Back in July, British Airways announced that if you have a dead electronic device you either have to re-book a later flight or hand it over and ship the device back home.

When I was returning home from my Europe trip on July 28th, I flew British Airways from London to New York, JFK. Prior to boarding the plane, the agent at the gate did make an announcement that British Airways would now require passengers to show proof their electronic devices have battery juice and they do in fact power on. If your device was dead, they suggested finding a power outlet nearby to get enough battery juice in case you are stopped. I was flying First Class so I was fortunate enough to board the plane early. Since I was one of the first passengers to walk on board, I got stopped.

British Airways

So here’s the scoop on how this played out: British Airways doesn’t have time to check every single person. It’s completely random and they check customers after they walk past the agents at the gate. Since I was First Class and one of the first people to board the plane, a security agent asked me to step aside. If I recall correctly, they had 3 agents for the entire plane. After each agent picked out a random person the rest of the passengers were able to walk past us and board the plane. So if your device is completely dead and you’re running late, there is a possibility you may not get stopped. However, if you have a laptop bag or backpack, chances are you’ll be asked to step aside if an agent is available. I have a feeling this is why I was picked since it was obvious I was carrying electronic devices.

The whole process took about 4 – 5 minutes. I had to power on my laptop, tablet, cell phone, and camera. The security agent checked each device, wiped them down with a cloth and then went over to a machine to test it. This was a bit irritating since everyone behind you is now passing you to board the plane. However, this is for my security and everyone else’s, so I can’t complain too much. If you’re thinking about trying to hide your dead phone in your pocket, the security agent did perform a pat down on me. If you’re going to try and sneak past the security agents, do this at your own risk! Just hope that each agent is busy checking someone else when you do walk by.

So what are your options if your device is dead? According to Bitish Airways’ website, these are your two options if you’re departing from the UK:

  1. Customers can ask to be rebooked on to a later service. If you wish to carry on the item as part of you hand luggage, you will need to ensure that the device can be charged ahead of your rebooked flight.
  2. Customers are able to leave the device behind and hand it to a member of British Airways’ customer service team. You will be asked to complete a form and the item can be collected on your return or forwarded to an address of your choice.

If your device does not comply with the enhanced security requirements, you’ll have to fill out a form and have the device shipped to you. It looks like British Airways is using as the shipping service.

You will need to follow the instructions on the receipt and go on to the website to submit contact and delivery details and then complete payment. Once payment has been completed, you can contact BA Customer Relations to claim back the repatriation costs.


Have you been stopped by British Airways yet? What did you think of the process?