Is it a safety measure? A strike at Muslim-majority countries? Or an attempt to encourage people to fly with US airlines? Either way, President Trump has signed off on another controversial travel ruling, which the UK is allegedly planning to replicate.

US leaders announced this week that passengers travelling to the United States from airports in 10 Middle Eastern and African cities will not be permitted to have electronic devices larger than a mobile phone in their carry-on.

No tablets, DVD players, laptops and cameras will be allowed in the main cabin, meaning passengers will have to store their personal devices in their check-in luggage.

The ruling will affect travellers flying from gateways in Cairo, Istanbul, Kuwait City, Doha, Casablanca, Amman, Riyadh, Jeddah, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi.

The decision was apparently made in response to terrorism threats and over fears that militants may want to smuggle explosives on planes via their electronics.


Airlines operating to the US from the select cities have until Friday to implement the ‘no electronics on board’ rule. Carriers such as Emirates and Etihad have already updated their websites with notices for their guests.

“Following a directive from U.S. 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.”

Etihad Airways wrote in an online update

“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 U.S., this must be done at the point of origin which may not necessarily be at Abu Dhabi International Airport.”

According to reports, the indefinite rule applies to all travellers flying into the US on flights from cities mentioned above, including US citizens.

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In addition to stripping people of their beloved devices, the ban could also be seen as a slap in the face for cities such as Dubai, which defended Trump earlier this year when the initial version of his travel ban on seven-Muslim majority countries was blocked by US judges.

Meanwhile, technology and terrorism experts have taken to social media to question the ruling. Andrew Lebovich – a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations – wondered if the Trump administration considered whether terrorists would simply fly to alternative cities and board flights on American carriers.

According to reports, the UK is allegedly feeling inspired by Trump’s latest move and is looking to implement a similar ban on inbound flights.

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