Airports Tighten Security for Console Carry-ons

By Carlos Bergfeld, Aug 06, 2007 1:55pm PDT Console-carrying gamers traveling via air this weekend got a surprise at security checkpoints, with new regulations mandating the removal of full-size video game consoles and DVD players from carry-on luggage for separate X-ray screening. The previously unannounced rule by the Transportation Security Administration went into effect Saturday and brings game consoles and DVD players under the same regulations as laptop computers, cassette-using video cameras, and certain breathing machines.

"This was actually a policy recommendation that came from one of our security officers," TSA spokesperson Jennifer Peppin told Shacknews. "This change brings just a little more uniformity to our policy and helps our screeners do their job better."

The TSA Web site specifically references the PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo-made consoles on a Web page detailing the enhanced security measure. Handheld gaming devices like the Nintendo DS or PSP and portable electronics like MP3 players are unaffected by the change and do not need to be removed from carry-on luggage.

The rule alteration does not mean consoles will be subject to further scrutiny, such as swab testing for explosives, other than the separate X-ray screening, Peppin said. Two other policy changes went into effect Saturday actually relaxing current TSA regulations, allowing commmon lighters in carry-on luggage as well as greater-than-three-ounce quantities of breast milk.

Peppin said the TSA did not announce the newly implemented rules regarding full-size consoles and DVD players in advance because of the relative unimportance of these items compared to the other changes. "We don't see a lot of full-size consoles and full-size DVD players coming through," she said.

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  • One more reason to stay off the goddamn planes unless necessary. Given the choice of flying for four hours (factoring in things like waits, delays, security checks, etc.) and driving for eight hours, I'd take driving every time. The restrictions just get worse and worse (though, in all fairness, they did ease the lighter restriction). It becomes more and more painful to fly, and this is *without* them making the bogus claim that if my aftershave bottle held 3.4 ounces of liquid I could blow up the motherfucking aircraft.

    Now true, it does make sense to check consoles if you're going to check laptops anyway, and I never travel with full-sized consoles anyway. But it just reinforces my desire to never fly ever.