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UK officials follow US counterparts by banning electronics with no charge from boarding flights

BlackBerry
By John Callaham on 9 Jul 2014 09:33 am EDT
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The UK government's Department of Transport has now joined with the U.S. in requiring that passengers on some international flights coming in and out of the country must show that their electronic devices can be powered up, in an effort to improve security.

The new notice from the department stated:

In line with the US advice, passengers on some routes into and out of the UK may now also be required to show that electronic devices in their hand luggage are powered up or face not being allowed to bring the device onto the aircraft. Passengers flying into or out of the UK are therefore advised to make sure electronic devices being carried in their hand luggage are charged before they travel.

The department won't be revealing publicly just which airline routes will be affected by this new rule. It added that it will be working with airlines to "to minimise disruption as far as possible." This addition comes after some concerns have been raised about a possible threat to blow up an airliner by terrorist groups.

What do you think of this new trend in airline security and will it make you charge up your cell phone or tablet before you board an international flight?

Source: UK Department for Transport

Reader comments

UK officials follow US counterparts by banning electronics with no charge from boarding flights

150 Comments

Unfortunately new upcoming BB10 devices looking like stuck with integrated built-in batteries?

I for one will only buy new BlackBerry models if it has large capacity *removable* battery!
(Just swap in a 2nd battery and you're good to go.
No recharging dongles to hold you back!)

Yeah one can't even use a portable charger battery pack since it can't be powered up if I am reading this correctly.

That's bullsh!t. The last time I was pulled over by an officer at the Vancouver International airport, he asked for my cell phone password and I was sceptical of his request and denied him. He threaten me that he would hold me back from my flight so I then gave in and give him my password. Him and his partner kept going through my text messages and laughed at me. I have nothing to hide but they humiliated me because of my minority race and sexuality and also the guys I was chatting up with wasn't PG rated text messages. I wanted to make a complaint but the process of filing a complaint with the Canadian government is tedious. I didn't get the officer's name because I thought I was late for my flight and I didn't feel like spending another minute with those officer after being humiliated.

That's terrible dude - based on my little experience those officers in the US and the UK are abusive of thier powers. I never been to Canada but it looks like that's the case too.

The best way but time consuming is to backup, wipe, go to the airport and restore.

With the laptop you can encrypt a whole OS with truecryp, true crypt has can hide an OS inside an OS so even if you give away a password the officers has no way to know you have another OS they just see blank space.

It's not about having something to hide but privacy. Rest assure that if someone wants to blow up an airplane they find a way, it's not just a common fantasy as they like us to think and if we look at the last few hundreds years of history the world's biggest terrorist organization is still the US government.

I really think everyone at school should be made to study 1984, and then perhaps we wouldn't end up with so many sheep who just blindly follow and accept everything.

I've said this before, but there is a much much much greater chance of your plane being brought down by pilot error or a mechanical fault than by terrorism. There is a much much greater chance of you dying on the way to the airport than in a plane.

I've had enough of 99.9999999999% of the population being harassed, inconvenienced, shouted at, stressed and annoyed to potentially catch the 0.0000000001% of the population who aren't nice people. It's ridiculous.

Personally, the battery in my laptop lasts an hour and a half on a good day. Finding a seat in an airport next to a power outlet is nigh on impossible. I will sit and work until my laptop turns itself off. I've boarded countless flights whereby my battery has gotten down to zero and died. So now what.

I really wish people would learn to think.

Posted via CB10

Not to mention in the UK if they ask you for the password of your device you have to provide it otherwise you can be persecuted.

Woah! So by refusing to divulge your password, the UK will systematically subject your race to cruel and insufferable treatment?

The UK is hardcore!

:)

Here is the thing... There has to be airport security. Regardless of how lax or strict it is. This is a primary request of everyone including passengers, government, airlines and their staff:
- Everyone want security in the process of building airplanes
- Security in maintenance
- Security in cargo
- Security with staff
- Security with passengers

There is always a certain "passenger" check regardless of how lax it is, even in italy 15 years ago in a national airport where you can jump a fence to get in the airport easily, they would simply look at you and your name and say, "he is good" ... but there was still that checkpoint. yes it was nice to be trusted by strangers...

