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Passengers queue up for a security check at Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China, in 2012. / Eugene Hoshiko, AP

Travelers are noticing the extra attention on electronic devices at foreign airports, but they say the scrutiny hasn't resulted in much longer security checkpoint lines.

Henry DeLozier, a business consultant from Phoenix who serves as a Road Warrior for USA TODAY, said he noticed the special attention on electronics at airports in Toronto, Zurich and London. He said security officers have been polite and efficient.

Mary Bauer, a Road Warrior and retail executive from Sanibel Island, Fla., said she had to put an iPad into a separate bin for a flight Sunday from Paris to Miami, but it didn't take any longer.

However, Vincent Guibert, a Paris business consultant in public administration, said his line at Charles de Gaulle Airport took an hour rather than the typical 30 minutes as officers searched all his luggage for electronics.

Someone else had a dispute with a customs official and another officer had to step in to calm the situation, he said.

"The person was late and shouted that he would lose his laptop and miss his flight at the same time," said Guibert, a Road Warrior.

The Transportation Security Administration announced Sunday that travelers would be required to turn on all electronic devices at foreign airports before boarding direct flights to the USA. The change followed Department of Homeland Security reports about terrorists developing new strategies for hiding explosives on flights.

Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam warned travelers about the extra screening for carry-on bags applying to all battery-operated devices, including phones, laptops, tablets, cameras, e-readers, hand-held games and MP3 players. Any device that can't be turned on won't be allowed on the plane.

The airport said the measures applied to about 30 daily direct flights to the USA, and that the airport "will take all possible steps to avoid additional queuing time."

Unlike a banned water bottle that can just be dumped in the trash, an uncharged device could prevent a traveler from taking a flight.

"If your device doesn't power up when you are requested to do so, you will not be allowed to fly to the U.S. on your original service," and will be booked on a later flight, British Airways told its passengers.

Security experts said it was still too early to tell how the extra scrutiny would play out.

Jeffrey Price, a security expert as an author and associate professor at Metropolitan State University in Denver, called it a mixed bag, with more passengers given second screenings such as hand-swabbing for explosives residue. But he said travelers aren't noticing significantly longer lines.

"I imagine, like with the liquid bomb plot, it's something that intel has been tracking for a while and now it's nearing actual operation," Price said.

Ron Goltsch, a Road Warrior and controls engineer from West Caldwell, N.J., said his laptop, work phone, personal phone, iPad and charging cables all got extra scrutiny in Wroclaw, Poland, and Frankfurt, Germany.

"It slowed everything down," he said.

Goltsch also cringed at turning on the phones because he tries to avoid roaming charges.

"I can imagine lots of people will not be aware of this and will get hammered if they forget to turn their phones right back off after passing through security," he said.

But among responses from more than 130 Road Warriors, few noticed significant delays.

Buzz Chandler, an executive from Lake Oswego, Ore., said turning on electronics was common after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. "So this is really nothing new, unless you are 'new to the road,'" he said.



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: Electronics scrutiny not lengthening airport lines much

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