Cleared for Takeoff
FLYING THE FRIENDLY skies can be downright unpleasant these days. And lately, there isn’t even a lousy mini-size bag of pretzels or peanuts for the trouble. But—hold onto those quart-size zip-lock bags—the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has recently taken measures to alleviate some airport aggravations.
While attending to shoes, belts, coats, and the loose change and keys in their pockets, passengers can now forgo removing laptops from carriers if the bags are of a certain design. The TSA decided that allowing passengers to keep laptops in computer bags would save time and reduce stress and anxiety at security checkpoints. So, the agency reached out to retail bag manufacturers in March 2008 to investigate bag designs enabling clear X-ray images equal to or better than those produced when laptops are placed separately in bins.
Heather Smartt, category manager, product development for New Kensington, Pennsylvania-based Leed’s, knew such a product would be an instant hit within the promotional products industry. “When we recognized this opportunity, we immediately took action to design Leed’s bags and to work with our brand partners who were creating checkpoint-friendly designs, as well,” she reported.
Likewise, Nick A. Wright, vice president of OGIO International, Bluffdale, Utah, is excited about the company’s new checkpoint-friendly VP Messenger bag. Time is money, he observed, and streamlining the security process means a lot in the marketplace. “The initial response has been tremendous. We have sent out several samples already. I think the type of people looking for this are frequent travelers, most likely business people who are packing laptops, and want to make travel a little easier and convenient,” he commented. “Plus, if you don’t have to remove your laptop, it is less likely to get damaged or stolen.”
Specific design elements are necessary for optimum X-ray image viewing, and Smartt referred the CheckMate line from Leed’s to explain how its new bag accomplishes the objective.