Passengers on direct flights from eight Middle Eastern and African countries to the United States are no longer allowed to carry electronic devices exceeding the size of a smartphone with them when boarding their plane. Bigger devices such as laptops, cameras, and tablets will have to be checked in with the other luggage. Medical devices needed by passengers are an exemption to that rule.
The currently indefinite ban has been issued for security purposes and will have an impact on over 50 flights from 10 different airports. Most of the airports in question are located in mainly Muslim countries. With Dubai and Istanbul – to only name a few – major travel hubs will be affected by the new regulation. The nine airlines operating on the routes in question received notice at 3 a.m. ET on Tuesday and must be in compliance within 96 hours. U.S. carriers are not affected as none of them serve the routes from the listed destinations to the United States.
The 10 international airports subject to the ban are in Cairo, Egypt; Dubai and Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.; Istanbul, Turkey; Doha, Qatar; Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City; Casablanca, Morocco; and Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, this ban is one of the widest reaching security measures in aviation.