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The Laptop Ban & Your Hand Luggage

Wed, 05/10/2017
What can I take in my cabin baggage?

In March 2017 the US Federal Aviation Administration forbade passengers from bringing electronic devices bigger than a mobile phone into airplanes as hand luggage. The since called ‘Laptop Ban’ covered non-stop flights coming from the following ten airports in North Africa and the Middle East:

Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, Jordan
Cairo International Airport, Cairo, Egypt
Ataturk International Airport, Istanbul, Turkey
King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Kuwait International Airport, Kuwait City, Kuwait
Mohammed V Airport, Casablanca, Morocco
Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar
Dubaci International Airport, Dubai, UAE
Abu Dhabi International Airport, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Passengers should note that flights from the US to these airports and flights from these airports to the US with a stopover are not affected. Items prohibited include, but are not limited to, laptops, tablets, e-readers, cameras, portable DVD players, games consoles, travel printers and travel scanners.

Additionally, the UK introduced a similar ban to larger electronic devices in carryon luggage from all the above named airports except those in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Morocco.

This means the affected airlines are British Airways, Easyjet, Jet2, Monarch, Thomas Cook, Thomson, Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airways, Atlas Global Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Egyptair, Royal Jordanian, Tunis Air, Etihad, Qatar Airways and Saudia.

Senior American administration officials stated that the ban was put in place to reduce the risk of terrorist activity. Since the attack on a Somali airliner in 2016 which was believed to be a bomb built into a laptop battery there has been reports of further intelligence showing a risk to commercial aviation.

This month there has been additional speculation as to whether the ban will be extended to European airports. The US Department of Homeland Security is said to be near to making a decision before the beginning of the busier summer season but no definitive action has been taken yet.

Flight safety regulations change often and sometimes drastically. Back in the summer of 2006,  there was a liquid ban introduced after a ‘liquid bomb plot’ was uncovered, a supposedly planned terrorist attack to improvise an explosive device whilst on board an airplane using hydrogen peroxide disguised in soft drinks bottles. For around three months there was a total ban on all liquids on international flights, until the ban was regulated and eased to allow smaller items through. Ten years on, the ban is still in place, prohibiting passengers from carrying any liquids, creams and gels over 100ml as hand luggage.

Other items banned in hand luggage include: all firearms, toy replicas or firearm imitations, air guns, razor blades, scissors, knives, swords and martial arts equipment, workmen’s tools such as drills and drill bits, saws, screwdrivers, sports bats capable of causing injury, fireworks, ammunition, flammable and corrosive liquids and matches.


For concerns about lost, damaged or delayed hand luggage or checked luggage, go to Lost & Found. Here you can work out how much you are owed and generate your claims letter to send to the airline.

If you’ve been delayed, a flight has been cancelled or you have been denied boarding, our pro bono community platform Get Paid When Delayed is here to help. Learn about EU regulations, passenger rights, calculate your flight distance and make your own personalised letter to claim compensation. Get Paid When Delayed can also help you quickly and easily access airline contact details.