5 Tips to Survive the Laptop Ban On Flights to the US and UK

I am still trying to process the laptop ban on flights. Passengers flying to the US and the UK are not allowed to take any phones, laptops, or tablets larger than a standard smartphone (16cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm).

Laptop Ban Flight Electronics
Source: The Sun – Affected Items: Laptops Tablets/Kindles, E-readers, Cameras, Portable DVD Players, Electronic game units larger than a smartphone, Travel printers/scanners

I am a frequent flyer; whether I am flying for business purposes or pleasure, my constant travel companion is my laptop along with my iPhone, iPad Mini, or Kindle. In addition to that, If I am traveling with my kids, I need an iPad for the trip as it is the only thing that keeps them glued to their seats and entertained. (Airlines need to re-examine their whole entertainment offering, now more than ever).

Kids iPad Laptop Ban Techie Dad
Mary-Jo and Anthony on iPads during flight

Even though we are living in a mobile-first era, we are still not ready to let go of our laptops just yet. We are using our mobile devices to consume most of our digital content, but, a big chunk of this content is still prepared on Laptops (just like this post that you are currently reading)

I will not dive into the politics behind the laptop ban, and I am sure it will extend to more European countries, but I have been doing some research, and till date, there is no proof that the current technological breakthroughs make this threat more viable today than it was five years ago. One cannot but wonder; isn’t a checked laptop in the baggage as dangerous?

If you are willing to place your laptop (that I assume contains most of your digital life) in checked luggage and risk having it broken, stolen, handled without-care, or even hacked and accessed without your permission, then, may the force be with you.

If not, continue reading.

Here are some tips to manage your way around the Laptop Ban:

1- Cloud Storage:

TD Laptop Ban Cloud

Invest in some cloud storage and upload all your content online, this way you can access all your information from anywhere in the world without having to carry a laptop and large physical storage devices. You can safely sign-in and out of your cloud from any device. There are many options out there: Google Drive, Apple iCloud, Amazon Drive, Dropbox, iDrive, Microsoft OneDrive, etc.

2- Use Your Phone as a Mobile Work Station:

TD Laptop Ban keyboard

You can purchase a couple of small accessories such as a foldable Bluetooth keyboard and a plastic stand to make your smartphone easier for typing and managing your notes and emails.
Here’s a previous post on the topic.

3- Give your Android Phone Laptop Functionalities:

TD Laptop Ban Sentio

Sentio is an App that transforms your smartphone into a full desktop interface. Connect your Android phone to any HDMI TV or screen, pair your Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and you’ve got yourself a mini laptop. You will have access to the Start Menu, Task Bar with System Tray, Notification Center, Full Keyboard and Mouse Support, Multi-Window Framework with Sentio Apps.

4- Transform your smartphone into a full PC with Superbook

TD Laptop Ban Laptop

Superbook is a universal Laptop Dock for Android devices. Transform your Android smartphone into a true laptop, with a large HD screen, multi-touch trackpad, full keyboard with Android hotkeys, and a powerful battery with 8+ hours of usage. Superbook uses your smartphone’s data and Bluetooth (and wifi) capabilities to be connected. It is compatible with all modern Android devices. Superbook is powered by Sentio (formerly Andromium), an app that turns Android into a full desktop interface

5- Old or Cheap Laptop:

TD Laptop Ban Lenovo

If you have an old unused laptop aside, or can afford to purchase a small cheap laptop such as the Lenovo Ideapad 100 (around $189). Format it, install the needed software and keep it free from any personal information. This way if something happens to the device, you won’t have a heart attack. You can carry your content on a secure USB drive or online via the cloud service.


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