US bans electronic devices on flights from eight majority-Muslim countries

No American carriers are impacted by the ban, which involves devices larger than a mobile phone

Simon Calder
Monday 20 March 2017 23:14
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Donald Trump's in-flight electronics ban explained

Donald Trump’s administration has banned airline passengers from eight Middle Eastern and North African countries from carrying large electronic devices.

No American carriers are impacted by the ban, which involves any device larger than a mobile phone.

The ban would stop passengers bringing laptops, iPads and cameras in carry-on luggage and is thought to affect at least 12 airlines.

It is thought to apply to nonstop flights to the US from 10 airports in eight countries which are believed to include Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The policy is expected to be announced on Tuesday where the full details of the ban will be disclosed.

The Independent has analysed the flight schedules from the Middle East and Africa and identified a dozen non-American airlines from the region that fly to the US: Arik Air from Lagos; Egyptair from Cairo; Emirates from Dubai and Athens; Ethiopian from Addis Ababa, Lome in Togo and Dublin; Etihad from Abu Dhabi; Kuwait Airways from Kuwait; Qatar Airways from Doha; Royal Air Maroc from Casablanca; Royal Jordanian from Amman; Saudia from Jeddah and Riyadh; South African Airways from Johannesburg and Dakar; and Turkish Airlines from Istanbul.

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The reason for the ban was not immediately clear. David Lapan, a spokesman for Homeland Security Department, declined to comment. The Transportation Security Administration, part of Homeland Security, also declined to comment.

Royal Jordanian Airlines did however point out that medical devices were excluded from the ban. Everything else, the airline said, would need to be packed in checked luggage.

“Following instructions from the concerned US departments, we kindly inform our dearest passengers departing to and arriving from the United States that carrying any electronic or electrical device on board the flight cabins is strictly prohibited,” the airline tweeted.

“Prohibited devices, including for instance laptops, tablets, cameras, DVD players and electronic games … etc, can be carried in the checked baggage only.”

Brian Jenkins, an aviation-security expert at the Rand Corp., said the nature of the security measure suggested that it was driven by intelligence of a possible attack.

Another aviation-security expert, Jeffrey Price, said there could be downsides to the policy.

"There would be a huge disadvantage to having everyone put their electronics in checked baggage," said Price, a professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

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