The U.S. government is ordering passengers on nonstop, U.S.-bound flights from a handful of mostly Middle Eastern and North African countries to pack electronic devices other than cellphones in their checked baggage.
Senior Trump administration officials said that starting Tuesday morning airlines flying directly to the United States from 10 airports in eight countries could allow only cellphones and smartphones in carry-on bags for U.S.-bound flights. Other electronics, including laptops and tablets, will be indefinitely banned from the passenger cabin.
The officials said the airlines were to have 96 hours to implement the security order or face being barred from flying to the United States. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the security ban despite President Donald Trump’s repeated insistence that anonymous source should not be trusted.
The electronics ban affects flights from international airports in Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Cairo; Istanbul; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. About 50 flights a day, all on foreign carriers, will be impacted. The officials said no U.S.-based airlines have non-stop flights from those cities to the United States.
The officials said the decision was prompted by “evaluated intelligence” about ongoing potential threats to airplanes bound for the United States. The officials would not discuss the timing of the intelligence or if any particular terror group is thought to be planning an attack.
The ban would affect laptops, iPads, cameras and most other electronics. Royal Jordanian Airlines tweeted about the ban Monday, telling passengers that medical devices would also be allowed onboard with passengers.
Details of the ban were first disclosed by Royal Jordanian and the official news agency of Saudi Arabia.
In its statement, Royal Jordanian said the electronics ban would affect its flights to New York, Chicago, Detroit and Montreal.