Electronic device ban for US and UK flights - Important Update

Travel News 07 Aug 2017

Important Update: Effective 3 July, Etihad (EY) flights from Abu Dhabi to the USA were exempted from the restrictions. Customers travelling on Etihad between Abu Dhabi and the USA may carry all their electronic devices on board.
On 21 March, the US and UK governments announced a ban on certain electronic devices on all flights to the UK or US that originate from certain countries.
 

1. Key points surrounding the electronics ban:
  • The USA and UK have essentially banned any electronic devices larger than 16cm x 9.3cm from being carried as hand luggage in the airline cabin.
  • This includes tablets, laptops, portable DVD players and more (see the FAQ)
  • The USA has banned these items in the cabin of any direct flight from the following nine cities to any port in the USA:

    - Dubai, UAE (DXB)
    - Cairo, Egypt (CAI)
    - Istanbul, Turkey (IST)
    - Doha, Qatar (DOH)
    - Amman, Jordan (AMM)
    - Kuwait City, Kuwait (KWI)
    - Casablanca, Morocco (CAS)
    - Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (JED)
    - Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (RUH)
     
  • The UK has banned these items in the cabin of any direct flight from the following six countries to any port in the UK:
     
    - Egypt
    - Jordan
    - Lebanon
    - Saudi Arabia
    - Tunisia
    - Turkey
     
  • Customers will likely hear directly from their carrier(s).
  • Medical equipment will be permitted but must be cleared by the carrier.
  • Smartphones, cell/mobile phones are permitted.
  • Travellers' nationality, age, gender, employment or cabin type will not make any difference.  People travelling in The Residence will be subject to the same rules as those in economy.
 
2. Peripheral device information

As previously mentioned, the UK government has announced certain items known as peripheral devices (which can be attached to a laptop, tablet or larger mobile phone) are also subject to new security requirements.

Please be aware that some peripheral devices will not be allowed on board the aircraft at all.

  • Will not be allowed in the cabin:
  • Keyboards
  • Power cable transformers
  • External hard drives

Will not be allowed on board the aircraft in either cabin or hold baggage:

  • Spare or separate device batteries
  • Portable power sources

Important: The airlines are responsible for enforcing these rules and therefore have the final say.  One carrier may have a slightly different interpretation to another so it is vital that we refer directly to them with questions and for clarification.
Please refer to the UK Department for Transport’s website for more information about what peripheral devices and other items can be transported. Visit UK Department for Transport

 

3. Which flights are affected?

A direct flights 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 BKK - IST - LON (who is transiting in IST) will be subject to the ban because although they are changing aircraft in IST, 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 BKK - IST - LON (who is stopping in IST) will be permitted their electronic devices on the BKK - IST service but not on their separate IST to LON flight.

 

4. Frequently asked questions:

Travellers and industry experts have raised a number of concerns that your customers may have also.  These include:

  • 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 their 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.  Could they be stolen, tampered with or damaged? - This must be referred back to the airline(s).  There are no guarantees but if customers have genuine concerns, we need to discuss with the airline.
  • Entertainment for children and those with special needs - if customers are concerned about their child or loved on not having access to familiar games or entertainment, please discuss with the airline.  The carrier should be able to provide detailed information about game and entertainment options on board their flights.
  • 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 - Again, please refer to the airline(s) for clarification and their individual policy.

if you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Business Travel Consultant.