TSA will check to see if your device turns on for international, U.S.-bound flights

TSA will check to see if your device turns on for international, U.S.-bound flights

As part of new security protocol at foreign airports, the United States Transportation Security Administration will require cell phones and select electronic devices to be fully charged with the ability to be powered on when going through security screening. The TSA says that devices that won't power on will not be allowed on flights headed to the U.S.

The increased security measure arises amidst concerns that al Quada may blow up a jetliner and Agency officials fear that phones, tablets, and laptops may be used as bombs. TSA will be asking travelers to power on their electronic devices at security checkpoints to verify that they are safe on board a flight.

The increased screening will be for U.S.-bound flights originating from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. So if you're headed to the U.S., be sure that your phones and electronics are fully charged before headed to the airport.

In addition to electronics-related safety concerns at airports and on planes, TSA will also be closely checking the shoes of travelers.

What do you think of the new security measures? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: NBC News

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There are 32 comments. Add yours.

bobbob1016 says:

I had my pitchfork ready until I saw it was to make sure they wouldn't go boom, not to search them for data... :-/

ronm88 says:

I suppose they have their reasons and can understand the rule. However, what happens if you accidentally board with a drained device. It will happen. A lot. Do you miss your flight? I've tried to board a plane once and had forgotten to leave my $5 penknife keychain at home. It went in the garbage. I'm obviously not going to trash my iphone, nor would I want to mail it home.

Dan Lester says:

And good luck finding a post office in the airport to mail it home, too.
Speaking of knives, a friend forgot he had an heirloom (from his grandfather) pocket knife with him and had it taken at security. He had a lot of time and had his wife come to airport so he went back to security to have it returned to her. The female security guard said it wasn't in the bin where they throw things for recycle. He said it better be or he'd call for a supervisor. She then went to a locked cabinet, got out her purse, dug it out, and returned it to him.

richard451 says:

Most major airports have post offices in the terminals (some airports have mailing supplies at the TSA station). What sucks is you gotta get out of line and mail the pocket knife. Luckily the mail rates aren't too bad.

mister_grey says:

The "sharp objects" rule is total security theatre too. Anyone knows (or can find out with a ten second internet search), that there is a giant fire axe kept in the stewardess area just by the cockpit in case they need to break the door down. Also, there is a "secret" entrance to most cockpits that completely bypasses the door. Anyone who works in the airplane industry is aware of this so certainly the terrorists are as well.

All they are doing by taking away people's pocketknives and nail clippers is inconveniencing people.

Connor Mason says:

It takes under 10 minutes for an iPhone to reach minimum charge to power on. A lot of other phones will power on almost instantly after being plugged in. All the TSA has to do is keep a few Lightning, 30pin, Micro USB and Mini USB chargers lying around and that should cover like 99% of travelers with dead phones

TonyHove says:

Hopefully they will do that!

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Rowanova says:

Agreed, but I doubt it. That would imply the government was gonna use some common sense. In the US?!?

Dev from tipb says:

Probably this model:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2013/06/02/researchers-say-the...

(Edit, since imore app does not allow clicking links - link is to article outlining power stations that can compromise iOS devices)

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iphone5s says:

It's a firm rule so I guess everyone traveling in said circumstances should prepare themselves accordingly. Seems reasonable. I know I would never travel unprepared and as a co passenger if someone can't keep up with the rules too bad, do not board the flight I'm on.

OLDFish says:

Sorry folks. TSA does not operate overseas. Just arrived from Europe and security in Belgium was done by an authorized contractor working for/at United. It is possible that TSA may require this from airlines. This is not something new. US immigration, make airlines responsible for checking passports, US and Foreign ones, and visas/green cards for those that are not US citizens. If they fail, the airlines pay for the return of that passenger to his/her country of origin.

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Dan Lester says:

You know they won't keep chargers around, but hope you have yours in your carry on if they consider that adequate. I flew two weeks after 9/11 (OAK---HNL) and had to prove that my laptop powered on at security. That requirement went away at some later date, but obviously is back again.

Allan L says:

Fully charged? What does that even mean?

iphone5s says:

Would add that it's doubtful a TSA agent would want to stand by and watch someone's phone to charge sp they can board. a.) it's too time consuming b.) they would likely treat all non powered devices as potential bombs.

graigsmith says:

So. Are they saying that even though they can run them through a scanner that can show the insides and the chips and everything. They are still afraid it's an explosive?

mister_grey says:

I'm against airport searches but it's easy to see how a battery for such a device could be replaced by a packet of plastique. We conventionally call them "scanners" nowadays, but it isn't exactly Star Trek level technology. Most "scanners" are simple x-ray machines.

I'm wondering why no one from Al Queda didn't do this years ago. Any laptop could easily have a battery made of explosive and it would look no different from a regular battery on the X-Ray.

mister_grey says:

Out of curiosity and because I just don't know, how can the US TSA have any jurisdiction in Europe? By that I mean how can they search people in airports in other countries before they get on the US bound flight, without basically violating people's rights? Does the TSA have agents in every airport in the world and even if they did, why would they have any authority on another nation's soil?

Dan Lester says:

If the planes want to fly to the USA, the airlines have to follow TSA and other US rules/laws. If they don't, their planes can't land in the USA. The rules for Australia, for example, are quite different for flying within the country as compared to flying to the USA. Almost no security for flying domestic in Australia. Your family can go to the gate with you, for example.

Eric Domejean says:

But you can put this in your checked luggage?

Dan Lester says:

Yes you can put in checked luggage. Of course by time you're going thru security, your luggage is on the way to the plane.

Bill_Johnson says:

I carry a battery pack to charge my devices when a plug isn't available. Wonder how that will fare with the TSA as all that will do is show a couple LED's when turned on.

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TipMe says:

Yikes! I have the same thing. This is a good question.

Michael Antkowiak says:

well, get ready to sit in already long lines then.
I travel frequently to Asia...no mention of flights from there getting added screening. yay for me, and terrorists.
All kidding aside, this is not going to be a very happy situation for traveler. Most people travel with multiple devices too. I travel to China with my life. MBP, iPod, iPhone (sometimes 2) and my iPad, Digital Camera too. If the TSA is going to make me take all those devices out to check if they work...wow what a mess that would be in TSA.
One interesting comparison between security screening in China VS. the US. They don't make you take your shoes off, but they make you take our cameras, chargers...pretty much all your electronics out of your bag if they are suspicious. The Camera thing is just recently due to the lost Airplane...but that might just be the Beijing Airport.

khobia2 says:

Well let's hope they warn people using all channels cause it would suck royally to turn up with your cell phone drained. Effing al Queda they are the worse kind of pain in the ass.

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dowdyrich says:

I hope no crazies get the idea to simply have bombs go off at security check ins... Morbid thought, I know.. :-/

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stoova says:

What. the. fuck.

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davidbowser says:

Wicked old school, and history is underrated, but here it is:

Back about 25-30 years ago, some airport security folks (Pittsburgh is the one that sticks in my head) would ask you to turn on laptops and luggables.

That was right after the PanAm Lockerbie flight was destroyed by a bomb.

baskarguha says:

We are trending towards boarding planes in standard issue (likely orange colored) shirt-pant-unders with all our personal wear and belongings checked in ... no nothing that is yours. May be better to check ourselves in as baggage at that point!