http://www.newsbytes.com/news/01/172142.html By Keith L Alexander, Washington Post WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S.A., 14 Nov 2001, 7:07 AM CST Sterling, Va. resident Richard Shapiro was flying United Airlines to Missoula, Mont., with his Sony laptop computer when he encountered the post-Sept. 11 security procedures at Dulles International Airport regarding laptops. Since the terrorist hijackings, travelers must remove laptops from their cases and place the computers on the conveyer belts of X-ray machines. As his laptop rolled down the belt after being X-rayed, Shapiro noticed that the plastic piece covering the printer's port had broken off between the rollers that push items out of the X-ray machine. Shapiro approached the head of Argenbright Security, which was running the security checkpoint, and he asked to be compensated. Argenbright referred him to United Airlines, which had hired the security firm and is ultimately responsible for the security. Shapiro was still waiting to hear back from United yesterday. Several travel agents say clients also have complained to them of laptop damage resulting from X-ray machines. Travel agent Penny Hawkins of Lakes Area Travel Plus in West Bloomfield, Mich., said a client had a similar experience with Continental Airlines. A check indicates that airlines differ on how laptops are handled. Continental said the security firm is liable. United and US Airways said such damage is the carrier's responsibility. "Anything that goes through the belts, there is a possibility it could be damaged. If it's in our control, our customers should contact United, and we would work it out with them," said United spokesman Chris Brathwaite. Brian Lott, spokesman for Argenbright Security, said the liability is shared by the airlines and their security firms. In the meantime, Lott and other airline experts offered suggestions for minimizing minimize damage to laptops: * Request a plastic tub or bin for your laptop before sending it through the X-ray machine. Most airports have these bins at security checkpoints. * Place your laptop in the middle and toward the front of the belt so that it doesn't knock against the sides of the machine while passing through. * Inscribe your name or tape your identification on your laptop, since there are so many black laptops out there. * Place your laptop bag in front of your computer on the belt. Because there is a slope on the other side of the X-ray machine, your computer could slide and hit the metal or steel side of the belt. Your bag would then act as a cushion. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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