As part of the current American policy to ban certain people from coming to the US, CNN now reports that passengers traveling from about 10 airports in Africa and the Middle East will be barred from carrying-on their laptops and other electronic gadgets into the plane.
The move according to officials will be in place for a limited time and is intended to address some security concerns about passengers from certain demographics boarding non-stop flights to the US but the nature of the concern was not disclosed. The report notes though that American airlines from those destinations will not be affected by the new regulation which some believe went into effect yesterday seeing as two Middle Easters airlines (Saudi Arabian Airlines and Royal Jordanian) have acknowledged in separate tweets that such a policy now exists. This new restriction though does not apply to small devices like mobile phones and other medical equipment that may be necessary during a flight.
The US State Department on its own has been notifying embassies of such a move. This won’t be the first time that such “temporary” guidelines will be out in place and as you know since 9/11, a lot of such policies have come up and while some may have struck down by relevant courts, others persist till this day. For example, carrying on liquid on a flight became increasingly difficult after the “underwear bomber” incident but since then airlines and security officials have devised a means to safely bag those liquids.
While airlines are waiting for more information on this, you’ll recall that Libya, Somalia and Sudan are three African nations on the original immigration ban list and it’s not clear at this time if flights from those countries to the US are affected by the new policy.