Travel Advisories

Restrictions on Personal Electronics During Flights

The latest challenge for international travelers includes restrictions on traveling with personal electronic devices. If you are traveling to the U.S. from certain counties, you may not be allowed to take your laptop or tablet on the airplane with you. These rules are subject to interpretation, and it is generally a bad idea to try to convince the TSA or airline gate agent to make an exception. Be advised that the safest thing when traveling from the airports listed below is to place larger electronics in your checked luggage.

From the Department of Homeland Security Fact Sheet:

Notifications concerning travel with electronic devices:

 

If you are traveling on a direct flight from the following airlines to the US, you will not be able to bring most of your electronic devices with your carry-on items except a smart phone that is less than 16cm X 9.3 cm in size:

 

British Airways

Atlas-Global Airlines

EasyJet

Egyptair

Jet2.com

Middle East Airlines

Monarch

Pegasus Airways

Royal Jordanian

Saudia

Thomas Cook

Thomson

Tunis Air

Turkish Airlines

Source BBC

 

Furthermore direct flights from Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. These are subject to change. Please double check with the airlines before making final commitments.

 

The recent travel ban has raised many questions about what to expect at the borders while returning from a flight overseas. Please see the following resources which include notifications about electronic devices from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), ALCU’s informative FAQs and your rights depending on the specific scenario, and articles which identify the carriers out of the UK as well as the US which are banning electronics and other informative items which may be helpful in planning your trip!

 

CBP Updates on Electronics

https://www.cbp.gov/travel/cbp-search-authority

 

https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/inspection-electronic-devices-tearsheet.pdf

 

ACLU (see #7 for guidance on electronics)

https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/what-do-when-encountering-law-enforcement-airports-and-other-ports-entry-us

 

Media

https://thepointsguy.com/2017/03/faq-electronics-ban/

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-39343971

If you are traveling on a direct flight to the US from certain airports or from certain countries, you will not be able to bring personal electronics in your carry-on luggage. The affected overseas airports are: Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), Cairo International Airport (CAI), Ataturk International Airport (IST), King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED), King Khalid International Airport (RUH), Kuwait International Airport (KWI), Mohammed V Airport (CMN), Hamad International Airport (DOH), Dubai International Airport (DXB), and Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).

The aviation security enhancements will include requiring that all personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone or smart phone be placed in checked baggage at 10 airports where flights are departing for the United States.

Impacted International Flights Bound for the United States

These enhanced security measures will only affect flights from 10 of the more than 250 airports that serve as last points of departure to the United States. A small percentage of flights to the United States will be affected, and the exact number of flights will vary on a day to day basis. Airlines will know in advance which flights are affected by these measures

Large Electronic Devices

Electronic devices larger than a cell phone/smart phone will not be allowed to be carried onboard the aircraft in carry-on luggage or other accessible property. Electronic devices that exceed this size limit must be secured in checked luggage. Necessary medical devices will be allowed to remain in a passenger’s possession after they are screened.

The approximate size of a commonly available smartphone is considered to be a guideline for passengers. Examples of large electronic devices that will not be allowed in the cabin on affected flights include, but are not limited to:

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

There is no impact on domestic flights in the United States or flights departing the United States. Electronic devices will continue to be allowed on all flights originating in the United States.

The ACLU has information on Traveler's Rights here.

Customs and Border Patrol Updates on Electronics: