In a US Embassy Advisory Notice the "Transportation Security Administration (TSA), in consultation with relevant Departments and Agencies, has determined it is prudent to enhance security, to include airport security procedures for passengers at certain last point of departure airports to the United States. These enhancements include more stringent measures applied to 10 specific airports, to include Kuwait International Airport".
This "enhanced security" means that all personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone must be placed in checked baggage, with the exception of approved medical devices. The U.S. ban covers flights from 10 airports, including major global hubs such as Dubai. The list of countries includes: Cairo, Egypt; Dubai and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Istanbul, Turkey; Doha, Qatar; Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City; Casablanca, Morocco; and Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The airlines that fly direct to the United States from the affected airports are EgyptAir, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Turkish Airlines.
There is also a UK ban, which covers all inbound flights from Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. The U.K. restrictions apply to 14 airlines: British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2.com, Monarch, Thomas Cook, Thomson, Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airways, Atlas-Global Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Egyptair, Royal Jordanian, Tunis Air and Saudia. The ban has left the affected airlines trying to figure out how to implement the new rules. The best advise is to arrive early, and plan to check in your tablets, laptops and other banned devices with your luggage. Whether you are flying to the USA or UK as your ultimate destination or not, you may still need to check in your devices….for example, if you're flying from Abu Dhabi to Toronto through Chicago.
The apparent reason for the ban, according to US officials is as a response to fears that terrorist groups may target passenger planes by smuggling explosive devices in electronic devices. One official said there's no specific plot authorities are aware of, but the U.S. has been considering such a ban for some time. Intelligence obtained in recent weeks found that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was perfecting techniques for hiding explosives in batteries and battery compartments. The reason why these devices are not safe in the cabin, yet safe in cargo hold, has not been explicitly defined, perhaps for security reasons.
When checking your electronic devices you may want to take steps to protect your devices and data by setting a passcode, doing a full back up before hand, and being sure your computer is completely shut down. Locking your luggage also may help deter theft.