Business traveler? Well, you can keep the word traveler, at least for now. Business and personal entertainment will be coming to a standstill on 13 major airlines flying to and from the U.S, thanks to a new, highly confusing directive from relevant U.S. Security Departments. 

No iPads, laptops or any other electronic devices with the exceptional of medical devices and phones will be allowed onboard commercial flights to the US on 9 major airlines, with virtually immediate effect. Royal Jordanian, Qatar, Saudia, Egyptair, Royal Air Maroc, Kuwait, Turkish, Emirates and Etihad comprise the 9 carriers added to that list. No U.S. airlines will be affected according to U.S. Government officials. As of yet, the flow of news from the U.S. is evasive at best and it’s hard to ignore the background on the issue.

A message from Royal Jordanian in regards to flights departing US also being affected has been deleted, check back for confirmation that the ban goes into and out of the U.S…

It’s impossible to say what has prompted relevant U.S. security authorities to issue a ban with such immediate effect (just 96 hour lead time); or why it’s specific to 9 airlines and 10 cities intended to be restricted in the now defunct Trump travel ban. Connecting flights are not included in this ban, which raises interesting optics. All we know for now is that entertainment and productivity on many of the incredibly long flights will come to a standstill, presumably based on intelligence worthy of creating such a ban. Passengers will be required to check in all non phone or medical devices as luggage (good luck with your hard drive) and will not have access to the devices until on the ground at their final destination. Previous moves have historically launched a tsunami like wave of theft. 

This move is particularly obscure because a very common thread in airline safety involves keeping Lithium Ion batteries away from cargo holds. In fact, most major airlines ban them from being checked in. This move will go directly against this widely accepted thinking and will place a heavier burden on screening luggage with devices rather than devices separated and placed in individual trays for passenger screening, every travelers favorite move. If intelligence is strong enough to suggest that the threat is greater than that posed by having electronics in the cargo holds this would be quite significant. Watch this space…