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AMSMAN
Topic Author
Posts: 975
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 6:24 pm

Please Turn On Your Laptop!

Fri Feb 06, 2004 7:56 am

While I was flying from DUB to BRU a while back, my laptop passed through the security check at the gate as per usual with nothing going wrong.

While I was about to exit the gate onto the tarmac to board the plane, a security officer stopped me and asked if the laptop was mine. I replied ''Yes''.

He then asked me to remove the computer from the bag and asked me to turn it on. Just as I turned it on and as the computer was booting up, he said it was fine and told me to be on my way.

Why would he ask me to turn the laptop on then say it was ok?

I would be ok if he asked me to enter my boot password or even log-on, but he didn't wait that long.

If I set out to steel a laptop, I would know where to find the power button. He might then nab me when I wouldn't have known the passwords.

Anyone have any idea?
Aer Lingus, Proud to be Irish.
 
JAL777
Posts: 2453
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 10:13 pm

RE: Please Turn On Your Laptop!

Fri Feb 06, 2004 8:04 am

He's just making sure your not missing any gizmos inside the laptop. (One could hide drugs in there.)
 
Av8rDAL
Posts: 361
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 1:41 am

RE: Please Turn On Your Laptop!

Fri Feb 06, 2004 8:07 am

Had that happen as well. They also made me turn on my camera and take a picture...

I thought about telling the TSA folks to say "cheese," but didn't feel like pissing anyone off or getting the attention of the airport fuzz.
Maintain thine airspeed, lest the Earth rise up and smite thee.
 
Ealsys1
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2001 10:55 am

RE: Please Turn On Your Laptop!

Fri Feb 06, 2004 8:15 am

They were making sure it was a functional laptop. The Lockerbie bombing in '89(?) was done with a bomb loaded radio. They want to make sure it's a laptop not a bomb.

A few years back (pre 9/11) they used to advise business travelers to keep their laptop in sleep mode and not off so that it can boot up quickly so you can prove it's a computer.

Sam
 
cancidas
Posts: 3985
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:34 am

RE: Please Turn On Your Laptop!

Fri Feb 06, 2004 8:17 am

that's all fine and dandy to ask of a traveller except for when you drop thier computer from the xray machine. the morons in MRY turned pale as the walls when i turned around and saw them picking up my laptop from the floor.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
CPDC10-30
Posts: 4688
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2000 4:30 pm

RE: Please Turn On Your Laptop!

Fri Feb 06, 2004 8:35 am

This has been normal practice for the past few years. They want to ensure that laptops, cell phones etc are functional devices and not hiding a weapon. A few years ago there was a big story about mobile phones being modified to fire a few .22 rounds, so it is a good thing.
 
nudelhirsch
Posts: 1371
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2003 6:20 am

RE: Please Turn On Your Laptop!

Fri Feb 06, 2004 9:04 am

This is just a little bit...get this:

I was flying CGN-TXL on a LCC last summer.

Had my nice Siemens Laptop with me, and went to security...(flew STR-TXL and TXL-CGN before...without anything...)

They wanted to hold my Laptop and they took a thing like a kleenex, or a glass lens cleaning tissue and startted to wipe my Laptop, then took told me to wait and carried this frieking tissue to the police station...

after 5 mins they returned and told me, that my Laptop was real and that I could pass...wow...didn't know I own a real Laptop...
Putana da Seatbeltz!
 
united
Posts: 264
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 5:50 am

RE: Please Turn On Your Laptop!

Fri Feb 06, 2004 9:08 am

so if it is a real bomb, it'll explode in the security area with lots of people, -- what am I missing???
The opinions expressed here are mine and not necessarily those of Delta Air Lines.
 
Beefmoney
Posts: 1071
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2000 2:16 am

RE: Please Turn On Your Laptop!

Fri Feb 06, 2004 9:24 am

UniTED;
Its not so much that they want to see if it will detonate, but that they want to see if the equipment is fully intact and operational. If they ask you to turn on your laptop and it will not turn on, they have reason to believe you may have taken out some components from the laptop to smuggle drugs or plant a bomb inside. If the laptop starts up fine, there is probably nothing tampered with inside, giving indication that nothing abnormal is jammed up in there.

Same goes for camera and other electronics.
 
theflcowboy
Posts: 357
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2004 3:44 am

RE: Please Turn On Your Laptop!

Fri Feb 06, 2004 9:33 am

Still pretty stupid. You can make it so it will turn on and disable the keyboard so when you press enter nothing happens and still have a bomb in it.

This is the same crap security we had before the terrorists and its the same crap security we will have forever.

