US government to ban laptops on some international flights — here’s what we know – Business Insider


Boeing 787 Royal JordanianBoeing

The US government is expected to bar passengers from bringing any
electronic device larger than a cellphone on some flights to and
from the Middle East and Africa.

Royal Jordanian Airlines on Monday tweeted a
description of an electronics ban implemented by the US. But the
airline deleted the tweet a few hours later.

According to Royal Jordanian’s deleted tweet, all electronic
devices apart from cellphones and necessary medical equipment
must be checked in to the cargo hold with luggage. That includes
laptops, cameras, tablets, and DVD players.

The airline indicated that the policy would go into effect on
March 21.

These changes are a result of a security concern related to
passengers on nonstop flights from some Middle Eastern countries,
an unnamed US official told CNN’s Jon
Ostrower
.

According to Ostrower, the directive, which is targeted at
certain airports and will last for a limited time only, is in
reaction to a threat related to Al Qaeda in the Arabian
Peninsula.

In an emailed statement to Business Insider, the Department of
Homeland Security (DHS) wrote: “We have no comment on potential
security precautions, but will provide an update when
appropriate.”

The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) sent a
confidential email to airlines on Monday regarding the
electronics ban, which is expected to affect carriers from 13
nations, The Guardian’s Sam Thielman reported.

According to Thielman, the airlines will have 96 hours to comply
with the ban.

Business Insider asked the Middle East’s three mega-carriers —
Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar Airways — for comment. Etihad said
that it was still sorting through the issue internally and was
unable to offer details. Emirates and Qatar Airways said they
would share more information once it’s available.

Business Insider also contacted Delta, the only major US airline
to offer nonstop flights to Africa. A representative for the
Atlanta-based carrier declined to comment and referred us to the
DHS.

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