UPDATE: 5:20 p.m. EDT — The United States has ordered airlines from 13 countries to ban all electronic devices except cellphones and medical devices from passenger cabins, the Transportation Safety Administration said Monday.
The new rules ban laptops, iPads, Kindles and cameras larger than a cellphone from cabins. The devices can, however, be transported in checked baggage.
The TSA has not published a full list of affected airlines, but Royal Jordanian issued a statement addressed to its customers. Saudi Arabia’s Saudia Airlines also is among those affected.
The TSA advised the airlines of the new policy by email. It gave the airlines 96 hours to comply, the Guardian reported.
The circular did not address the electronic flight bags crewmembers use.
The Guardian said TSA referred queries to the Department of Homeland Security, which declined to comment on the issue.
Royal Jordanian Airlines is banning all electronic devices from flights to and from the United States, except for cellphones and medical devices. The carrier announced Monday the policy would be effective Tuesday.
There was no immediate explanation for why the airline was taking the action beyond saying it was imposing the ban “following instructions from concerned U.S. departments.”
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration has a lengthy list of things that are prohibited from being brought onto planes, but electronic devices are not on it. The list includes explosives and flammable items, firearms, food, self-defense items, sharp objects, sporting goods and tools.
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, passengers have had to bring all liquids, gels, pastes and creams packed in containers holding no more than 3.4-ounce containers and placed into a see-through, quart-size bag, and passengers have had to take laptops and other electronics out of their carry-ons and in some cases turn them on to prove they are what they purport to be during the preflight screening process.
In a statement, Royal Jordanian said it would ban all laptops, tablets, cameras, DVD players and electronic games from being taken into the passenger cabin. The devices, however, are allowed in checked baggage.
Royal Jordanian, the flag carrier for Jordan, flies to New York, Chicago and Detroit.
Travel and Leisure noted concerns have been raised recently about lithium-ion batteries, citing a cellphone battery that caught fire on a Delta Airlines flight From Norfolk, Virginia, to Atlanta, and a passenger’s headphones that exploded on a flight to Australia from Beijing.
Last year, the Department of Transportation banned the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone because a number of devices caught fire, several on planes. Samsung eventually ended production of the units because the “fire hazard … is simply too great,” said Elliot F. Kaye, chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Based at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Royal Jordanian operates more than 500 flights a week across the globe.