The new travel restrictions on electronics may have been introduced for security reasons, but they’re causing headaches among passengers worried about keeping their devices safe.
The new device ban, which went into effect this week, affects flights to the U.S. that take off from ten airports in Middle Eastern countries. The countries in question include: Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Kuwait.
Under the ban, you won’t be able to carry on any electronic devices larger than a smartphone on flights. This means laptops and tablets will have to be checked, along with personal DVD players, cameras and e-readers.
If you have insurance on your devices, say from AppleCare, or through a store warranty, you may be covered from anything damaged in checked baggage.
For Apple users, it depends on the extent of the damage. While Apple has no special policy to address tablets and laptops that are accidentally damaged in-flight, the company says ts customer support team is aware of the new restrictions and will address claims on a case-by-case basis.
If you have AppleCare+ and extended your warranty coverage to two years of service (which covers all iPad malfunctions) you get “two incidents of accidental damage coverage.” That’s good for repairs, say, if your iPad screen is cracked. Unfortunately, the warranty for MacBooks only covers defects in materials and workmanship (I.e. manufacturer errors) and that doesn’t include any accidental damage you many incur.
The best bet? See if you can upgrade to Best Buy’s Geek Squad Protection Plan. It’s a step up from the manufacturer’s warranty and includes coverage for drops, spills and cracks. SquareTrade and Asurion are other services that offer protection plans that cover accidental spills, drops, etc.
If you really want some peace of mind, consider getting traveler’s insurance, which usually covers lost, stolen or damaged property. Coverage policies will vary depending on the provider, so double check to see if they do or don’t cover electronics damaged in-flight.
A final tip: maybe this is the time to re-think your current luggage situation and upgrade to something a little more durable. You’ll sleep better knowing that your laptop and camera are traveling just as safely and comfortably as you are.