Travelling with an iPad

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Frequent travellers would be familiar with the frustration of being required to remove your laptop from your bag for separate screening through airport security checkpoints.

This is only made worse in some countries such as the United States where you must also remove other items such as toiletries, and your shoes.

Fortunately the iPad is not classified as a laptop and depending on the location you may be able to leave the iPad in your bag unless you are requested to remove it for separate screening.

In the six months since I purchased my iPad, I have flown quite regularly and thought I would list some of the airports I have flown through and where I have either been able to leave the iPad in my bag or where I’ve been required to remove it for separate screening.


  • Brisbane: Left in bag.
  • Canberra: Screened separately once. Left in bag all other times.
  • Melbourne: Left in bag.
  • Sydney T1 (International): Screened separately once. Left in bag three other times.
  • Sydney T3 (Qantas Domestic): Left in bag.


  • Nadi: Left in bag.

New Zealand

  • Wellington: Screened separately.

United States

The TSA mention that your iPad can remain in your bag unless asked to remove it. I have travelled through the following airports with my iPad being left in my bag:

  • AUS (Austin, TX)
  • LAX (Los Angeles, CA)
  • SFO (San Francisco, CA)


Given the convenience of travelling with an iPad, it is my new travel tool of choice. Since purchasing the iPad I have only travelled with my MacBook Pro a handful of times – each time was when I required something that the iPad does not provide easily.

Having said that, if a built in 3G modem is added to the 11″ MacBook Air in a future revision I would purchase one in a heartbeat.