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New Electronics Security Rule Confuses Both Brits and Americans

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Less than Half of Americans in the Know About the Rule Think It Will Make Air Travel Safer

Confused or feeling in the dark about a TSA rule that will require some travelers flying to the United States to power up all their electronic devices as a security check? You aren't alone. An online survey of 1,222 Brits and Americans by Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, found that only 39.5 percent of respondents were aware of the new mandate and 47 percent said it was not clear to them.

Of the 542 Americans who were surveyed, 51 percent were aware of the new rule. That doesn't mean, however, they all found it understandable. A full 25 percent of those who had heard about the rule said it wasn't clear cut to them. The rule did add a sense of security to about half of those who knew about it -- 51 percent said it will make them "feel safer." By contrast, only 46.5 percent of the same respondents said they think it will "actually make air travel safer." And 63 percent of those who were aware of the new rule believed that it will cause "major delays in the travel process."

"Change is always a bit hard to handle," said Melisse Hinkle, site editor at Cheapflights.com. "When it's added to an already complicated and tedious process -- and targets everyone's favorite tech toys as well -- it creates the potential for chaos. While traveler safety is, of course, paramount, so too is managing the roll out of new rule and striking an effective balancing act between passenger security and passenger sanity."

Cheapflights also asked about the overall security process. Results from the 1,200-plus respondents showed that the most annoying security measures they face getting at the airport are: "separately packing liquids in small bottles" (35 percent), "shoes off" (25.5 percent) and "body scan" (10 percent).

The net result is that nearly 20 percent of both Americans and Brits surveyed think airport security has reached the point where it will keep them from flying. Of course this does mean more than 80 percent will continue to take to the skies, even if they may have to "power up."