On Friday 16 August 2008 the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) launched their new “checkpoint-friendly” bag policy. The policy allows notebook computers in “checkpoint-friendly” bags to remain in their case while being scanned, sort of.
In order to qualify under the program the bag must have a designated notebook-only section that unfolds to lie flat on the X-ray machine. The compartment cannot contain metal snaps, zippers, buckles or pockets. If the notebook section of your bag can unfold and lie flat, then you don't have to remove it from the bag when it goes through the X-ray scanner.
Bag manufacturer Tom Bihn appears to be the first company out of the gate to offer a “checkpoint-friendly” notebook bag. Their Checkpoint Flyer Briefcase (US$220) is a briefcase-style laptop bag that includes protective compartment for a notebook computer that flips out.
The Checkpoint Flyer provides the TSA with a clear, unobstructed x-ray view of the laptop in the bag without sacrificing organizational pockets and clean design.
The Checkpoint Flyer is available for pre-order through the Tom Bihn Web site and will ship in late September according to the company. It will be available in red, grey and black.
Update: Some pictures of the notebook section unfolded.