Published on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Britain follows US and bans electronics from cabin baggage

Passengers are to be banned from carrying electrical items including laptops, tablets and DVD players onto flights to the UK from six countries.

The ban applies to any device, including mobiles and smart phones, larger than 16cm long, 9.3cm wide or 1.5cm deep.

From March 25 at the latest, passengers will not be able to carry large electronic devices in hand-luggage on all inbound flights direct from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

The ban affects six UK airlines and eight foreign airlines. The British airlines affected are British Airways, easyJet, Thomson, Thomas Cook, Monarch and Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airways, Atlas-Global Airlines, Middle East Airlines, EgyptAir, Royal Jordanian, Tunis Air and Saudia will also be affected.

The move follows a US ban on all large electronics in hand-luggage on flights from eight countries in north Africa, the Middle East and Turkey.

Large electronic devices will still be allowed on board in checked baggage, but, as ABTA pointed out, they might then not be insured.

A UK government spokesperson said: "Decisions to make changes to our aviation security regime are never taken lightly.

"We will not hesitate to act in order to maintain the safety of the travelling public and we will work closely with our international partners to minimise any disruption these new measures may cause."

ABTA said it would be working with members to make sure their customers were aware of the new requirements.

"The immediate priority must be making sure travellers are aware of the new rules and~are advised to pack their bags correctly to help minimise disruption through security and protect their items from confiscation," it said.

"If passengers are travelling with laptops and tablet computers, such as iPads and Kindles, they are advised to contact their travel insurance company ahead of travel as these devices are typically not covered by travel insurance policies either for loss, damage or theft when placed in the hold.

"Passengers travelling to the countries affected may wish to consider leaving their electronic devices at home, although this may be difficult for many, especially business travellers and families travelling with children.

"Given the very specific nature of the regulations it will be crucial to ensure that they are kept under review. While passengers may be frustrated by the rules it is important to remember that the regulations have been introduced for their safety and security."

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