On March 21, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a directive that bans carrying any electronic device larger than a cellular or smartphone into an airplane cabin in U.S. inbound flights that originate from certain countries. Affected devices include laptops, tablets, e-readers, cameras, portable DVD players, electronic game units (larger than a phone), and travel printers and scanners.
The ban affects only flights from 10 international airports in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. Domestic U.S. flights and flights departing the United States are not affected.
Airlines are expected to comply with this directive by March 25, 2017. The directive will remain in force indefinitely, until the threat currently perceived by DHS diminishes.
Impact on Employers
- Employers should review their travel procedures to evaluate whether their personnel may be affected by this directive.
- Employers should ensure that affected employees are aware of the directive so they can plan ahead with respect to electronic devices (such as checking luggage).
The Electronic Device Ban
The ban requires affected passengers to check affected electronic devices with their luggage. This means that affected passengers will not be able to carry affected devices with them into the cabin or simply store them in their carry-on luggage. DHS explained that the directive was issued to prevent possible terrorists from smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items.
Please visit the DHS website or consult the corresponding FAQs for more information regarding this directive.