By >Akihabara News Team
Checkthrough: The “Checkpoint Friendly” Bag Designed for Airport X-ray Screening
I think most of people know that when you’re at the airport you have to remove your laptop from its bag in order to check and be screened. It’s really inconvenient when you have to remove your belt, watch, everything you have on… Especially when you’re in a hurry.
Skooba Design is here for you with this very practical Checkthrough laptop bag that’s made to be x-ray screened without having to remove your laptop from your bag.
The Transportation Security Administration is planning to phase-in new security protocols that will allow these “checkpoint friendly” bags to be screened with the laptop inside.
It should be available late this summer or early fall 2008.
Skooba Design is excited to announce the upcoming launch of Checkthrough™ laptop bags. These bags are made to be x-ray screened without having to be removed from the bag (important: see “customer/traveler notes” below). Beginning late summer/early fall 2008, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is planning to phase-in new security protocols that will allow these “checkpoint friendly” bags to be screened with the laptop inside. The goal of the new program is to reduce inconvenience to travelers and speed up the security screening process.
When the announcement about this pending initiative was made earlier this year, it generated a tremendous amount of interest, editorial coverage, and speculation. Much of what has been published to date is accurate, however, there is also quite a bit of misinformation and misunderstanding. Please take a moment to read these important facts before purchasing or traveling with any “checkpoint friendly” bag:
* The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) put out a public request for proposals on laptop bag designs that might be permitted to go through security (X-ray) screening without having to remove the laptop. Skooba Design was one of many companies submitting proposals.
* The TSA provided a list of guidelines and technical requirements for prospective bags. Contrary to some of the information floating around, these requirements did not include the need to make a separate or detachable bag for the laptop (thus requiring a second bag for accessories or other items), or anything else that would inconvenience travelers. On the contrary, as mentioned above, the TSA initiative is very much intended to ease the process and congestion now plaguing the system.
* After all proposals were reviewed, the field was narrowed to those companies whose submissions met the basic requirements and were of interest to the TSA. Skooba Design’s proposal was among those approved for further development and testing at that point (see more on our specific product in the next section). TSA did its own confidential testing of requested prototypes, but required all manufacturers to test their own products using appropriate facilities and equipment, to confirm that they met the technical requirements. Important: no manufacturer may claim or suggest that its products are in any way approved, authorized, endorsed by or in any other way affiliated with the TSA. Manufacturers may only state or claim that their products meet the technical requirements for “checkpoint friendly” bags, and are responsible for the testing required to make any such claims. The role of the TSA in this program is solely to issue technical requirements and to implement the program at its facilities. Again, please read the important customer/traveler notes at the end of this page.
* Based on the proposals and submissions, the TSA has determined that it may allow bags which meet the technical requirements to be screened with laptops left inside, and intends to begin issuing the necessary instructions, training and protocols to airport locations in the late summer/early fall of 2008. Understandably, it may take some time for the program to be fully implemented at all US facilities, so a phase-in/transition period is to be expected.
Skooba’s Patent-Pending Checkthrough™ Bags
* Skooba Design produced and thoroughly tested nearly a dozen different prototypes. Our bags were tested using a variety of screening equipment meeting current airport standards, as well as next-generation scanning equipment. Testing was done in multiple facilities by qualified professionals, unaffiliated with our company. The bags were screened in various configurations and scenarios, and the images compared with those of the laptop outside the bag. In all instances, with the bag properly packed and used, the X-ray images of the laptop inside the bag met the screening requirements.
* Based on the results of these tests, Skooba Design is in production and will be introducing Checkthrough™ laptop bags to coincide with the TSA’s new protocol rollout (again, expected to be late summer/early fall) The Checkthrough™ name and its logo/iconography are exclusive trademarks of Skooba Design, solely representing its own checkpoint-friendly products.
* In addition to the basic laptop screening requirement, Checkthrough™ Bags will offer various other innovative features designed to make the security process and travel in general more efficient, organized and user-friendly. Skooba Design has multiple utility patents pending on its laptop screening solution as well as other features and functionality.
* This page will be updated with additional details, product photography and order information as it becomes available. Please check back periodically, or to get advanced updates, simply sign up below and we will notify you automatically.
* There is and will be no such thing as a “TSA-approved” laptop bag from any company. As explained above, manufacturers may only state that their products have been designed, made and tested to comply with the US requirements for properly screening a bag with a laptop inside.
* Regardless of construction or testing, manufacturers may not make any guarantees that their bags will be allowed through screening with the laptop inside. Though the bag may meet the technical requirements, there are many variables including the manner in which the bag is packed and used, facilities, equipment, and passenger factors, as well as the discretion of the inspecting personnel.
* It is the intention and expectation of all involved in the “checkpoint-friendly” bag program that once fully implemented, the process will move smoothly and that suitably designed and constructed bags, properly packed and used, will move through the system efficiently as planned. However, in all instances, screening personnel always have the right to require laptop removal, secondary screening, or any other measures deemed necessary to ensure travel security.
©2008, Skooba Design