WHOA: Delta (Accidentally?) Announces New Electronics Ban, DHS Insists Nothing Has Changed

Filed Under: Delta, Security/TSA

Update: Delta has issued the following statement regarding the sign: “This sign was posted in CVG in error. It does not reflect any new news or guidance from DHS. Should be considered erroneous.” Hmmmm….

We’ve been hearing rumors that an electronics ban will be announced for flights from Europe to the US at some point this week. To my surprise this still hasn’t happened, and actually the Department of Homeland Security has been claiming that nothing has been decided for sure.

Many reputable sources have suggested otherwise, and that a decision has in fact been made but just hasn’t been communicated publicly yet. Interestingly FlyerTalk member SFO 1K posted a picture of a sign made by Delta at Cincinnati Airport, which suggests that an electronics ban is in place effective immediately for international flights from Europe to the United States:

Attention International Travelers

Effective May 12 passengers will only be permitted to carry a cell phone onboard flights returning to the United States. All other personal electronic devices will be required to be checked.

Rather bizarrely, when asked about this on Twitter, Delta says that “the current restriction on larger electronic devices applies only to flights departing the Middle East for the United States. Delta is remaining close to Department of Homeland Security and, as we would in any situation, will continue to evaluate ways to align our procedures with a restriction in the event that it’s expanded to countries where Delta operates.”

What the heck???

  1. Can the rollout of the laptop ban that’s not a laptop ban be any more of a cluster&#k? Who the hell is running this operation?

  2. Well according to that sign, Electronics will need to be checked on ALL flights retuning to the United States. It does not specify the Middle East or Europe. Is Delta just cutting costs by printing one set of signs as the ban will be expanded to ALL flights ? Do we think they are that smart ? hmmmmmm

  3. All those folks on that new direct service from Dubai to Cincinnati sure will be disappointed I guess…

  4. I presume the only explanation for this is that they know what’s coming and we should expect an announcement about this by the end of the day.

  5. Did I miss something? That sign says nothing specific towards Europe, and could just be a generalized sign for those coming from Middle East just like Delta claims in their response.

  6. That sign gives the impression if you are flying from Toronto , Tokyo , Sydney or São Paulo … misleading and it implies all airlines

  7. The date on the notice and the fact that Delta does not have direct service to the countries that are currently affected by the ban, can only come to the conclusion that the announce will be made very soon.

  8. It looks like to me the sign was professionally printed and not done at a printer at the airport. Thus, it was probably approved by their Communications Department prior to be handed to the airport personnel. Thus, this has been in process for couple days to clear all the internal bureaucracy at Delta for being approved.

  9. Wow.

    Good lobbying by Delta. Get this in the news and there’s a chance to block it.

    Once DHS gets a new security measure in place, it’s impossible to dislodge. That’s why they always demand they be secret right until they’re ready to spring them on us.

  10. When Delta signs have that serif font, instead of the typical font used in their marketing, it usually means it was made by someone at the airport on a corp. provided template. I’ve most commonly seen signs like this on SkyClub coffee machines and restrooms that are out of order.

    Coupled with their twitter team’s response, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was an overzealous employee at CVG who misunderstood that the ban might happen. Dispute the ineptitude of the current administration/DHS/TSA I find it hard to believe that one airline’s team at one airport would be more in the know than the rest of the industry.

  11. Weren’t we all expecting an announcement of this new ban to be made yesterday? Maybe Delta corporate expected the same thing we did, was proactive in printing and distributing the material (assuming if it is announced on Thursday, it would become effective today), and one employee at CVG missed the memo on not putting these out unless instructed to do so?

  12. They are too busy in beating up Comey all over the Fake News and forget to announce the ban.

    America is truly great again…back to 1990s.

  13. In anticipation of the ban, I called up Virgin Atlantic, whom I’m flying with on my return trip from London, about my routing options. When explaining my reason for the call (the ban soon to be implemented), the CS agent I was talking to did not not express any surprise of news of the ban or deny that it was going to be implemented. Her response was, “right, let’s look at your options.” Which makes it feel that the airlines have been read into the ban, they’re just waiting on DHS’ official word.

  14. Leila – Or the more plausible explanation is Virgin Atlantic staff occasionally read the news so knows it’s a possibility and was trying to be proactively helpful.

  15. Lol at everyone complaining about the TSA and US government for this…..we should really be complaining about RADICAL ISLAMISTS who have made travel miserable. Without radical islam no tsa, no liquid ban, no laptop ban, no need to ge to airport 3 hours early, etc….

  16. Who in their right mind would want to check their electronic devices in their luggage and expect them to be there when they unpacked? Luggage theft is world wide problem. I would think that the issues that we are facing re not having devices in the cabin would pose the same risk if stowed in the below. What’s a flyer to do?

  17. Late to the comments here but I was just randomly selected for additional screening in Jacksonville in the Pre line and all they wanted to do was test all of my electronics for explosive material.

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