United Kingdom to follow USA lead in personal device restrictions

22 March, 2017, 03:47 | Author: Oscar Goodwin

Airline passengers travelling to the United Kingdom from six countries in the Middle East and north Africa are to be banned from carrying laptops and other large electronic devices as cabin luggage.

It reportedly bans passengers from bringing electronics larger than a typical smartphone into the cabins of flights directly to the United Kingdom from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia. The rules come into force on March 25.

This again depends on the airlines, but they appear to have been caught off-guard.

It will affect inbound flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

He said: "It is unclear why only some airlines and countries are affected, given that a potential attacker can easily re-route their journey". Across the pond, an electronics ban is even more more complicated, since Qatar Airways has increased its ownership stake in the parent company for British Airways to 20 percent after Brexit. Whether or not the Trump administration is pushing protectionist trade policies under the guise of national security, it seems likely that worldwide flights are going to feel a whole hell of a lot longer. The U.K. was quick to announce that it would follow suit with a Muslim laptop ban of its own.

The UK's new policy would affect passengers arriving on a host of airlines, including British Airways.

Qatar Airways will service 11 destinations in the USA once its new Doha-Las Vegas service starts in 2018.

Many passengers hoping to save money by choosing hand luggage-only fares now face extra baggage fees.

The Government said the new measures were "necessary, effective and proportionate" and stressed that the security of passengers was the "highest priority". They have been informed about the changes and will begin implementing the ban immediately. If the latter, that would be a boon to USA operators.

Officials said the decision had nothing to do with President Donald Trump's efforts to impose a travel ban of six majority-Muslim nations.

As for the nature of the security threat underlying the ban, the DHS was predictably vague in a Q&A posted to its website: "We have reason to be concerned about attempts by terrorist groups to circumvent aviation security and terrorist groups continue to target aviation interests".

But a one-sided ban would also be a plain violation of trade rules. But many people are still thinking twice about visiting the U.S.

Aren't they doing something similar in America? They urged Trump to review agreements that allow Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad to fly from the UAE and Qatar to any USA destination.

A senior US official denied the latest measure was in response to alleged unfair practices by the Gulf carriers.

The directive will require passengers to store an electronic devices larger than a cellphone in checked baggage.

However, they would not be drawn on what prompted the change or whether a terrorist threat or similar had been made on the United Kingdom from the affected countries.

The UK government is expected to make an announcement later on March 21, limiting the carriage of personal electronic devices just hours after a similar sudden move by U.S. authorities.

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