Passengers flying to the US on more than a dozen airlines are going to be required to check in all electronics larger than a cell phone. It’s a nearly-complete onboard electronics ban.
A State Department officials says embassy officials have been notifying relevant countries and airlines.
An aviation official said U.S. carriers are not impacted because none flies directly from the countries in question to the U.S.
The rule will require “laptops, tablets, DVD players and electronic games must be stored in checked baggage for its flights.”
This puts lithium ion batteries in the baggage hold, which is generally considered dangerous because these batteries can catch fire (rarely, but with enough laptops and passengers across enough flights can happen).
Word first came out from Royal Jordanian on Twitter. Apparently the rule was issued to go into effect in or last 96 hours (which is not entirely clear) although it’s up to potentially 13 airlines from the Mideast and Africa to notify their passengers and the Department of Homeland Security is simply issuing ‘no comment’ in response to inquiries.
It’s not clear which airlines are covered so far or how long this will last. One imagines that the list of covered countries could include Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Egypt, Morocco, Cape Verde and Qatar. It might include Turkey.
Assuming the statement that US airlines aren’t covered because they do not fly to the affected countries, the ban would not apply to Israel, Ghana, or Senegal. However, we’ll know soon enough.
If the administration isn’t permitted to implement a ban on travel from certain countries in the region, perhaps they’re going to try to make travel so miserable for anyone coming from a Muslim country that people won’t bother?