If you’re planning on taking a trip to destinations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa getting back into the U.S. will likely involve heightened security checks at the airports. The TSA has announced new restrictions on electronic devices passengers carry onboard flights from these countries bound for the U.S.
The message is don’t show up at the security checkpoint with any electronic device that has a dead battery. You won’t be allowed to take it on your flight. It might even be worse. Some airports have announced that if you are requested to power up a device and the battery is dead, you won’t be allowed to take the flight regardless of whether you volunteer to leave the device behind. The new rules are still evolving and there is anything but consistency on what the rules are.
Devices such as the Apple iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy phone seemed to be singled out for added scrutiny. But be on the safe side and make sure all your devices are properly charged so they can be turned on if requested. Devices that are coming under increased security are phones, tablets, laptops for sure but probably include Kindles and other book readers, music players etc. It’s a safe bet that anything that has an on/off switch and runs on a battery will be checked.
So, does that mean an electric shaver or an electric toothbrush that someone might have in their carry-on luggage may have to be dug out and turned on? I guess time will tell.
But it goes further than that. If you are making a connection back to the U.S. through certain airports be sure not to drain your batteries on the first leg. If you can’t power them up before boarding your connecting flight, you can expect problems as well.
The new security measures are in response to a heightened threat from terrorist groups who may have discovered a way to make these devices into bombs that are harder to detect with the screening measures in place at most airports around the world.
This seems to be one of those things that are going to cause extra hassle at airport security checkpoints for a long time – at least until people get use to the idea and there is more consistency on what the rules are. This looks like something that is going to be a permanent security check.
We might even see it expanded to more and more airports around the world. As of now it is supposedly just specific undisclosed airports. But stayed tuned. We can all expect this to evolve and expand over time.
What do you think?