With the new political order that has taken place last year, 2016, both in the US and the UK it is no longer surprising that emergency amendments are being implemented to other parts of the world which can have some ripple effects on average people like us from bringing electronic devices on our travels.
Which countries are affected by the ban?
Yesterday, 21st of March 2017, the US has announced that passengers from eight countries in the Middle East, namely Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, will be forbidden to carry electronic devices larger than a smartphone in their hand luggage to flights heading to the US
[Image source: Amcharts]
The same initiative has been sanctioned by the UK, based on Al Jazeera, for flights from six different countries such as Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
Electronic devices banned from cabins include laptops and tablets
Based on The Independent devices that are included in the in-flight electronics ban are those that exceeds 16cm x 9.3cm such as laptops, tablets, e-readers etc. but these can still be carried by passengers traveling from the Middle East to the US or UK as long as they are kept in a checked-in luggage.
[Image source: Pexels]
Many of the holiday flights that travel to and from the UK are only on a hand-luggage basis. This will cause serious disruption to the scheduled flights as passengers who are not aware of this “emergency amendment” will be subjected to pay for a hold luggage in order to keep their electronic devices with them.
Even flights that didn’t come from the Middle East but flies and stop via the route such as flights with Turkish and Emirates airlines are subjected to the enhanced security flight measures. However, flights that do not leave from the UK or via other European airports is opened to some loopholes for many passengers. Other European countries are foreseen to sanction a similar step that the UK has taken according to government sources.
[Image source: Pixabay]
Sources from the UK Telegraph said that this sanctioned ban on electronic devices from flights coming from the Middle East is due to the intelligence source gathered by the US earlier this year that the terrorist group Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is devising a bomb that can be hidden in electronic devices and only consist of small amounts of metal which can then be taken onboard aircraft untraced. The implementation of the ban was heightened as militant groups discuss their desire in hiding their micro bombs in laptops during the past weeks.
According to BBC the US and UK have implemented the ban on a different set of countries and when questioned about it, Theresa May's spokesman said: “we have each taken our own decision”. Both the US. and the UK has not specified any duration or period of the ban. The best measure for any passenger, at this point in time, is to contact their carrying airlines to sort out their luggage arrangements and if there are any other new rules and amendments they need to be aware of.