Airlines flying directly from eight countries in the Middle East and Africa to the U.S. must now impose an electronics ban. The Trump administration has ordered nine airlines to stop passengers from bringing most types of electronic devices into the cabin.
Any devices bigger than a smartphone – including iPads, Kindles and laptops – will have to be checked in before clearing security or boarding, U.S. officials said, citing terrorism concerns.
The airlines affected by the new ban were notified of the procedures by the U.S. at 3 a.m. ET on 21 April and must comply within 96 hours.
Which airports are affected?
The indefinite ban will affect more than 50 flights from 10 airports in the mainly Muslim countries, including major hubs such as Dubai and Istanbul.
The full list: Cairo, Egypt; Dubai and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Istanbul; Doha, Qatar; Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City; Casablanca, Morocco; and Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The U.S. is especially concerned about the 10 airports in question, the official said, because of screening issues and the possibility of terrorists infiltrating authorised airport personnel.
Which airlines are affected by the ban?
The nine airlines that operate direct flights to the U.S. from those airports are Egyptair, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Turkish Airlines.
Which devices not allowed in the cabin?
Passengers will have to check in any electronic devices bigger than that. That includes laptops, cameras, gaming devices and tablets such as iPads. Smartphones will still be allowed as well as medical devices required during the flight.
When will the ban take effect?
Turkish Airlines told passengers traveling to the U.S. that anything bigger than a smartphone must be checked in.
Emirates will implement the new measures for all passengers bound for the U.S. from Dubai on March 25 while Etihad said it had received the notification from the U.S. government and was reviewing it.
Qatar Airways will take full advantage of the 96-hour notice period and implement the change on Friday.
Other airlines, including Royal Jordanian and Saudi Arabian Airlines, have said they will implement the measures.
What is the reason for the ban?
While there are no specific plots authorities are aware of, the move which the U.S. had been considering for some time, is a response to fears terrorist groups may target passenger planes by smuggling explosive devices in consumer goods.
Which other countries are imposing an electronics ban?
On Tuesday afternoon, the British government has announced a cabin baggage ban on laptops on direct passenger flights to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
The ban applies to any device larger than 16cm long, 9.3cm wide or 1.5cm deep. It includes smart phones which are bigger than the specified size.
The airports affected by the ban are Mohammed V International, Casablanca, Morocco; Ataturk Airport, Istanbul, Turkey; Cairo International Airport, Egypt; Queen Alia International, Amman, Jordan; King Abdulaziz International, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; King Khalid International, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Kuwait International Airport; Hamad International, Doha, Qatar; Abu Dhabi International, United Arab Emirates and Dubai International, United Arab Emirates.
In total 14 airlines are affected by the ban.
Six UK carriers:
- British Airways
- Thomas Cook
And eight overseas airlines:
- Turkish Airlines
- Pegasus Airways
- Atlas-Global Airlines
- Middle East Airlines
- Royal Jordanian
- Tunis Air