Starting today, Dec. 21, Doha’s Hamad International Airport (HIA) will see increased security measures for those traveling with phones, laptops and tablet computers.
All passengers carrying items that are battery-operated or electrical may be asked turn the items on at security.
Those unable to turn their devices on may have their possessions removed from them as the items would not be allowed onboard aircraft, HIA officials have confirmed to Doha News.
Airport authorities have not explained the reason for the increased security, nor made any public announcement regarding the change.
However, travel agencies and airlines have been warning passengers about the security procedure by posting fliers on social media and e-mailing their customer bases.
The security measure is one found in many airports internationally.
Here, some passengers said they have already been asked to turn on their devices, but that their devices were not confiscated by officials.
@E_Windrum yes I was asked to switch on my laptop. Specifically because I had no battery. but I thought it wad a British airways thing
— Latifa Abdulla (@Latifa_Mutaywea) December 21, 2014
At HIA, stricter security measures are usually taken when passengers fly directly to the US.
In July, scrutiny was increased further for US-bound passengers in Doha after American authorities asked international airports to up vigilance following a possible threat.
At the time, measures included more checks of passengers’ personal property and clothing.
However, HIA officials said today that the new security procedures at the airport are being applied as a general rule for all travelers, irrespective of their destinations.
For advice on surviving the holiday rush this season, see our tips here.