Acting on intelligence reports that terrorists have created new explosives that might be able to pass through current security checks the U.S. has now made it mandatory for passengers to demonstrate that any and all electronic devices they’re carrying on board are able to turn on. If the devices run out of charge or simply do not turn on the passengers will not be allowed to take them on board. The UK has followed suit as well with the Department of Transport announcing that passengers on flights in and out of the UK will have to show that their devices have enough charge to turn on.
The UK’s Department of Transport says that this policy will be applied to passengers “on some routes both to and from the UK.” For security reasons it has not revealed the routes on which the policy is going to be strictly enforced, but The Telegraph believes that routes in Middle East and part of Asia are most likely to be affected.
At first British Airways said that passengers on these routes will not be allowed to board with or without the devices if they did not turn on. However the airline has since changed its position and will allow passengers to board flights. Their devices can either be left with the airline to be picked up on return, it can be forwarded to any address they like or passengers can rebook on a later flight and charge their devices in the meantime.
All of this may seem troublesome but it is after all being done in the interest of security. Since this is likely to prolong queues at security, passengers on routes to Middle East or parts of Asia should consider heading to the airport a bit earlier than usual.