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UK airports to confiscate uncharged laptops and phones for US-bound flight

Sam Loveridge

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Airport

UK airports will now confiscate any uncharged laptops, phones or other tech devices for US-bound flights.

If you’re heading to America this summer, don’t forget to charge your phone or laptop before you fly, because UK airports are now confiscating devices with flat batteries at security checkpoints.

According to new travel guidelines issued by the Department for Transport (DfT), devices with flat batteries are a no-no if you’re flying into the US.

“Make sure your electronic devices are charged before you travel,” read the newly released DfT guidelines. “If your device doesn’t switch on, you won’t be allowed to bring it onto the aircraft.”

As part of a clamp down on terrorism, US authorities said security staff may ask you to turn on your device to prove it still has battery and is in full working order.

“As the travelling public knows, all electronic devices are [already] screened by security officers,” said the TSA in a statement. “During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones. Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft.”

These actions come in the wake of American intelligence agencies receiving information of a “credible threat” from terrorist groups based in Syria and Yemen.

The changes to security aren’t expected to be temporary either, as according to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, they are “not just a blip for a week”.

Thanks to that new intelligence, increased airport security is “unavoidable”, or so says Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee. Rifkind stated that jihadi extremists are using “devilish technical skill” to evade security measures currently present in international airports.

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Everlast

July 7, 2014, 12:06 pm

This is just getting ridiculous!
Is this anti-terror measures or terrorism from the government itself?

Carnex

July 8, 2014, 6:09 am

I have an idea. Just tranquilize every passenger, tie him up, hands behind back and tied to legs, put him in sack and a metal box. Not only that you will be safe from terrorist attack from within a plane (unless Houdini is one of passangers ;) ) but also they will take much less space and thus provide airlines with greater profit margin.

lightice

July 8, 2014, 10:45 am

I'm just waiting for the day when a terrorist blows up a bomb in the middle of the security check line where all the passengers have gathered up, anyway. I wonder what they'll do then, send inspectors to individually check the houses of every registered passenger before the flight?

Steve R

July 14, 2014, 3:26 am

I became a victim of this new rule yesterday in Dubai Airport on a flight to Seattle. Just before boarding Emirates Airlines security picked pretty much all south asian origin folks arrived from India for enhanced check (call that Random ?). They confiscated my work laptop (I am US Citizen) because it wasn't charged.My charger was packed unfortunately in my checked in bags (the reason why I packed my charger is another story.. rude Emirates staff at Indian Airport where I first checked my bags forced me to put all my laptop stuff into my checked in bag, didn't allow me to carry my laptop bag separately due to their one checkin bag policy). I asked for permission to go back into Dubai duty free area to buy a charger such that I could connect and show the laptop working, but they wouldn't allow me to go out of boarding gate area, and neither the inspection staff have any chargers to test the laptops. When I refused to hand my laptop over as it had all my vital work and personal data, they would threaten that I would not be allowed to board. When I asked about the policy or rules around reclaiming the laptop, they simply don't have any clue - including their senior most flight in charge supervisor, and emirates security officials. I was not even given any receipts nor given any instructions on how could I claim it back, except asking me to talk to emirates staff once I land in Seattle.

While I am battling now from US with Emirates staff and Dubai airport officials over long calls on figuring out how to get my laptop back...wonder how many innocent folks will have to suffer because of lopsided silly security measures put randomly in place without establishing proper controls, procedures, communications to travelers..

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