Liquids and laptops, you’re in the bag

  • Memorial Day weekend travelers line up at a TSA checkpoint at the United Airlines Terminal at LAX on Friday, May 27, 2016. The TSA will allow liquids and laptops to remain in bags in many airports. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

If a TSA agent tells you to leave your liquids and laptop in your bag the next time you go through security, don’t be surprised.

The Transportation and Security Administration has collaborated with airlines to enhance the screening process, meaning people will get into the airport faster and be safer in the air.


Using computed tomography (CT) technology at airports is the latest upgrade to the screening process. These high-tech machines, similar to those used in the medical field, have been deployed in a few airports nationwide, including Phoenix Sky Harbor International, Boston Logan, JFK and, now, Washington Dulles.

TSA is planning to further expand their use in the near future and would like to have more units in place at airports around the nation by the end of the year and further expansion is planned for 2019.

By the end of this year, 40 more units will be available and more than 145 will be in airports by the end of the fiscal year 2019. Look for units in the following airports soon:

— Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI)

— Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

— Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)

— Houston Hobby Airport (HOU)

— Indianapolis International Airport (IND)

— Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

— McCarran International Airport (LAS)

— Oakland International Airport (OAK)

— Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)

— San Diego International Airport (SAN)

— St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)

CT scanning creates a 3-D image that can be viewed and rotated on three axes for thorough visual image analysis, providing a clear picture of what’s in each traveler’s belongings and also enhancing explosives detection.

“TSA is committed to getting the best technology to enhance security and improve the screening experience. Use of CT technology substantially improves TSA’s threat detection capability at the checkpoint,” TSA administrator David Pekoske said.


As this new technology is rolled out to more and more airports, passengers can expect to be able to leave liquids and laptops in their bags for faster screening.

TravelPulse is a leading travel authority on the web, providing consumer travel news and insider tips and advice for an ever-changing travel world. Read more stories at

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