In March this year, the US imposed a ban on laptops in the cabins of flights coming into the country from 10 Middle Eastern airports. Last week, King Khalid International Airport in Saudi Arabia, was the last of the 10 to exit the laptop ban. On Wednesday, US Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly unveiled enhanced security measures for foreign flights arriving in the United States in what officials said was a move to prevent an expansion of an in-cabin ban on laptops and other large electronic devices. The move has been seen as a boost for affected airlines which raised concerns about the expansion of the ban across Europe which could deter travel and cause additional logistical problems, especially from Business Class passengers who often work on laptops during the flight.
The enhanced security measures which replace the ban include increased explosive screening, more detection dogs and vetting of airport staff. Airlines have been given 21 days to comply with the additional measures for flights into the US from 280 airports in 105 countries.
Following the original US laptop ban back in March, the UK quickly followed suit imposing their own measures, banning laptops on all inbound direct flights to the UK from six countries — Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. Following pressure from the 14 affected airlines, including six British carriers, Thomson, Thomas Cook, Monarch, Jet2, Easy Jet, and BA; the UK’s Department for Transport have held talks with the airlines to implement increased security measures, should the ban be lifted.
Additional checks began over the weekend and the first lifting of the ban is likely to begin this week.
As the changes are quite recent we suggest checking with your airline and departing airport when flying to the US or UK, to ensure you are prepared for the additional security measure you may face prior to departure.
If you have any further questions regarding business travel or immigration to the US or UK, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.