Wednesday, 9 July 2014

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What Do The New Airport Security Measures Mean For You?

 

 

Travellers are being advised to power up electronic devices in hand luggage as part of new security measures introduced at UK airports.

The move comes as the US stepped up its airport security, although the Department for Transport (DfT) said there was "no change to the UK threat level, which remains at substantial" - the third of five possible threat levels. So what has changed and what will it mean for passengers? What are the new restrictions on charging devices in your hand luggage? Passengers passing through airport security will have to prove their electronic devices are powered up by switching them on.

What gadgets are included? As well as mobile phones and laptops, the DfT guidance includes devices such as electrical shavers, hair-straighteners and cameras or any other camera equipment. No complete list has been provided but the general advice applies anything "with a battery", so other items such as handheld games consoles and e-readers could also be checked. What will happen if my device cannot be switched on? The government guidelines say passengers carrying devices which they cannot switch on "face not being allowed to bring the device onto the aircraft". Passengers would then have to choose between charging the device if possible, leaving it behind (see below) or not getting on their flight. What will happen if I leave an electronic device? Some airlines have outlined ways customers can get their devices back. British Airways said passengers could either keep devices at airports for customers to collect or have them forwarded to another address, at the airline's expense.

Virgin Atlantic has said likewise. EasyJet said it was seeking clarification from the government on the new regulations and had not, so far, issued any specific instructions to passengers. Can I charge my device at the airport? To avoid the risk of missing your flight or having your device taken away, make sure it is fully charged and check that the airport you are travelling from has a charging point. If for any reason you have a device with a flat battery, charging points are available near security in most airports - so if you have enough time before your flight you should be able to charge it up.

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