Why no mobile use in baggage claim?

| 31/07/2019

Could the Cayman Islands Airports Authority cite the regulations in question (banning cell phones at baggage claim)? Why would the world end if people could text “I’m waiting for my luggage now”?

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian status

Auntie’s answer: This question appeared as a comment on a previous Ask Auntie column concerning wifi at the airport. And if you click that link, you will see it was posted in February. Therefore, I have to start this column with an apology because of all the time that has passed.

I want to say sorry to the reader for the long wait, though I also want to stress that the delay was not at my end. This was another one of those cases where, while it seemed the question should be easy to answer, I had to go back and forth among various people representing three different departments over months.

Finally, a helpful person at the revamped Customs and Border Control was able to provide the answer. There actually is no law or regulation that bans the use of cell phones at the airport. However, security issues dictate policy, the official explained. “The use of cell phones is prohibited in high security areas (known as sterile areas) of any international airport for security reasons,” he said.

Specifically, cell phones could be used to remotely activate other devices, interfere with digital devices, photograph secure areas and officers “for future ill intentions”, and disrupt operations. Due to these possible uses, cell phones have been banned in both the immigration and customs halls.

In addition, there are signs around the airport designating other spots where cell phones are not allowed, but the officer pointed out that they are certainly banned in all Cayman Islands Customs and Border Control areas.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Get off your phone once in awhile, not the end of the world. Just 15 years ago cellphones didn’t exist en-masse.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cell phone uses are banned in all major airports in customs and immigration areas. Why all the fuss that Cayman is following suit?

    • Anonymous says:

      No they are not. Have you been to Singapore or Hong Kong? They don’t get any more major than that. This is just a copy of what Uncle Sam does.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because our politicians like to copy the USA noticed how they all now wear the patriotic lapel pins?

  3. Anonymous says:

    This ban seems to be enforced VERY arbitrarily. I fly every month and I see some people texting while in line to go out of customs, while waiting for luggage etc and no one says anything but others are told to stop. This drives me crazy. It should be enforced for all or stop enforcing it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If someone wanted to do any of the things they listed they can do it in much more concealed manners than a cell phone. You can have a camera as small as a shirt button and activating devices etc could be done with a small device in your pocket.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The ban doesn’t appear to apply to customs staff. Sometimes I have had to wait while they finish their call. As for the ‘security issue’ this is bogus. A cell phone could just as easily be used to activate a device outside the ‘sterile’ area and as for photography, they used to allow photography of the mural, so someone could take out their phone while pretending to photo the mural and ‘activate’ another device. The truth is more like they don’t want the public photographing their lazy asses. Especially the ones who just stand around doing nothing.

  6. Anonymous says:

    So in other words the restrictions on all use of telephones are made up, and without lawful basis?