Charge That Phone Before Heading to the US

cellphones-planes

Don’t bring dead phones or laptops to those overseas airports for flights heading to the USA.

Department of Homeland Security officials warned last week that security would tighten at airports where flights head directly to the USA but without providing much detail about how the scrutiny would change. Security officials said Sunday that the attention is focused on explosives that could be disguised as electronic devices.

The Transportation Security Administration issued a statement Sunday saying that as part of its routine screening at the overseas airports with direct flights, checkpoint officers may ask owners to turn on devices including cellphones. Devices that can’t be turned on won’t be permitted on flights, TSA said. Travelers also may undergo additional screening such as pat-downs.

After earlier threats involving explosives in shoes and liquids, most travelers were asked to remove their shoes for X-ray at checkpoints and larger containers of liquids were prohibited on flights. The latest change is an attempt to anticipate the next attack rather than simply react to the last one.

The changes announced last Wednesday met little public criticism. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the threat from al-Qaeda and other groups is constantly evolving and targets aviation.

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