FAQ: What the electronics ban on flights means for you (UPDATED: 10 Jul 2017)

Electronics ban on certain flights
Travel News 23 Mar 2017

On Tuesday 21 March 2017 the US government announced that certain electronic devices will be forbidden in the cabins of particular flights from the Middle East and North Africa, to the USA. The UK government followed suit some hours later.

 

USA Electronics Ban

What flights are affected?

Customers travelling on direct services to the USA from any of the following six cities will not be permitted to carry most electronic devices in the cabin with them:

  • Amman, Jordan (AMM)
  • Cairo, Egypt (CAI)
  • Casablanca, Morocco (CAS)
  • Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (JED)
  • Kuwait City, Kuwait (KWI)
  • Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (RUH)

Please note: Effective 3 July, Etihad (EY) flights from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to the USA were exempted from the restrictions. From 5 July, Emirates (EK) flights from Dubai (DXB) and Turkish Airlines (TK) flights from Istanbul (IST) were exempted and effective 7 July, Qatar flights from Doha (DOH) are exempt. Customers travelling on these three carriers between Abu Dhabi / Dubai / Doha and the USA may carry all their electronic devices on board.

What electronic devices are banned?

People on these flights will not be permitted to carry most electronic items that are larger than a smartphone in the cabin with them. These items must be placed in their checked luggage.

  • Tablets / iPads / Kindles / e readers – larger than 16cm x 9.3cm
  • Laptops - larger than 16cm x 9.3cm
  • Cameras and lenses – please check with the airline directly regarding specifications
  • Bluetooth headphones – please check with the airline directly
  • Portable DVD players - larger than 16cm x 9.3cm
  • Electronic game devices - larger than 16cm x 9.3cm
  • Travel printers and scanners - larger than 16cm x 9.3cm

What airlines are affected by this ban?

Any carrier that flies directly between one of the cities listed above and any US port. There are no US carriers impacted as none fly these routes.

 

UK Electronics Ban

What flights are affected?

Customers travelling on direct services to the UK from any port in the following six countries will not be permitted to carry most electronic devices in the cabin with them:

  • Egypt
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey

What electronic devices are banned?

People on these flights will not be permitted to carry most electronic items that are larger than a smartphone in the cabin with them. These items must be placed in their checked luggage.

  • Tablets / iPads / Kindles / e readers – larger than 16cm x 9.3cm
  • Laptops - larger than 16cm x 9.3cm
  • Cameras and lenses – please check with the airline directly regarding specifications
  • Portable DVD players - larger than 16cm x 9.3cm
  • Electronic game devices - larger than 16cm x 9.3cm
  • Travel printers and scanners - larger than 16cm x 9.3cm

What airlines are affected by this ban?

Any carrier that flies directly between any port in the countries listed above and any UK port.

Can people take their mobile / cell phone on board with them?

Yes. Customers may carry their smartphones and mobile/cell phones on board with them. They must ensure that these have enough battery power to be turned on and checked at airport security.

Why have these new rules been introduced?

These new rules are in response to what these governments feel are credible terrorist threats.

Please note:

  • These bans apply to all passengers on these services, regardless of nationality.
  • There will be exceptions for medical equipment – please discuss with your airline.
  • Customers will only be affected if their service between the named ports is direct.
  • At this time, the rulings do not apply to flights in reverse - from the USA or UK to these ports.
  • This ban is currently open-ended

Will my electronics be safe in the hold of the aircraft?

Customers are advised to pack their electronics securely and separately in their check-in luggage and ensure that they are in secure cases or protected from movement or knocks. We recommend that you discuss this and the general security of your items with your carrier or refer to the airline’s website.

What is a direct flight?

A direct flight is any flight that operates as a single flight number from one of the listed ports to the US or UK.  It will also affect customers who transit in these ports and originate from somewhere else.

Examples:

  • A customer travelling HKG - DXB - NYC (who is transiting in DXB) will be subject to the ban because although they are changing aircraft in DXB, their luggage will transfer automatically.  We must assume that they will not be permitted their electronic devices on the first sector as they will not be permitted on the second one.
  • A customer travelling HKG - DXB - NYC (who is stopping in DXB) will be permitted their electronic devices on the HKG - DXB service but not on their separate DXB to NYC flight.
  • A customer travelling on EK205 (DXB - MXP - NYC) will be subject to the ban even if they are disembarking in Milan as this is a single flight number between DXB and NYC.  A customer whose journey originates in Milan on EK205 may not be subject to the ban but should check directly with Emirates to confirm.

Below is a list of traveller concerns and recommended steps:

  • Business travellers who need to work on the flight and require their laptop or iPad - the only option will be to take paperwork on board or change route/carrier. Normal change and cancellation fees will apply but please speak to the carrier(s) about options.
  • Business people or Government employees who are required to carry their work laptop with them at all times as per their employer's policy - as above, please explore alternative options.
  • The security of items in the aircraft hold - this must be referred back to the airline(s).
  • Lithium batteries in check-in luggage - for some time now we have been advised that lithium batteries should not be transported in the hold of an aircraft. Please refer to the airline(s) about the safe carriage of lithium batteries.
  • Customers travelling on 'seat only' fares who do not have check in luggage - please refer to the airline(s) for clarification and their individual policy.

If you are impacted and need assistance please contact your FCM Travel Manager.