Airlines that fly from certain countries in the Middle East and Africa to the United States must soon require passengers to check in almost all electronic devices rather than carry them into the cabin, a U.S. official said.
The official said this will impact some airlines flying into the U.S. Another U.S. administration official says this covers devices larger than a cellphone.
An aviation official told CNN that there is a security concern regarding passengers boarding nonstop flights to the U.S. from specific countries. This relates to the “screening in [some] countries” for nonstop flights to the U.S.
I’m no expert on airplane safety, but I think I would be more worried about a fire starting unobserved mid-flight in the luggage hold than in the passenger cabin.
The regulations are expected to come into force this week.
Update: As BBC News reports, it appears the UK is going to put a similar requirement in place for UK-bound flights.
If you don’t like the idea of not having your electronic devices in your personal possession during a flight (perhaps for fear that the authorities might snoop on them, or install spyware), you might be wise to leave them at home.