MD
A318, A320, A332, A333, B1900, B722, B732, B733, B734, B735, B737, B738, B772, CR1, CR2, CR7, CR9, MD80, MD81, MD82, MD8
 
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nighthawk
Posts: 4890
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2001 2:33 am

RE: Please Turn On Your Laptop!

Fri Feb 06, 2004 9:36 am

UniTED: they would again be checking your laptop for traces of drugs / explosives. If you had stuffed some drugs inside the laptop case, the chances are there would be a small amount of residue dropped on the outside of the case. Wiping it with the cloth would pick up any of this residue.

The cloth would then have been analyzed down at the station with some sort of chemical sensing machine to detect these minute traces...
 
Ealsys1
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2001 10:55 am

RE: Please Turn On Your Laptop!

Fri Feb 06, 2004 11:00 am

nudelhirsch,

In the US, they have those machines in the airport. My laptop has been swiped countless times.

What's the big deal? I travel on business (time constraints you know) and have never had a problem with security checking my laptop. It's a safeguard and that's it. I can't believe that you really think that it's not worth it to turn on a laptop. Would you rather they just let everything go?
 
flybulldog
Posts: 351
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2000 10:26 pm

RE: Please Turn On Your Laptop!

Fri Feb 06, 2004 11:26 am

I don't think there's any clear-cut rule about how to check laptops. Sometimes, I've only had to x-ray mine, and other times I've had to totally take it apart after turning it on. I don't dare question why.
 
Okie
Posts: 4177
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:30 am

RE: Please Turn On Your Laptop!

Fri Feb 06, 2004 11:46 am

I have had about every senerio listed including putting the laptop inside a box that sniffed it for residue.
I also was wondering why no clear-cut method, however I suppose if every inspection was the same then someone would figure how to get around a particular type inspection.
I have always worried about dropping the darn thing when fumbling around with it at security. I have dropped/knocked off a table a couple with disastrous results but so far not at the airport.

 
bobb
Posts: 241
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2004 12:15 pm

RE: Please Turn On Your Laptop!

Fri Feb 06, 2004 12:51 pm

Some of you guys find any little thing to piss on TSA. May I remind you, lots of these TSA guys are high-tech lay offs and actually have a Master, and you don't even know it.

Go ahead, go through the airport without looking anybody down, it will be more relaxing. Try it.
 
mozart
Posts: 2169
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:21 am

RE: Please Turn On Your Laptop!

Fri Feb 06, 2004 10:44 pm

Here's the best one: until some years ago, security at Munich airport was so strict, that only the US after 9/11 topped it in terms of paranoia. They had you take your laptop out of your bag (they still do today) and then weighed it! They then cross-checked the weight with a huge list they had. The idea behind was that any computer lighter or heavier than on the list had been fiddled with, for instance to turn it into a bomb.

Now, I was traveling with a colleague of mine whose laptop weighed more than was "allowed", and the security people asked him what he had done with his computer. He told them that of course his laptop would be heavy because his hard disk was full. They bought it...  Nuts
 
AMSMAN
Topic Author
Posts: 975
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 6:24 pm

RE: Please Turn On Your Laptop!

Sat Feb 07, 2004 6:16 am

Suppose it really does make sence in the long run.

Mozart, those guys obviously weren't the high-tech lay offs that actually had a Master. lol
Aer Lingus, Proud to be Irish.
 
VC10BOAC
Posts: 387
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:11 am

RE: Please Turn On Your Laptop!

Sat Feb 07, 2004 6:50 am

I traveled through LHR late last year. Approaching security, I removed my laptop from it's case and was ready to turn it on when one of the security agents came up to me and asked me to put it back in it's case, saying "you do not have to do that here"
 
bobrayner
Posts: 2038
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2003 8:03 am

RE: Please Turn On Your Laptop!

Sat Feb 07, 2004 7:10 am

Still pretty stupid. You can make it so it will turn on and disable the keyboard so when you press enter nothing happens and still have a bomb in it.

This is the same crap security we had before the terrorists and its the same crap security we will have forever.


To do that, you would need to fit functional laptop hardware andthe bomb inside the laptop chassis. If you want a bomb any bigger than a removable laptop cd/dvd drive, it'll require some expensive/complex engineering.

Apparently, by xray, laptop battery internals sometimes look like plastic explosives. (As do cheese, pastry, ...!)

May I remind you, lots of these TSA guys are high-tech lay offs and actually have a Master, and you don't even know it.

Perhaps some are.

Not the one who thought it OK for me to take a laptop (and bag) as carryon after I proved that it boots, but any associated cables must go in the hold.

Not the one who had learned to recognise Windows bootsequence/login screens as Good, and anything else on the screen as Suspicious.

I usually use preboot authentication; if they want me demonstrate an actual working computer they'll have to let me plug in a token. To some, that could be arming the bomb...  Smile
Cunning linguist

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