U.S. ends controversial laptop ban
Thursday, July 20, 2017
After four months, the ban on passengers carrying laptops on board for flights bound for the United States has been lifted. The ban only applied to flights leaving from ten airports in the Middle East, namely airports in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. However, merely nine airlines were affected by the ban as the only carriers that fly directly to the US from this region. From now on passengers on EgyptAir, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, Saudi Arabian Airlines, and Turkish Airlines can readily take their laptop with them to the US.
In the last few months, the ban caused many passengers to be delayed, or unable to reach their gate on time, as they didn’t foresee the additional security checks. Unfortunately, such situations are considered to be an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ and the airline is not held liable for any compensation.
The ban was lifted after new security measures were implemented at the different airports. New requirements include enhanced passenger scans, additional security protocols and increased passenger canine screening.
Nonetheless, the general travel ban on citizens from six predominantly Muslim countries - Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - is still in place. A US supreme court hearing on the matter is scheduled for October.