By Neil Halligan
Passengers may have to turn on newly-bought electrical products before being allowed board
Dubai Duty Free has confirmed that the new security checks on electronic goods in airports extend to electrical products purchased in their shops.
Emirates Airline confirmed on Sunday that all passengers flying to the US, Canada or the UK must be able to switch on their mobile phones, tablets and other electronic devices before they board the flight or they will not be allowed to travel.
Speaking to Gulf News newspaper, Michael Schmidt, retail sales manager at Dubai Duty Free (DDF), confirmed that electronic products purchased in Duty Free shops are subject to the same security checks.
“All electronic devices available at Dubai Duty Free are sold with chargers and as long as the passengers can demonstrate that their devices can be charged on request, then it should not be a problem,” he was quoted as saying.
Schmidt said that Dubai Duty Free customers have not faced any issues in relation to the new regulations, but said passengers may have to open the packaging on a newly bought product.
Ashish Panjabi, Jacky’s chief operating officer, said that most mobile phones have an average battery charge of 20 to 30 percent when bought in store, but did warn that the battery charge decreased the longer it stood on the shelf.
While passengers will have cleared the major security check by the time they reach duty free, airline staff in the UK have specifically warned that checks may be carried out on devices at boarding gates.
British Airways, on its website, has warned its customers to try and ensure that any electrical product has power when they reach the boarding gate.
“Customers must be prepared to demonstrate that the item has power. The item and its packaging may also be examined by security teams at the boarding gate. Please do all you can to ensure that any new electronic items you purchase at the airport have power before you reach the boarding gate,” read the advice on BA’s website.
Emirates Airline, while not specifically dealing with the issue of boarding gate checks, said passengers should be able to switch on an electrical device at the airport.
“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.
“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,” said a spokesperson for Emirates.
Abu Dhabi International, which also hosts the only US-pre clearance facility in the Middle East, has not introduced any security changes.