Now, complain all you want about that checkpoint today. But if I rephrased the question, and it was revealed to me that a certain Tachylite cloud was found in the skies, and, that cloud could have a mechanical impact on the plane - it would be the responsibility of the airline, traffic control, to prevent planes from passing that security checkpoint and keep the plane grounded (or at least avoiding the cloud).

In the same manner, If passenger security learns of a potential bomb that can be set off by modified electronic equipment. Then... it would be better to err on the side of caution rather than ignore it. This isn't a case of convenience. This is a case of - here is some information - don't be stupid and use it.

To everyone's inconvenience, This process was highly scrutinized after 9/11 because there is a great possibility that the whole disaster could have been averted if passenger security erred on the side of caution with information that certain governing agencies obtained.

So, excuse me if i don't sympathize for your urgent need to use a laptop in an airport. But, security checkpoints are useless if they don't use all the information that is available to them. And if it's those stupid rules that make it safe to fly - then follow the god damned rules. It's not fucking rocket science.

It so much easier then having to determine where volcanic tachylite ash is blowing - just - don't use your laptop - or take a boat or a train. So what if you feel like it's 1984 for 1 hour. That's the trade off for BEING ABLE TO GO ON A PLANE. now stop holding up the line in protest and respect the security of strangers around you and follow the god damn rules.

People like you should be grounded, so people like me can get on a plane quicker.

1984 for one hour? Where do you live?!? It's 1984 24/7 and we're not referring to the mighty 80's here. What you wrote would make perfect sense but we all know that's what the government wants to believe, like 9/11 we all know it was an inside job. Security and all the anti terrorist law have nothing to do with security nor terrorism - it's all about controlling the masses.

Mixed feelings, but I personally feel there's truth to this reply as much as there's some truth to the novel above...

Posted via CB10

Lol people are so tamed, it's so easy to give up freedom, all they need to say is "for your own safety". What a joke. People like you should really dig up some back stories behind terrorist attacks, rather than being told by the 6pm news.

Posted via CB10

You guys are fucking idiots. Buried deep behind your computer monitors there is a horribly fucked up world and the people in it are fucking insane. You won't say shit until it happens to someone you know. Wait until your parents are on a plane heading straight to the world trade center then you'll be like uhhhhh they should of had better security

Q10 Posted via CB10

Lmao you fool! I see you lack common sense and basic vocabularies. Profanities don't make sound intelligent neither. The saddest part is, you sound brainwashed by those 6pm news.

Posted via CB10

Dont be surprised in the US 99% of people get information from CNN and FOX news of course they are brainwashed.

I honestly hope something happens to you where someone gets passed a secure area. Then u can complain and ask why and how they got through security

Q10 Posted via CB10

I have good memories of Fiumicino back in the day. They were pulling out random passengers for security checks into a separate line, when I noticed my line (non security) was filled with older people and mostly men. The "security" line? Young, pretty women, each "scrutinized" by the lines "Ciao, bella. Dove vai?"

Very, very secure.... but times have changed.

Posted via CB10

Ok and guess what idiot, this lessens the chances even more. Shut up stop trying to be a wanna be rebel hipster

Q10 Posted via CB10

If anyone really studied 1984, no-one would buy Apple products. But you can see how many sheep exist out there.

Unfortunately, this makes sense. It's a shame that the world has regressed into this state where the violent people of the world has instilled fear into the rest of the citizenry of the planet.

Posted via CB10

Lol why? How may times do you "carry on" a device that doesn't have a charge? Just put it in your luggage

Posted via CB10

LOL maybe I should preventatively put my phone in luggage just in case battery's dead by the time I board?

Lots of times..like I left tinder open on my BB10 while on the way to the airport only to get there and find it the battery drained.

Plus what if I dont want it powered up so they cant ask me the password and go through my private stuff. What if I damage the battery on the way to the airport? What if my device is broken and wont power up and I want to take it with me so I can get it repaired? What if you're on holiday and break your new 800$ phone, would you fancy airport police of a foreign country confiscate it?

