PUTRAJAYA: Malaysians travelling to the United States will have to abide by the latest ruling on electronic devices if they fly with certain airlines.
They will have to check in their laptops and other devices if their connecting flight takes off from the airports identified by the US authorities. Mobile phones are exempted from the ban.
Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways are the popular choices among Malaysians travelling to the United States.
These flights will fly from KL International Airport to Dubai International Airport (Emirates), Abu Dhabi International Airport (Etihad Airways) and Doha’s Hamad International Airport (Qatar Airways).
They are among 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa where the United States has banned electronic devices from aircraft.
These airlines’ offices in Kuala Lumpur confirmed that they had been notified by their respective headquarters on the latest rule.
According to the airlines, Malaysians travelling to other destinations could still bring their laptops into the cabin but those flying to the United States must follow the check-in policy on electronic devices.
An Emirates official said passengers could check in their equipment at Dubai Airport but the process could be a hassle and costly.
“If their transit time is short, it will be inconvenient to check in upon reaching Dubai. If they have already checked in two bags, additional charges will be imposed.
“Our advice is for them to check in the electronic device from KL,” the official said.
An Etihad Airways customer service officer also gave the same advice for Malaysians flying to the United States on its airlines.
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said he was waiting for the Department of Civil Aviation’s notification before putting up passenger advisory notices.
“The procedure is for the affected airlines to inform the Department of Civil Aviation requesting for passengers to check-in their electronic devices and the department will then inform the airport authorities.
“Once this is done, we will make sure enough notices are displayed to inform passengers,” he added.
The US’ Department of Homeland Security announced earlier that airlines from eight Middle East and North Africa countries had been given 96 hours from March 21 to comply with the ban on certain electronic items.
Other affected airports are Cairo International Airport, Jordan’s Queen Alia International Airport, Kuwait International Airport, Morocco’s Mohammed V Airport, King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (Jeddah), King Khalid International (Riyadh) and Turkey’s Ataturk International Airport.
ABC News quoting sources as saying that IS militants had been smuggling explosives on to aircraft by hiding them in electronic devices.
Britain has also followed the US move on flights from six countries.