The US Transport Security Administration (TSA) on Sunday announced “enhanced measures at certain airports overseas” which will involve more detailed examination of tech equipment during security checks. The move comes just days after US officials warned it’d received information of a new type of bomb capable of passing through security machines undetected.
“As the traveling public knows, all electronic devices are screened by security officers,” the TSA said in a release Sunday. “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.”
It added that travelers who have their tech devices removed may also undergo additional screening by airport security officials.
According to a recent Reuters report, iPhones and Samsung Galaxy handsets will receive particular attention from airport security officials dealing with flights heading to the United States.
It’s not known how affected airlines will handle the increase in security, or what the authorities plan to do with all the confiscated devices. On the former, it’s possible they’ll remind passengers of the new security measures during check-in, and could even offer chargers if their device’s battery is flat. It’ll certainly be in the airline’s interest to avoid situations where devices such as phones, tablets and cameras are taken off passengers prior to boarding, with all the commotion it could possibly cause.
It’s not known precisely which international airports will be implementing the new measures, though London’s Heathrow, one of the busiest airport hubs in the world, is thought to be among them.
Recent intelligence received by US officials suggest the new type of bomb is the work of al-Qaida operatives operating out of Yemen and Syria. The TSA promised it will “continue to adjust security measures to ensure that travelers are guaranteed the highest levels of aviation security conducted as conveniently as possible.”
So, for the time being at least, here’s the advice: unless you you want to wave bye-bye to your phone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of electronic equipment you’d like to take on board a flight, make sure it’s charged before you hit airport security.
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