Last week, the Transportation Security Administration has announced that travelers on international flights to the U.S. may be asked to prove that their electronic devices are powered before boarding at the discretion of TSA security officers. Devices with no power won't be allowed on the aircraft. The new security effort is said to be a response to fears that dead electronic devices could be used to conceal a bomb.This goes for phones and other communication electronic devices, like a tablet.
"As the traveling public knows, all electronic devices are screened by security officers. 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. The traveler may also undergo additional screening," the TSA announced. "TSA will continue to adjust security measures to ensure that travelers are guaranteed the highest levels of aviation security conducted as conveniently as possible."
The Associated Press reports that a Department of Homeland Security official told confirmed that, while the TSA cannot implement policy in other countries, it does have the power to set screening criteria and processes for flights to the U.S.
Reaction around the web to this news has predictably varied. Some travelers are concerned that they'll miss connecting flights if their children spend too much time on their device during a flight, while others wonder if airports will begin adding more charging stations in terminals. Our tip: Avoid a farewell scene with your phone or tablet by making sure your phone is fully charged and double-check that you've packed a charger (or two!).