British Airways To Ground US Bound Passengers with Dead Electronics

Image Courtesy of British Airways

This weekend I shared news that British Airways was testing Mood Blankets that would change color based on a travelers mood – blue means relaxation & calm while the red signals stress or anxiousness.  I hope British Airways isn’t testing these mood blankets on passengers impacted by today’s news or all they’ll be seeing is red!  The United States Department of Homeland Security announced increased security measures and restrictions that will make traveling a bit more stressful, for some. 

Image Courtesy of British Airways

Image Courtesy of British Airways

A spokesman for British Airways said: “British Airways is complying with the new security requirements from the US government on flights from the UK to the US.”  The new policy means that British Airways passengers who are unable to turn on electronic devices during security checks risk being immediately banned from their US flight and having to reschedule, even if they offer to discard the item (though I can’t imagine who would even offer to discard their laptop or iPhone.) 

Any transit passenger (that is, someone who is passing through the UK and traveling onward to the US) whose device has died while in transit will also be prevented from their onward travel unless they can recharge the device first.  I can just imagine the pushing and shoving to get to the outlets after a flight lands. Now you’ll have to consider bringing plug adapters for your transit countries as well as your final destinations!  

London Heathrow Airport has announced that checks will take place both at passport control and boarding gates – I’m sure that will make the boarding process even more pleasant. 

This is all in response to the announcement from DHS and TSA.  This week TSA published an announcement stating that passengers boarding flights to the U.S. from “certain overseas airports” will first need to prove that “all electronic devices” they’ve packed can be powered up. 

Full text of the TSA’s announcement:

Last week, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson directed TSA to implement enhanced security measures at certain overseas airports with direct flights to the United States.

As the traveling public knows, all electronic devices are screened by security officers. 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 traveler may also undergo additional screening.

TSA will continue to adjust security measures to ensure that travelers are guaranteed the highest levels of aviation security conducted as conveniently as possible.

I’m glad my international travel has come to a halt for now, this sounds like it’s going to make for some interesting security lines! 

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