If Your Phone Is Dead, TSA Won’t Let It—or You—on Certain Flights

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
July 7 2014 2:08 PM

If Your Phone Is Dead, TSA Won’t Let It—or You—on Certain Flights

If your smartphone is dead, you won't be able to board your plane.

Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images

When you’re traveling, a dead cellphone or laptop battery can cause anything from minor annoyance to major missed connections. Now, running out of juice might also make TSA suspect you’re hiding a bomb. Great!

According to the Verge, in response to intel about a possible planned al-Qaeda terror attack, TSA announced on Sunday that passengers with uncharged devices may be blocked from flying until they can show that their electronics charge normally and turn on. The measure will take effect at “certain airports overseas,” so you may or may not encounter the screening on your next international jaunt.


It’s probably smart to top off all portable batteries just in case, though. NBC News reports that laptops, smartphones, tablets, and basically all electronics are now under close scrutiny. Additionally, TSA is intensifying shoe checks and general screening precautions. It may be an extra hassle, but at least it will facilitate a maximum number of plane selfies.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.


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