Totally.

They can sniff out explosives, and the detection devices are pretty good. Even if it is for security, this can still be used for the wrong purpose, like privacy invasions at the border...

Pasted via CB chen

Same as buying a bottle of water, if its bought in the airport they will already know its not a bomb

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

Ok, I'm all for it, but only if the airports then provide free charging stations...

Because if my flight is delayed, and I use my devices to keep me as entertained as possible as I wait, loose all battery and then have my device taken away (maybe? What is the protocall?) I will be one pissed off traveller... not cool if they just keep all devices that fail this test.

By then you probably will have already gone to the secure area (i.e., you would have already started your phone for the security guys).

If not, then wait to play your entertainment until after you've checked in through security.

Posted with my Q10, SQN100-2, 10.2.1.2947/2274 Radio

That make no sense, the precautions are carried out for specific route, unless they check at the gate, how are you going to stop someone pass the explosive device after the security check point. So if my flight delayed for 4 hours, my phone gone dead, I lose my phone at the gate?
I am not against security measure, but the whole airport security are so inconsistent, only purpose seems to may people queue longer.

Posted via CB10

Please help me to understand why a device with no charge is a threat. There is obviously a reason, but I'm not seeing it. No sarcasm here, just honestly want to know.

Posted via CB10

I'm pretty sure, no I'm sure, that you could build a bomb into a device and still have the device power up. This will have zero effect on flight safety and won't even be remotely worth the inconvenience it will cause. All it is is a check box for them so they can say they are doing something about security.

Posted via CB10

Oh, well be certain you tell the authorities about what makes you so certain. Because, if they come to the same conclusion as you do - and you provide enough evidence, I would guarantee that they would ban electronic devices on board entirely.

If you can't power it up, then you can't prove it is a phone and not some sort of bomb

STL-4. 10.2.1.3175 w/ 1259 clock

This is in response to intelligence regarding a specific threat involving a specific type of explosive device,built by a specific bomb maker.

Sure! I have no problem with that!
I can't wait for real time video cameras to be mandated in restrooms! Oh, that will never happen? I never thought all of this crap would be happening either.

Fear, fear, fear. It sells well.

We will beg for tyranny for the hopes of safety. Ugh.

Posted via CB10

If a device has been modified to put an explosive inside by removing internal components. So it still looks like a phone or tablet but would no longer work. Having it power on confirms the device still works as it should.

Posted with my Z10

It is if your battery died between luggage check-in and boarding, especially with waiting time on the rise usually due to...increased security! Airport people are laughing at your expense. Next your laptop or phone will be in one of those glass displays of confiscated goods.

new trend in security? old trend brought back..... many airlines/airports used to make you power up any electronics in your hand luggage (when the PlayBook first came out I was always being asked to power it up at the security/scanning bit of the airport)

Exactly - I remember having to power up laptops and cameras in the past so it's not new. In fact even before this announcement I recall having to do it occasionally at airports both US Domestic and international.

Posted via CB10

I travel in and out to Iraq from UK and this will be even more pain on top of if you are stuck behind somebody who doesn't travel a lot and doesn't prepare themselves for travel properly it already takes an age to clear customs .
I bet I take it tight at customs. (aarrgghh)
I dread the first suppository bomber if that happens it will be anal cavity searches for all. It will be your Dangle berries getting inspected not your Blackberry

"Powered by BlackBerry" Z30's are addictive as Crack

I'm sick of all this security measures. they are spreading fear among the population. What is next!? If you eat 8 hours ago you will ban from the plain.
I would sing right now possibility to suffer an attack but no security checking. Much more probable go suffer car accident than some terrorist attack on the flight.

Posted via CB10

Think of it this way, you are getting in the car of someone you don't know - a complete stranger, and his car is worth, about, 90 million dollars (it's really souped up - it can even fly). And he is totally cool, he lets you ride inside his sweet ride and promises he will get you there safely - gotta spot some money for gas of course. It's just one little thing. Don't bring water bottles and prove you have no weapons/bombs, cool?

It is cool we have somebody here...replying from MARS...!!
(How do you make this stuff up man?!?)

