British Airways say it will turn away holidaymakers and business passengers booked on US-bound flights if their electrical devices will not switch on after mandatory security measures ordered by TSA.
On the ninth anniversary of the 7/7 terrorist bombings in London, secretary of homeland security Jeh Johnson, said:”The latest change is an attempt to anticipate the next attack rather than simply react to the last one.” This measure has been directed after US intelligence officials reportedly said al Qaida’s chief bomb maker, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, has passed on skills teaching Syrian jihadists to develop bombs from electrical devices.
TSA and border officials will ask USA-bound passengers for a device to be turned on so they can make sure it’s not a bomb in disguise. Passengers with uncharged mobile phones or other electrical items risk being banned from their US flight, and airport security will effectively treat these passengers like “terrorists”. Mr Johnson also stated:”If your phone (or some other device) doesn’t turn on, you’ll have to leave it behind.”
Passengers who offer to abandon devices or send them separately may be allowed to board rescheduled flight, British Airways have reported.
Passengers whose batteries have gone flat during the flight or transfer passengers on the first leg will also be prevented from entering the plane unless devices are charged first. Electrical devices bought at duty-free shops will also have to be charged, along with mandatory batteries check of devices to make sure they are not hidden explosives in order to gain entry onto the flight.
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.”
Josh De Souza Crook
Photo: Curt Smith