Home General Travel Tips Breaking News: New U.S. Ban on Electronics on Flights from 8 Countries (Developing Story)

Breaking News: New U.S. Ban on Electronics on Flights from 8 Countries (Developing Story)

written by familyadhd

This post expresses our opinions only. Please do your own research and form your own conclusions. Information included here could change or be interpreted differently, so it’s best to read about the ban directly from the source as well.

Electronics Ban from 8 Countries

Electronics Ban on Flights from 8 Countries – Our Thoughts

Update: We’re big fans of open dialogue and we value diversity in opinions, however, we ask that comments on this post remain respectful and considerate of all points of view. As we quickly learned after publishing this article, this is a bit of a polarizing topic. This post is primarily informative in nature, with our personal opinions at the end. Let’s try to remain as positive as possible even if you don’t agree with other commenters or don’t understand their points of view. 😉

If you’re a frequent traveler you may have heard about the new electronics ban on flights from 8 different majority-Muslim countries announced early this morning. We’re still researching it and trying to understand exactly how it will be executed, but here is our understanding of what we’ve read so far and our thoughts on the ban.

Keep in mind, this is a developing story and the U.K. has also just announced their own ban, which could affect anyone with a layover in the U.K.

When will this ban go into effect?

This ban was announced at 3 a.m. EST on Tuesday March 21st and must be implemented within 96 hours by airlines.

What flights will this ban apply to?

This ban will affect flights from the following countries (not flights to these countries):

  • Amman, Jordan
  • Cairo
  • Istanbul
  • Jeddah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia
  • Kuwait City
  • Casablanca, Morocco
  • Doha, Qatar
  • Dubai and Abu Dhabi in UAB

What electronics are banned in carry-ons from these 8 countries?

From what we’ve read, it sounds like all of the following electronics will be banned in carry-ons:

  • laptops
  • tablets
  • cameras
  • travel printers
  • game units larger than a phone

Does it apply to all aircraft carriers?

No, it does not apply to American carriers, only foreign carriers.

Why the ban?

Homeland Security has not mentioned (from what we’ve read) specific intelligence as to why this ban has gone into effect, but they did mention it was based on intelligence reports regarding more general concern over extremist groups targeting American aviation.

Will this affect layovers?

From what we’ve ready, it seems that it does. If you fly from one country with a layover in one of the countries mentioned above, you will be subject to the same ban flying into the U.S. Assuming you don’t book your flights separately, you’d theoretically have to check your electronics from the start of your series of flights as you wouldn’t have access to your luggage during your layover in one of the countries that are part of the ban. The only way you’d have access was if you booked separate flights as you’d then have to claim and recheck baggage at the airport.

Are any other countries having similar bans?

Yes, the U.K. just announced that they too will be enforcing a similar ban. Their ban includes flights from the following countries:

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

Their ban includes the following carriers:

  • British Airways
  • EasyJet
  • Jet2.com
  • Monarch
  • Thomas Cook
  • Thomson
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Pegasus Airways
  • Atlas-Global Airways
  • Middle East Airlines
  • Egyptair
  • Royal Jordanian
  • Tunis Air
  • Saudia

Electronics banned under the U.K.’s ban include:

  • laptops
  • tablets
  • DVD players
  • phones over a certain size

Are electronics allowed in checked bags or are they banned entirely?

From what we’ve read, electronics can be kept in checked bags (just not carry-ons).

Are there any exceptions?

Yes, it seems that medical equipment is the exception (from what we’ve seen).

What are our thoughts?

*Sigh*

This is a tough one. On the one hand we’re very big supporters of airline safety measures. No, we are not huge fans of TSA agents that abuse their power (we’ve had a few interesting situations), but we do understand that safety is number 1.

On the other hand, it seems a little odd that we’d be allowed to bring the electronics with us, but keep them in checked bags. My understanding, from what we’ve read, is a concern over electronics be turned into harmful devices, but why would they be allowed below us in cargo? Shouldn’t they be completely banned?

Clearly, we don’t have access to the intel Homeland Security does, so it’s not really something we can confidently form a full opinion on since we don’t have all the facts. We do find it a bit interesting that the U.K. has instituted a similar ban based on what we’ve read was similar or the same intel as the U.S., but they didn’t include anywhere in the United Arab Emirates, which (from what we understand) has been very cooperative in fighting terrorism. The UAE is also a very different atmosphere compared to some of the other countries on the electronics ban list. Dubai has a world-class airport, it’s thought-provoking to see them on a ban such as this.

How will this ban affect journalists, bloggers, businessmen/businesswomen, etc.?

Regardless of our feelings on this electronics ban (and we’re not against it, just learning more at this point), we’re concerned with how this will come into play for families. If you’ve ever flown a far distance as a family then you know that having electronics for the kiddos can make a huge difference. We’re not talking a 6 hour flight, we’re talking 12 hours or more of flying! Not all airlines provide good in-flight entertainment (though some of those included in the electronics ban are very well-equipped) and not all airlines are super kid-friendly, so what are families (including special needs families) to do if they fly out of one of these countries?

We will personally never check our cameras, laptops or tablets in our bags because I highly doubt they’d make it through undamaged. Also, we never make it through a flight without security going through our bags during transport when we’re not there. I’d hate to see an expensive electronic end up lost or stolen.

While Dubai has been on our list of places we want to visit for some time, I think we’ll have to work out the logistics of how we’d make that work without bringing along certain electronics. Obviously, pictures and video are a huge part of our trips as bloggers, so how would we be able to get that done without certain electronics with us since we wouldn’t be willing to check those? Would we have to take a more roundabout (and therefore expensive) flight home and book separate flights so that we’d have access to our bags mid-trip? That doesn’t seem very feasible.

