Last month, the U.S. barred passengers travelling to the region from select states in the Middle East from carrying anything larger than a smartphone on board an aircraft — and now it would appear that ban may expand to countries in Europe, including the U.K.
Currently operational in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the ban requires travelers to store laptops, tablets and other sizeable electronic devices in their checked-in baggage, after intelligence surfaced claiming that terrorists are attempting to hide explosives in various consumer items.
“We’ve said we will continue to evaluate the threat environment and make determinations based on that assessment, but we have not made any decisions on expanding the current restrictions against large electronic devices in aircraft cabins from selected airports,” said Gillian Christensen, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Loaning laptops isn’t a clear-cut solution
If the plan does come to fruition, we can expect more airlines to follow in Qatar Airways’ footsteps by loaning laptops to business class passengers flying to the U.S. for a small fee. However, that’s hardly a clear-cut solution, as there’s a chance those eligible for a computer will require professional software to get their work done in the air.