Yup. US authorities have issued guidelines alerting a slew of Middle Eastern and African airlines that will prevent their passengers from carrying any electronic items larger than a cell phone. So, whether it is laptops, kindles or gaming consoles, passengers are going to have to put them into checked baggage.
There is a lot of confusion regarding this particular order. Earlier, it was rumored that the order amounted to a 96 hour band however, it now appears as if airlines will have 96 hours to comply with the order.
Airlines have also been issuing conflicting reports whereas US authorities have refused to comment on the matter altogether. Apparently, the US could have issued the order in order to forestall what it sees as terrorist threats. To me however, it appears to be a measure that intends to make life difficult for travelers from a set of countries.
For instance, there travelers can’t check into the plane with these devices and most airlines already forbid passengers from checking into the cargo hold anything that has a lithium-ion battery inside. So, it could become a choice between foregoing your laptops, Kindle’s, gaming console’s (pretty much everything except your smartphone) and traveling to the States.
Well, at least it is not banning people any longer. However, the US could have arrived at the conclusion that the inability to take most of their electronic gadgets (and the hostility such a move exhibits) could be enough to keep many from deciding to travel. That, or the country could be doing this in response to some solid tip-off it had received regarding an imminent attack. If the latter, we could see the band lifted after some time.