A laptop ban solution for overseas travellers this summer

The ban on laptops in the aeroplane cabin of flights coming into Britain from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Tunisia continues to cause headaches since its introduction in late March. As the holiday season heats up, families across country are getting ready for annual trips to warmer shores. Turkey is a popular Middle-Eastern location for business travellers and tourists, seeing over 4.5 million British visitors in 2016.

For several months, travellers have either had to leave their laptops, e-readers and tablets at home or place them inside the cargo hold. However, insurers warn that electronic devices placed in checked backs will not be covered if they are lost, stolen or damaged. This includes the five major travel insurance companies, Aviva, Axa, Churchill, Direct Line and LV.

Many companies with staff members who travel overseas will regularly have similar policies, forbidding employees to leave laptops in their checked baggage for fear of theft or damage. As well as the high value of a laptop or tablet, company devices often contain commercially or legally sensitive information which could severely damage a company’s reputation or product development if it fell out of their hands.

With this in mind, the search has been on for business travellers and tourists alike to find a solution to the travel ban problem. Most mobile phones are unusable outside a traveller’s home country, and while some airlines, such as Emirates, provide tablet computers for travelling businesses on their airline, it doesn’t solve the issue at the other end. The issue also affects travellers passing through the banned countries, and numerous long-haul flights from Asia-Pacific and Africa stop to refuel in Middle-Eastern travel hubs.

It’s very likely that a business traveller heading to Turkey will have to bring work with him and access it both in the plane and at the end of his flight, but the risk of losing sensitive information on a stolen laptop means that some companies will outright refuse employees to take their laptops overseas, leaving travellers in a difficult situation.

Luckily, a workable solution has been found for those who need to remain connected to the internet and their electronic documents abroad. The development of devices such as the iPhone 7 Plus and Galaxy S8+ has blurred the line between mobile phone and tablet, meaning travellers can do some admin work, such as answering emails and editing and reading documents and PowerPoint presentations on their allowed devices.

The major drawback with using a mobile phone overseas is that most are locked into their domestic telecommunications provider and subject to prohibitive roaming and data charges. However, it is completely legal and relatively simple to use an iPhone unlocking service such as unlockingsmart.co.uk, which means a mobile phone can be connected to any network in the world with a local SIM card. This means that business travellers and tourists can still be connected to the internet without a laptop or tablet; without depending on public or hotel Wi-Fi.  For those who need to travel to a country with a laptop ban this summer, there is a solution available that keeps uninsurable personal and commercial devices safe from harm.