Hand luggage: Never do this one thing with electronic items – you risk serious trouble

Flights always require plane passengers to pass through airport security before they’re allowed to board an aircraft. Hand luggage is checked at this stage – and travellers have to make sure they stick to any cabin baggage rules. There’s one way which holidaymakers at the airport may be caught out at security. The current travel advice stipulates you should never travel with any electronic items which have no battery left and cannot be turned on.

Flights: Never do this with your mobile phone, laptop or tablet in hand luggage

British Airways describes essential hand luggage packing tips on their website.

BA states: “Charge any electrical or battery-powered devices such as phones, tablets, e-books and laptops. Airport security might ask you to switch them on.”

By proving your device works as normal, a security screener knows that the phone, laptop or tablet is not hiding hidden explosives where the batteries are stored, explained The Telegraph.

In 2014, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it would not allow mobile phones or other electronic devices on US-bound planes unless travellers were able to turn them on at the request of security staff.

It was ruled anyone who had a powerless device would be barred from boarding their US flight.

They would have to reschedule the flight even if they offered to give up the item or sent it on separately.

After the rule was introduced in the US, the UK Department for Transport (DfT) said the extra security checks would also apply to unspecified flights to and from the UK.

The DfT issued updated guidelines in 2014, saying: “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.”

The current travel advice from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) states: “Make sure your electronic devices are charged before you travel.

“If your device does not switch on when requested, you will not be allowed to take it onto the aircraft.

Hand luggage rules and restrictions

Hand luggage rules: What is allowed onboard an aeroplane?

Hand luggage rules: What is and isn’t allowed onboard

The FCO also explains which electronic devices may be allowed on board in hand luggage.

The following are permitted: mobile phone, laptop, tablet devices, MP3 player, hairdryer or straighteners, travel iron, electric shaver and e-cigarettes.

All are also permitted in hold luggage apart from e-cigarettes which can only be packed in hand luggage.

The FCO added: “Some airlines might also have different restrictions. Check with your airline before you travel if you’re not sure about what you can take as hand luggage.”

The TSA displays on its Instagram account some of the strangest items they’ve ever seen in hand luggage at airport security, ranging from live animals to weapons. 

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