UK airports issue “must be charged” warning for travellers with electronic devices

Manchester and Heathrow airports have said that travellers going to the United States should ensure that their electronics devices are charged before travelling.

The new rule, implemented as the US steps up security following intelligence of a “credible” terrorist threat, means passengers must be able to turn on their device, or they will not be able to take it on board.

Airline staff are carrying out checks on devices at boarding gates, and British Airways has said that customers in possession of an uncharged device may have to rebook their flight.

According to the BBC, analysts have said that the new, stricter rules could be a response to efforts by Islamic militants from Syria and Yemen aiming to build explosive devices that can evade traditional airport security checks.

In addition, passengers are advised to take their chargers onto the plane in their hand-luggage in order to make sure their devices can be charged during flights.

Alternatively, “powered-down” devices can be stored in luggage stowed in the hold, according to the BBC.

If a device is not charged up, then passengers may be directed to shops where charging apparatus can be bought, so their devices can be charged in the airport before their flight departs.

Newly purchased devices from airport shops are also subject to the rule, and must be charged before boarding.

If devices still cannot be charged, then passengers can either use the airport’s 42-day storage service, or have the item shipped separately.

Currently, no definitive list of devices subject to the extra security check has been published, though the list is expected to include:

Mobile phones

Laptops

Tablet computers

Cameras

MP3 players

Electric shavers

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