Travelling with Electronic Devices

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Travelling with Electronic Devices

Airlines and airport security have to continually adjust their regulations regarding the use and transport of such devices. Here's our update on the current rules.

Electronic devices have become an integral part of our everyday lives, which means that we can’t imagine traveling without them. This has resulted in airlines and airport security having to continually adjust their regulations regarding the use and transport of such devices. As any frequent traveler knows, it’s almost impossible to keep up with the current rules regarding traveling with your cell phone, laptop or tablet. The UNIGLOBE experts are here to assist.

Ensure your devices are charged while traveling

In early July, Homeland Security directed the TSA to beef up its security screening at certain overseas airports with direct flights to the USA. Shortly after this announcement, the U.K. also announced that stricter security screening would be in place for all flights into and out of the country.

This newest security dictate requires that if asked at the security checkpoint, you be able to power up your phone, tablet or laptop. Any device that won’t power-up will not be allowed onboard the aircraft, and you may also be required to submit to more rigorous secondary screening.

We recommend that you keep your device(s) charged while traveling, which we agree, can be a challenge. Carry your charging cord with you and take advantage of an available power outlet whenever you can. Expect this to slow down security screening!

Using your electronic device during takeoff and landing

While the FAA has allowed, since October 2013, the use of electronic devices during takeoff and landing, other countries have been slower to follow their lead. The European Aviation Safety Agency approved the use of such devices in December 2013, with Canada only following suit a couple of months ago.

As jurisdictions update their rules, some airlines may be slow to adapt, creating plenty of confusion on whether or not you need to switch off your device and stow it during takeoff and landing.

A recent experience on Air Canada illustrated this when an announcement was made, to turn off devices for departure. When our UNIGLOBE expert, knowing that the rules had been changed, made a face, the flight attendant nodded that it was ok to ignore the announcement, as the person making it was incorrect. On another occasion, this same traveler flew from Vancouver to Chicago with United, and when he questioned the announcement to turn off devices, was told that the flight attendants knew nothing about the rules in Canada having changed.

If Air Canada, whom you would expect to be current with Canadian regulations, isn’t yet up-to-date, it’s no surprise that the U.S. carriers are taking even longer to catch up. You may experience contradictory information on your next flight, at least until everyone becomes familiar with the new regulations.

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