Electronics larger than a smartphone banned on certain airlines flying into U.S., U.K.

An Emireates Airbus A380 on final approach
An Emireates Airbus A380 on final approach

Planning to fly between U.S. and Middle East or Africa? If so, you may need to leave your electronics including iPads and laptops in your checked baggage.

This ban includes, but is not limited to, electronics such as laptops, digital cameras, iPads, tablets, DVD players, and gaming devices. Exempt from the list are cellular phones, smartphones, and medical electronic devices.

Based on new intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) decided to enforce these new rules as a security precaution. New information has officials believing that terrorists are still devising plans to undermine airport security.

On Tuesday at 3 a.m. ET., the U.S. government began notifying nine specific foreign airlines of the new rules. These airlines operate direct flights to the United States.

The affected airlines are EgyptAir, Emirates Air, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, Saudi Arabia Airlines, and Turkish Airlines.

The ban applies to these airports with direct flights to the United States:

  • Ataturk International Airport (IST), Istanbul, Turkey
  • Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Cairo International Airport (CAL), Cairo, Egypt
  • Dubai International Airport (DXB), Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Hamad International Airport (DOH), Doha, Qatar
  • King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • King Khalid International Airport (RUH), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Kuwait International Airport (KWI), Farwaniya, Kuwait
  • Mohammed V International Airport (CMN), Casablanca, Morocco
  • Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), Amman, Jordan (AMM)

The U.K. joins the U.S with their own electronics travel ban

Only hours after this story broke, the United Kingdom joined in with a slightly different electronics ban of their own.

The U.K. ban affects both domestic and foreign airlines operating non-stop flights from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Turkey to the U.K.

Foreign airlines affected by the ban are Atlas-Global Airlines, EgyptAir, Middle East Airlines, Pegasus Airways, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Tunisair, and Turkish Airlines.

The ban also affects domestic airlines. These airlines are British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2.com, Monarch Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines, and Thomson Airways.

So what does this mean?

Will this new electronics ban keep those in the United States and United Kingdom safe from terrorism? While fighting terrorism is important, in my opinion, the ban won’t make a noticeable difference.

Airline travel has never been safer. I could easily fly on different airlines through separate connection cities. So could people who wished to cause harm.

Then there is the issue of placing valuables in checked luggage.

With so many reports and stories about lost luggage and stolen items in checked luggage, many travelers including myself will now have to fly on different airlines.

In the past, I enjoyed flying non-stop on Emirates from Dubai to Los Angeles. Now, I will need to make connections in order to carry valuables on my flight.

A lot of people may not realize this, but Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Etihad Airways are consistently ranked at the top of the list of the world’s best airlines.

The ban will also be a big blow to the airlines and countries listed above along with their tourism industry.

What do you think?

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