By now, you’re all aware that security at some airports on certain routes has been stepped up, with electronic devices being targeted as the next item that could be an unwelcome item in an airport.
The UK Government has seemed to settled on its travel advice which states:
Make sure your electronic devices are charged before you travel. If your device doesn’t switch on when requested, you won’t be allowed to bring it onto the aircraft.
So if I was to get on the plane right now, only the MacBook Pro and Sony Xperia E (for Economy Class Android Landfill) would make it. The HP Tablet wouldn’t be allowed onboard as the battery is dead… although sometimes I think that’s a good thing the way I want to throw it across the flat.
Various operators out of the UK have come with different advice – sadly there is no uniform advice.
- British Airways has comprehensive advice and options, ranging from posting the device home, charging the device up before security, storing the device, and even if you pick up electronics at the airport.
- Virgin Atlantic advise you should keep your devices charged
- Monarch Airways advise to keep devices charged and prepare for extra delays at security
- According to The Guardian EasyJet and Ryanair flights will probably be unaffected
- United Airlines states “The TSA has implemented enhanced security measures at select overseas airports with direct flights to the U.S. Please make sure any electronic devices, including cell phones, are charged before you travel, as you may be required to turn them on during security screening. If your device does not turn on, you may not be allowed to bring it on board.”
- American Airlines states pretty much the same thing as United.
- Delta states “Effective immediately, customers traveling on any airline to the U.S. from select airports in Europe, the Middle East and Africa should expect additional security measures relative to carry-on items. All battery-operated electronic devices intended for carry-on must be operational; any device that cannot be powered on upon screening will not be permitted onboard. Customers are encouraged to allow extra time at airports to account for additional screening requirements and to charge their electronic devices prior to arrival at security checkpoints.”
Which routes are being targeted for this treatment is not exactly clear as UK Department for Transport officials aren’t mentioning which ones they’re going for. Suffice to say to anything flight to the USA will probably be targeted. Whilst airports have not been mentioned, Heathrow and Manchester have stepped up their security.
Airports are reporting that wait times for security clearance is about the same as normal to get through
The travel advice is pretty clear – ensure your electronics are charged up, and if you are transiting through London, ensure there is plenty of charge left in your computer if you are intending to connect to another flight.
Comment: Whilst this is important and aviation safety is paramount… this reaction smacks of security theatre doesn’t it?