US, UK and Australia security and electronic device ban


On March 21, the DHS announced a ban on all electronic devices larger than a cell phone/smart phone on board the aircraft in carry-on luggage or other accessible property on flights from certain airports to the US.

The ban will apply to nonstop flights to the US from 10 international airports and will affect nine airlines:
– Cairo in Egypt
– Amman in Jordan
– Kuwait City in Kuwait
– Casablanca in Morocco
– Doha in Qatar
– Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia
– Istanbul in Turkey
– Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Electronic devices that cannot be carried in the cabin on certain US flights:

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

Mobile phones and smartphones will still be allowed in carry-on luggage but anything larger, such as laptops, cameras and tablets, will only be permitted in checked luggage.


The UK then followed with its own ban on devices larger than 16cm x 9,3cm x 1,5cm on flights from Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries that do not have services to SA. At this stage, the UK has not included flights from Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha.


Effective 6 April, passenger screening for passengers flying to Australia on Emirates, Etihad, Qatar and Qantas will be tightened after the country imposed new requirements for enhanced explosives detection.

Australia announced on 31 March that it is to bolster the screening of passenger baggage on flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi in, as well as Doha, Qatar. The new directive will however, not apply to flights bound for the UAE out of Australian airports.

The tightened security measures will include additional screening at the gate and it may include targeted screening of passengers’ personal electronic devices. However, there is no restriction on carrying electronic devices.

“In response to national security advice the Federal Government has made precautionary changes and instructed airlines to implement new protocols from next week,” Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester said in a statement on Friday.


Please note that effective Saturday, 25th March 2017 until Saturday, 14th October 2017, travellers to the United States from Dubai International airport can no longer carry any electronic device larger than a cell phone or smartphone(excluding medical devices) as cabin baggage.

This new security directive, issued by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA), applies to all US-bound passengers, including those in transit.

Emirates Customers can use these electronic devices till the last possible moment at their DXB boarding gate if they need to. They can then hand them into Emirates care just before boarding their US bound flight.

Special boxes will be available at the boarding gates, to secure and stow these banned devices in the aircraft hold. There will be no additional baggage charge to pack these banned items. These boxes will have priority and will arrive before checked baggage at the other end.


Qatar Airways has introduced a laptop lending service on the 31st of March, for its premium passengers flying to and from the US. Passengers will be able to download their work on a USB before boarding and will be able to download their work in flight on a laptop provided by the airline. The airline also said it would offer one hour’s free WIFI for all passengers.

© XL Blue Planet Travel 2019