Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
Electronics | By Lorenzo Hawkins

TSA, DHS Will Bar Electronic Devices On Some Overseas Flights

A statement posted on Royal Jordanian Airlines' Twitter feed Monday prompted speculation that the U.S. was about to issue a new set of security rules banning airlines flying between the USA and certain Middle Eastern and African countries from allowing passengers to bring onboard electric devices, including computers, in their carry-on.

While CNN said the Department of Homeland Security had no comment, the US State Department had confirmed that relevant countries and airlines were being informed of the device ban. The ban does not include mobile phones and medical devices needed during the flight, but complicates life for business travelers.

According to a number of media reports, a "confidential" memo was sent by the US Transportation Security Administration to the affected airlines on March 20.

Royal Jordanian airlines "jumped the gun", one official said, with an advisory Monday to passengers.

Hours after it first tweeted the information, however, the tweet was deleted.

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The source said it will impact over a dozen airlines flying into the US.

The prohibition will begin starting with flights departing to and arriving from New York, Chicago, Detroit and Montreal.

The reason for the new measure is, apparently, safety, although that does not easily tally with the exclusion of cell phones from the list of banned items. "However, what seems certain is that Royal Jordanian wasn't misinterpreting some policy, but rather there's some intelligence that's about to change travel for a lot of people".

A spokesman for the International Air Transport Association, which represents international carriers including Royal Jordanian, said they were not informed of the ban and were working to get additional information from USA authorities.

Royal Jordanian didn't immediately respond to FP for immediate comment.

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