On March 22nd 2017, the UK and the US announced a ban on laptops and tablets in all hand luggage on board direct flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia, and the change in hand luggage restrictions has now come into force. So how will this affect your travel plans? Here are the facts…
Which countries and airports are included in the ban?
The US flight ban affects the following airports:
Dubai (United Arab Emirates)
Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)
Riyadh (Saudi Arabia)
Jeddah (Saudi Arabia)
The UK flight ban affects all flights coming from:
Which airlines are affected?
The ban will affect six UK airlines:
And these eight overseas carriers:
Middle East Airlines
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:
Portable DVD players
Game consoles larger than a smartphone
Travel printers and scanners
What about electronics on connecting flights?
Some of the airports affected by this latest hand luggage ban are big airline hubs, with lots of UK travellers passing through on business or holiday. The ban is to be enforced from your last point of departure, so if the last airport you departed from is on the list, then the ban will apply. Therefore, catching any connecting flight from on of the airports affected to the UK will mean that your laptop or tablet will not be allowed in the cabin. The safest thing to do if you’re transferring through one of these airports is to put any electronic devices into your hold luggage at the first airport you’re originating from.
Will travel insurance cover electronics in hold luggage?
Policies can vary, but as a general rule most travel insurance will not cover theft of and unattended items which you can’t see or aren’t close to you. So if it goes in the hold, there’s a chance your policy won’t pay it should your laptop or tablet get damaged or go walkabout. Some insurance providers might be flexible in this situation, having been effectively forced to place such items in the hold, but if in doubt and when possible, leave valuable devices at home and save yourself the stress.