UK joins USA – bans large electronics from African and Middle Eastern flights

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Travelers from 10 Middle Eastern and African airports will be required to check-in any electronics larger than a cellphone when travelling to the USA and the UK.

This doesn’t mean your laptop, Kindle, camera or tablet will be left at the airport you’re departing from but rather that the “large electronics” should join the rest of your luggage in the cargo hold.

The ban was instituted state-side by the US Transportation Safety Administration on Monday and yesterday Sky News reported that the UK would be following suit.

The ban affects those travelling directly from the following airports to the US

  • Queen Alia, Jordan
  • Cairo International, Egypt
  • Ataturk International, Turkey
  • King Abudlaziz, Saudi Arabia
  • King Khalid, Saudi Arabia
  • Kuwait International, Kuwait
  • Mohammaed V, Morocco
  • Doha International, Qatar
  • Dubai International, United Arab Emirates
  • Abu Dhabi International, United Arab Emirates

The US ban has been implemented following a terrorist threat reports The Guardian while the UK wants to insure the safety of passengers.

These bans are sure to cause a number of headaches for travelers, particularly business people traveling from hubs such as Dubai International.

Before this ban a business person would be able to use the long haul flight to do some work on their notebook, now that notebook will be stowed away with the rest of their luggage.

As we mentioned, the ban is only on direct flights from the countries listed so there’s nothing stopping a terrorist from taking a connecting flight from another country that isn’t on that list and keeping their laptop with them.

Simply put this is an inconvenience for travelers and that’s before we even consider the dangers of putting a R20 000 MacBook Pro in our luggage and hoping against hope that somebody with sticky fingers doesn’t decide to go diving for a new toy.

And have you seen the way baggage handlers man-handle luggage?

We’d like to know your thoughts on this electronics ban so give them to us in the comments below.

[Image – CC BY 2.0 sigmama]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.