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Suppose I’m traveling in an airplane and I’m watching a movie on my laptop placed on the tray table. Is it prudent to take some measures against the possibility of sudden severe turbulence that might send it flying across the cabin? What might be a good approach, a tie down strap of some kind?

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  • If there's expected to be anything stronger than light chop, I put it away. Jun 16 '20 at 0:35
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    If the flight attendant sit down and strap in, you might have moderate to extreme turbulence in store. As Michael Hampton has said, put everything away and raise your tray table to its locked position. A tablet held in your hand may be a better option. It is quick and easy to stow if turbulence gets really bad.
    – Dean F.
    Jun 16 '20 at 2:59
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    "Sudden severe turbulence" is quite rare. Usually you'll have quite a bit of warning before you get to turbulence strong enough to have your laptop start flying around.
    – jcaron
    Jun 16 '20 at 8:45
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    @RomanOdaisky If they interrupt meal service for turbulence and run like hell to put everything away, you should worry about it. Jun 17 '20 at 3:07
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    I fly a lot. My wife flies even more. We have never experienced turbulence in large aircraft severe enough to throw a 5 pound object to the floor, let alone across the aircraft. That does not mean it does not happen. But, on the rare occasion that it does happen, it is news worthy. When I fly small aircraft myself, I am more prone to experience mild to moderate turbulence. I always fly with an iPad in my lap without a problem. It is rare that I even let it hit the floor. The Cessna 172S even has cup holders for your coffee.
    – Dean F.
    Jun 17 '20 at 3:59
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I've seen stretchy hair bands used for this before - and in one case, someone had used their (hopefully washed) boxer shorts to make sure the laptop didnt move (the laptop and tray "wore" the boxer shorts, with the elastic toward the screen - I must admit, it kept the laptop in place!)

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    Interesting life-hack. You can even touch-type with your hands in the leg holes! Jun 16 '20 at 12:01

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