Skift Take

Electronics are now banned in the cabin on most flights from the Middle East to the U.S. and UK, though few can explain exactly why. Meanwhile, airports and airlines are scrambling to cope.

What to Know Now

Middle East travel was thrown into disarray early last week when the U.S. and UK suddenly announced a broad electronics ban on direct flights from the region. Affecting only Middle Eastern carriers into North America (no U.S. carrier offers direct service to the area), the ban went into place on Friday and covered all electronics larger than a smartphone carried into the cabin — effectively forcing travelers to check laptops and tablets into the cargo hold.

Few details have been released about the reason for the ban, but in the meantime, airlines are doing their best to cope with the changes, from helping box up electronics at airport gates to using the opportunity to talk up their in-flight entertainment.

There’s no word on how long the ban will last, but one thing is very clear: The current situation is not tenable.

Social Quote of the Day

UK updating #ElectronicsBan to now include peripherals — batteries, power cables, etc. Also includes phone power bricks? #PaxEx

@thatjohn | John Walton, Airline & aviation journalist with @RunwayGirl

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Photo credit: Dubai-based Emirates is one of the airlines impacted by the UK and U.S. electronics bans. Pictured are Emirates A380 aircraft. Emirates

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