Airline Electronics Ban Factsheet
The Trump administration, in an unprecedented and silent act, ordered 9 airlines to bar passengers from bringing devices larger than a smartphone onto planes headed for the United States. The affected airlines are as follows: Egyptair, Royal Air Maroc, Etihad Airways, Emirates Airline, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Royal Jordanian Airlines and Turkish Airlines. Here’s what you need to know about this electronics ban:
- If you are flying with the 9 affected airlines, you will be asked to check your electronics (tablets, laptops, etc.) in with baggage. If you refuse, you will be forced to surrender the devices at a security checkpoint.
- You are still subject to this ban, even if the United States is not your final destination. It doesn’t matter if you are just catching a connecting flight in the states, you will still be asked to check your electronics with baggage.
- There is no concrete evidence to warrant such a precedent. Besides the usual illegitimate anti-Muslim motives, there is actually no specific terrorist plan that authorities are aware of.
- Not surprisingly, the affected airlines are based in Muslim-majority countries of the Middle East and North Africa. This list includes Egyptair, Royal Air Maroc, Etihad Airways, Emirates Airline, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Royal Jordanian Airlines and Turkish Airlines.
- Airlines were notified on Tuesday and have 4 days to comply. Should airlines refuse to adhere to this new ban, US officials threatened to “work with the FAA to pull their certificate and [the non-compliant airlines] will not be allowed to fly to the United States.”
- Airlines will not be held responsible for damages. Checked electronics can be damaged with treatment of baggage, lost, or hacked.
It’s important to note here, that this restriction does not apply to U.S. carriers flying out of the 10 affected airport cities (Doha, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, Amman, Cairo, Jeddah, Riyadh, Casablanca, Kuwait). It is clear that this ban is not about security as The Washington Post writes,
“Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways have long been accused by their U.S. competitors of receiving massive effective subsidies from their governments… this may be the retaliation.”
Essentially, by barring luxury airlines from allowing passengers to board with electronics, it is likely that many high-paying business and first class travelers will turn their business instead to U.S. airlines that are not affected by this ban. The Trump administration seems to be using national security as a cover for everything, from anti-Muslim bans to regulating the commercial airline market.