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UK next on laptop ban list?

Just over a month since the initial laptop and tablet ban was announced, there is now speculation that the UK may be next to join the list of countries with new hand luggage restrictions for laptops and tablets on flights to the US. We explain what this flight ban could mean for your travel plans, especially if you're flying from the Middle East and North Africa.
On Tuesday 21st March, the UK and US governments announced a ban on laptops and tablets in all hand luggage on board direct flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
It has now been widely reported that the US is considering extending this ban to include flights coming from UK airports to the US. Although there has yet to be any confirmation from Homeland Security on whether or not this will indeed happen, Gillian Christensen, a spokeswoman for the US Department of Homeland Security, said: “We’ve said we will continue to evaluate the threat environment and make determinations based on that assessment, but we have not made any decisions on expanding the current restrictions against large electronic devices in aircraft cabins from selected airports.
The initial ban is now in full force. Here's how this will affect your travel plans:

Which countries and airports are included in the ban?

The US flight ban affects the following airports:
  • Cairo (Egypt)
  • Istanbul (Turkey)
  • Dubai (United Arab Emirates)
  • Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)
  • Kuwait (Kuwait)
  • Doha (Qatar)
  • Casablanca (Morocco)
  • Amman (Jordan)
  • Riyadh (Saudi Arabia)
  • Jeddah (Saudi Arabia)

The UK flight ban affects all flights coming from:

  • Turkey
  • Lebanon
  • Jordan
  • Egypt
  • Tunisia
  • Saudi Arabia

Which airlines are affected?

The ban will affect six UK airlines:

  • British Airways
  • easyJet
  • Monarch
  • Thomas Cook
  • Thomson

And these eight overseas carriers:

  • Turkish Airlines
  • Pegasus Airways
  • Atlas-Global Airlines
  • Middle East Airlines
  • Egyptair
  • Royal Jordanian
  • Tunis Air
  • Saudia
UK flight ban on electronics: laptops not allowed in hand luggage

Which electronic items are banned from cabin baggage?

UK flight ban:

Prohibits any electronic device bigger than 16cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm in hand luggage. This means mobiles and smartphones, like the larger iPhone Plus will still be allowed. Most smartphones, including the iPhone 7 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy S7, can still be carried in hand luggage.

US flight ban:

Prohibits the following items, as detailed by The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) - but they have said that this list is not exhaustive:

  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • E-readers
  • Cameras
  • Portable DVD players
  • Game consoles larger than a smartphone
  • Travel printers and scanners

Clarification regarding electrical devices allowed on flights

What you’re allowed to take on a flight depends on which country you are travelling to or from.
Check with your airline before you travel if you’re not sure about what you can take as hand luggage.

Flights to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia

You must put all phones, laptops, tablets and ereaders - and some accessories that can be used with them - in your hold luggage if they’re larger than any of these measurements:
  • 16cm in length
  • 9.3cm in width
  • 1.5cm in depth (thickness)
For example, you can take an iPhone 7 Plus, Samsung Galaxy 7 Edge, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, LG G3 or Sony Xperia Z2 in your hand luggage.
You must also check the size of the following accessories:
  • keyboards
  • power supplies and transformers
  • external hard drives
You can’t take any of these accessories or devices in your hand luggage if they’re larger than these measurements, even if you bought them at the airport (for example, at a duty free shop).
You can’t take any spare batteries or portable power sources in your hand or hold luggage if they’re larger than these measurements and could be used with a phone, laptop, tablet or ereader.
You can still take other accessories, such as headphones, in your hand luggage.
You must also follow these rules if you’re on a connecting flight via these countries, even if your journey started elsewhere.

All other flights

You must follow these rules for flights to or from any other countries except Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia.
ItemAllowed in hand luggageAllowed in hold luggage
Mobile phoneYesYes
Tablet devicesYesYes
MP3 playerYesYes
Hairdryer or straightenersYesYes
Travel ironYesYes
Electric shaverYesYes

You can usually take camera equipment in your hand and hold luggage. There might be restrictions on specialist equipment, for example professional video cameras.

Make sure your devices are charged
Make sure your electronic devices are charged before you travel. If your device doesn’t switch on when requested, you won’t be allowed to take it onto the aircraft.

Batteries for your device
Check the restrictions on certain types of batteries or contact your airline if you’re not sure what you can carry.

Gas-powered hair curlers
You can take hair curlers containing a gas cartridge in checked or hand luggage as long as the safety cover is fitted at all times. You must not take separate gas cartridges on board.