I'll be travelling from Miami to Istanbul (non-stop with Turkish Airlines) I have a HTPC atx case. I kept the protective foam of the case. I will pack it in a hard plastic storage box and tape the lid properly. The box is big and there is enough space to add other small items.
There are different statements about how the TSA handles such packages:
- TSA knows what a PC case is. It is a common item. They most likely will not open your checked-in baggage. (random checks don't count here)
- A PC is a metal box that blocks x-rays and will be considered as a suspicious item at the moment of x-ray screening. TSA will most likely dig into your baggage and destroy all the careful packaging.
Which one describes the real situation?
If there are special constraints which alter the situation, what are they? The things I can think off are:
- Small airports do the x-ray screening in front of you and if they require the package to be opened, it is not a big problem as it can be repackaged on the spot.
- If your package includes additional items which increase the "danger alert" of the PC case, the likelihood of it being opened increases. These additional items may be things which are not really transparent such as books shampoo etc...
- If the whole flight is non-stop, can it be said, take the risk, you are good to go. (Do they check it again if you have connecting flights?)
Edit: My question is mostly about how TSA processes such packages. I know, if it is packed carefully, it will be fine. But, TSA may destroy the packaging just because there is a metal box in it (how likely?). I'm looking for some advice on skipping TSA inspection if possible.