Just as TSA has been working with airlines on ways to speed up scanning, it's also trying out a new way to make it take longer, by requiring books and food be removed for separate scanning.
The Telegraph (UK) reports that the new rule has been tested at a number of airports, including selected lines at Los Angeles, Boise, Colorado Springs, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Boston, Lubbock, San Juan, Las Vegas and Phoenix. TSA agents flip through the books for anything tucked in.
In theory, this is intended to reduce the number of bags that need to be re-screened or opened for inspection; books and food, especially chocolate, are dense and difficult for x-rays to see through. From passenger reports, however, it created slower rather than faster results.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told Fox News that it is likely the new search method would be extended nationally. He also said that a long-discussed laptop ban is not off the table.