Is the laptop travel ban dead? Electronics restrictions lifted by TSA but UK fails to follow suit
Latest News: America’s infamous laptop travel ban looks like a thing of the past, after the final airline to have restrictions placed on passengers taking large electronic devices on inbound flights to the US saw the restriction lifted by the TSA.
That’s according to Reuters, which reports that the Transport Security Administration (TSA) has lifted the in-flight electronics ban for passengers on Saudi Arabian Airlines flights to the United States – the last airline subject to the restrictions.
Last week, the TSA confirmed that Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Etihad, and other airlines were no longer subject to the electronics ban, which covered a range of devices including laptops, tablets, eBook readers, and portable games consoles like the Nintendo Switch.
The electronics flight ban was first introduced by the TSA – apparently at the behest of President Trump – back in March, and covered flights by nine airlines from 10 airports across eight countries. At peak, more than 50 flights a day were believed to be affected by the restrictions.
There was a time when it looked like the electronics ban, rather than be rolled back, might actually expand to cover some European flights as well, but tightened security measures at the airports in the countries affected appear to have satisified the US government.
The big question now is whether or not the UK will follow suit, as the British government has imposed its own electronics ban on flights to the UK from six countries – Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Tunisia – on a number of popular airlines, including British Airways, easyJet, and Monarch.
A UK government spokesperson told the BBC at the time:
“Decisions to make changes to our aviation security regime are never taken lightly.
“We will not hesitate to act in order to maintain the safety of the travelling public and we will work closely with our international partners to minimise any disruption these new measures may cause.”
Read on to find out how the UK electronics travel ban might affect you and your plans.
Related: Best laptops
UK Laptop Travel Ban: What are the rules?
As we’ve said, the prohibition on large electronic devices applies to carry-on baggage on passenger flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia.
Here’s the full list of carriers subject to the rules.
- British Airways
- Thomas Cook
- Turkish Airlines
- Pegasus Airways
- Atlas-Global Airlines
- Middle East Airlines
- Royal Jordanian
- Tunis Air
- Saudia Arabian Airlines
In terms of specific measurements, devices that are more than 16cm long, 9.3cm wide or 1.5cm deep will need to be placed in your hold luggage and checked in.
That means that most smartphones, including larger ones like the Galaxy S8, are OK to take on to flights, but tablets – even small form factor slates like the iPad mini 2 – fall foul of the new rules.
Related: Best smartphones
Got a question about the electronics travel ban, in the UK or US? Ask away in the comments below.