause you're a gonna hafta wake up perty early in the mornin' to figure out how to fool DekuDekuplex! (Just for the record, I happen to have some very rich Japanese corporate uncles and an aunt (one uncle who used to work for METI [the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry], one uncle who retired from Tokio Marine & Fire, and one aunt whose late husband retired as Vice President of Nippon Ham) who know some high-ranking government officials working for the US Federal Government, so it's pretty easy for me to fire any moron working for the TSA who decides to toss MY PowerBook. Once the idiot gets fired, I then just get my Chinese friends to get the local Chinese mafia to go after the jerk. Finally, I sue all the poor Wintel weenie's family in civil court for quintuple damages. Ha ha, revenge is a dish best served cold ... it is very cold on the runway in the early morning.... <Clint-Eastwood-voice>Go ahead: Make my day!</Clint-Eastwood-voice>)
</flame>

DekuDekuplex

Originally posted by hazelnutcoffeeg:
they don't care.
they have to get thousands of people through security as fast as possible.
we are just warm blurs with lots of carry-on luggage to them.


oh, and according to their rules (at JFK, IAD, LGB, OAK, FLL, MCO, TPA, PBI, SJU, SAN, etc.) at least at the airports I get screened through, nothing but your laptop is supposed to be in that bin, your shoes and other stuff in a seperate bin.

that guy was a jerk.
i'm sorry your PB got scratched.
( Last edited by DekuDekuplex; Oct 7, 2003 at 01:35 AM. )
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chabig
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Oct 7, 2003, 08:27 AM
 
The TSA folks won't touch your computer at all if you put it all by itself in its own plastic container. Do not put the case, sleeve, coins, pens, pencils, coats, or anything else in there with it. Put everything else in a separate container.

Chris
     
nagromme
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Oct 7, 2003, 03:06 PM
 
I've heard that some people leave their laptop in a clear plastic bag, and that this is permissible to prevent scratches.

I'm guessing that's a bad idea--if I was screening luggage I wouldn't like to see anything air-tight... but then again, lots of other things go in plastic bags too. And you wuoldn't have to SEAL the bag.

Any thoughts? I will be flying through NYC a few times, and will likely have a new AlBook!
nagromme
     
Super Glitcher
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Oct 7, 2003, 03:22 PM
 
How could put yout powerbook in with the luggage? *aCk* I carry mine with me at all times. I have an apple shoulder bag I got on clearance at the corporate store last year for $30 before the 17" was released- happens to be large enough and fits snug. At takeoff I put the bag between my seat and my legs vertically- it's snug and secure. I imagine that the ATA case would be ultra secure, but you can get accident insurance for like $10 a month that will cover evertyhing from dropping it to spilling water on it, travel related dents.. whatever. If you don't want to lug around that big booty case get the insurance.. peace of mind.
"Thank you Mario, but our princess is in another castle."
     
hadocon
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Oct 7, 2003, 04:10 PM
 
Originally posted by dcarmich:
I carry my PowerBook and associated sundries in a heavy-duty ATA
flightcase.
Why?
MacBook Air 11" 1.6Ghz 4GB 128GB Backlit Keyboard, 4S, iPad Mini
     
Partisan01
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Oct 7, 2003, 04:11 PM
 
Originally posted by DekuDekuplex:
<flame>
The key problem seems to be that some (but perhaps not all) of those TSA agents are uneducated, proletariat anti-Apple morons who would stop at nothing to get back at anybody more educated, better-off, or more original (read: pro-Apple) than themselves.

This is not an attack on the TSA in general, but rather on those pitiful particular members of the TSA who somehow see fit to throw brand-new PowerBooks into plastic bins full of keys and other sharp metallic objects when there are dozens of empty ones lying around.

And if anybody working for the TSA sees this posting and feels tempted to scratch MY PowerBook the next time it flies: you just wait , 'cause you're a gonna hafta wake up perty early in the mornin' to figure out how to fool DekuDekuplex! (Just for the record, I happen to have some very rich Japanese corporate uncles and an aunt (one uncle who used to work for METI [the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry], one uncle who retired from Tokio Marine & Fire, and one aunt whose late husband retired as Vice President of Nippon Ham) who know some high-ranking government officials working for the US Federal Government, so it's pretty easy for me to fire any moron working for the TSA who decides to toss MY PowerBook. Once the idiot gets fired, I then just get my Chinese friends to get the local Chinese mafia to go after the jerk. Finally, I sue all the poor Wintel weenie's family in civil court for quintuple damages. Ha ha, revenge is a dish best served cold ... it is very cold on the runway in the early morning.... <Clint-Eastwood-voice>Go ahead: Make my day!</Clint-Eastwood-voice>)
</flame>

DekuDekuplex
Give me a break, like the airport screeners want to ruin your stuff cause you have and Apple. Most probably don't even know the difference between that and any other computer. They have no regard for anyone's personal property, they just do their job and do it quick, if it pisses people off they don't care, it's a gov job, it's almost impossible to get fired.

Nate
     
KP*
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Oct 8, 2003, 12:31 AM
 
Originally posted by chabig:
During most flights the cabin altitude will reach 8000 feet. Now I'm sure inkjet printers work fine at 8000 ft altitudes, but the cartridges don't go from normal elevation to 8000 ft and back in a short period of time. So I'd be somewhat cautious and remove the cartridges from the printer just in case they leak.

Chris (airline pilot)
Thanks for all your advice guys. Ugh, sounds like travelling with this printer is going to be a pain! I have to do five flights with it in just a month. If every time I take the ink out it dries up and has to be replaced, it's going to get very expensive, especially since I'm not going to be doing enough printing to use up more than one set of cartridges.

Well thanks so much for helping me out. At least now I'm prepared!
     
   
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