The US and UK Governments ban laptops, tablets and other large electronics in the cabin on flights from some Middle East and North African countries due to terrorist threats. A lot of parents are already complaining how this ban will affect them when they travel with kids. It’s really hard to make kids sit through 10-hour flights without any form of distraction like a tablet for kids.
Devices Covered by the Ban
The US ban is very broad and does not define the size of the devices with any measurements. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) gave a list of examples of banned devices including laptops, tablets, e-readers, cameras, portable DVD players, electronic game units larger than a smartphone, and travel printers/scanners. At least you can still bring your smartphone.
The UK ban however has clearer parameters: nothing bigger than 16cm (6.3ins) long, 9.3cm (3.6ins) wide or 1.5cm (0.6ins) deep will be allowed into the cabin – which means mobiles like the larger iPhone Plus will still be allowed.
Countries Included in the Ban
If you’re traveling anytime soon, better know the countries which are covered by the US and UK ban on electronic devices.
The US ban will affect nine airlines flying from a total of 10 specified airports. The 10 international airports covered by the U.S. ban are in Cairo, Egypt; Dubai and Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.; Istanbul, Turkey; Doha, Qatar; Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City; Casablanca, Morocco; and Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The nine airlines are Egyptair, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Turkish Airlines.
The countries included in the UK ban are Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
How to Protect Your Devices
Aside from making flights with kids more difficult to manage, other problems with this ban is that when you check in your devices, there’s a risk of theft, hacking and damages due to handling. Consider these risks and take steps in protecting your data and devices.
The best thing to do is to leave your devices at home but this is really impossible especially if you use your devices for business. If you have to bring a device, find a really good laptop or tablet case that is sturdy enough to protect your device. This may make it a bulkier but you’re checking them in anyway so it’s no longer your major concern. Do a full backup before traveling and save important files to the cloud for easy access. Setup a code of fingerprint lock, if available.
I know this ban is also for the protection of the public but I just hope they also have something on-board to protect parents from a kid with tantrums.