Electronics Banned on US Flights From Middle East

A new ban has been announced by the US. No large electronic devices will be allowed in cabin baggage on passenger flights from eight Muslim majority countries.

The Department of Homeland Security said that this was in response to extremists seeking innovative methods to bring down jets, such as with bombs hidden in laptops, tablets, cameras, DVD players and electronic games. Large electronic devices will be allowed in checked baggage. Mobile phones will be allowed to be carried on board.

This new measure will affect nine airlines operating out of ten airports. The airlines affected are:

  • Royal Jordanian
  • Egypt Air
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines
  • Kuwait Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Qatar Airways
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways

The airports affected are:

  • Queen Alia International, Amman, Jordan
  • Cairo International Airport, Egypt
  • Ataturk Airport, Istanbul, Turkey
  • King Abdulaziz International, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • King Khalid International, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Kuwait International Airport
  • Mohammed V International, Casablanca, Morocco
  • Hamad International, Doha, Qatar
  • Dubai International, United Arab Emirates
  • Abu Dhabi International, United Arab Emirates

The affected nine airlines had been given 96 hours from 21st March at 07:00 GMT to ban devices bigger than a mobile phone or smartphone from cabins. The ban has no end date.

Analyst Comment

The UK has adopted a similar ban for six countries (Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia). The rationale behind the ban is that a bomb on a plane was passed to a passenger in a PC after the security check. We had friends this week that were on a trip from the US and were routing via Istanbul, so were not looking forward to a long flight without their PCs, although it would give them the chance to catch up on some movie watching! In discussions, we weren’t clear how much less of a problem a bomb in the hold would be, than in the cabin! (BR)