U.S. and U.K. ban laptops in cabins on some flights from Mideast

Passengers headed to the United States and the United Kingdom from some Middle Eastern countries have been barred from carrying on certain electronic devices larger than a smartphone. The new flight restrictions were enacted March 21 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.K. Department of Transport. The banned devices must be placed in checked luggage.

BCD Travel has prepared some essential FAQs for business travelers:

Question: Which airports are affected?

For travel to the U.S.:

  • Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH)
  • Amman, Jordan: Queen Alia International Airport (AMM)
  • Cairo, Egypt: Cairo International Airport (CAI)
  • Casablanca, Morocco: Mohammed V Airport (CMN)
  • Doha, Qatar: Hamad International Airport (DOH)
  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates: International Airport (DXB)
  • Istanbul, Turkey: Ataturk International Airport (IST)
  • Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED)
  • Kuwait City, Kuwait: Kuwait International Airport (KWI)
  • Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: King Khalid International Airport (RUH)

For travel to the U.K.:

All flights from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey.

Question: What devices are included in the ban?

Examples of large electronic devices that will not be allowed in the cabin on affected flights include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • E-readers
  • Cameras
  • Portable DVD players
  • Electronic game units larger than a smartphone
  • Travel printers/scanners

Necessary medical devices will be allowed to remain in a passenger’s possession after they are screened.

Question: When did the policy take effect, and how long will it last?

In the U.S., the new policy took effect at 3 a.m. EDT on March 21. Carriers have 96 hours to comply. The U.S. DHS says the policy will remain in place until further notice. In the U.K., no specific timelines have yet been published.

Question: What should travelers do?

These kinds of policy changes can be highly disruptive to travelers. To minimize frustration, plan ahead:

  • If you’re not sure if your flight is affected by the ban, contact the airline for specific instructions regarding transporting electronic devices.
  • Arrive at the airport earlier than normal due to possible security screening delays at regular checkpoints and departure gates.
  • Don’t store sensitive data on devices that will have to be placed in checked baggage.

Find more details in the official advisories from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.K. Department of Transport.

Find out how messaging via TripSource® let companies reach affected travelers quickly after the device ban was announced.