Saudia the Latest Carrier to Be (Partially) Exempt From Electronics Ban
Since the US Department of Homeland Security announced a couple of weeks ago that it was going to require enhanced security procedures, airports have been quick to implement the required steps — the 10 airports in eight countries have made the changes so that they could be exempt from the electronics ban. Now, the last of the affected carriers, Saudia, has lifted the electronics ban — at least partially.
The TSA announced on Twitter today that both Saudia and Jeddah's King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED) had successfully implemented the required security measures in order to have the electronics ban lifted on its nonstop flights to the US.
In a follow-up tweet, the agency indicated that travelers from JED could now bring their laptops on board. However, it didn't clearly indicate if passengers traveling on nonstop flights from King Khalid International Airport (RUH) in Riyadh would also be allowed to take their large electronics in the cabin.
We've reached out to the TSA for clarification but have yet to hear back. A TSA spokesman told Reuters that the US government had lifted the ban at JED and will be visiting RUH "later this week to confirm compliance there as well." At this point, it would seem that only JED has implemented the required enhanced security measures, meaning RUH still has the electronics ban in place. As a reminder, Saudia only flies nonstop from RUH to Washington, D.C. (IAD). The carrier flies nonstop from its JED base to Los Angeles (LAX) and New York (JFK).
For now, RUH is the only airport at which the electronics ban is still in place, however, it appears that may be ending soon as well.