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TRAVEL ALERT: Cabin electronics restrictions on US and UK flights

by on March 23, 2017
 

Update 6 April 2017

Emirates has published a handy YouTube video explaining how you can bring your devices with you to the airport and have them transferred to the hold of the plane just before boarding:

Etihad is also offering a similar service. Qatar Airways has responded to the restrictions in its own way, by offering free laptops on loan. More details here. Check with your airline to see how you can best prepare when heading to the US and UK while these directives remain in place.

Update 28 March 2017

The UK restrictions are currently in force. The UK government has added Jordan to the list of departure countries from which these restrictions will apply. Additionally, the restrictions for UK-bound flights have been tightened to include all electronics and peripherals that exceed the following dimensions:

  • length: 16.0cm
  • width: 9.3cm
  • depth: 1.5cm

If you are travelling with any electronic devices and any peripherals, check their dimensions before packing them. Items such as the following that exceed those dimensions will need to be placed in your checked baggage:

  • keyboards
  • power cable transformers
  • spare or separate device batteries
  • portable power sources
  • external hard drives

Some airlines are reporting that cameras are not restricted on flights to the UK and can be carried in your cabin bag. Please check with your specific airline before travelling.


New restrictions are set to restrict carriage of electronic devices on some flights bound for the United States and the UK. The restrictions prohibit any personal electronic devices larger than a mobile phone from being brought into the cabin, meaning they must be carried in your checked luggage only. Examples of affected devices include laptops, iPads, tablets, gaming pads and cameras. Medical devices are exempt from the electronics restrictions.

The restrictions kick off on March 24 for some airlines, and March 25 for others flying to the USA. The UK has not confirmed an official start date.

Affected origins

Flights to the USA from the following airports are affected:

  1. Cairo
  2. Dubai
  3. Abu Dhabi
  4. Istanbul
  5. Doha
  6. Amman
  7. Kuwait City
  8. Casablanca
  9. Jeddah
  10. Riyadh

Flights to the UK from the following countries (all airports) will also carry similar restrictions:

  1. Turkey
  2. Lebanon
  3. Jordan (added 27 March)
  4. Egypt
  5. Tunisia
  6. Saudi Arabia

Flights departing from the USA and UK are not affected.

Coping with the situation

Because of the dynamic situation, we’d encourage travellers to prepare for restrictions even if not apparently affected. If you’re travelling to the USA or the United Kingdom, consider whether you need to bring your valuable laptops and tablets. If essential, try to find a means of securing the device to the inside of your luggage. TSA rules prohibit locking of US-bound bags with anything other than TSA-compatible locks, so understand that your luggage may not be completely secure while in transit.

The situation is evolving, and we’ll post updates as the we receive confirmation from authorities.

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