Nine airlines flying to the US from eight Muslim-majority countries have been given 96 hours to comply with new security rules from the Trump administration.
Passengers travelling from 10 overseas airports will be required to place their laptops, tablets and other electronic devices larger than a smartphone in their checked baggage. Medical devices will be allowed on board.
The carriers affected by the new restrictions were notified on Tuesday (21 March).
A senior official from the Trump administration said the changes come as "evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation and are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items".
It is not clear how long the new regulations will stay in place, but the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said "the new procedures remain in place until the threat changes."
No US airlines are affected by the new measures as they do not offer flights to America from the 10 international airports.
An unnamed senior administration official told reporters that if airlines fail to comply, "we will work with the Federal Aviation Administration to pull their [operating] certificates and they will not be allowed to fly to the United States."
In justifying the new policy, the DHS cited examples where commercial jets had been targeted, "as evidenced by the 2015 airliner downing in Egypt, the 2016 attempted airliner downing in Somalia, and the 2016 armed attacks against airports in Brussels and Istanbul."
However, one former administration official rejected the government's argument and claimed it is the manifest implementation of elements of Donald Trump's controversial travel ban.
"If this is true, the threat of attempts to disguise explosives within laptops and other large electronic devices carried through the last point of departure airports bound for the United States is not new. What appears to be new is this latest overreaction," the former official told Buzzfeed News.
"It appears to be a Muslim ban by a thousand cuts," they added.
The carriers affected by the new policy are: Royal Jordanian, EgyptAir, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabia Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates Air and Etihad Airways.
The airports are: Queen Alia International, Jordan, Cairo International, Egypt, Ataturk International, Turkey, King Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia, King Khalid International, Saudi Arabia Kuwait International, Kuwait, Mohammed V International, Morocco, Doha International, Qatar, Dubai International, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Abu Dhabi International, UAE.
The restrictions will affect around 50 flights a day from these airports.