The move is part of TSA's efforts to address the "increased threat to aviation security" around the world, and follows successful pilot programs that tested the new procedures at 10 airports across the country. As enforcement is gradually expanded to more airports, checkpoint officers will be placed around the x-ray machines to guide passengers so as to keep the lines moving, although TSA does admit the enhanced screening could lead to more bag checks. The change doesn't affect you if you have TSA PreCheck.
"It is critical for TSA to constantly enhance and adjust security screening procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats and keep passengers safe," TSA Acting Administrator Huban A. Gowadia said in a statement. "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."
Here are the 10 airports where the requirement is already being enforced:
- Boise Airport (BOI)
- Colorado Springs Airport (COS)
- Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
- Logan International Airport (BOS)
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport (LBB)
- Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)
- McCarran International Airport (LAS)
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
The bottom line: keep an eye out for the new requirement at your airport, prepare to juggle another screening bin, and as always, pack like a pro.