The US government may bar passengers from bringing any electronic device larger than a mobile phone on board some flights to and from the Middle East and Africa.
On Monday, Royal Jordanian Airlines tweeted an extensive description of an electronics ban implemented by the US government. But the airline deleted the tweet a few hours later.
According to Royal Jordanian’s deleted tweet, all electronic devices apart from mobile phones and necessary medical equipment must be checked in to the cargo hold with luggage.
That includes laptops, cameras, tablets, and DVD players.
The airline indicated that the policy would go into effect on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
These changes are as a result of a security concern relating to passengers on nonstop flights from certain Middle Eastern countries, an unnamed US official told CNN’s Jon Ostrower.
According to Ostrower, the directive, which is targeted at certain airports and will last for a limited time only, is in reaction to a threat related to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
In an emailed statement to Business Insider, the Department of Homeland Security wrote: “We have no comment on potential security precautions, but will provide an update when appropriate.”
The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) sent out a confidential email to airlines on Monday regarding the electronics ban that is expected to affect carriers from 13 nations, The Guardian’s Sam Thielman reported.
According to Thielman, the airlines will have 96 hours to comply with the ban.
Business Insider asked the Middle East’s three mega-carriers Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar Airways for comment. Etihad said that it was still sorting through the issue internally and was unable to offer details.
Emirates and Qatar Airways said they would share more information once it’s available.
Business Insider also contacted Delta — the only major US airline to offer non-stop flights to Africa. However, a representative for the Atlanta-based carrier declined to comment and referred us to the DHS.
So far, the only evidence of the policy shift is Royal Jordanian’s deleted tweet.
This story is developing.
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