PHOTO: Laptops, tablets and other large electronic devices have been banned from select flights from Africa and the Middle East. (Photo via Flickr/Christopher Ross)
The U.S. Travel Association has issued a quick response to the Department of Homeland Security's ban on large electronic devices in the cabin onboard select international flights.
Officially announced on Tuesday, the ban affects about 50 U.S.-bound flights operated by nine airlines traveling from at least 10 airports throughout Africa and the Middle East, including Cairo International Airport, Istanbul Ataturk Airport and Dubai International Airport, among others.
The nine airlines—which include Turkish Airlines, Emirates and Etihad Airways—were notified early Tuesday and have until the weekend to comply with the new procedures, which prohibit devices larger than a smartphone from the cabin, including tablets and laptops.
U.S Travel's Executive Vice President for Public Affairs Jonathan Grella issued a statement Tuesday, communicating the organization's support for safer travel but also encouraging communication and continual assessment of the policy.
"The American travel community supports efforts to make flying more secure. We urge the federal government to make every effort to minimize disruption to legitimate travelers by clearly and quickly articulating the details of the new policy to enforcement personnel and the flying public," Grella said in a statement. "Even with security as a justification, it does not absolve authorities of the responsibility to communicate."
"As with all security policies, we further urge that this new security measure be continually reassessed moving forward to ensure it remains relevant and effective in the ever-shifting threat environment," Grella continued.
"We continue to hope that highly visible changes to security protocols in the future will be accompanied by a clear message that the government's intent is not to suppress, but to secure travel and that legitimate international business and leisure travelers remain welcomed and valued by the United States," the statement concluded.
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On the heels of the U.S. ban, the U.K. has issued a similar ban on large electronic devices.
The U.K.'s restrictions affect 14 airlines operating U.K.-bound flights from multiple African and Middle Eastern countries. However, a handful of airports affected by the U.S. ban won't be impacted by the U.K. restrictions.
"The additional security measures may cause some disruption for passengers and flights, and we understand the frustration that will cause, but our top priority will always be to maintain the safety of British nationals," the government said in a statement via CNN Money.