US: Electronic Devices Banned on Flights from Eight Countries

It has been announced today that the US has banned electronic devices from being brought onto flights in hand luggage.

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Mar 21, 2017

It has been announced today that the US has banned electronic devices from being brought onto flights in hand luggage.

This ban will affect nine airlines operating out of ten airports in eight countries, mainly from Middle Eastern and North African regions.

Electronic devices such as laptops, tablets (including Kindles), cameras, DVD players, and electronic games consoles will now only be permitted on flights in checked luggage.

Mobile phones or smartphones and medical devices are not subject to this ban, and will continue to be allowed on flights in hand luggage.

US officials have advised that the ban currently has no end date, and that the airlines in question have been given 96 hours from 3am ET today, Tuesday 21st March, to ban any electronic devices bigger than a smartphone from cabins.

The list of airports affected by the ban is as follows:

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

The airlines operating out of these airports that will be affected are as follows:

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

Potential loopholes have already been highlighted by industry experts. Trevor Jensen, an aviation consultant and former airline captain, said “If this was a credible threat, I think they would be looking at other airports. Because, why couldn’t you fly from Doha, for example, into Zurich, and from Zurich across [to the US] … there are ways to get around it,”

Mr. Jensen also highlighted the impact that this ban will have on genuine business travellers from the affected regions, saying “Looking at some of these legs, the passengers flying on board are business people who do want to work in-flight. Security is first, but it’s got to be credible. And we’re not getting any more information to support that at the moment,”

Should you require further information on the new ban, please refer to the factsheet released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

If you require advice or assistance regarding travelling to the US, please contact us.

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