Check your insurance, protect your data and get to the airport early. This is the advice form Mark Smith, Head of Business at Simplexity Travel, following the UK government’s decision to place a cabin ban on laptops and tablets from inbound flights from six countries, following a similar move by the US on Monday in response to unspecified security threats.
Effective immediately, the UK ban on any phones, laptops or tablets larger than a normal smartphone - specified as 16cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm (6.2in x 3.6in x 0.5in) - applies to all direct passenger flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
All such devices will have to be placed in hold luggage. According to a Downing Street spokesperson, these restrictions have no time limit and will apply until further notice.
Six UK airlines – British Airways, easyJet, Jet2, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson – and eight foreign carriers are affected.
Commented Mark Smith, “Obviously this is going to cause massive inconvenience but there are certain measures you can take. Many insurance policies will not cover laptops if carried in the hold so check the small print before you fly. Devices packed this way will of course be more vulnerable, so at the very least set up a passcode or fingerprint lock. If you have remote wipe on your machine, activate it. And shut the computer down completely, don’t just put it into sleep mode.
“You should also allow yourself more time at the airport. Cabin bags will need to be searched at security, and there are bound to be problems caused by passengers who have failed to check their electronic devices into the hold.
“It is worth remembering that this order happened back in 2006 and was rescinded in 2008. Like the ban on liquids, these measures are put in place to ensure passengers’ safety and travellers will adapt accordingly. Flying still remains the safest form of transport there is.”