Non-Stop Flights from Middle East and North Africa Affected
Last Tuesday, the United States Department of Homeland Security announced a ban on large electronics on certain flights to the U.S., following a similar ban in the UK on March 18. Specifically, passengers would not be able to bring any electronics larger than a cell phone into the cabin of certain flights to the United States. The ban went into effect only 96 hours later, and airlines which did not comply could lose their license for U.S. flights.
The new policy only covers non-stop flights to the U.S. from one of ten airports in the Middle East and North Africa. Inbound flights from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Turkey are affected by the UK ban.
This includes some of the busiest airports in the world, located in Istanbul, Turkey and Dubai. Nine airlines including Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines are affected, although not of their flights will be included. Also of note is that the UK ban includes different countries from the U.S. ban.
“The ban will not affect flights operated by U.S. or European airlines.”
The ban will not affect flights operated by U.S. or European airlines, as none offer a non-stop flight from the specified regions. U.S. airlines are still expected to suffer, due to the affected flights bringing fewer layovers.
Specifically, the ban states that passengers may not carry any electronic device larger than a cell phone into a plane’s cabin. Laptops, e-readers and more are included in the ban, but certain medical devices are exempt. These devices must be checked and placed in the cargo hold for the duration of the flight. For now, passengers will have to make do with terrible in-flight movies.
Senior administration officials have instituted the ban as a security measure against risks of terrorist activity on commercial planes. The Guardian cited an anonymous source claiming a plot was discovered involving hidden explosives in a fake iPad.
“It is not currently known whether any more countries will be added to the list in the near future.”
At time of writing, the ban does not have an expiration date. It is not currently known whether any more countries will be added to the list in the near future. Further details on the ban should be publicized in the coming weeks, but for now, Business Insider has a more thorough write up on the U.S. ban.