We don’t know exactly when the laptop ban is going to come into effect, but it’s expected to be very soon. Here’s the low-down on everything we do know so you can be prepared when it is implemented.
Only direct, inbound flights into the UK from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia, Jordan and Lebanon are affected.
The US situation is a little more complicated, with flights from ten airports in the Middle East and North Africa to Europe affected and possible extensions on the ban imminent.
All passengers of any nationality flying with any of the following airlines on all routes from the aforementioned airports into the UK are affected.
- British Airways
- Thomas Cook
- Pegasus Airways
- Atlas-Global Airlines
- Turkish Airlines
- Royal Jordanian
- Tunis Air
- Middle East Airlines
The UK ban covers all electronic items bigger than 16cm in length, 9.3cm in width or 1.5cm in depth that have built-in batteries or plugs. These items must be checked into hold luggage.
If in doubt, check the spec of your gadget to be on the safe side the iPhone 7 Plus is fine to take onboard because its measurements are 15.8cm x 7.8cm x 0.73cm, but the Kindle Paperwhite is affected because it measures 16.9cm x 1.7cm x 0.91cm.
The US version of the ban affects all items larger than a smartphone. Check with your airline before travelling to see exactly what dimensions will be allowed in your carry-on luggage.
Obviously this is going to be a nightmare for those travelling for business. Travel insurance that covers electronics in hold luggage is hard to come by. However, InsureMore’s travel insurance business cover offers this specifically in their policy wording:
“If your Valuables are lost, stolen or damaged whilst in the custody of the carrier, providing they have been placed in your checked-in baggage at the insistence of the carrier as a security measure and this is confirmed in writing by them, we will pay up to the amount stated in the Schedule of Cover for Valuables. "
In terms of time lost while travelling, Emirate’s is providing clients with tablets to work on from the air, and you can bring documents onboard in USB drives with no issues as of yet.
A government spokesperson has said that the safety of British nationals is always the top priority, however the government is working with international partners in order to minimise the disruption caused for travellers.
Check with your airline before you travel, or if you’re travelling to the UK from one of the affected airports you can use Skyscanner’s hand luggage guide.
Get good travel insurance business cover to protect your electronics in case you do need to put them in the hold.
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning team of specialists in global single trip, family, annual, cruise travel and winter sports insurance. If you're looking for the best travel insurance, business and holiday policies with InsureMore will cover you for any destination worldwide. Besides offering great deals on travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holidays.