Britain Lowers Alert Level, Not Security

AP Photo
AP Photo

LONDON (AP) - Even with a lowered security alert in Britain, a ringing cell phone can pose the kind of threat that can turn a plane around.

A British Airways flight to New York had to return to London after a cell phone on board began to ring -- and no one would admit owning it. The flight resumed after security checks, arriving about seven hours late.

An airline spokesman called the situation suspicious, because no one could explain how the phone got on board. Cell phones -- and all electronic devices -- have been banned from cabins on British flights since Thursday.

Authorities downgraded Britain's terror threat level earlier today, offering hope to travelers mired in chaos since the foiling of an alleged plot to bomb trans-Atlantic jets. British Airways says it's canceled just a fifth of its flights today. That's down from about a third canceled in London over the weekend.