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How to fly safely with laptops and devices

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Europe issues guidelines on flying with portable devices

As the Christmas and New Year travel season starts, the European Aviation Safety Agency – Europe’s air safety regulator – has issued guidelines for passengers flying with laptops and other portable electronic devices (PEDs).

Its Safety Information Bulletin recommends that devices containing lithium batteries such as laptops, mobile phones, tablets and electronic cigarettes should be carried in the cabin, to help the crew react quickly in case an incident involving the device occurs.

Airlines can help
It is important, the bulletin stresses, that airlines tell passengers that large PEDs should be carried in the cabin whenever possible. Pilots, among others, have already warned about the possibility of fire in the hold resulting from devices.

If devices can’t be carried in the cabin due to their size and have to be carried in checked baggage, they must be completely switched off, with any application, alarm or pre-set configuration that may start it deactivated.

They should also have suitable packaging or casing or be “placed in a rigid bag protected by adequate cushioning (e.g. clothing)” and “not carried in the same baggage together with flammable material (e.g. perfumes, aerosols, etc.).”

The agency has also made a video on the subject, which can be watched here.

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