Electronic devices larger than a mobile telephone are now banned on flights from eight predominantly Muslim nations to the USA.
Officials called the directive an attempt to address gaps in foreign airport security, and said it was not based on any specific or credible threat of an imminent attack.
(translation: we felt like making life difficult for many travelers, because we can)
On What Airlines/Routes Does the Electronics Ban Apply?
The policy implicates all non-stop flights to the USA from the following cities:
- Kuwait City
- Doha, Qatar
- Abu Dhabi
Translation: Middle Eastern carriers are hit, U.S. carriers are untouched. In fact, the ban explicitly exempts U.S. carriers though none operate from any of the above cities.
What Exactly is Restricted?
The following items are now prohibited as hand baggage from the list of nations above:
- laptop computers
- travel printers
- games bigger than a phone
The new policy took effect this morning at 3AM ET and carriers have been given 96 hours to comply. The ban is indefinite in nature. Crews are exempted. Medical items are also exempted.
I think this is a VERY BAD idea. I’ll add my analysis in a follow-up post later today, but wanted to get the word out on the details of the new ban now that it is official.