Smartphone users planning to head to the US could be facing an added waiting time through security, after US officials announced increased security measures.
Smartphones, along with shoes are being considered as possible places terrorists could be hiding explosive devices, after fears of an attack on a US bound flight mount.
Officials in the US have therefore increased security measures in a number of airports heading to the country, asking passengers to prove that their smartphones are completely safe.
Users will be asked to power up their devices before boarding, amidst speculation that the terrorist organisation Al-Qaeda could replace internal components with explosives.
If your smartphone happens to be out of battery, it won’t be allowed on-board, meaning that unprepared smartphone users could have to leave their beloved devices at home.
Samsung Galaxy and Apple iPhone handsets are the primary targets for security personnel, whilst other smartphones will still see increased measures as well.
Devices including tablets and laptop computers will also get stringent checks to make sure that they are safe as well, as the United States government grows increasingly worries about another terrorist attack after 9/11.
Airports directing flights to the US from Europe, the Middle East and Africa are all receiving the increased security checks, with officials refusing to point out exactly which airports will be focused on the most.
UK representatives have confirmed however, that passengers who are unable to power up their devices will be asked to leave them behind, or risk not being allowed on the flight altogether.
Users who fail to power up their electronic equipment may also be open to extra screening and searches to ensure that security is at the highest possible level.
The new checks are almost certain to increase waiting times in airports before passing through security, a process which has already lengthened vastly since the 2001 terrorist attacks on the US.
Flights to other countries won’t be seeing as many tight measures compared to US standards, but it’s also expected that measures will rise on other flights to ensure passenger safety.
It’s also unknown just how permanent these security measures may be, with there being a real possibility that this latest upgrade in security could well be the norm for years to come.
Passengers heading to the States previously had to undergo security checks involving x-ray and random bag searches along with fingerprint recording and full body scanning when arriving in North America.
The US currently has one of the longest and most stringent set of security measures in place, and has even denied access to some passengers for ‘suspicious posts’ on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
But whilst these latest measures are sure to be an inconvenience to some, it’s unlikely that effects will be considered too much by passengers looking for a safe flight, rather than a fast one.
Besides, what’s a couple of extra minutes, right?
Written by Luke Hatfield