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TSA device rule: Charge up cell phone or kiss it good-bye on U.S. bound flights

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TSA announced Monday that dead cell phones will be confiscated when boarding an international flight that is U.S. bound. British Airways announced today that if you have a dead cell phone you will not be allowed to fly, you will be forced to book a future flight, according to NBC News on July 8.

Information that terrorist are creating explosives to look like cell phones has prompted this new rule. The reason the TSA wants you to turn on your cell phone is to make sure it is not just hollowed out and filled with plastic explosives.

This rule is not only for cell phones, but tablets and laptops too. If you cannot turn on your electronic device it will be confiscated, except for British Airways who will force you to book a later flight.

With the amount of personal information that people store in their cell phones today, it might be easier on most to give up their flight, rather than their cell phone. If your cell phone happens to run out of a charge before getting in the boarding line for your flight, you are out of luck.

Both Great Britain and France are enforcing the new TSA rule at their airports. This rule will be enforced for all international flights coming to the U.S. from the different countries worldwide.

According to NPR News, the U.S. did not say what airports they are particularly concerned about, but the cell phone and electronic device rule is in place for all incoming international U.S. flights. Along with France and Great Britain, Germany has also announced that its airports will also adopt this rule when boarding a flight in their country that is U.S. bound.

Headaches for passengers are already predicted if they are on a long lay-over between flights and they don’t have any way to charge their cell phones between flights. Virgin Atlantic warned that passengers cannot travel with unpowered devices, but they did not say if they plan to have the passenger rebook their flight or if they will confiscate the device.

The U.S. government asked airports handling U.S. bound flights to tighten their security around electronic devices that will not power up. This was in response to information that al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups may conceal a bomb in a fake smartphone or laptop. The information was credible enough to prompt these bans around the globe for incoming U.S. flights.

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