This week CNN reported that the 11" MacBook Air would be allowed by TSA to go through security checkpoints without having to be removed from passengers carry-on luggage. Most notebooks require that they be removed from their bags and placed on the conveyor belt for security scans separately. Up till now that included all Apple MacBooks and MacBook Pros. This determination has nothing to do with Apple ofcourse, and everything to do with the size of the MacBook Air. Many netbooks and most e-book readers do not have to be scanned separately. TSA spokesman Nicholas Kimball stated that:
Apple may wish to avoid comparisons of the MacBook Air to similarly compact but underpowered netbooks. However, like netbooks, Apple's new laptop is "smaller than a standard-size laptop," meaning it can stay in a bag.
Unfortunately at this time it look as though customers that chose the 13" MacBook Air may have to send their MacBooks through separately just like the rest of the MacBook family. Even more unfortunate, none of this changes when you can use electronic devices on the flight. Your flight attendant will still request that you "turn off" your MacBook Air during take-off and landing. The good news is that with the new standby feature, you will be working on that important document while everyone else is still waking up their notebooks, including MacBook owners.