TSA Prohibiting Powerless Electronic Devices On Flights

Filed Under: Security/TSA

Via the TSA:

Last week, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson directed TSA to implement enhanced security measures at certain overseas airports with direct flights to the United States.

As the traveling public knows, all electronic devices are screened by security officers. During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones. Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft. The traveler may also undergo additional screening.

TSA will continue to adjust security measures to ensure that travelers are guaranteed the highest levels of aviation security conducted as conveniently as possible.

So yeah, I guess be sure you charge your electronic devices before going through security on US-bound flights. Interesting…


(Tip of the hat to Tocqueville)

  1. If the alternative is training $12/hr employees how to discern what is a bomb and what is an iPad based upon only an X-Ray image. I’d say this is pretty reasonable in comparison…

    Making sure what appears to be electronic devices are actually electronic devices is one of the few post-9/11 security measures that I think actually does make us safer.

  2. This seems particularly silly. Are they admitting they can’t tell from an x-ray whether a phone is real or has a bomb in it? In that case, why do laptops/iPads need separate screening if they can’t tell anything from it anyway?

  3. This is the same sort of BS that we had to endure when laptops were beginning to hit the market. We had to boot at security. Talk about holding up the lines.

  4. I guess it would be safer if everyone had to board the plane naked and carry nothing on board. Easier to ensure people are not carrying anything dangerous. Travel by air is becoming a huge pain in the a..

  5. What if you bought a new device still in the packaging. Do you have to open it up and hope there’s power?

  6. I think the idea is that the battery shows up as a big, fairly uniform blob, just like a block of explosives. One might be able to tell given close inspection of the x-ray image but I think this is more of a “we don’t trust foreign security with this kind thing” situation. Another solution option would be to do the explosive trace detection swabs… but thats probably not logistically possible in foreign airports.

  7. At least we don’t have those obscenely ridiculous/phony “terror alerts” prior to Bush “The Incompetent” Jr’s second election. Remember how conveniently they stopped as soon as the election was over? A lot of scumbags should have gone to jail for that phony scaremongering.

  8. So what happens when your tablet goes flat after a long haul flight? Are you going to be expected to throw your $700 iPad in the bin or be denied boarding?

  9. Excuse my inexperience, but the few times I’ve been to Europe I didn’t go through American TSA on the return…and I noticed the security standards were quite different…no need to take off shoes, for example, and liquids were not such a big deal. How will the TSA enforce this at foreign airports?

  10. I have been through some airports in Europe and Asia (some which do not have direct flights to the US) and this is something they already require – turn on your computer, phone, tablet.

  11. I’ve had chargers go missing before for various reasons. It’s amazing to think that losing the charger or forgetting to recharge or simply running out of time could cause you to miss your flight or lose your laptop. It’s amazing to me how little it took for us to abandon any sense of personal freedom and privacy. I can understand the banning of sharp objects and raising the sensitivity of metal detectors and such, but the way the TSA screws around with liquids and electronics really chaps my hyde.

  12. There is a reason the US Constitution expressly guatuntees liberty and not safety.

    When will we the people value our freedom enough to take it back from those who are taking it from us supposedly in the name of safety?

  13. I dropped my laptop on one trip and it broke. But I was able to fix it because I had insurance from square trade. Does this mean that now they will not let me take it home and I would be out a $1,000 laptop. Unbelievable.

  14. @Scott: New device you say? Did you pack it yourself? Look it here, the thing won’t turn on. Why I do believe we have a security violation here! I’m a gonna give this one to jenny, my 5th niece.

    Hopefully a lot of business people and government employees will get there laptops and electronics snatched, and maybe they’ll start complaining. This also tells me TSA is unable to determine if something inside an electronics case is a bomb, .i.e they can’t detect bombs inside electronics. Nice.

  15. Looks like those dumbass minimum wage screeners actually can’t tell if a device is a bomb or something else. Looks like we have great technology at airports….or is it something more sinister to hike up fees at airports to help the profits of airlines?

  16. @ everyone — it seems like this is for international airports only so we can’t really blame TSA personnel for this. But the thought that they (international security) can’t tell a valid electronic device from a bomb is kind of strange. Guess now before a return journey everyone should add another item to a mental checklist: charge all your devices.

  17. Just flew LHR-ORD on BA295 and was warned to get to the gate early because of the whole Apple/Samsung inspection kerfuffle. No one was at all interested in my electronics in the first security screening, and I witnessed no further investigations at the gate. There was a guy at the entrance to the jetway that looked ready to inspect, but it was clearly a random inspection kind of thing.

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