New Zealand travellers are caught in the middle, as what’s being called the biggest security change in 10 years is introduced to airports in Britain and the US.
Changes are being introduced by this Saturday at the latest, and will restrict the electronics passengers can put into their carry-on luggage. If coming from certain airports in the Middle East or North Africa, no device larger than a cell phone will be allowed. Other electronics will need to be packed in checked luggage.
The news has left New Zealanders scrambling to find out if their airline or travel route is affected, particularly those who rely on electronics to do work, or entertain children.
BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope said it would be very challenging for some people, who wouldn’t have the option to stop work for up to a 24-hour period. “At the moment you see a lot of flights that are quite full, and people operate on work – sleep – work,” he said. “You want to retain connectivity because you’ve got stuff going on back in New Zealand or in the country you’re travelling to.
“So if you’re travelling through one of those countries subject to the ban, that could be quite an impediment.”