Middle Eastern Airlines Report Sudden US Ban On Laptops And Electronic Devices

Middle East airlines are facing another threat to their long-haul operations, with signs that U.S. authorities have barred flag carriers from Saudi Arabia and Jordan - along with airlines from at least 11 other countries - from allowing passengers on board with any electronic device larger than a cell phone.

The tweet said the ban applied to laptops, tablets, cameras, DVD players and electronic games-all of which would need to be placed in checked baggage.

The airlines have reportedly been given 96 hours to comply with the new rule.

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A US official told CNN the directive would be for a limited duration, applies to some Middle Eastern and African countries, and is meant to ensure extra security measures at specific airports.

It is unclear which airlines would fall under the ban.

Other than an exemption for cell phones, the ban's specifics aren't clear, although it appears to be up to the airlines to ensure that passengers on affected flights don't have any of the banned electronics in their carry-on luggage.

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Passengers travelling from about a dozen countries will be barred from carrying most electronic devices on US-bound flights, officials tell U.S. media. One airline based in the Middle East had tweeted about the rule earlier on Monday, but later deleted the tweet.

The edict, which could be announced as early as Tuesday by the Homeland Security Department, follows an unspecified terror threat, a United States security official said. None of the larger Middle Eastern airlines like Emirates have yet commented on this laptop ban.

Royal Jordanian said the electronics ban affected its flights to New York, Chicago, Detroit and Montreal.

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A spokesman for the US Department of Homeland Security declined to comment. In a response to upset customers expressing themselves on Twitter, Royal Jordanian has since posted that "further updates will be announced soon".


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