With Thanksgiving just past us and Christmas still to come, we're right in the heart of the holiday travel season, so it's a good time to remind you to stop leaving your laptop at TSA airport checkpoints.
This was underscored last week when a rep from the TSA shared a tweet (below), showing dozens of laptops stacked on a shelf, all left behind at TSA checkpoints at Newark International Airport in Newark, New Jersey.
— Lisa Farbstein, TSA Spokesperson (@TSA_Northeast) November 28, 2016
In a 2014 story, Capital Public Radio in Sacramento, California, reported that roughly 20,000 items, each priced at $500 or more, were left at checkpoints around the country. Those items eventually get sent to TSA's Virginia headquarters, while less valuable objects make their way to re-sale shops.
Among the more interesting items of recent note was a replica of Negan's bat from The Walking Dead (the TV swag wasn't lost, it was taken by the TSA as a potential weapon).
This replica of @AMCTheWalkingDead’s “Lucille” was discovered recently in a carry-on bag at Atlanta (ATL). The barbed wire is actually made from rubber and the blood is fake (we hope). However, baseball bats are prohibited from carry-on bags and must be packed in checked luggage. #TWD #Negan We’re just glad Lucille wasn’t thirsty.
A post shared by Travel Tips & Dad Joke Hits 🎶 (@tsa) on Nov 25, 2016 at 12:50pm PST
So if you're one of the rushed travelers who take off with your belt, shoes, and carry-on but not with your MacBook Air, there is hope, though. The TSA has a searchable database of TSA headquarters for each airport online.
And in case you want proof that you can potentially recover a lost laptop, one traveler, whose laptop was in the recently shared Newark stack, posted on Twitter that he was able to get in touch with Newark TSA after the photo was posted and got his device back.
Just got off the phone with Newark TSA who found my laptop! Thanks for tweeting this @thepointsguy
— hasslunsford (@hasslunsford) November 30, 2016
On its Instagram page, the TSA offers one more tip: "If you haven't already, tape a business card or a piece of paper with your name and contact info to the bottom of your laptop. This will allow us to attempt to contact you via a page or phone call before you board your flight. It will also allow us to contact you if you've already left."