Electronic devices must be switched on or US, UK bound passengers may be turned away, Emirates confirms

Under new security measures, Dubai airline says phones, tablets are required to have sufficient power before reaching the airport

Photo for illustrative purpose only (Getty Images)

Photo for illustrative purpose only (Getty Images)

Emirates Airline has confirmed that all passengers flying to the US, Canada or the UK must have their mobile phones, tablets and other electronic devices charged before they board the flight or they will not be allowed to travel, a spokesperson confirmed.

“Emirates is advising travellers to the USA, Canada and the UK that they are required to switch on their electronic devices at Dubai International airport or risk being denied boarding,” a spokesperson confirmed.

“All electronic devices are required to have sufficient power before reaching the airport. This advisory is part of enhanced security measures required by the authorities of these countries and is applicable to passengers of all airlines.”

UK airports, Manchester and Heathrow have both announced the new ruling, which says that if a "device doesn't switch on, you won't be allowed to bring it onto the aircraft".

The statement from the US Transport Security Administration (TSA) said: "During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones. Powerless devices will not be permitted on board the aircraft. The traveller may also undergo additional screening."

According to the BBC, US officials said earlier this month they were aware of a "credible" terrorist threat, but have not linked the security changes to any specific intelligence.

Airline staff in the UK are said to be carrying out checks on devices at boarding gates and British Airways has warned its customers that even newly purchased devices from an airport shop must have power: "If your device doesn't power up when you are requested to do so, you will not be allowed to fly to the US on your original service. Our customer services team will look after the rebooking of your travel arrangements," it said on its website.

The UK Department for Transport declined to say whether other UK airports would enforce similar restrictions on flights to the US. So far, the UK, France and Germany have all said they would comply with the American demands but it is still not clear how many airports will be affected, or if passengers will be delayed.

Chris Youlten, Etihad Airways vice president network operations told ITP.net: "At present, Etihad Airways has not been impacted by such measures. The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Pre-Clearance Facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport has created an added layer of protection, and this was pre-defined by the US and UAE governments as one of the reasons why this facility was introduced in the emirate. Pre-cleared flights already require enhanced security measures which have been in place since the facility opened.

"Enhanced security measures are consistently being introduced at airports across the world in response to improvements in the manufacture of explosive devices. Etihad Airways monitors the development of airport screening and detection measures, both electronic and human, everywhere we fly, and we remain satisfied that those measures are currently very effective."

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Posted by: Pandit

What if, somebody is travelling from US to India and carrying the Laptop which is Not Working.

Posted by: chalky676

I recently traveled to NY through AD and took the pre clearance which was mandatory. When I went through the security checks I showed my Ipad and IPhone switched on, the look I got was 'so you have a phone, well done'!. Not sure if this has just been implemented but the US staff at the passport kiosk did not know anything about this!

@Ramesh - Any measure like this that has been introduced comes from credible intelligence. If you read and understand this you should like most people conclude that if explosives are fixed into the phone then the circuitry and electronics inside would have to be removed apart from a mechanism to detonate. Obviously a good measure will be to make sure the phone works as this would indicate the absence of explosives. I guess the next step up would be to make the phone look like its working to fool the authorities. Worrying times we live in and for the sake of a few minutes more in delays it?s well worth the peace of mind.

Posted by: ramesh rayen

why this new rule? any significance? why cant the authorities charge and chk if any content is abusive? do they think the bomb was fixed on to it? Funny american rules

Posted by: Kumar G

The reason is to make sure the device is actually what it is supposed to be and not being used to pack plastic explosives that can be remotely detonated.
Modern tecnology has advanced to the stage that wrong-doers can exploit the devices to endanger the lives of innocent bystanders/passengers.
Remember the case where someone tried to pack explosives in a printer cartridge?
So the rule is not so funny after all!!

Posted by: turk971

@Ramesh, it may seem funny to you but not to people who value their safety more than anything else. At least the US is trying to do their best to ensure maximum safety for airline passengers. What has your country done for you and everyone else's safety? If you ask me, this is what is funny.

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