While security checks have reached a certain consistency, it may not remain so for too long. Before you head for the airport, you may want to check a frequently updated list (ed. Link is a PDF file) of everything that is and is not allowed on a flight. This information comes from the Transportation Security Administration, part of the Department of Homeland Security.
It's presented in chart form, telling you what you're allowed to carry on or check, and it may not always be what you think. For instance, you can check box cutters in your luggage, but you must carry cigarette lighters on your person.
While no laptop has ever contained a bomb, the security routine can only become more detailed.
'We've not had any incidents with bombs in laptops, but we will never let our guard down,” says Jennifer Marty, a TSA spokesperson. “Terrorists are always finding new and different ways to hurt people. We keep up with all the threats and scan everything very carefully.”
Marty says the latest concern is the stuffing in toy animals. So that is one item you may want to leave at home, if your child allows. On the other hand, the TSA realizes that many photographers carry copious accessories, and it now allows an extra bag of electronic equipment as carry-on luggage.