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Electronics Ban Impacting Select Airports Implemented

While travel bans for individuals have stalled in the courts, a U.S. ban on certain electronicdevices went into effect in the early hours of Saturday, March 25. Laptops, tablets and anypersonal electronic device larger than a smartphone may not be carried into the cabin on planestraveling directly to the U.S. from 10 international airports.

Nine airlines have been ordered by the Trump administration not to allow passengers to board planes if carrying such devices. Devices may be placed in checked baggage.

The airports included in this ban are: Cairo, Egypt; Dubai and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Istanbul, Turkey; Doha, Qatar; Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City; Casablanca, Morocco; and Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The airlines affected by the U.S. ban are EgyptAir, Emirates Airline,Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Turkish Airlines.

No U.S. airlines are included in the ban as no U.S. airline flies directly to the U.S. from theairports listed.The Washington Post reported that officials say the electronics ban was due to concerns aboutattempts by terrorist groups to target commercial flights and could try to conceal explosives in personal electronic devices.

The ban has been described as indefinite. A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security said the directive runs until Oct. 14 and could be extended.

Alexandre de Juniac, director general and chief executive of the International Air TransportAssociation, said the effectiveness of such a ban is unclear and it does not provide a long-term solution.

Travelers are advised to expect extended times for security screenings and stock up on thingslike magazines, books and actual paperwork to stay busy during long flights. Most of these airlines also offer in-flight entertainment, such as movies.

Medical devices will be allowed, but will require additional security screening.

The United Kingdom has issued a similar ban.