British Airways passengers who are unable to turn on electronic devices when asked risk being immediately banned from their US flight and having to reschedule, even if they offer to abandon the item or send it on separately, it has been reported.
Any transfer passenger whose device has gone flat on the first leg will also be prevented from their onward travel unless they can recharge first, The Telegraph reported last night.
Turning on an electronic device can show a security screener that the laptop computer or mobile phone is a working device and that its batteries are not hidden explosives.
c. A new rule being used in both airports suggests that if a “device doesn’t switch on, you won’t be allowed to bring it on to the aircraft”. Checks will be carried out at London's Heathrow both at passport control and boarding gates, while a spokeswoman for Manchester Airport told the BBC that device power checks would only be done by airline staff at departure gates.
Changes were announced after Washington Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson ordered beefed up security at foreign airports from where aircraft fly directly to the US. US officials reportedly said the move was the result of intelligence that al Qaida's chief bomb maker, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, who is thought to be based in Yemen, had linked up with jihadists in Syria to pass on his skills
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A spokesman for BA said: “British Airways is complying with the new security requirements from the US government on flights from the UK to the US.”