Twelve or more airlines from countries in the Middle East and Africa will not allow passengers to carry electronics beyond smartphones and medical equipment on flights bound for the U.S. for the next 96 hours, according to reports from Reuters, CNN, and The Hill.
News of the ban started circulating after Royal Jordanian Airlines tweeted “following instructions from the concerned U.S. departments, we kindly inform our dearest passengers departing to and arriving from the United States that carrying any electronic or electrical device on board the flight cabins is strictly prohibited.” The tweet has since been deleted.
Jordanian Airlines says US off'ls barred electronic devices from certain flights. Ban appears to apply to 13 countries for next 96 hours. https://t.co/xQo7FdqbVV
— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) March 20, 2017
The feds have largely declined to comment on the news but a State Department official told CNN that embassy officials are notifying countries and airlines affected by the temporary ban. All devices larger than cell phones — including tablets, laptops, games, and cameras — will need to be checked on flights operated by the targeted airlines.
It’s unclear whether the electronics ban is related to President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban, which is stalled in the courts, or if it is a response to an intelligence threat.