9 Jul 2014

Charge your phone – or risk missing your flight

Advice issued to the US a few days ago is extended to the UK, meaning that all air-bound passengers need to ensure all electronic devices are charged before flying.

Rules issued over the weekend to US-bound passengers were extended to everyone travelling in and out of the UK by the Department for Transport (DfT) late on Tuesday.

The new restrictions require all electronic devices, including mobile phones and tablets, to be charged so they can be switched on for security staff.

The heightened security comes amid reports two terror networks are working together on a bomb that could evade existing measures.

A spokesman for DfT said: “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.”

Read the Department of Transport advice in full

No specific routes have been highlighted, and the spokesman said they hope to “minimise disruption as far as possible”.

The DfT said last week that undisclosed extra measures at British airports were not expected to cause “significant disruption” to passengers and noted that the official UK threat status remained unchanged.

US officials were reported to have said the move to increase security at airports from where aircraft fly directly to the US was the result of intelligence that al-Qaeda’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.

Last week, Prime Minister David Cameron said decisions had been made based on “the evidence in front of us” and in co-operation with America.