Laptops and cameras not banned by SAA

South African Airways (SAA) will not ban the carrying of laptops, cameras and other gadgets bigger than a cellphone on its flights.

The US imposed the ban on inbound flights from several Middle East and North African nations on Tuesday, and the UK soon followed suit.

SAA’s Tlali Tlali said: “SAA has not imposed a ban [because it has] received no directive from the US Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration or the UK Department of Transport to impose such a restriction.”

The ban, from tomorrow to mid-October, includes laptops‚ tablets‚ games consoles, cameras, kindles and e-readers.

Travellers will have to stow the gadgets in their checked baggage.

The banning of electronic gadgets as cabin luggage for South Africans booked on flights to the US via Dubai or other cities deemed high risk has had mixed reaction from Port Elizabeth travel agents.

Port Elizabeth Pentravel agent, Kathy Telford, described the ban as a shock. “There is no doubt this will have an effect,” she said.

Port Elizabeth Flight Centre agent Ralda Watson said passengers travelling in business class would feel the impact the most.

“Those are the people who will be affected because they use laptops on board. But I think its a good thing,” Watson said.

The US Department of Homeland Security has linked the ban to extremists seeking innovative methods to attack jets.

Wendy Knowler and Hendick Mphande HeraldLIVE

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