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What you need to know about new airport security checks on hand baggage

If you are looking for a last minute summer holiday bargain or you are a frequent flyer, you may be interested to know airport security for hand baggage has come under the spotlight again! With new rules introduced for passengers flying into and out of the UK, particularly those to the USA and other unspecified destinations, it is worth checking with your airline before you leave for the airport.

With the summer holiday rush already underway in many airports in the UK, passengers may be subject to additional security searches and questions. In addition to the usual security screenings we have come to expect, there are now more body scanners in use. Footwear has to be removed and scanned and passengers should be aware of new security measures on electronic devices in hand baggage, including mobile phones.

Travellers may be requested to turn on their personal electronic or battery operated devices such as mobile phones, laptops, cameras, games consoles, tablets, electric razors and even hair straighteners when passing through airport security. If the device is out of charge and you are unable to turn it on, you will not be allowed to take it onto the aircraft.

Tablet is charging from the power outlet on white background.

Most people today have a mobile phone, and as smart phones become easier to operate it isn’t just adults that have them. You could find a family of four has three or four phones between them and if you allow your children to take them on holiday, this new security measure will apply to your children’s phones as well. As a precaution why not keep your device chargers and adaptors close at hand in your hand baggage.

Running low on battery! Several airline lounges and airport departure areas provide facilities to charge devices, but here are some handy tips to extend the battery life on your phone:

  • Turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
  • Deactivate any apps that may be running in the background
  • Switch your phone to flight mode if you are not expecting any calls or messages
  • Turn down your screen brightness and switch to silent mode
  • Switch off GPS enabled apps and location finding services, and refrain from using the camera

In the event you are unable to turn your device on, you are at risk of having it taken off you prior to you boarding your flight. What would you do if this happened to you, how would you feel? I know I would be embarrassed and upset at the loss of contact details and photo’s.

How much did your phone cost, was it more than the cost of your flight and what would you do if you decided not to travel because you hadn’t charged your device? If you have travel insurance and think this will be covered, think again!

As you are warned in advance of new security measures on airline websites and within flight documents, it is no longer classed as an ‘unforeseen event’ for cancellation purposes. Cancellation cover will protect you for unforeseen events such as unable to travel due to health, illness or injury amongst other things, but if you are not allowed to fly because you cannot comply with the new security rules, then you are unlikely to be able to claim from your travel insurance policy for any travel costs already paid.

I am due to fly to the USA in November and I shall ensure all electronic devices in my hand baggage are all charged, switched on and I have the respective charges, just in case!

The BBC’s Ed Thomas explains in this video how passengers can prepare before travelling. Alternatively click here for more useful information about these new security checks.

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