Update July 25, 2017: There are no longer any Electronics Travel Ban to the U.S. by the carriers listed below.
On March 22, 2017, the U.S. Authorities instituted a travel ban on electronics items (Laptops, Tablets, E-readers, Cameras, Portable DVD players and Electronic game units larger than a mobile phone, Travel printers and scanners) being transported in the passenger cabin of airplanes coming to the U.S. on select airlines from select countries in the Arab Gulf, The Middle East and North Africa. The affected airports are: The affected airports are:
- – Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), Abu Dhabi, UAE
- – Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), Amman, Jordan
- – Cairo International Airport (CAI), Cairo, Egypt
- – Mohammed V Airport (CMN), Casablanca, Morocco
- – Hamad International Airport (DOH), Doha, Qatar
- – Dubai International Airport (DXB), Dubai UAE
- – Ataturk International Airport (IST), Istanbul, Turkey
- – King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
- – Kuwait International Airport (KWI), Kuwait City, Kuwait
- – King Khalid International Airport (RUH), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
These items can only travel in the cargo bins. Your mobile phones and medical devices are excluded from this ban.
So you may be asking well, aren’t they just as dangerous in the cargo hold as the airplane cabin? Kind of; In case something happens, fires in the cargo hold can be better contained/controlled than those in the passenger cabin due to better fire suppression mechanism in the cargo hold.
This is pretty major for me as I do a lot of my work when I fly. It’s catch up time for me. I’m not alone as other travelers do that same. Plus parents use tables to keep the children occupied and/or listen to podcasts, etc. So this is a major pain.
Now, whatever you think about the electronic travel ban, and I hate it just like the next traveler at the moment its in effect, so we just have to figure out how to work around it.
You can read additional information about the ban here.
Here’s what some airlines have done or will be doing to make your lives a little easier as well as the details of the ban and markets:
Affected U.S. Cities: Flights from Cairo, Egypt (CAI) to New York-JFK (JFK).
All flights from Cairo, Egypt (CAI) to the U.K.
Affected U.S. Cities: Flights from Dubai, UAE (DXB) to the U.S.
The exception are the flights that fly to the U.S. from Athens, Greece (ATH ) and Milan-Malpensa, Italy (MXP), although these flights originate in Dubai, UAE.
Emirates will allow check your devices the gate and return them to you once you arrive in the U.S.
Affected U.S. Cities: Flights from Kuwait City, Kuwait to New York-JFK (JFK).
Affected U.S. Cities: Flights from Doha, Qatar (DOHB) to the U.S.
Qatar is offering a complimentary laptops for Business Class passengers whose computers are checked at the gate. The computers will be packaged and returned to customers in the baggage claim area upon arrival in the U.S. Wi-Fi will also be offered on a complimentary basis.
Plus all passengers will receive one hour of free Wi-Fi, then if they wish to continue using the service, it will be USD $5 for the duration of the flight.
Affected U.S. Cities: Flights from Casablanca, Morocco to Austin, TX (AUS), Boston, MA (BOS), Los Angeles, CA (LAX), New York-JFK (JFK), Orlando, FL (MCO), San Francisco, CA (SFO) and Tampa, FL (TPA).
Affected U.S. Cities: Flights from Amman, Jordan (AMM) to Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Detroit (DTW) and New York-JFK (JFK)
Affected U.S. Cities: Flights from Jeddah (JED) and Riyadh (RUH) to the U.S.
Affected U.S. Cities: Flights from Istanbul, Turkey (IST) to the U.S.
I recently flew Turkish from Istanbul to Houston and they have a procedure at the gate where they will take your computers, tablets and the plugs, place them in a padded plastic bag and load them in a suitcase onto the place. Once at your arrival, they offload them and setup a station at baggage claim and return them to you. Effective March 31, 2017, if you check in a computer or tablet at the gate, they will give you free Wifi onboard.
For all other affected carriers please check with your airline for the procedures.