UAE airlines Emirates and Etihad say they have yet to receive instructions from US authorities regarding reported changes to baggage policies for large electronics.
Several international media outlets have reported that passengers travelling on flights from 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa will be forced to check electronic items larger than mobile phones including laptops and tablets.
The ban, said to be related to a new terrorism threat, is expected to be officially announced by the Department of Homeland Security today and has been confirmed by Royal Jordanian.
Al Riyadh newspaper also reported that airlines flying from Saudi Arabia had been informed of the new measures by the country’s aviation regulator and the Financial Times cited an official as confirming the UAE was among the affected countries.
However, in statements spokespeople from both Emirates and Etihad said their luggage policies were unchanged.
“The airline’s policies have not changed but we will continue to work closely with the authorities in the USA and here in Abu Dhabi through the officials of the Customs and Border Protection Unit at the airport. If the guidance is revised, we will ensure our passengers are updated accordingly as safety and security remain a top priority,” an Etihad spokesman said.
An Emirates spokesperson similarly responded: “At this time we have not received any notification of changes to cabin luggage restrictions on US flights. Emirates will comply with any new operational or regulatory requirements issued by the relevant authorities.”
Emirates flies to 12 US destinations following the launch of its controversial new Dubai-Athens-Newark route last week, while Etihad flies to nine.