Laptop ban: home secretary can't rule out extending to all flights

Under a rule that came into effect on Saturday, the USA prohibits travelers on flights from 10 Middle Eastern airports, including Dubai, from bringing large electronics into the aircraft cabin. Only "necessary medical devices" will be allowed on board, after extensive security checks.

It follows a similar measure announced on Tuesday by the USA authorities affecting flights originating in a longer list of eight mainly Muslim countries.

In the UAE's first official response to the ban, Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri, Minister of Economy and chairman of the General Civil Aviation Authority, said it was surprising because the UAE aviation sector and airports had proven themselves safe.

You can no longer take laptops and electric devices that are bigger than smartphones on certain flights.

EgyptAir says it has received instructions from US authorities to prevent passengers from bringing laptops, iPads, cameras and other electronics on board direct flights from Cairo to the United States.

"Laptops, tablets and other electronic devices may be used until the boarding gate where they will be handed over" to the airline's staff, Turkish Airlines said in a statement.

Airports and passengers were grappling Sunday with the new ban on most electronics devices in cabins aboard some global flights to the U.S. The ban on devices, excluding smartphones, impacts flights from 10 worldwide airports from the Middle East and North Africa.

He also noted differences between the USA ban and a similar step by Britain. The British restrictions cover passengers from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia.

The US Department for Homeland Security cited attacks on planes and airports over the past two years as the reason for the ban.

The government-backed carrier said Tuesday it has "made special arrangements to assist passengers in securing their devices in the aircraft's baggage hold", without elaborating.

Beyond the humor, and the reminder that sometimes it can be nice to just sit back and relax on a flight, airlines have worked to minimize the impact of the electronic ban on passengers.

After Trump's initial executive order banning Muslim entrants, Emirates said the rate of bookings growth dropped. Royal Jordanian led the way with a list of 12 Things To Do on a 12-Hour Flight With No Laptop or Tablet.

Dubai-based Emirates said on Tuesday that it would comply with any new operational or regulatory policies but it so far has "not received any notification of changes to cabin luggage restrictions on US flights".

While the United Kingdom ban applies to six countries - Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Lebanon.

  • Arturo Norris