Laptops are No No in Cabin Now
To boost aviation security against terrorist attacks, the Trump administration imposed an indefinite ban of electronic devices on all airlines flying directly from eight countries in the Middle East and Africa to the United States.
The ban entails a total ban of electronic devices in the cabin. Any devices bigger than smartphones will have to be kept in the cargo hold for the duration of the flight. This means iPads, Kindles and laptops are not allowed in the cabin.
The Associated Press says there are 10 international airports covered by the ban including 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.
Nine airlines are affected by this ban that fly direct to the United States from the affected airports. Here is the list: EgyptAir, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Turkish Airlines.
The policy does not affect any American carriers because none fly directly to the United States from the airports.
The Sudden Implementation
US officials have been concerned about speculation terrorists plan to smuggle a “laptop bomb” onto commercial flights. Security screening in airports is not enough to detect these terror threats. To prevent this from happening, the ban of electronics inside the cabin was imposed.
In addition, US officials believe explosives can be hidden in a laptop to bring down a passenger jet. This is what happened last year when the Somali extremist group al-Shabaab smuggled an explosive-filled laptop on a flight out of Mogadishu. It detonated soon after take-off and made a hole in the side of the plane. The incident killed only the bomber.
Intelligence also highlighted the growing potential and threat from al Qaeda in Syria, Al Shabaab and ISIS.
Know These Banned Devices
The ban covers all electronic devices bigger than a smart phone. These devices are banned from cabin baggage and can only be carried if packed in checked-in hold baggage.
Devices covered by the ban include laptops, iPads, hand-held gaming devices, DVD players, Kindles, tablets, and so on. Items covered by the ban are those longer than 16.0cm, wider than 9.3cm and deeper than 1.5cm. However, medical devices required during the flight will still be allowed in the cabin after security screening.