Dead Phone? TSA Bans Unpowered Devices On Some International Flights

Travelers with unpowered devices might be taken out for additional security checks.

Dead Phone? TSA Bans Unpowered Devices On Some International Flights

As if a dead phone battery weren’t stressful enough, the Transportation Security Administration enacted new security measures Sunday that prohibit devices without power on planes flying directly to the U.S. from certain overseas airports.

As part of the new rules, airport security officers may ask travelers to power up electronic devices and undergo additional screening. A statement from the agency didn’t note which airports were affected, but Reuters reports U.S. officials have targeted smartphones for additional screening on U.S.-bound flights from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The new measures are a response to concerns terrorists affiliated with Al Qaeda in Yemen and Syria could create undetectable bombs hidden within cell phones as well as shoes.

Though the Department of Homeland Security didn’t specify how these additional security checks will be enforced, airlines or airport operators that don’t comply could face bans on flights to the U.S.

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.