UK flight ban on laptops and tablets explained

    On March 22nd 2017, the UK Department for Transport announced that passengers on inbound flights to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia, will have to check any phones, laptops and tablets larger than a standard smartphone (specifically: Length: 16.0cm, Width: 9.3cm, Depth: 1.5cm) into checked baggage.

    Which countries and airports are included in the ban?

    The UK flight ban affects all flights coming from:

    • Turkey
    • Lebanon
    • Egypt
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Jordan
    • Tunisia

    Which airlines are affected?

    The ban at present will affect six UK airlines:

    • British Airways
    • easyJet
    • Monarch
    • Thomas Cook
    • Thomson

    And these eight overseas airlines:

    • Turkish Airlines
    • Pegasus Airways
    • Atlas-Global Airlines
    • Middle East Airlines
    • Egyptair
    • Royal Jordanian
    • Tunis Air
    • Saudia

    Which electronic items are banned from cabin baggage?

    UK flight ban:

    Prohibits any electronic device bigger than 16cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm in hand luggage. This means mobiles and smartphones, like the larger iPhone Plus will still be allowed. Most smartphones, including the iPhone 7 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy S7, can still be carried in hand luggage.

    What about electronics on connecting flights?

    Some of the airports affected by this latest hand luggage ban are big airline hubs, with lots of UK travellers passing through on business or holiday. The ban is to be enforced from your last point of departure, so if the last airport you departed from is on the list, then the ban will apply. Therefore, catching any connecting flight from one of the airports affected to the UK will mean that your laptop or tablet will not be allowed in the cabin. The safest thing to do if you’re transferring through one of these airports is to put any electronic devices into your hold luggage at the first airport you’re originating from.

    Will travel insurance cover electronics in hold luggage?

    Policies can vary, but as a general rule most travel insurance will not cover theft of and unattended items which you can’t see or aren’t close to you. So if it goes in the hold, there’s a chance your policy won’t pay out should your laptop or tablet get damaged or go missing. Some insurance providers might be flexible in this situation, having been effectively forced to place such items in the hold, but if in doubt and when possible, leave valuable devices at home and save yourself the stress.