Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Ban of Electronics on Flights Bewilders Companies, Travelers | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Travelers wait to check in at an Egypt Air counter at JFK International Airport in New York, US, March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson Reuters

London- The ban of laptops and electronic devices, which are bigger than mobile phones in size, on airplanes heading to the US from airports of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Cairo, Jeddah, Riyadh, Kuwait, Doha, Amman, Istanbul and Casablanca has caused confusion among travelers and airlines.

The same curb on electronics will be applied on travelers to the UK from Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Jordan. Authorities in Washington and London attributed these restrictions to concerns of terrorist attacks.

However, the ban was widely criticized by passengers and airlines as well.

Emirates spokesperson told Asharq Al-Awsat: “It is still early to estimate the influence of the ban on navigations and passengers because it hasn’t come into force yet.”

Yet he expressed disappointment by these restrictions, especially that Emirates has 12 daily flights to the US. He said: “This decision should have been applied at all airports and not only some of them.”

The spokesperson further stated that the safety and security of passengers is a priority and can’t be disregarded. “The company will work on maintaining the traveler’s comfort no matter what,” he added.

Etihad Airways spokesperson declared that the company was officially notified about the decision and will start implementing it next Saturday.

He stressed that the passengers’ safety and security are a priority and that “The company staff will do their best to assist passengers in complying with these guidelines.”

A source from the British government said that the ban will become applicable within days and that 14 companies were notified promptly.

The source added that passengers must contact airlines to verify if they are included in these restrictions, stressing that the British government is cooperating with the companies to implement the ban.