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  1. #1
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    Checkpoint Flyer questions

    I have some questions regarding the Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer ("CF") checkpoint-friendly laptop mini-briefcase. I may be starting a new executive sales job in the next couple of months that would require heavy travel. I have never used or seen any CF-like luggage in person before.

    How many people on this forum are regular air travelers who use the CF as part of a full-time job that requires travel, and, as such, how many of these "road warriors" use a CF as a constant companion while traveling?

    How many of these same "road warriors" are typically traveling with a CF and another piece of carry-on luggage, such as a CF and an Aeronaut, or a CF and a Tri-Star? And, of these particular travelers, how many ever faced a situation where the air terminal personnel looked at you and your CF and other carry-on and said "Nah, sorry bud. You're gonna hafta check one of those bags"?

    How many of these same "road warriors" travel, from time to time, with just the CF and carry night clothes or a fresh set of clothes in the CF? (I want to know if this was possible and practical.)

    If you use the CF as your full-time air traveling companion, how comfortable is it when you arrive at your destination, get into a taxi cab or bus or shuttle to leave the airport for your hotel, or get into a vehicle to go to some other meeting/destination? Does the CF handle well when you get into a vehicle? (I assume you are wearing your carry-on luggage and you have to take it off when you embark/disembark.)

    How many CF owners carry traditional laptops (full-size laptops that still have DVD drives built-in) as opposed to how many CF owners carry sub-notebooks (smaller, ultra-thin laptops like the MacBook Air)? For those favoring traditional laptops, how many of you carry video DVDs to play either in-flight or during your free time?

    Have TSA personnel ever been a problem when you plopped your beautiful, unfolded CF onto the security conveyor? If so, how did it work out for you?

    Have you ever had to carry a small projector with you for your business presentations? If so, where did you carry it? What practical considerations come with carrying a projector?

    Thanks in advance!

    -- The Mountain Man
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  2. #2
    ceb
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    So many questions, so few answers...

    The CF generally counts as your "personal item while a TriStar will be your carry-on - however - depending on the type of plane, how full the flight is and where you are in the boarding process, you may be required to gate check your carry-on. I've never heard of a need to check a personal item.

    There are many instances where TSA may require you to remove the laptop. The good news is that "checkpoint friendly" has been around long enough that every checkpoint is aware of the concept so you won't run into any "why is that laptop in a bag?

    What size is the projector/ I use a very small projector that isn't much bigger than a large paperback. I have the projector in a soft case and the bits and pieces in a packing cube.

    I hope that helped.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  3. #3
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    ^^ Thanks. Your comments are very helpful. Are you a full-time road warrior? Or are you simply a frequent flyer?

    Also: what make and model of projector were you using and where did you carry the projector? Was it in the CF, or in your carry-on?
    Last edited by MtnMan; 02-09-2013 at 09:09 PM.
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  4. #4
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    I'm a road-warrior. After a hiatus in the last 18 months, my travel picked up again last October. I'd guesstimate that I'm on the road 40+ weeks a year, mostly domestic but my new role may require international travel. I own a Tri-Star, Aeronaut and Empire Builder, but my chiropractor told me I needed to spread the load when shlepping through airports. I gave serious consideration to the Checkpoint Flyer, and it's one of two TB bags I've seen at airport checkpoints over the last few years. Ultimately, the CF didn't fit my laptop well (company issued Lenovo T410 with extended battery), and Beau at customer service told me I'd have to upsize to the 17" MBP case. I decided to go with the Western Flyer and 15/13 Cadet as a combination. For overnight trips the WF fits the laptop in back and clothing in front, perhaps better than the CF. For 3-5 day trips, the WF carries all the clothes I need, and the Cadet accompanies me into the client office.
    Enlightened traveller since 2009

  5. #5
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    So lotuseater, you decided to eschew the "checkpoint friendly" approach, opting instead to haul your computer in a more conventional "briefcase lite" Tom Bihn Cadet? I see on the Cadet's page there is a YouTube video link for a kind of improvised "checkpoint friendly" adaptation of the Cache. Have you ever tried this at a TSA checkpoint? Do you also haul a Horizontal Freudian Slip in your Cadet?
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    I see on the Cadet's page there is a YouTube video link for a kind of improvised "checkpoint friendly" adaptation of the Cache. Have you ever tried this at a TSA checkpoint?
    I've done just that at four airports in the last two weeks. It works surprisingly well, and so far no-one from the TSA has blinked an eye at the laptop inside a Cache. Initially I was a little nervous, as the dimensions of my laptop don't exactly fit the 15" MBP Cache I ordered. But the laptop has shown no signs of wanting to slip out of the Cache when I slide them out of the Cadet or back in again. The week my Cadet was in transit, I was carrying the laptop in a non checkpoint-friendly backpack, and as I was pulling myself together after the nude-o-scope, it slid off the conveyor belt 2 1/2' onto the floor. No damage, amazingly, but the TSA agent heard some choice language. The Cadet/Cache combo is a hit with this frequent flyer.

    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    Do you also haul a Horizontal Freudian Slip in your Cadet?
    No, it's a smidge too big with my 14" laptop. That makes it an either/or proposition - take the Cache or the Horizontal Freudian Slip. Beau from Customer Service advised me of that before I placed the order, so it wasn't a surprise. My guess is a 12" laptop or either size MacBook Air would leave enough space for both, though. I don't miss it - there's plenty of space in the front compartment for power supplies, pens, glasses case, and the like. Any paperwork slips into the pocket inside the main compartment, or in the sleeve on the back of the bag.
    Enlightened traveller since 2009


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