U.S. will ban electronics bigger than phones on airlines based in 13 countries
Attention all passengers on the 12-and-a-half hour non-stop flight from New York to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Bring a lot of magazines.
A forthcoming Department of Homeland Security rule will reportedly forbid passengers from boarding certain flights with electronic devices larger than a cell phone, the Guardian reports; instead, passengers will have to check devices like iPads and laptops. The edict affects carriers from 13 countries, including Royal Jordanian airlines and Saudi Arabia’s Saudia Airlines.
“We have no comment on potential security precautions but will provide an update when appropriate,” a DHS spokesperson told VICE News. The Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Justice referred requests for comment to DHS.
In a since-deleted tweet, Royal Jordanian said that passengers leaving from and traveling to the U.S. would not be allowed to carry “any electronic or electrical device” other than cell phones and “medical devices” into flight cabins starting on March 21.
— Jeffrey Cook (@JeffreyCook) March 20, 2017
In 2013, after years of protest, the FAA lifted rules that prohibited passengers from using certain electronic devices like cell phones inflight. More recently, airlines and aviation authorities all over the world banned Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, which were recalled by Samsung after several exploded.