The UK’s government has announced that any electronic device bigger than a smart phone will not be allowed in the cabins of flights from some Middle East nations. The deadline for compliance is midnight tonight and affects all nonstop flights from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey as well as Tunisia.
Airlines operating on these routes began implementing the ban as soon as the government officially confirmed it was following the US with a similar measure. US intelligence agencies say they have credible information terrorists are planning to hide bombs in electronic gadgets.
The ban affects all appliances larger than 16×9.3×1.5 centimetres in dimension and effectively bars laptops, iPads, e-Readers, and computer notebooks and laptops from aircraft passenger cabins. Although these items are no longer allowed in carry-on bags, passengers will still be able to pack them in check-in luggage.
A government spokesperson said that while the ban was sure to cause some inconvenience it was vital and in direct proportion to the perceived security threat. Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling noted that government officials would be working with airlines and airports in order to help alleviate the impact of the measure.
The ban affects passengers flying with a total of 14 airlines. The UK airlines are Jet2.com, easyJet, Monarch Airlines, Thomson Airways and Thomas Cook Airlines plus national carrier British Airways. The other carriers are Saudi Arabian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Royal Jordanian, Egyptair, Middle East Airlines, Atlas-Global Airlines, Pegasus Airways and Tunisair.