As I blogged about earlier today, The United States has announced today that any electronic item larger than a phone will be banned from cabins on all flights from ten airports in eight Middle Eastern countries.
- Check if you are flying from or through any of the ten affected airports to the USA. It is important to note it only applies at this stage to flights to the USA. So if you are flying New York to Dubai for example, the rules do not apply to you.
- If you feel uncomfortable or concerned with flying following the heightened security concerns, talk to your airline- they may waive change or cancellation fees. No airline has confirmed this yet but its worth asking!
- Ensure your airline has good entertainment. You won’t need to worry about wifi too much- except for your phone! Thankfully, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar all have excellent entertainment systems. Royal Jordanian’s’ is good. Kuwait and Saudia can be hit and miss.
- Consider whether you need to take any of these gadgets on your trip. Admittedly, I am surgically wedded to my laptop and phone but everything else can stay at home
- Remind yourself and talk to your kids about taking the security process seriously- no jokes or sniggers about bombs-few people will be laughing
- Expect questions at check in about the electronics you are carrying.
- Make sure your gadgets are powered up – you may need to prove they can switch in and work
- Have all electronic gadgets in your check in luggage before you get to the airport
- Photograph your bags and the electronic gadgets you are checking in
- Make sure your electronic gadgets are in protective cases and surrounded with clothes for extra padding
- Lock your bag with a TSA approved lock to reduce the chance of the stuff being stolen.
- Have a suitable book for each family member plus colouring in books for your kids. If they are used to Ipads, they may need something different! If the plane’s entertainment system is not working, then you will have a long flight!
- Anticipate closer scrutiny going through security. Leave plenty of time.
- Remember all other security rules apply. For example, the liquids rule
- I would assume there will be extra checks at the gates. Be at the gate early.
- As always be vigilant and watch for suspicious behaviour or comments by other passengers or airport staff. Report them to police or staff if you are unsure.
Let me know if you are flying any of the affected routes and how you get on.