Laptops and other large electronic devices will be banned from the cabin on flights to the UK from six countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
Those larger than a typical smartphone measuring 16cm by 9.3cm by 1.5cm will now have to be checked into the plane’s hold on flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
Devices including Kindles and other e-Readers will be banned, along with hybrid devices such as the Microsoft Surface and iPad Pro, as well as the new Nintendo Switch gaming system.
Some travellers will be forced to pay extra fees for a checked bag if they want to use these gadgets once they arrive at their destination.
Most smartphones – including the iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S7 – will not be affected.
Travel trade organisation Abta warned laptops and tablets are not typically covered by travel insurance policies for loss, damage or theft if they are placed in the hold.
A spokeswoman said: “Passengers travelling to the countries affected may wish to consider leaving their electronic devices at home, although this may be difficult for many, especially business travellers and families travelling with children.”
Air industry consultant John Strickland warned that the ban will cause “headaches for airlines and customers” but said carriers have “no choice but to put security first” when official advice is given.
He added: “One unexpected consequence will be the challenge of additional devices with lithium batteries being stowed in the holds which brings its own challenges to safety.”
Shashank Joshi, senior research fellow at security think-tank the Royal United Services Institute, also raised questions about the ban.
He said: “It is unclear why only some airlines and countries are affected, given that a potential attacker can easily re-route their journey.”