I’m travelling to Dalaman in Turkey this July. I need to take my laptop to keep in touch with work but the UK government has banned laptops in the cabins of planes travelling from several countries including Turkey. Will my laptop be safe in my checked-in baggage and is it covered by travel insurance? Rebecca, Morecambe
In March, the UK government banned all electronics larger than 16cm – including some smartphones, iPads and laptops – from being carried in the cabins of planes travelling to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia. They said this was because of new concerns over safety. It means you’ll either have to pack these items in your checked-in baggage, or leave them at home – not an option in your case.
If an expensive item like a laptop gets stolen from your luggage or damaged, it might not be covered by your travel insurance. Some insurers have said they’ll relax the rules for people who have existing policies, but you should check with your own company to find out what their opinion is and get it in writing. You should also check your household insurance policy, which may have cover for items taken outside the home.
Don’t rely on compensation from the airlines. There is a limit of around £1,200 that airlines have to pay out for loss or damage, and some specifically exclude expensive items in their terms and conditions. If you do pack your laptop, check that it is undamaged as soon as you get your bag and before you leave the baggage hall, so you can make a claim there and then.
It’s also worth making a so-called ‘Special Declaration of Interest’ at check-in, so that staff have it in writing that there is a laptop in your luggage and the approximate value. Unfortunately you may get charged extra for this.