New security rules on electronic devices cause confusion and delays at airports in UK

Passengers going abroad for their summer holidays face extra security checks at airport departure gates . Following an alert about a terrorist plot to plant explosives in consumer electronics such as mobile phones, tablet computers or laptops, the Department for Transport this week warned all international passengers: “Make sure your electronic devices are charged before you travel. If your device doesn’t switch on when requested, you won’t be allowed to bring it onto the aircraft.” The DfT specifies that all flights to and from the UK could be affected. Most passengers will not be asked to switch on their devices .
The confusion seems to apply to airports who have taken different approaches to notifying passengers and implementing the extra checks .
The Edinburgh Airport website makes no reference to the new rules, saying only: “Passengers travelling to the United States should expect their airline to carry out additional security checks prior to boarding.” A spokesperson for Edinburgh Airport said: “Security staff continue to maintain high levels of vigilance at all times and ensure that current security measures are implemented fully and conscientiously. These include screening and checking electronic devices.”

Some easyJet and British Airways passengers from Gatwick faced delays on the first wave of flights. For both airlines, four out of the first 10 departures from Gatwick this morning were delayed by up to an hour, including flights to Venice, Bordeaux and Nice.

Departures from the UK’s other three big airports – Heathrow, Stansted and Manchester – were operating normally. However, BA passengers from Baltimore arrived 20 hours late and last night’s Frankfurt-Heathrow arrival is now scheduled for this afternoon.

Eurocontrol in Brussels warned of “moderate to high delays” for flights to the Greek islands of Crete, Mykonos, Santorini and Skiathos because of a lack of capacity. There were also airspace restrictions in western France and Cyprus.

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