Four Middle-Eastern Airlines Allow Laptops on Flights to the U.S.08 Jul 2017
Major news media recently announced there would be a laptop ban in the cabins of most Middle-Eastern flights bound for the United States. What has been largely unreported is that the ban has been lifted against four major carriers. The four airlines are Etihad, Emirates, Qatar, and Turkish Airlines. This is particularly helpful for the many hundreds of thousands of passengers using those airlines each year to travel to the U.S. from India and other countries in Asia and the Far East.
Background on Laptop Ban
The Trump Administration imposed the laptop ban against large electronic devices in March 2017. The ban was imposed on flights coming to the U.S. from the following eight countries: Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. The ban was imposed over fears that explosives could be potentially concealed in laptops and similar devices.
Removal of Ban Against Etihad, Emirates, Qatar, and Turkish Airlines
The reason for lifting the ban against certain airlines was that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security inspected and approved the additional security measures at the airports in the three countries of Qatar, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates or UAE (both Etihad and Emirates are from the UAE). Saudia, the Saudi Arabian Airlines, hopes to obtain the exemption and join the other four airlines by July 19, 2017.
There has been rapid growth over the last decade among international airlines that serve the wider world beyond Europe with high quality services at competitive prices, increasing the numbers of passengers they carry many fold. The ability to use a laptop on a flight of 10-15 hours from these countries to U.S. destinations is particularly important for passengers traveling for business. Removal of the ban is welcome news for many who feel more confident that there are security measures in place that should address passenger safety and security, while allowing them to use their laptops on long haul flights.
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