Hand luggage: Expert reveals what passengers can pack
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Flights see plane passengers travelling with a variety of all-important belongings, often including electronic items. A plethora of rules accompany hand luggage that must be adhered to. Bags are checked at airport security, and making one mistake, in particular, could catch travellers out.
The current travel advice stipulates you should never travel with any electronic items which have no battery left and cannot be turned on.
“Make sure your electronic devices are charged before you travel,” explains the Government.
“If your device does not switch on when requested, you will not be allowed to take it onto the aircraft.”
Airline British Airways reiterates this on their website.
“You can generally take electric and electronic items in your hand or checked baggage, but need to follow specific safety instructions,” BA details.
“Airport security staff may ask you to turn on electronic or battery-powered devices, such as phones, tablets, e-books and laptops, to demonstrate they function.
“If you’re not able to do this, you will not be able to take your device with you.”
If this happens to passengers travelling from London Heathrow there are two options they can choose from.
Firstly: “If you want to take your device in your hand baggage, you can rebook to a later flight but will then need to ensure that it is charged ahead of your new flight,” said BA.
“A fee might apply for changing your booking, subject to your ticket type.”
The second option is: “You can leave your device with a member of our customer service team and collect it on your return, or have it sent to an address of your choice using the MailandFly-Service.
“You will need to complete a MailandFly form, follow the instructions on the receipt and go to MailAndFly.com to submit your contact, delivery and payment details. You will be able to claim back the postal costs by contacting Customer Relations.”
If you’re travelling from London Gatwick or a non-UK airport, BA advises contacting its customer services team at the airport who can advise on available options.
Further safety instructions from BA detail: “Please ensure that any items in your hand baggage are fully charged and switched on before you arrive at the airport.
“If your device is not charged, please place it in your checked baggage.
“If you are connecting, make sure that you do not deplete power in your devices during the first part of your journey as charging points at airports might be very limited and you may need an adapter.”
The airline adds: “You can still use your device on board.”
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.
In 2014, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced 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 send 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.”
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