Bringing a laptop or tablet on a Mexico-to-U.S. flight? Beware of new security measures

Mexican authorities say the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has instituted heightened security measures for laptops and tablets on U.S.-bound flights from the country.

Mexico's Transportation Department said in a statement that the measures took effect starting Wednesday for “electronics larger than a cellphone.”

It recommends passengers carry as few of those devices as possible in carry-on bags and advises that such electronics must undergo separate security checks without cases or covers.

In March, U.S. authorities banned cabin electronics on departing flights from 10 airports in the Middle East over concerns that extremists could hide bombs inside laptops. Earlier this month, carriers in Jordan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey announced that they had been exempted from the ban after they had satisfied U.S. security concerns.

On June 28, before those announcements, the Department of Homeland Security released a plan to implement “enhanced security measures” for all commercial flights to the United States.

“These measures, both seen and unseen, include enhanced screening of passengers and electronic devices as well as heightened security standards for aircraft and airports,” it said in a statement.

It said those measures would apply to 105 countries, 208 airports, 180 airlines and an average of 2,100 daily flights, but it did not specify which ones.

The statement said the DHS and the Transportation Security Administration would work with aviation stakeholders over the coming weeks and months “to ensure these enhanced security measures are fully implemented. Those stakeholders who fail to adopt these requirements with certain time frames run the risk of additional security restrictions being imposed.”

The DHS did not respond to inquiries Wednesday.

Perry Flint, a spokesman for the International Air Transport Assn. trade group, said the airline industry “is working with regulators to minimize disruption and inconvenience to passengers resulting from these enhanced security measures.”

“In the meantime,” Flint said, “we urge passengers to follow the advice of airlines and security regulators regarding when to arrive at the airport.”

Times staff writer Alexa D’Angelo contributed to this report.

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UPDATES:

2:25 p.m.: This article was updated with additional background information.

This article was originally published at 7:15 a.m.

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