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UK follows US electronic devices ban, with a twist

March 23, 2017 Headline News 2 Comments Email Email

Britain has followed America’s lead and banned laptops and larger mobile devices as carry-on baggage on nonstop passenger flights to Britain from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

The move, which echoes the US ban (see: US ban on carry-on electronics hits glaring problems) makes a few changes to the US model, but will trigger the same problems.

As the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) points out, if large electronic devices have to be carried in checked baggage, they might then not be insured. Some insurance for personal items specifies it must be carried closely (generally within a metre) of the insured party.

Additionally, pilfering of checked baggage rocketed when Britain tried to introduce a similar ban in 2006 and thieves knew hold baggage contained high-value electronic gear.

Laptop. Now banned in cabins on some airlines and routes

Britain’s new rules are unlikely to inconvenience many Australian travellers, because whereas the US ban included Dubai as a start point for flights, the UK ban does not. Many Aussie travellers head to Britain via Dubai but few fly to the US via Dubai.

The new security measures stem from intelligence that Islamic State associates want to smuggle explosive-laden electronics on planes.

US media reports say the government there has deemed information on the threat to be “substantiated” and “credible”.

The ban applies to any device larger than 16cm long, 9.3cm wide or 1.5cm deep.

Any electronic device larger than that, including large smartphones, e-readers or games consoles, must placed in hold luggage.

Whereas the US ban affected no US carrier, the British ban affects six UK-registered airlines: British Airways, EasyJet,, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson. The British ban affects six non-UK carriers: Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airways, Atlas-Global Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Egyptair, Royal Jordanian, Tunis Air and Saudia.

Britain’s Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “We understand the frustration that these measures may cause and we are working with the aviation industry to minimise any impact.”

The BBC has reported “mounting concern in US and British intelligence circles at the ongoing interest amongst jihadist groups in the Middle East in blowing up a passenger plane in mid-air”.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Peter says:

    Has anyone thought about the danger of of the laptops being stuffed into suitcases and piled high in the holds with considerable being exerted that there is increased possibility of the lithium ion batteries catching fire.

    They might get a self fulfilling prophecy of an inflight catastrophe without any terrorists involved

    Surely they can instead apply additional checking of the devices at security.

    And why are US carriers excluded from this rule? There is no way that the foreign carriers want to put their aircraft at risk if there is a threat. If faced with a credible threat, they would propose appropriate screening themselves.

    To me this differentiation stinks of trying to discriminate commercially against the Gulf Carriers for a start. As you realise the US carriers are waging a war against the ME carriers.

  2. Ken says:

    Very simply if US carriers play these dirty games , the general public should just boycott them, they after all provide no or bad service and its time we put them out of business. why should we suffer with our lap tops ect stolen out of checked baggage and in turn our insurance premium’s increased. we should also boycott the US, spend our holidays in other countries, in fact if you want to go to North America visit Canada , lots to do, friendly people and their dollar is 1 to 1

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