Many of us have felt the stress of new travel restrictions, or should I say, those coming from several muslim countries, and even if you are not Muslim. However, the mindset should be that these countries have a heavy Muslim population, but they are not all Muslim. Now, some restrictions are being applied to your mobile devices and electronics that are not allowed in the cabin of the plane now. It used to be that you could take your laptop or tablet with you on the plane on all airlines as long as you obeyed airline modes rules. We like to keep our electronics with us, they are fragile things. No one wants to trust such devices to the checked luggage area. Theft just starts the top of that list. Now you may not have a choice if you fit a profile, and maybe in the future it will apply to all flights entering the US.
The latest hassle is people traveling into the US from certain airports may be subject to cell phone confiscation. This rings bells for many travelers as privacy issues are being put to the test, and many of us enjoy our civil liberties. Now, TSA has been known to profile and check phones this over the last few years at random. Now it may be a constant. How will airports handle such a restriction and not mention the fact that of what it will take to handle cell phones and unloading information and checking feeds for political viewpoints at the airport on top of all the luggage inspection that may be going on. You thought 2-3 hours in customs was bad, just wait. Plan for longer plane transfers as well.
If you are traveling this spring and coming from these airports, expect additional delays. Your laptop should be in your checked luggage and may be being scanned for before coming into the US. If you have any travel flights that even go through these airports and continue on to another outside the US, you still may get tagged. Everything is electronic now, they know your flights.
Restricted Airports As of April 2017
Airports: Jordan Queen Alia, Egypt Cairo, Turkey Istanbul Ataturk, Saudi Arabia King Abdulaziz and Khalid, Kuwait International, Qatar Doha Intl, Morocco Mohammed, Dubai Intl, Abu Dabi Intl
What Can You Do?
So, pack your laptop in your check in bag if going through or coming from these airports if you are entering the US. Wrap it well, you can get protective coverings for your electronics. These restrictions have seen a serious decrease in tourism in the US thus far, with many more people cancelling plans to visit the US in general. The recent restrictions on visas and exclusion of tourists from certain nations has resulted in a backlash at the US tourism industry.
Photo by Paul Heaberlin