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21 March 2017, 02:47 | Darnell Patrick
Device cabin ban on some US flights from Mideast
The US government is temporarily barring passengers on certain flights originating in eight Middle East countries from bringing laptops, iPads, cameras, and most other electronics in carry-on luggage - but has seemingly not informed some of the largest affected airlines.
Another U.S. official said the ban would affect nine airlines in total, and the Transportation Security Administration would inform the affected airlines on Tuesday. "Cellular phones and medical devices needed during the flight are excluded".
Airlines that must obey the new rules, because they run flights from the above airports to America, include: Royal Jordanian Airlines, Egypt Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Etihad Airways. No U.S. airline is affected by the ban because none now operates direct flights to and from the above destinations.
It is unclear which countries and airlines the ban will apply to, or how long the ban will be in place, but the official said no American carriers would be affected.
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Word of the ban was first made public on Monday afternoon - not by administration officials, but in a tweet sent out by Royal Jordanian Airlines. It will stay like this, Homeland Security said, until the threat changes.
Most major airports in the USA have a computer tomography or CT scanner for checked baggage, which creates a detailed picture of a bag's contents.
Under the restrictions, travellers to the United States from 10 mostly Middle Eastern airports will be required to put all personal electronic devices larger than a cellphone or smartphone in their checked baggage.
Since Royal Jordanian did not make clear that this appears to be a new federal rule, people are also posting their confusion about why this is happening. For now, except for a cryptic statement to The Guardian, they're keeping mum: "We have no comment on potential security precautions, but will provide any update as appropriate", a spokesperson commented, and left it at that. But, the airline deleted the tweet a few hours later.
The US officials said intelligence "indicates terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation" by "smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items". Dubai alone-the busiest airport for worldwide travel in the world-serves 90 airlines flying from all over the world.
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