*iStock photo
*iStock photo

If you’re travelling, you had better make sure your electronic devices have a charge left in them if you want to get them past security.

Both the US and the UK have begun checking travellers’ electronic devices — cell phones, tablets, laptops, e-readers — on some international flights to ensure they have a charge. And the US have expanded that this week to also include some US domestic flights.

If your device does not have a charge, you won’t be able to take it past security.

This comes after alleged plots from Al Qaeda that they were trying to disguise explosives in electronic devices.

Safer

Gary Kent-Smith, veteran travel agent at worldview Travel, told the Bermuda Sun: “Anything that makes travel safer — and it’s fairly safe now — the general public should be in favour of. A little inconvenience of turning on a computer or turning on a cell phone is quite reasonable if it keeps you alive.

“If it keeps someone else getting a dangerous weapon on the plane, I’m all for it.

Most reasonable people would be.” Sallie Singleton, BA spokesperson for Bermuda, said it does not yet affect the Gatwick to Bermuda flights.

US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson directed Transport Security Administration to implement enhanced security measures at certain overseas airports with direct flights to the United States.

A Homeland Security press release said: “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. The traveller may also undergo additional screening.” After the United States announced the move, the UK followed suit.

A Department for Transport in the UK issued a release which said: “Passengers on some routes into and out of the UK may now also be required to show that electronic devices in their hand luggage are powered up or face not being allowed to bring the device onto the aircraft. Passengers flying into or out of the UK are therefore advised to make sure electronic devices being carried in their hand luggage are charged before they travel.” British Airways issued a statement to travel agents, including ones in Bermuda, with regard to the security changes.

BA, in its release, said: “If, when asked to do so, customers are not able to demonstrate that their device has power, they will not be allowed to take their device with them on their planned service. It will not be possible for customers to place the item in their hand or hold luggage — they will have to leave the item behind or rebook an alternative flight. Customers will still be able to use their electronic devices on board subject to the normal operating rules.” The airline warned passengers who are transferring to another plane or are on long journeys “please make sure that you do not deplete the power in your devices while on the first part of your journey.

There will be very limited charging points at airports”.

It also warned against bringing any broken devices in carry-ons.