On July 2, 2014, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security directed TSA to enhance security measures. As a result, on July 6, TSA sent out a press release stating “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.”
This policy is taking effect on flights to the U.S. through major hub airports in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, though a list of the specific airports affected is not yet available. The rule will apply to not only cell phones but also other electronic devices such as tablets, MP3 players, cameras and electric shavers. Passengers unable to show their devices are charged and can power on before boarding, face alternatives including rescheduling to a later flight to give time to charge their electronic devices.
Exactly how airports and airlines will implement these new precautions is not yet entirely clear. At Heathrow Airport, British Airways says in the immediate future, while travelers adjust to the new rule, the airline will cover the costs of shipping dead phones and other devices to the traveler’s home address. They also will offer to rebook customers to a later flight who want to keep their uncharged devices and charge the battery.
Virgin Atlantic’s new policy is similar to British Airways, but the customer will be responsible for all costs associated with mailing it home. American Airlines, the world’s largest airline, also will offer customers with uncharged gadgets the option to mail the device at the airport, discard it or be rebook on a later flight for no fee.
The potential problem of uncharged electronic devices will not exist for ECBC travelers who utilize the Portable Power Pack in their personal luggage. All of ECBC’s carry-on sized rolling luggage, including the Sparrow Wheeled Garment Bag, Pegasus Convertible Wheeled Backpack and the Falcon Wheeled Duffle Bag come with the Portable Power Pack built in for added convenience.
ECBC strives to keep our tech-savvy customers informed and up to date on new regulations to ensure a smooth travel experience.