If you don't want to spring for a custom bag, make sure you are buying a bag that has a laptop-only area, keep extra items like cables out of the laptop-only area, and don't contain any metal or pockets on the laptop-only area of the bag to make it easier to screen the laptop with an x-ray scanner. The TSA doesn't endorse any particular bags or manufacturers, so double check any bags marketed as "checkpoint friendly" against the TSA guidelines before purchase to make sure they stack up.
3. Expensive or nonexistent airport Wi-Fi
You can find out up-to-the-minute information on your airport's Wi-Fi system anywhere in the world through this interactive map at Jaunted.com. It will tell you if it is a paid system and offer a link as to how to get on it. The catch: you need to be online to view the information. Each airport usually has a customer service help line or an in-person help desk that will help you get online.
If you have an Android phone, this is where setting up a hotspot comes in handy. Just make sure your hotspot is password-protected with a robust password and you are on a plan with your carrier that allows it. If you find yourself zooming through airports with expensive Wi-Fi on a regular basis, the extra charge from your carrier for hotspot use may just pay for itself.
4. Expensive in-flight Wi-Fi
As with everything else in travel, if you forget something or wait until the last minute, you may find yourself paying a lot more than you wanted to for wi-fi access in the air. You can avoid that this holiday season with bundles from Gogo that range from $14.95 to $19.95, depending on how many day passes you want to purchase. Gogo covers a number of airlines, including American Airlines and United. If you just purchase a one-shot pass from your airline, it can cost up to $12 a flight, so these package deals do save you a few dollars.
If you are looking for free in-flight wi-fi access, call your airline or rental car company in advance to see what promotions are available. You may qualify for a free in-flight wi-fi pass based on your travel purchases, including parking at the airport.
5. Having to turn off your laptop or notebook for takeoff and landing
There's not much that we can say that this blog from the New York Times hasn't already said about the fact that regulations that require that you turn off your mobile devices are based on virtually no actual scientific data. Even so, we still dutifully turn off our devices when told to for both takeoff and landing.
There is the fact that you only have to power down for takeoff and landing, which gives everyone a nice break from work and puts the people flying the plane at ease. There is also a 2006 study that shows there's not enough evidence on either side of the equation to justify getting rid of the rule; they can't prove that a cellphone will take down airplane avionics just as they can't prove that it won't. It's time for a more current study that can prove, conclusively, if mobile devices can interfere with avionics. If they can, more stringent measures should be taken to isolate avionics from the ill effects of a device that is accidentally left on, and if they do not interfere, the regulations should be scrapped.