Your Uncharged Phone Might Not be Allowed on Some Flights

uncharged phone on flights

If you travel for business regularly, especially overseas, beware. The Transportation Security Administration may be preventing phones — or other mobile devices like tablets or laptops — from being taken on fights if they can’t be powered up during inspection.

In an official announcement, the agency explained:

“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.”

The TSA is not being specific about what might become of these devices, whether they might be confiscated or simply not allowed on flights.

The agency is currently saying the measures will only be taken at some airports — mainly overseas in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

The efforts come at the direction of Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. In a statement, Johnson noted the “enhanced security measures” would be concentrated at certain overseas airports for direct flights to the U.S.

Though the statement also assured as few disruptions to travelers as possible, obviously loss of a mobile device relied upon for business while traveling would result in a major disruption.

But Johnson also said his office and the TSA would continue to adjust their security measurement as dictated by security concerns.

NBC News reported recently that the increased security measures may be the results of concerns that such devices could be used in terrorist plot.

Since the TSA isn’t giving any information about what airports will be affected — and since these kinds of operations can sometimes be expanded without notice, be sure mobile devices you carry with you are fully charged.

Otherwise, you could loose mobile devices with valuable business data.

Security Photo via Shutterstock


Shawn Hessinger Shawn Hessinger is the Executive Editor for Small Business Trends and a professional journalist with more than 20 years experience in traditional and digital media for trade publications and news sites. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has served as a beat reporter, columnist, editorial writer, bureau chief and managing editor for the Berks Mont Newspapers.

7 Reactions
  1. Me? Going on a flight without a phone? That’s impossible. C’mon! Gadgets are a major part of our daily lives. Sure, they are only not allowing uncharged phones. But what if my battery just went dead? They’ll confiscate my phone?

    • That’s going to be a hell of an expense, along with all the info lost upon confiscation, and the inconvenience.

      I guess, if they do put their foot down about this new rule, people are just going to have to adapt to the change. As it’s some flights, I hope it’s highlighted prior to booking a ticket, so people can make an informed decision.

  2. Hmm. So, what if it’s a long-haul flight, say a straight 10-12 hours or so, and a phone is checked upon arrival, but it’s run out of juice, though it was fully charged half a day ago at the airport of departure. What happens then?

    I understand the need for security, but they need to find some kind of balance.