Airlines that fly from certain countries in the Middle East and Africa to the U.S. must require passengers to check in almost all electronic devices rather than carry them into the cabin, said a U.S. official.
The official told CNN that there is a security concern regarding passengers boarding non-stop flights to the U.S. from some specific countries. The directive is to ensure enhanced security measures at select airports for a limited duration.
The source said it will impact over a dozen airlines flying into the US. Another US administration official says this covers devices larger than a cellphone.
In a written statement, the Department of Homeland Security said, “We have no comment on potential security precautions, but will provide any update as appropriate.”
A State Department officials says embassy officials have been notifying relevant countries and airlines.
An aviation official said U.S. carriers are not impacted because none flies directly from the countries in question to the U.S. Neither source would specify what airlines were impacted beyond Royal Jordanian Airlines, which tweeted Monday that it will ban most electronics from the cabins on its flights to and from its North American destinations.
The Amman, Jordan-based carrier said that starting Tuesday, March 21 it will only allow phones and medical devices to be carried in the cabin of its flights. All other electronics would be “strictly prohibited.” The airline cited “concerned U.S. departments” without offering additional explanation.
The carrier said that laptops, tablets, DVD players and electronic games must be stored in checked baggage for its flights.
“We will share any further information once shared with us,” a spokesperson for Royal Jordanian Airlines said.
The airline serves New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, as well Montreal and Detroit.
In 2014, the Transportation Security Administration required some passengers to show their electronics could power up over concern explosives were hidden in the devices.