Electronic Ban from Carry-Ons (US & UK) Electronic Ban from Carry-Ons (US & UK)

Electronic Ban from Carry-Ons (US & UK)

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The Department of Homeland Security has implemented enhanced security requirements for passengers traveling from 10 airports that require passengers to place larger electronic devices in checked baggage; no longer allowing them in passengers’ carry-on bags.

The rationale for the ban per the Department of Homeland Security is, “Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation and are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items.”

Department of Homeland Security Logo

The ban impacts travelers from 10 airports in the Middle East and Africa:

  • Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) – Jordan
  • Cairo International Airport (CAI) – Egypt
  • Ataturk International Airport (IST) – Turkey
  • King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED) – Saudi Arabia
  • King Khalid International Airport (RUH) – Saudi Arabia
  • Kuwait International Airport (KWI) – Kuwait
  • Mohammed V Airport (CMN) – Morocco
  • Hamad International Airport (DOH) – Qatar
  • Dubai International Airport (DXB) – UAE
  • Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) – UAE
Large Electronics Ban Countries - Great Circle Mapper
Maps generated by the Great Circle Mapper – copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, passengers are able to take a smartphone with them in the cabin, although it does not specify which models or makes meet the definition of “Commonly available Smartphone”. Other larger items will have to be checked, and include but are not limited to:

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

The DHS confirmed in its statement that passengers carrying larger medical devices will be allowed to keep them on their person after they have undergone a screening process. Although the department did not clarify what this process will be.

The impact will be most significant for passengers traveling on Turkish Airlines, Etihad, Emirates and Qatar which have significant regular scheduled service to the US. As of now, the ban is indefinite to be reviewed in the future.

Additionally, it appears as though the UK has just announced a similar ban on flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

Source: DHS & BBC

4.2 / 5 - (6 votes)
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  • Well this sucks. I like how there isn’t an “expiration” so it’s going to be permanent.

  • Luckily not affect US domestic flight

  • Analise Sesay says:

    I’d really like to see this applied at all airports – if it has been deemed effective in thwarting terrorist attacks. Furthering Islamophobia is feeding into the hands of terrorist groups.

  • Bad news for travellers really. And I always thought that Istanbul and UAE’s airports were generally safe to travel through. And on top of that why Nigiria is not on the list? They have Muslim insergents and terror attacks too rather often and there’s direct flights both to UK and USA actually

  • The lack of reading comprehension is shocking. It is ban on flights from select ME airports. That’s it.

    And there’s obviously a reason that it is safer with the devices in the baggage hold than being in the cabin with free access.

  • Actually, what’s missing is the reason of this ban.
    It’s security but not much more info about.
    If the US airlines are excluded this become illogic by my point of view.

  • Once the bag arrives at the destination on the conveyor belt, the electronic device can be removed and easily used – not sure that it makes airports safer. Perhaps the right goals in mind, but not the proper procedures to get the goals met.

  • I was reading the WSJ and looks like this applies only to non-US airlines – which is a little weird. Not like airlines handle security…

  • Being a person who has had property go missing from checked bags, I am not embracing this new requirement at all. Not at all!

  • A lot of airlines ban lithium ion batteries in checked baggage so how is this going to get implemented?

  • Honestly this doesn’t make me feel any safer…

  • Bertrand say says:

    I hope this does not spread further.

  • Why aren’t the large airlines, credit cards, and travel companies reacting more aggressively to all of this? Rumors have said that the travel industry has already lost 20% of its revenue but I think it could be far worse before it gets better.

    • The large US airlines are likely embracing this as it has no direct impact on any of their flight operations.

      • But it affects desire to travel into the USA, along with other recent events, and you saw one of the investment houses downgrade the airline industry yesterday. Airline stocks will have to go down.

  • This is so ridiculous I don’t even know where to begin.

    Electronics, especially their batteries, are so much more of a danger when checked into the hold than when taken on-board. It would be so much easier just to ask passengers to turn on their electronics to ensure they actually work as electronics and aren’t stuffed with explosives.

    It’s also sad to see the UK participate in a clear “let’s make life difficult for non-US airlines” policy.

  • I’m trying to envision how this can be done without major hassles and I’m not succeeding.

  • I read this before even anything appeared on an airline website. I didn’t know that the UK was doing this also. I, also, see more tampering with luggage and/or lost luggage the airlines will have to deal with, especially if they are crossing airlines.

    I depend on my tablet to keep me entertained during the flight so I don’t know what people will do if they load all their books on to their tablet. At least an Ipod sounds like it would work? However, there are so many magazines and books I can bring on board :o(

  • whatever is needed to keep my family safe is fine with me.

  • we are assuming that the security agents at the airport are not cooperating with the terrorists. If one is, the ban will have little meaning.

  • The_Bouncer says:

    Baggage handlers are going to have a field day.

  • ADAM PARSONS says:

    All done for the best reasons intent but no dought inconvenient for many.

  • All based on credible intel. No need for hand-wringing.

  • I’ll have to remember to bring my 3DS next time I go to Dubai.

  • These items get stolen or confiscated for no explanation when they are checked in!

  • I hope it’s creditable to go through all this. Not to mention Kuwait, UAE & Qatar strongest allies we have in region & this is only going to hurt business ties with them.

  • This is going to be a challenge for many who might already have flown out of US but haven’t taken a return trip back home through one of these countries!

  • Jason Logan says:

    wow- thanks for sharing, but it’s a sad day

  • Thank you for sharing this update.

  • This is going to get annoying, quickly! I trust that it is being done for the right reasons.

  • At least the UK has the good sense to exclude the UAE and Qatar.

  • Prashant Gangwal says:

    This is not going to be good for the ME3 carriers!

  • Binita Patel says:

    Interesting that UK does not include ME3 airports/airlines in their requirements.

  • Today it is 10 airports that most of us will never fly to. I wonder how long before additional airports will be added to the list?

  • I’ll note that the US ban will have a huge impact on the big three Middle Eastern airlines (Emirates, Etihad, & Qatar). Can’t imagine that our allies in the Middle East will be happy with this policy.

  • Mayhem is going to ensue.

    Personally I never like to check bags and I never would want to check my laptop. Bags get flung all over the place and go missing.

    I cant imagine a long haul flight without using my laptop or tablet.

    • I have a feeling we may see a sharp increase in baggage theft, bags getting lost and items being damaged.

      • Definitely there will be an increase of baggage handlers going through bags now that the content is more valuable.

      • Couldn’t agree more, Howie. Not to disparage baggage handlers, but there is already evidence of a great deal of theft during times when one can keep valuable electronics out of checked baggage; now that that option is gone on certain itineraries, theft from baggage on those routes is likely to become multitudes worse.

      • This will be a huge headache to implement.

  • At least where the US is concerned, in terms of odds that this is based on credible intelligence vs. something read on twitter, I’d put it at 20/80.

  • Interesting. Larger size electronics banned by BOTH the US and the UK. I wonder if the security folks in both governments have very specific information regarding issues these particular types of items.

  • This is going down the road of what you value. Personal privacy or safety (or at least in theory, the attempt at safety). Really depends on your own personal feelings on so many things.