New carry-on restrictions on electronics for US and UK flights from some Middle Eastern and North African countries

March 21, 2017 Mark Dauner

The United States and the United Kingdom have each imposed carry-on restrictions on certain electronic devices for flights arriving directly from some Middle Eastern and North African countries.

Restricted devices:

Both the US and the UK bans are similar. Personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone are required to be placed in checked baggage. This includes items such as: 

  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • E-Readers
  • Cameras
  • Portable DVD players
  • Electronic game units larger than a smartphone
  • Travel printers/scanners

A Q&A released by the US Department of Homeland Security states that "the size and shape of smart phones varies by brand. Smartphones are commonly available around the world and their size is well understood by most passengers who fly internationally. Please check with your airline if you are not sure whether your smartphone is impacted."

The UK's security restrictions spell this out more specifically.  Electronic devices larger than 16 cm (6.3 inches) long, 9.3 cm (3.7 inches) wide, and 1.5 cm (0.6 inches) deep will be prohibited in the cabins of aircraft on direct flights to the UK from the countries listed below.

These size requirements mean that just about any smartphone will be permitted aboard the aircraft, including larger phones like the iPhone 7 Plus (3.07" x 6.23" x 0.29") and the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (2.85" x 5.94" x 0.3"). Should you have any questions about carrying on your specific smartphone model, please contact your airline.


If one of the countries listed below is the last point of departure to the US or UK, you're going to want to put your laptop or iPad in your checked bag:

  • Egypt (US & UK)
  • Jordan  (US & UK)
  • Kuwait (US only)
  • Lebanon (UK only)
  • Morocco (US only)
  • Saudi Arabia  (US & UK)
  • Tunisia (UK only)
  • Turkey  (US & UK)
  • Qatar (US only)
  • United Arab Emirates (US only)

Airlines affected (US):

  • Royal Jordanian
  • Egypt Air
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines
  • Kuwait Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Qatar Airways
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways

Airlines affected (UK):

  • British Airways
  • EasyJet
  • Monarch
  • Thomas Cook
  • Thomson
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Pegasus Airways
  • Atlas-Global Airlines
  • Middle East Airlines
  • Egyptair
  • Royal Jordanian
  • Tunis Air
  • Saudia

Both the US and the UK bans are expected to roll out this week. Changes in airport security procedures tend to result in unpredictable issues and longer lines. Make sure you get to the airport earlier than you normally would to account for any delays.

Take precautions in securing the electronic devices that you will need to check as well as the data that exists on those devices. Our guide to keeping electronic devices secure during international travel has some tips that might help you with that.

More information:

iJET International

Department of Homeland Security

BBC News



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