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UK follows USA, imposes ban on large electronic devices

As expected, the United Kingdom has followed the United States, and imposed its own ban on electronic devices from being carried in cabin baggage.

In a written statement to Parliament, British Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said “phones, laptops and tablets larger than 16.0cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm [are] not allowed in the cabin on flights to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia.”

Unlike the United States which listed 10 airports in nine countries and listed nine airlines, the British ban applies to ALL flights originating from the six named countries. In addition to foreign airlines based in the six named countries, the impact of the British ban will also be felt by passengers of British carriers like British Airways, easyJet, Jet2.com, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson airlines.

Read Chris Grayling’s statement to Parliament

Read British Transport Department’s explanation on the additional security measures.

Gulf carriers escape ban

Both the British and US ban apply to flights from Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, but curiously only the United States has banned the Gulf carriers Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Etihad Airways, and Royal Air Maroc.

One is forced to question the contradiction. Why does the US find these airlines and their hub airports a threat while the United Kingdom does not?

When asked the British Prime Minister’s spokesperson gave the classic vague response “We have each taken our own decisions.”

Share your thoughts on these recent developments via a comment.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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