The Department of Homeland Security is instituting a ban on all electronic devices larger than a smartphone on flights from eight Muslim-majority countries. That means you’ll need to store all laptops and tablets in your checked bags.
Photo: Kamran Jebreili/AP
More specifically, the new rules apply to 10 airports in the following cities:
- Cairo, Egypt
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Casablanca, Morocco
- Doha, Qatar
- Amman, Jordan
- Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- Kuwait City
- Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE
And the device ban only applies to flights from non-US-owned airlines. In a briefing with reporters on Monday night, The Homeland Security officials didn’t cite any specific intelligence suggesting why the electronics ban needs to happen now. As such the new security rules seem in line with much of the Trump administration’s hastily rolled out impositions.
So what can you do if you’re on a foreign flight from one of those airports? Not much of anything. All your gadgets need to be stored in your checked bags, which means you presumably can’t even carry a Kindle with you (if they consider that “larger than a mobile phone”, which is the vague rule). So you should load your phone with as many books and movies as it can hold. Bring a book. Take a nap. A flight from Dubai to New York takes about 14 hours, so it will be a long nap.