13 Countries Forbid From Flying Into The U.S. With Devices Larger Than A Mobile Phone

A new security measure has been put in place – almost by stealth – by the U.S. authorities to prevent passengers from 13 countries in the Middle-East and Africa flying into the United States forbidding them from carrying any electronic devices larger than a mobile phone. Think: Laptops and cameras.

A US official said the new directive was in place to ensure ‘enhanced security measures’ at select airports following a ‘security concern’ regarding passengers boarding non-stop flights from specific countries.

Passengers are required to check in almost all electronic devices rather than carry them into the cabin. It was believed that an email classified as ‘confidential’ were sent to several relevant airlines and countries from the US transportation safety administration (TSA). The injunction forbids passengers from bringing laptops, iPads, Kindles and even cameras larger than mobile phones into the cabin. 

Royal Jordanian Airlines tweeted about the electronics ban from their cabins on its flights to and from its North American destinations. However, the tweet were soon deleted and replaced with an update that says the #electronicsban will be announced soon.


However, the ambiguous directive is leaving airlines pondering whether their staff will be indicted for using the company-issued devices for performing their duties. 

The TSA referred calls to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS would not confirm or deny existence of such a requirement: “We have no comment on potential security precautions, but will provide any update as appropriate,” David Lapan, spokesperson for DHS, said in an emailed statement to the Guardian Monday morning. Lapan declined to comment further.

By Monday afternoon, a US official had briefed Reuters that the ban followed a “terrorism threat” and was expected to be announced on Tuesday.

The official said no American carriers are impacted by the ban, which is expected to be unveiled on Tuesday by the Homeland Security Department.

Compliance has been swift: “Effective March 21st, the carriage of electronic and electrical devices inbound to the USA shall only be inbound in checked baggage except for mobile and medical devices,” according to a reservation agent at one of the affected airlines.

Saudi has just confirmed the new electronics ban.



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.

No U.S. carriers are affected.

In addition, 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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