Posted via CB10 / Z30 10.2.1.2941

So for now the terrorists can turn a non functional phone into a bomb. It would not be long they can make a functional phone into a bomb. What then?

Tell me how many actual terror threats have been thwarted from the TSA?? F'kin crickets!! Patriot act and Dept of Homeland Security are more of a threat to Liberty than helpful.

Posted via CB10

No liberties are being threatened if you get to customs with a dead device and either A) can't leave, B) can't carry your device with you or C) which has yet to be determined but I'm assuming a certain demographic would be taken aside for questioning?

~ TheRealFixxxer 

Correct - no liberties lost there. Similarly, if you reach customs without your passport, visa, or with a bandolier of high caliber ammunition strapped over your shoulder, you should be detained until they can determine why you are not in compliance with travel requirements.

I'm pretty sure this requirement will be advertised on the news and in the airport BEFORE YOU PASS THROUGH SECURITY. If you arrive at security with a dead battery, your customs detainment issue will be avoided right there. They won't let you pass into the airport. To summarize, all of this B&M about losses of liberty is much ado about very little.

Tell me how many times have you been struck by lightning? Is it even possible? Do you take precautions when the risk is greater?

Blackberry always.....

Britain is the 51st state of the USA
so I guess this move makes perfect sense. Well to sum anyway

"Powered by BlackBerry" Z30's are addictive as Crack

As someone already stated this used to be general procedure when portable computers came out (you couldn't have called them laptops back then lol.) Also anyone coming from a country like Scotland which has lived with terrorism for decades will probably remember when you had to go out on the runway and identify your luggage before boarding the plane, anything not claimed was blown up. I have no problem making sure my devices are charged - far better than the alternative!

Posted via CB10

What are you talking about? Scotland has never been subjected to terrorism (other than Lockerbie) to the best of my knowledge.

Z10STL100-2/10.2.1.3247 O2 UK

Still not "living with terrorism for decades" is it? In fact, not even remotely above the average for any country, I think.

Z10STL100-2/10.2.1.3247 O2 UK

My question above was to LolaPagoda who stated that Scotland has been living with terrorism for decades. My question was "what are you talking about?". Asked, but not answered.

Z10STL100-2/10.2.1.3247 O2 UK

Hi Guy,
I am guessing that you have never heard of the IRA or the UDF, it just was not called terrorism then but "the troubles." Having grown up through 60s - 80s with bomb threats and enhanced security everywhere not just airports. Terrorism has been around for a long time.

The IRA is Irish. Irish Republican Army. They had no beef with Scotland. The UDF of course was based in Ulster, Northern Ireland as were the troubles you speak of. Are you confusing Northern Ireland with Scotland?

Z10STL100-2/10.2.1.3247 O2 UK

Suits me. I also think that passengers who are not UK residents and are visiting from the USA are kept in a queue for three hours and made to have a retina scan and fingerprints taken upon arrival. Also, passengers from the USA should not be allowed to use their phone until they've undergone the aforementioned process. Also, the air conditioning should be turned off so that the temperature is at least 30 degrees Celsius during this wholly reasonable process.

Because that is exactly what the sons of bitches did to 3 planeloads of brits and my family when we visited Orlando last year. **** You, USA! Have some of your own medicine! What's good for the goose is good for the ******* gander! And we can do it with a malicious smile and say it's for their own safety.

As far as I'm concerned, I'd like to make visiting the UK as intrusive and uncomfortable as possible.

Yes, I have a chip on my shoulder. It's wholly unreasonable that the NSA has my retina scan and fingerprint when my own GCHQ does not.

Internal probe for all yanks!

Z10STL100-2/10.2.1.3247 O2 UK

I cannot understand why so many people get frustrated and upset at steps to protect us. The security measures are essential to ensure we stay safe.
If people are worried that their phone will be confiscated, don't put it in hand luggage.
Have a fully charged spare battery on hand if you really can't bear to be without phone.

Posted via CB10

Is it possible to scan phones for info while they are off? If not, maybe that's why we need to keep them on...

Z10/STL100-3/10.2.1.537

Devices with short battery lives will need to get their act together.

