Airline electronics ban: What you need to know

According to reports, the Canadian government may follow the United States and the United Kingdom in banning certain electronic devices on flights departing from a number of airports in Muslim-majority countries.

On Tuesday, Britain said it would tighten airline security on direct flights originating from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey by banning laptops, tablets, some e-readers and large mobile phones from hand luggage.

The Jordanian airliner Royal Jordanian twitted tonight that beginning tomorrow, as per U.S. request, the company's passengers flying to the USA will not be able to board the plane with the majority of electronic devices.

Etihad Airways said a following a directive from U.S. authorities affecting selected airports, the airline has been advised that guests travelling to the USA from Abu Dhabi International Airport are not permitted to carry electronic devices larger than a cell phone or smartphone in the cabin.

Six UK airlines - British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson - and eight foreign carriers are affected by the ban.

Airports covered by the U.S. restrictions are in Cairo; Istanbul; Kuwait City; Doha, Qatar; Casablanca, Morocco; Amman, Jordan; Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates.

The electronics ban affects flights from worldwide 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.

"Most smartphones fall within these limits and will continue to be allowed on board". No US carriers have to follow the new rules.

Several Middle Eastern and African airlines say they are temporarily banning laptops and other electronic devices on USA flights to comply with requests from US officials.

"Saudia Airlines would like to point out to dear guests that the United States transportation authorities have imposed a new procedure on trips heading to the United States", Saudia Airlines posted on Twitter.

There were no imminent threats when the decision to place the laptop ban commenced, but officials say it's necessary that global aviation system should have proper security and defenses.

The federal administration made this move following intelligence gained during a raid in Yemen claiming that terrorists were attempting to smuggle bombs into the USA via commercial electronics, Reuters reported.

If the airlines don't comply with the order within the 96 hour time frame, "we will work with the FAA to pull their certificate and they will not be allowed to fly to the United States", CNN quoted one senior U.S. official as saying.

But electronics spread out across a person's luggage pose far less of a threat than palettes of lithium batteries, according to a US aviation official.

  • Leroy Wright