Hello folks! I wanted to ask about your experiences with how consistently border inspection agents (TSA and equivalent agencies) interpret the requirements and policies, and how that may affect the way you pack, and even what you use to pack in.
As an example, I have a neoprene sleeve for my laptop, which gives an unobstructed view (it's equivalent to a Cache) on the scanner. Yet, in most countries I've visited with it, I'm asked to take the laptop out of the sleeve entirely. This clearly defeats the purpose of TSA-friendly sleeves and mechanisms. Interestingly, one of the countries where I've had to take the laptop out is my home country (Canada). So far, USA and Mexico are the only countries where I've been allowed to keep the laptop in the sleeve. Because of this, a criterion for when I get a new sleeve will be "how easy is it to take the laptop out of the sleeve quickly", which is rather odd
Another example: Using the airport-provided 311 bags is wasteful and they don't always have them, so I keep a small supply, but these bags are really flimsy and only last 1 or 2 trips before getting punctures which defeats their purpose. I'd love to use a 3D clear org. cube which would be less wasteful in the long run, but I wonder if it'll be subject to the same inconsistency as the sleeve. TSA guidelines clearly state "Liquids [...] must be 3.4 ounces (100ml) or less per container; must be in 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag". Since the 3D cube is not technically zip-top, one may be left at the mercy of the screening agent. Canada's equivalent agency (CATSA) says " All containers must fit in one clear, resealable plastic bag". So that leaves a bit more leeway as it doesn't have to be zip-top. But I wonder if anybody has experienced a too-strict inspection agent who didn't like a 3D cube. I could put stuff in a plastic zip-top bag and then place that inside the 3D cube, thus honoring the letter of the policy and keeping the bag more protected, but as is the case with the laptop sleeves, this is odd and negates the benefit of having the 3D cube in the first place.
Anyway, apologies for the rant and I hope to hear from your experiences on this topic.