Emirates to Let Travelers Keep Laptops, Tablets Until Boarding

Travel News 30 Mar 2017

Can I carry electronic devices in the cabin on flights to the US?

As of 25 March 2017, customers travelling on flights from Dubai International airport to the US are not allowed to carry electronic devices larger than a smartphone or exceeding 16 x 9.3 x 1.5cmcentimeters (height x width x depth) in the cabin of the aircraft. Medical devices are excluded from this rule.

This includes but is not limited to:

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

If you are travelling to the US on a non-stop flight from Dubai, please pack all electronic devices larger than a smartphone in your checked baggage to avoid any disruption to your journey.

This rule does not apply to customers flying to the US via Milan (EK205) or Athens (EK209).

If you choose, you can also hand devices over at the boarding gate. We will then carefully pack your devices in a box which will be delivered to the US on the same flight. The box will be delivered at the airport in the US. These boxes will have priority and will arrive before checked baggage at the other end. There is no charge for this service or for additional baggage weight if you’ve already reached your limit.

If you’re transiting through Dubai to the US from another country, you can bring your devices on board for the first leg of your journey.

Please note loose lithium ion batteries cannot be packed into checked-in luggage, but lithium ion batteries contained within a device can be transported as checked luggage. In addition, extended power supply units (such as power banks), can be carried with you in the cabin.


Emirates aims to let passengers take their laptops past security gates at Dubai International Airport and collect the devices only before boarding as the world’s largest international carrier seeks to minimize the impact of an electronics ban on routes to the U.S. 

The state-owned carrier is planning to permit devices affected by the ban within the security perimeter to allow passengers, particularly those flying in premium seats, to use laptops and tablets until the last possible moment, it said in an email. The airline will then take the items for storage in the cargo hold until arrival. 

Additional staff will be deployed to avoid disruptions to the flow of passengers, especially in the first few days of implementing the new rules, which come into effect on March 25. The U.S. ban, announced Tuesday, prevents passengers on non-stop flights from 10 Middle Eastern airports from bringing large electronics into the aircraft cabin.

“This new security measure is disruptive and operationally challenging in several regards,” Emirates President Tim Clark said in a statement. “We are closely monitoring the business impact of this new security measure, and we will decide on our strategies and interventions accordingly.”

Emirates stands to be one of the hardest hit from the new security rules, as well-paying business customers seek alternatives to avoid costly downtime during flights. Airlines operating out of European hubs could gain with the promise of “making better use of business travelers’ time,” Jamie Baker, an analyst with JPMorgan Chase & Co., said in a note, adding that the electronics ban has “the potential to alter global traffic flows.”

“I am optimistic we will get through this,” said Emirates’ Clark, declining to comment on the motivations behind the ban. “Our job is to comply, and manage the commercial and operational challenge.”