How Will New TSA Rules Affect International Air Travel?

Following last week's worrisome news about new bombs that current airport security measures might miss, the TSA is implementing stricter measures for clearing security on direct flights to U.S. airports—especially for passengers traveling with electronic devices.  

According to the BBC, American officials have ordered some overseas airports with direct flights to the US to intensify screening of electronic devices. In a statement, transport officials said that passengers could be asked to switch on devices, and any equipment that does not power up would not be allowed on board. An official told the BBC that London's Heathrow was among the airports.

The US does not directly control security at overseas airports, but airlines and airports are obliged to meet security standards set by the TSA in order to operate inbound non-stop flights to U.S. airports. The UK, France and Germany have all said they would comply with the American demands.

In a statement released on Sunday, the TSA reminded travelers that all electronic devices are screened by security officers, and that passengers may also undergo additional screening. "TSA will continue to adjust security measures to ensure that travelers are guaranteed the highest levels of aviation security conducted as conveniently as possible."

As the Washington Post noted, these new policies may cause further line delays and hassles for passengers without chargers whose devices are dead. The announcement doesn’t say what will happen to a phone that can’t be turned on, or how the owner will retrieve it if confiscated by airport security.

According to Reuters, the TSA is singling out smartphones including iPhones made by Apple and Galaxy phones made by Samsung.