Nintendo Switch, iPads, More Banned On Some US-Bound Flights
You might have to put your Switch in the hold.
As part of a new, limited ban on some flights, many US-bound passengers will no longer be allowed to take large electronic devices--including the Nintendo Switch--into the cabin.
The US government recently approved a ban on large electronic devices on flights from eight Middle-Eastern countries. Passengers will be forbidden from bringing devices "larger than a cellphone" on board the cabin, meaning laptops, iPads, Kindles, and more will have to be stowed away in the hold.
The ban will be enforced on flights from 10 airports spread across Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. The restrictions also apply to tablets and games consoles--including, presumably, the Nintendo Switch, 3DS, and PS Vita. Smartphones will be allowed into the cabin.
According to the Guardian, Trump administration officials told press that the ban had been devised after "evaluated intelligence" emerged stating terrorists favored "smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items."
The ban, which comes into action within the next few hours, is reportedly not a public regulation; airlines will be expected to enforce the rule themselves.
The ban has been criticized by some tech experts, who say that forcing a device into the hold rather than the cabin does not remove the risk that they could be used as explosives. "If you assume the attacker is interested in turning a laptop into a bomb, it would work just as well in the cargo hold," International Computer Science Institute researcher Nicholas Weaver told the Guardian.
"If you're worried about hacking, a cellphone is a computer."
Shortly after the US government announced their restrictions, the UK government announced a similar ban. Flights to the UK originating from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia will not allow devices larger than 16 cm long, 9.3 cm wide, or 1.5 cm deep into the cabin. However, large smartphones and games consoles, including the Nintendo Switch, are permitted--meaning the UK and US bans differ in that regard.
"The ban will apply to flights bound for the US, not the UK," a UK government spokesperson told UK news outlet i.
Nintendo Switch's reveal trailer specifically highlighted the ability to use it on a plane. It seems, for some flights at least, that will no longer be a possibility.