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The "trickle of information" coming from UK and US authorities around heightened security at airports following a "credible" terrorist threat is causing confusion for business travellers, according to Greeley Koch (pictured), executive director, ACTE.
From this week selected airports in the US and the UK will require passengers to power up their electronic devices as they pass through security. Any devices that have a dead battery will not be allowed on the flight.
Koch criticised the information that first came from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). He said business travellers must at least be told the basic information such as how credible this threat is and will it result in many delays.
"Statements from the TSA should reassure and inform travellers. Recent announcements regarding security levels did neither. They were too vague to serve as a warning and lacked the detail required for reassurance," said Koch.
"It is unlikely that many business travellers will show up at the airport with spent batteries in their cell phones, hand-held devices, and laptops, but it can happen.
"What follows next is not clear. If the electronic device cannot board the aircraft, where does it go? Is it detained, to be shipped later? Or is it to be repackaged as checked baggage at the gate?"
Koch points out that some airports have two levels of security. "Suppose you pass through security at the checkpoint, but are stopped at the actual gate, where you no longer have access to your luggage? How would you gate-check a $700 cell phone or a $3000 laptop containing proprietary information."
Koch acknowledges that these concerns pale in comparison with a terrorist act, but business travelers "need to know what they can expect".
"Some element of secrecy is to be expected in the performance of the aviation security function.
"However, a trickle of confusing information should not be construed as a customer service, nor palmed off as adequately informing the traveling public.
“A statement from the TSA should answer more questions than it poses."