Time to have USB charging points on all aircraft.

Posted via CB10

Exactly. I'm sorry but it's 2014. Can't expect people to not have their phone with them. It's for airports to work something out.

The Dutch Airport of Schiphol has also stated they intend to enforce this rule on intercontinental flights (at least bound for the US).

I think it is fine.

BlackBerry 10 signed.

I feel sorry for the iPhone users that drained their battery because of too much game playing during long wait with inability to remove the battery when reached the security check ...

Posted via CB10

Funny...I saw the Samsung commercial at least twice each for the last two nights during the evening news...and the news show was covering the power-up ruling. now,if only BlackBerry had a commercial ready to go to capitalize on this...

Posted via CB10

1 step closer to a collapsed economy. Americans/West has no idea the ramifications of such policy. With each policy created & set in place, comes another consequence of our freedom. Disagree? Ask yourself just how much choice/freedom you DO have.....

American guy at Basra airport Iraqi security said "occupation" American said "no just visiting"

American guy at Kandhar airport Afghan security said "occupation" American said "no just visiting"

If any Americans are reading this and don't get it ....
don't worry about it is normal

"Powered by BlackBerry" Z30's are addictive as Crack

I understand this is for safety, but honestly...this will slow down security so much...How many people have a call phone/laptop/tablet that they will have to power on and show whoever inspects them...ALOT OF PEOPLE, THATS WHO! Imagine, your blackberry takes like 30 seconds to boot, iif each person on a flight had a phone that took 30 seconds to boot just so they can show security thats a hell of a lot of added time...When they start checking electronic devices, the terrorists will just start planting bombs in headphones and earbuds, when that starts getting checked they'll plant bombs in fake eyeballs... THEY WONT GIVE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why is humanity so terrible...?

How can we be free with all these people constantly trying to harm us, and the only way to protect us is by taking away freedom by freedom. Maybe we should just go all Captain America : The Winter Soldier, and instantly eliminate anyone seen as a threat.

Simple...the lines are so long already they will have a sign as you join the queue to power on all your electronic devices.

Don Diego endorses the Zed.

I get having to turn on our phones and PlayBooks. But I find it hard to believe that you can't stuff enough C4 into a working tablet and still have it go boom!

Posted via CB10

While this article and others refer to powering the phone on/off, if this policy is similar ar to past practice you only have to perform some function that demonstrates the device is working. In the past for phones, this meant pressing any button that shows the phone is working - such as opening any app. People are making much more of this than is warranted. The greatest delay or inconvenience will come from those who complain and slowly comply, just to make a point - because they have an audience at the security gate. Or it will come from those infrequent travelers that are slow to understand what the TSA agent is requesting. The knee-jerk "F the government/USA" at every minor inconvenience has gotten quite tired.

Not as tired as being held hostage without water for 3 hours after a 8 and a half hour flight in a climate you're not used to with kids screaming.

No sir, not as tired as that.

All for security, but not for inefficiency. By tripling the number of staff and getting the queues down quicker, nobody would even care about the security measures. I know I don't care really about security measures, they don't bother me. What really grinds my gears is being kept waiting and knowing I paid to do it. I think you'll find most people are the same in that respect.

Z10STL100-2/10.2.1.3247 O2 UK

Will using my picture password wrongly suffice? Not opening up my bb. Next they'll say hand it here....

Don Diego endorses the Zed.

In the past that would've been sufficient. They were only looking to confirm it was a functioning phone - that it was powered on.

This is nothing new. This was done a while ago already, with both laptops and cells, then it stopped, now it's back. If it makes the flights safer, absolutely

Posted via CB10

I remember reading about an officer in the ghurkas travelling on a commercial flight to India? In full battle dress with loaded rifle, pistol and kukri, yet he had a pair of tiny nail scissors confiscated at security.

Posted via CB10

Since terrorists cannot board the plane with bombs, maybe they will stay detonating bombs in the queues in front of the security area, since they will have more luck there. Or what about trains, underground, malls etc. Why should terrorists bother bringing bombs on board of a plane, when it is so much easier to kill a lot of people on other places, and thus spreading fear? Maybe we will end up that you only may leave tour house with a cell phone when it is charged. If not, your bad, you are not allowed to leave your home.

