It looks like the UK has also followed the US Department of Homeland Security directive of banning all electronic devices on board the aircraft with the exception of phones and medical devices on all US-bound flights from certain airports. These devices will need to be checked.
The DHS states that these are security measures to deter terrorists to target US-bound commercial planes:
Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation and are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items.
So just as a recap, the US electronics ban is as follows:
Basically, they don’t want you to bring any electronic devices that’s bigger than a smartphone. The ban includes the following electronic devices just to name a few:
- e-Readers (Kindles, etc)
- Printers/Portable Printers
The following Middle Eastern/North African airports and airlines are affected by the electronics ban. This means that all electronics on US-bound flights from the below airports with the below airlines need to be checked.
- Abu Dhabi (AUH) – Etihad
- Amman (AMM) – Royal Jordanian
- Cairo (CAI) – Egyptair
- Casablanca (CMN) – Royal Air Maroc
- Doha (DOH) – Qatar Airways
- Dubai (DXB) – Emirates
- Jeddah (JED) – Saudia
- Istanbul (IST) – Turkish Airlines
- Kuwait City (KWI) – Kuwait Airways
- Riyadh (RUH) – Saudia
Now for the UK ban:
The UK is now enacting a similar electronics ban that restricts passengers from bringing any “larger” electronics devices on-board the aircraft. Much like the US ban, all electronics with the exception of smartphones, and medical electronic devices need to be checked. The ban affects all UK-bound flights originating from the following countries:
- Saudi Arabia
This affects any airlines (including UK carriers) that fly to the above countries. This includes:
- Atlas Global
- British Airways
- Easy Jet
- Middle East Airlines (MEA)
- Royal Jordanian
- Thomas Cook
- Turkish Airlines
It is still unsure how the airlines will enforce the ban for transit passengers.
The To be honest, I really don’t see the point in this electronics ban. I actually find it more worrisome for electronics to be in the cargo hold of the plane. In the event of an electronics malfunction (or even a malicious attempt) that might cause a fire or an explosion, I imagine it to be more difficult to put out the fire since it will be out of reach. Whereas if someone is acting suspicious on-board, the crew and passengers can quickly get involved in mitigating the situation.
Also if a terrorist wants to circumvent the ban, couldn’t they just go an a non-direct route to the US/UK and the do the same damage?
I have a feeling that this is more of a political move to discourage consumers from flying the very successful Middle Eastern Carriers (Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways). US carriers have been griping about losing business to these airlines lately. May be the current administration thinks this move will make US Carriers “Great Again”…I think not. –Just my two cents.