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Department for Transport bans uncharged devices on UK flights

The charge of the flight brigade
Thu Jul 10 2014, 10:36
A British Airways jet in flight

THE UK has followed the lead of the US and announced that airline passengers will have to turn up at airports with fully charged phones and devices that are ready for inspection.

A charged device will save users from a meeting with a man with a glove in the US, we imagine, and will keep a device and its user as a unit. The UK news follows an announcement by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on Monday.

This was almost immediately backed by British Airways, which said that it would comply with this and ensure that its passengers travel with charged, open book devices.

"Customers may be asked to turn on any electronic or battery powered devices such as telephones, tablets, e-books and laptops in front of security teams and/or demonstrate the item's functionality," said the airline on Tuesday.

"If, when asked to do so, you are unable to demonstrate that your device has power, the device will not be allowed to travel on your planned service."

Since then rules have been set by the UK department for transport (DfT), which has put its advice into recent guidance on aviation security.

That information includes some guidance that "may" - said the DfT - impact travel.

"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," said its information.

However, the introduction to this is less clear and reveals some ambiguity. There it said that passengers on "some routes" might be affected.

"As a result of the changes we are implementing, some passengers may notice additional security measures on some routes, both to and from the UK," it said.

"Passengers on some routes may also be required to show that electronic devices in their hand luggage can be powered up or face not being allowed to bring the device onto the aircraft."

Unfortunately the information ends there, for security reasons.

"For obvious reasons we will not be commenting in detail on the measures or the routes affected. We will work with the aviation industry to minimise disruption as far as possible," it added.

"I would reiterate that there is no change to the threat level, which remains at substantial."

The DfT's advice is to charge your devices before traveling. µ


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