Posted from my Z10

When I traveled internationally I carried 2 or 3 phones, a laptop, externally hard drives, ipod and cameras.
I always had them charged, ready for use.
It makes sense that everything should be able to start up.
There is a power outlets in every airport I have ever been in all over the world!!!!

I haven't flown International in many years and don't plan on going anyplace anytime soon. I understand the reason behind all these changes and would have no problem complying with it. Usually my cell phone for one is on until seated on the plane and told when to turn off. If carrying a laptop it would be in a separate bag and easy to get to. Knowing these new procedures I would just make sure and turn on prior security checkpoint. All we can do is complain but will pretty much get know where. I hate taking my shoes or belt off going through checkpoints but I just think about where I may be going and put it in the past until the return trip.

The only thing I fear with all of this is what will happen when and if something is found. If a device does show up that has been tampered with and gets activated during these checks.

I think at this point I will continue to not fly and use alternative means of travel.

Posted Via CB10 Using my Great Z30, PB or Q10

Blackberries may take their batteries out on the fly. If you are going to fly home for a funeral, you are going to comfort loved ones, and discuss details of the funeral, estate, and othwise pick up the pieces of a disturbed life. You can't simply say no talking before flying, and your battery could go out just before you get to security.
If you have a blackberry,swap it out for another battery, no time lost at all. And you may keep your phone.
Does the new passport have this? I hope so because the kind person who travels through airport security, is the same person with an affinity for s phone that is called, and somewhat looks like a passport.

Posted via CB10

If internet was enabled on the plane, they will be no need to ask for people to charge their device

Posted via CB10

Normal folks like me and my family can't even afford to travel these days either with tickets and hotels being dumb expensive, it's whatever.

Posted via CB10

I wish idiots didn't figure out how to use blackberry's and end up commenting on this site. Get an iPhone, keep it powered and had that shit over to border cops

Posted via CB10

Doh, those iPhone wallhuggers will be in deep sheit. So, if you have an iPhone and fly on a regular basis, maybe you should get a sleeping bag for longer stays in the airport? You don't need to worry as long as you have your Passport with you ;-)

Sorry, couldn't help it, I'm evil sometimes.

CB10 - Q10

More stupid "security theater" to train everyone to be slaves to any halfwit with a cheap badge. The TSA has not caught a single person in 13 years of groping and intimidating.

From a Z30

This isn't a blanket rule. It's just advice for people travelling to ultra paranoid nations. ie. the USA

BlackBerry, the best choice for travelers since most of us can change out dead batteries in our phones.

Posted via CB10

People act as though flying is a constitutional right lol!
IT'S NOT A RIGHT BUT A PRIVELEDGE LIKE DRIVING.

Don't like it don't fly or better yet those iPhone users better get charging their phones :-p

I don't care if other people want a bb10 device I wanted one and that's all that matters.

Is this actually new? I remember flying out of LAX in 1994 and I had to turn on both of my laptops at security.

Perhaps it is just new for smartphones?

More or less the USA might've threatened the UK to comply or otherwise. Pretty paranoid or just they are jumping on the bandwagon. I'll always make sure mine is charged enough before I ever board a flight just in case. Sheesh. Less privacy for all. O.o

Posted via CrackBerry 10 (CB10) application using my BlackBerry Q10.

I'm guessing that the fear is that a bomb could be hidden inside a computer or similar electronic device.

Thing is, if I'm smart enough to smuggle a bomb on the plane via a laptop, I'm likely smart enough to to create splash screens that will make it look like a legit device.

Posted via CB10

I work in the industry..I see no problems with this..walk around an airport all you see is walk hangers charging there I phones..so show up at the airport with it charged up..or Just upgrade to BlackBerry

Posted via CB10

To the guy whose laptop battery lasts an hour and a half on a good day. Get a new battery FFS then you could work longer

Posted via CB10

It's better to be inconvenienced than to be blown off the air, right?

People don't seem to realize that, unfortunately, we are at war.

Posted via CB10