The United States and the United Kingdom have decided to ban laptops and tablet computers from passenger cabins on a few airlines' flights from some airports in Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa from March 25 citing terror threats.
Jean-Charles Brisard, President of the Center for Analysis of Terrorism, told AFP: "Certain groups like Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula have been trying for years to adapt to the progressive security measures put in place by the US and their allies, in particular by miniaturising explosives."
Brisard further added that the main threat would be from the countries that the American authorities have listed and that some countries would not have the same level of security screenings as is seen at airports in the US and other western countries.
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When asked why specifically laptops and tablets were being banned, Director General of ASCT, a training centre for airport security, Sebastien Caron told AFP: "These types of electronic devices contain all the component parts of an improvised explosive device (IED) except for the detonator and the actual explosives."
Caron also said that he was worried the new rules would cause inconvenience to travellers who are "mainly business people who need to work or tourists who don't want to be deprived of their devices to relax or watch a movie."
But travellers need not get worried because a few airlines from the Gulf have come up with different ways to keep their passengers occupied on long-hour flights! We take a look at four of them.
Qatar Airways has Oryx One to keep you entertained.
— Qatar Airways (@qatarairways) March 22, 2017
Royal Jordanian Airlines:This is what Royal Jordanian Airlines has for you.
Have a little "me" time! Our in-flight entertainment has your children covered. Pick "Storks", press play and enjoy! #RJEntertainment pic.twitter.com/PaDbiMGXsU — Royal Jordanian (@RoyalJordanian) March 15, 2017
— Royal Jordanian (@RoyalJordanian) March 19, 2017
But they saved the best for the last!
All flights to the US "have power and USB ports at every seat, mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity and hundreds of hours of inflight entertainment including the latest movies, TV series, boxsets, music, interactive games, seven channels of live sports and news and a wide selection of children's programming. All children receive a kid's pack with games and toys, and Flying Nannies are on board to help parents," an official statement by the Etihad Airways read. All cabins consist of a "selection of digital magazines that can be viewed for free on a smartphone via the Wi-Fly homepage. A variety of printed magazines and newspapers are also available for guests traveling in our Premium cabins." The Abu Dhabi Airport has free Wi-Fi and several options for duty free shopping. It added that "laptops, tablets, cameras and e-readers will need to be placed into baggage that is checked-in. This must be done at the start of any US-bound journey, which may not necessarily be at Abu Dhabi Airport." Emirates Airlines:
Passengers can use smartphones and stay connected though Wi-Fi. They can also use their aptops and tablets during "the first part of their journeys, and also during transit in Dubai.They must then declare and hand over their laptops, tablets, and other banned electronic devices to security staff at the gate just before boarding their US-bound flight. The devices will be carefully packed into boxes, loaded into the aircraft hold, and returned to the customer at their US destination. There will not be any charge for this service."