Cabin laptop and tablet ban: All you need to know about restrictions from selected Middle Eastern and North African countries
Britain is following the US by blocking passengers from carrying tablets, DVD players and phones over a certain size on flights heading to the UK from selected airports in Middle Eastern countries.
Here’s all you need to know about the ban; how it works and where it applies.
Find out all you need to know about the new laptop ban
What are the new rules affecting travelling with electronic devices?
The Government introduced new aviation rules on March 21, which banned selected electronic devices from being carried in the cabin on flights to the UK from six countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The new restrictions relate to security concerns on flights originating from these countries. The move follows a similar ban introduced by the US authorities.
The ban includes large phones, all laptops, all tablets and e-readers such as Kindles.
What countries are covered by the ban laptops and tablets in the cabin?
UPDATE JULY 28, 2017: Passengers flying from Ataturk and Izmir airports in Turkey will now be allowed to carry electronic devices – such as laptops -in the cabin. However, this only applies to passengers flying with Turkish Airlines or Pegasus. All other Turkish airports are still covered by the ban.
The Government’s new rules mean that large electronic devices will be banned from being carried in the cabin from the following countries.
- Saudi Arabia
What electronic devices are affected by the cabin ban?
The UK cabin ban on large electronic devices from some Middle Eastern and North African countries include the following – which will all need to be packed in hold luggage.
1. All laptops
2. Smartphones equal to or larger than 16cm x 9.3cm by 1.5cm
3. Kindles and other e-readers will need to be placed in the hold
4. iPad Pro, Microsoft Surface and Nintendo Switch gaming system
What is the maximum size of a an electronic device that can be carried in the cabin from the affected countries?
The new measures will mean that phones, laptops and tablets larger than the following dimensions will not be allowed in the cabin:
- length: 16.0cm
- width: 9.3cm
- depth: 1.5cm
Where do I pack spare batteries and portable power chargers?
If travelling from the six restricted countries named above, you will NOT be able to carry spare batteries or portable power sources either in HOLD or CABIN luggage.
Can I take my phone in the cabin?
Standard-sized smartphones will be fine in the cabin, along with most larger devices.
The following ‘larger’ smartphones can be carried in the cabin:
- iPhone 7 Plus
- Samsung Galaxy 7 Edge
- Samsung Galaxy Note 3
- LG G3
- Sony Xperia Z2
Will packing my laptop or tablet in the hold mean it is not insured?
It has also been reported by ABTA that devices placed in the hold are not typically covered by travel insurance. Make sure you read the small print of your travel insurance before you travel to ensure you’re covered.
Some policies only cover electronic goods for less than they are likely to be worth. Double-check the figures.
Does the cabin laptop ban apply to flights from the UK to the six named countries?
No. The UK has some of the most robust aviation security systems and measures in the world, so it is not believed to be “necessary” to extend the ban to outbound flight to the six named countries.
Will my essential medical equipment be banned from the cabin?
As long as it is essential, medical equipment can be carried in the cabin on flights from the six restricted countries.
The equipment will be screened and you will need a letter from your doctor or medical professional confirming you need the device at hand during the flight.
Here is a quick guide to medical equipment and where it can be carried on all flights.
|Tablets and capsules
|Essential liquid medicines
|Cooling gel packs
|Medical equipment (CPAP and TENS machines etc.)
||Contact your airline
||Contact your airline
List of UK carriers affected by the ban
The UK airlines affected by the ban on large electronic devices from some Middle Eastern and North African countries:
1. British Airways
3. Jet 2.com
5. Thomas Cook
List of overseas carriers affected by the ban
The foreign airlines affected by the ban on large electronic devices from some Middle Eastern and North African countries:
1. Turkish Airlines
2. Pegasus Airways
3. Atlas-Global Airlines
4. Middle East Airlines
6. Royal Jordanian
7. Tunis Air
What about a new tablet I’ve bought in duty free?
Don’t! You will not be able to carry it in the cabin on your trip back to the UK.
Is the US ban on incoming flights the same as the UK’s restrictions?
The US ban prevents devices such as cameras, DVD players, laptops and games being carried in the cabin – whereas cameras are not banned by the UK’s restrictions.
What originating airports have restrictions for those flying into the US?
Passengers flying into the US from these airports on non-American operators will be hit by the new rules on electronic devices. :
1. Mohammed V International, Casablanca, Morocco
2. Ataturk Airport, Istanbul, Turkey
3. Cairo International Airport, Egypt
4. Queen Alia International, Amman, Jordan
5. King Abdulaziz International, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
6. King Khalid International, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
7. Kuwait International Airport
8. Hamad International, Doha, Qatar
9. Abu Dhabi International, United Arab Emirates
10. Dubai International, United Arab Emirates
It does not apply to American-operated carriers.
The new rules took effect at 3 a.m. E.D.T. on Tuesday, and must be followed within 96 hours by airlines flying to the United States from the above airports.