Paranoia has again gripped government as new restrictions have been imposed by the United States and the United Kingdom on flights to and from the Middle East. Different airlines and airports are affected by each set of restrictions, but the most important thing to be aware of is that you can't take your Nintendo Switch, tablet or laptop with you in the cabin as a carry-on
This has nothing to do with those governments being anti-gaming and everything to do with the U.S. and U.K. being worried about some intrepid terrorist turning those devices into a homemade bomb. The devices can be carried in checked baggage, and cell phones are excluded from the ban.
While this will affect leisure travelers, it hits game developers with Middle Eastern ties the hardest, especially those who might use those devices to try to get work done. The U.S. restrictions affect 10 airports in eight countries:
- Queen Alia in Jordan
- Cairo International in Egypt
- Ataturk International in Turkey
- King Abudlaziz and King Khalid in Saudi Arabia
- Kuwait International in Kuwait, Mohammaed V in Morocco
- Doha International in Qatar
- Dubai international and Abu Dhabi international in the United Arab Emirates.
Airlines that have been put on notice of the ban include Royal Jordanian, Egyptair, Turkish airlines, Saudia airlines, Kuwait airways, Royal Air Morocco, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad.
In the U.K., a few different countries are affected: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. Six U.K. airlines are affected – British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson – as well as eight foreign carriers.
Some airlines have already started warning their passengers of the new rules. Travelling to or from other countries is not affected, although it is not clear how an unaffected flight with a layover in an affected airport might be handled.
Both bans are until further notice, which means if you are coming from the Middle East for E3, prepare to stow your electronics.