Emirates says new restrictions on US flights will last months

Passengers from Dubai will have to stow larger electronic devices with checked baggage from end of this week
Emirates says new restrictions on US flights will last months
By Reuters
Tue 21 Mar 2017 04:13 PM

New restrictions on passengers carrying electronics on US flights will be in place for nearly seven months, an Emirates spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will require passengers travelling from 10 Middle East airports, including Emirates' Dubai hub, to stow electronic devices larger than a mobile phone with their checked baggage on all flights to the US from the end of the week.

An Emirates spokeswoman confirmed the airline was subject to the "new security directive issued by the Transportation Security Administration."

Devices such as tablets, portable DVD players, laptops and cameras will have to be checked under the directive. Medical devices will be excluded.

"The directive comes into effect on 25 March 2017 and is valid until 14 October 2017," the Emirates spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. "It is applicable to all US-bound passengers from Dubai International Airport, whether originating or transiting through."

Earlier, Reuters reported the restrictions are in response to unspecified terror threats. The DHS said the procedures would "remain in place until the threat changes" and did not rule out expanding to other airports if circumstances changed.

The restrictions apply to passengers coming to the United States from majority-Muslim nations Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Morocco and Qatar.

The airports affected are in Amman, Cairo, Kuwait City, Doha, Dubai, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Casablanca, Morocco; Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Turkish Airlines will be affected by the new restrictions, Vice President for Media Relations Yahya Ustun told Reuters.

An Etihad Airways spokesman said: “Following a directive from US authorities affecting selected airports, Etihad Airways has been advised that guests travelling to the United States from Abu Dhabi International Airport are not permitted to carry electronic devices larger than a cell phone or smart phone in the cabin. 

“Mobile phones and medical devices are permitted but larger items such as laptops, tablets, cameras and e-readers will need to be placed into checked-in baggage.  For those guests bound for the US, this must be done at the point of origin which may not necessarily be at Abu Dhabi International Airport. The new rules come into effect for those US-bound flights departing Abu Dhabi on 25th March.

“Safety and security remain the highest priority for Etihad Airways and we will continue to assist passengers in complying with this directive. Further information will be available on our website at etihad.com.”

Royal Jordanian Airlines and Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) will also be impacted, Reuters reported.

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