UK laptop ban on flights to be implemented by Saturday

The United States and Britain on Tuesday banned larger electronic devices from the passenger cabin on flights from some airports in Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa.

"There would be a huge disadvantage to having everyone put their electronics in checked baggage", said Price, a professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver. The officials said no USA -based airlines have nonstop flights from those cities to the United States. Officials confirmed a report from Associated Press, saying that the rule would apply for 10 airports in 8 Middle Eastern and African countries.

"Our information indicates that terrorist groups' efforts to execute an attack against the aviation sector are intensifying given that aviation attacks provide an opportunity to cause mass casualties and inflict significant economic damage, as well as generate overwhelming media coverage", the statement said.

The state-run Qatar Airways said it alerted passengers about the new security guidelines and it has begun preventing passengers from carrying banned electronic devices on its planes. It has specified that the ban would apply to devices bigger than 16 cm in length, 9.3 cm in width and 1.5 cm thick.

All laptops, iPads, portable DVD players, cameras and other electronics will have to stowed in check-in luggage starting Tuesday, media reports indicated. But the US restriction does not specify the exact size of smartphones and cell phones passengers are allowed to carry aboard. "By taking these measures, it spares passengers the hassle of having to go through legal procedures in the US". Why, for example, is it safer for electronics to be placed in the hold of an aircraft as opposed to the passenger cabin? They can warn an operator of potentially unsafe material, and may provide better security than the X-ray machines used to screen passengers and their carry-on bags. U.S. airlines do not operate direct flights from the eight countries to the US.

The British ban affects all the airports in six countries - Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey.

In all, the affected foreign airlines operate about 50 daily flights to the US, officials said.

DHS said the ban is "risk-based" and could change in the future.

Interestingly, amid the ban, Emirates Airlines did not fail to use the restriction in it's favor.

Unimpressed, some travelers and civil liberties groups denounced the ban, raising concerns that included lost worktime on long flights and worries that checking laptops in baggage will make them more vulnerable to theft.

The US Department of Homeland Security say explosives could be hidden in such devices, citing the 2015 airliner downing in Egypt, the 2016 attempted airliner downing in Somalia, and the 2016 attacks against airports in Brussels and Istanbul.

The ban covers six United Kingdom carriers including British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2.com, Monarch, Thomas Cook, and Thomson, and eight overseas carriers comprising of Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airways, Atlas-Global Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Egyptair, Royal Jordanian, Tunis Air, Saudia.

A USA government official said such a ban has been considered for several weeks.

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