Security

Your smartphone may not fly if it isn’t charged, warns TSA

Image Credit: Andrei Dimofte

Update July 9: The U.K.’s Department for Transport issued a similar warning today, advising anyone flying to or from the U.K. to charge their devices.

If you want to bring your smartphone with you next time you fly into the U.S., you better make sure it’s charged.

The Transportation Security Administration announced some new “enhanced security measures” yesterday on its blog. The new rules specify that “powerless devices will not be permitted onboard” aircrafts. The directive came from Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.

Johnson’s decision “followed intelligence that al-Qaida operatives in Syria and Yemen may have developed bombs that could be placed in mobile telephones and avoid detection to bring down aircraft bound for America,” according to the Guardian. The agency did not disclose which international airports are affected by the policy change.

In other TSA news, the agency recently started testing a new ‘Randomizer’ app, which could cut down security lines in as many as 100 airports.

12 comments
Ryan M Bertoldi
Ryan M Bertoldi

Has anyone really heard of ANY attempts at smuggling explosives onto planes lately?? Why do I feel like the already GROSSLY understaffed TSA is going to make my already-ridiculous 1 hour security wait into a 2 hour wait now...just so that they can "check devices".

Jeff Perkowitz
Jeff Perkowitz

This is most likely the result of explosives packed to look like batteries inside electronics.  It's usually the largest single component inside any electronic.

Omotayo Gbodimowo
Omotayo Gbodimowo

they don't really need it to be charged they just want it to emit back end signals

Kim Dingle
Kim Dingle

I agree with Tara, they have had issues with my dead laptop through security. This isnt new. Make sure everything is fully charged

Tara Lee Brannen
Tara Lee Brannen

Is this suppose to be new? Or at least in Canada, airport security has always said electronics have to be able to be turned on. I've been traveling with a laptop for a decade so I just assumed same rules would apply to smart phones.

Josh Leong
Josh Leong

Tsa gonna check every phone? Greeeeat wait times will be 5 hours or more

Valerio Capello
Valerio Capello

"I wish that, just once, some terrorist would try something that you can only foil by upgrading the passengers to first class and giving them free drinks." -- Bruce Schneider

Joel Reyna
Joel Reyna

I'm changing the Threatcon level to BRIGHT ORANGE. Number 1, I order you to take a number 2.