Here’s how the laptop ban works on flights to the US – TechCrunch
President Trump is reportedly gearing up to introduce a ban on laptops and other large electronic devices on flights between Europe and the U.S., expanding a ban that was initially placed on travelers entering America from selected airports in the Middle East in March.
These days it is almost unthinkable to travel without a laptop, iPad or camera when traveling overseas, and almost everyone would prefer to keep those items in their hand luggage not checked baggage, even if they donât use it on the flight. Being parted from your expensive gadgets is no trivial matter â but what is it actually like?
So whatâs it like to go through the laptop ban on flights into the U.S.? I can tell you, dear reader, because I went through the process en route to New York for our upcoming Disrupt event next week.
How my laptop made it from Dubai to New York (without me)
Thereâs no formal process for collecting electronic devices, so most airlines have adopted a policy of checking allÂ hand luggage at the gate before passengers board.
Airline staff and airport security opened every passengerâs bag to check for gadgets. I wasnât the only one taking footage of the process.
Devices were removed, wrapped in bubble wrap and placed into boxes for storage during the flight.
I travel pretty light, but my laptop and Kindle didnât get to go with meÂ for this ride. Others passengers had cameras confiscated for the flight, but smartphones were allowed.
My stuff was carefully wrapped and boxed up. The airline takes details fromÂ your boarding pass for the collection process later at yourÂ destination.
All done, you can get on the plane and fly.
At the destination, boxed electronics are ready for collection near the checked luggage belt onceÂ you complete passport control and immigration.
And now itâs time for some more queues.
And lots of boxes.
Passengers provide their boarding card and sign the corresponding forms when collecting their valuables. Itâs nearly my turnâ¦
Boxes are marked with your last name, flight number, destination and date.
The crew unboxed the devices, removed them from the packaging and returned them in the same condition they were in before the flight.
Reunited at last.
On a serious note, both airline and airport staff did a commendable job of managing what is clearly a very challenging situation for both them and their customers. Thereâs no formal process for checking for and removing electronics â which is far harder to carry out than baggage scanning âÂ and it looks like theyÂ are learning as they go.
Indeed, one friend, who flew another airline, had a far less organized experienced with his flight, so hats off to Emirates â which I flew with â for making this process I went through more efficient than others.
Letâs see how the airports of London and Europe handle this added complication, assuming that an extension of the ban is coming as expected.
Featured Image: ipopba/iStock/Getty Images