UK and US Flight Ban on Electronic Devices

The UK has recently announced a UK and US Flight Ban on Electronic Devices. The cabin ban, on laptops and tablets on inbound flights from countries including Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia will commence shortly. Here at Arlingsworth, in light of recent calls for further information on the ban, we hope this blog will prove to contain useful information.

The UK ban applies to any electronic item larger than a smartphone, such as laptops and tablets, following a similar US move. The cabin device rules for both the UK and US, state that any device larger than 16cm long, 9.3cm wide or 1.5cm deep, will be unable to be brought into the cabin. This ban will also apply to mobile phones, if they fall over the limit as to what is accepted. Any device, larger than the permitted size will have to be placed inside hold luggage, for example the Kindle will be one such device affected.

Airlines Affected:

  • Airlines affected domestically include British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson.
  • Foreign airlines affected include Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airways, Atlas-Global Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Egyptair, Royal Jordanian, Tunis Air and Saudia.

Who will the new rules affect?

  • The new rules will be more likely to affect passengers who attempt to book flights with hand-only luggage, meaning they would now have to pay to check a bag in, increasing the cost of flying for those passengers.
  • Many UK passengers will be affected due to Istanbul being used as a route along long-haul destination flights, particularly by Turkish Airlines.

How long will the restrictions be in place for?

  • The restrictions will continue to be in place for as long as they are needed. There is no time limit.
  • Airlines do have a number of days to enforce the decision, so enforcement of the restrictions should be running smoothly in a few weeks’ time.

The US Ban and how it differs to the UK Ban:

  • The US ban doesn’t affect domestic carriers.
  • The ban applies to flights from ten airports in eight countries including:
    • Mohammed V International, Casablanca, Morocco
    • Ataturk Airport, Istanbul, Turkey
    • Cairo International Airport, Egypt
    • Queen Alia International, Amman, Jordan
    • King Abdulaziz International, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
    • King Khalid International, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
    • Kuwait International Airport
    • Hamad International, Doha, Qatar
    • Abu Dhabi International, United Arab Emirates
    • Dubai International, United Arab Emirates
  • As a result 9 airlines will be affected including Royal Jordanian, EgyptAir, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways.
  • Airlines have been given until Saturday to implement the ban.

Why have the restrictions been implemented?

  • The obvious reason why the restrictions have been implemented is down to possible security threats, with reports that terrorists are attempting to come up with methods to smuggle explosives on board planes with electronics on them.
  • Many question why this policy hasn’t been extended to all electronic devices, but it remains the case for the foreseeable future that the restrictions will be in place until terrorist threats subside.

With many EU countries likely to follow suit in the implementation of these restrictions, it is important you know what rights you have in relation to devices that will be acceptable at different locations and on different flights. This will ensure minimum disruption to your travel plans and if you are unsure on anything and want clarification on the restrictions, please contact our expert Immigration team at 01273 696962. Alternatively, you can request a callback, or email You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for any other important news and updates.