Foreign travelers to the United States from a number of countries will not be allowed to travel with any electronics in their carry-on baggage save for a cell phone. Passengers will have to put laptops, tablet computers, and even e-readers into their checked luggage.
From NBC News:
Royal Jordanian Airlines told passengers on flights to and from the U.S. Monday that because of a directive from the U.S. government, no laptops and other electronic devices could be brought into the cabin of a plane.
In messages posted on both Twitter and Facebook and now deleted, the international carrier said cellphones and electronic devices needed for medical reasons could be carried on-board, but everything else had to be stowed in checked baggage “following instructions from the concerned U.S. departments.”
The airline said the directive would take effect Tuesday, and applied to flights to and from New York, Chicago, Detroit and Montreal.
A TSA official told NBC that the airline “jumped the gun” in announcing the policy, saying that it isn’t precisely as they laid it out. However they did confirm that it was a real policy put in place “based on threat intelligence.” Fox News reported that 13 countries, including Jordan, will be caught up in this new policy. They also reported it would last “96 hours.”
Beyond this the DHS is not clarifying the new order. While laptop computers especially have been a cause for concern in the past, this step (along with its selective nature) seems unusual if not wholly unique.
While it’s unclear how wide-reaching this restriction goes, one has to wonder what its purpose could be. Part of the problem with the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant and anti-Islamic rhetoric is that what could be a genuine attempt to thwart a terror attack looks like just another step to make traveling to the U.S. far more inconvenient for people coming from certain countries.
Of course, these rules apply to U.S. citizens traveling from these countries as well. This is a developing story. We’ll bring you the latest details once they are reported or confirmed by the DHS.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Featured image via screengrab