I think our final concern is the fact that medical devices are currently exempt, but will they remain so? And if they do, will we go through even harsher security than we already do? As it stands, we already get pulled out for Patrick’s CPAP regularly, despite the fact we always do exactly what we’re supposed to and place it in a separate tray, open it up, expose the machine, hosing, etc. It will be interesting to see how this continues to evolve.

Again, to us it’s worth spending some extra time in security if it means safer flights, but how will this ban actually play out for families traveling out of any of the countries mentioned above?

Had you heard about this electronics ban? How do you feel about it and what are your concerns?

 

Note: The post above expresses our opinions regarding what we have read on the ban. We always recommend doing your own research and forming your own opinions.

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32 comments

Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle March 22, 2017 at 1:30 pm

I don’t have a problem at all with not using certain electronics on a flight. I’d much rather be safe and not play an app on my tablet for a few hourse.

Reply
familyadhd March 22, 2017 at 6:25 pm

I think the main issue people are concerned with is not that they can’t use the electronics to play games on the flight or even for entertainment purposes (some of the airlines that are part of the ban are world-class with plenty of options), but that if you’re traveling for work especially that you’ll be expected to put them in a checked bag, which is not safe or secure for fragile electronics (not to mention theft). I personally don’t have an issue with the concept of a ban of this nature, but I’m very curious to see how they make it work and how it affects people traveling for business, journalism, etc.

Reply
Bill Sweeney March 22, 2017 at 1:47 pm

I have no problem with the ban or with the longer wait in lines that may come from it. I’d rather have to wait than be in danger. That’s the thing to remember.

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familyadhd March 22, 2017 at 6:26 pm

We also don’t mind additional security measures for the sake of safety, though we are curious to see how this will play out for those traveling for business, journalism, etc. I don’t know anyone that takes larger electronics for work on flights that would be willing to check them, so we’re going to have to get very creative until the ban is lifted that’s for sure!

Reply
Joely Smith March 22, 2017 at 4:12 pm

Wow – this is going to cause a lot of issues in many ways. Not to mention people are going to be VERY upset! I do not have the answers and to be honest, I barely understand these matters. I do know that there is a fine line between protecting people and being safe, and a government that is abusing power. I then imagine there are things that the government knows that we do not and maybe it is for the best for now. I wonder if this will be a temp restriction (maybe due to there being a threat RIGHT NOW that we are unaware of) or if this is a long term or forever thing. I guess we shall learn more as more info comes forward.

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familyadhd March 22, 2017 at 6:28 pm

Yes, it’s definitely a more complex issue than just “you can’t play Angry Birds on your ipad”. This means no camersas and laptops in checked bags for those traveling for business, journalism, blogging, etc. I’m also curious as to why the UAE was included in the electronics ban, especially given the fact the UK didn’t include them and they were supposedly using the same intelligence. I heard one airline listed this as a temp ban through October, but I’ve seen others speculate that there is no definitive end date. I guess we’ll see how this all plays out!

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Jaime Nicole March 22, 2017 at 6:33 pm

Wow, that’s going to cause a lot of issues for business travelers. There must be a good reason I guess, but checking electronics will be difficult. What about photographers with their gear? Yikes!

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familyadhd March 23, 2017 at 12:18 pm

Yeah, that was one of our first thoughts as well!

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Chrystal | Nevermore Lane March 22, 2017 at 7:24 pm

Oh gosh, what did the world do before electronics were the big thing? People still flew across the world and managed just fine. I would rather give up these things and be safe than worry about whether or not I had access to the internet. Bring books and magazines, go old school.

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familyadhd March 23, 2017 at 12:20 pm

I think the main concerns are not so much adults not being able to play games, but some children (including special needs children) not being able to rely on certain electronics and programs for very long flights (flights to these areas are not short) in addition to those working not being able to bring their electronics in their carry-ons. Nobody with an expensive laptop or camera is going to be willing to check it, that never ends well. lol

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Ann Bacciaglia March 22, 2017 at 8:19 pm

I did not hear about the electronics ban until now. I am not surprised they are doing it but I think it should include everyone instead of singling people out.

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familyadhd March 23, 2017 at 12:21 pm

I think it may be super tough to not allow any airlines to have laptops and cameras in checked bags. So many people travel for work, journalism, etc. I guess we’ll see how it goes!

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Claudia Krusch March 22, 2017 at 8:21 pm

I like to sleep when I am on a plane. Travelling is starting to get scary. I would not mind if we were not allowed to have any electronics on the plane.

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familyadhd March 23, 2017 at 12:22 pm

There are definitely growing concerns with travel, but we like to think for us it’s better to not allow our travel to be dictated by fear, just reasonable concern. Otherwise, who’s really winning in that situation? But in the end, do what your comfort level allows!

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Lisa Favre March 22, 2017 at 9:21 pm

I actually had no idea about this ban! I hardly use any electronics on flights – I actually always just read a book whenever I’m traveling.

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familyadhd March 23, 2017 at 12:23 pm

I don’t use electronics on flights very often for pleasure I’m more of a reader, but we do film quite a bit and the boys use them on long flights 🙂

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Wildish Jess March 23, 2017 at 2:45 am

Wow, this is really sad. There’s so much I could say about this but won’t.

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familyadhd March 23, 2017 at 12:24 pm

I think we might be thinking some of the same things here 😉

Reply
Dogvills March 23, 2017 at 8:33 am

I am not affected by this, but if I am, I would rather wait and be safe. This is a very helpful information.

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familyadhd March 23, 2017 at 12:24 pm

Glad to be able to spread the news a bit!

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Melissa Dixon March 23, 2017 at 11:13 am

I am not really the person to speak on this as I just don’t travel. I think those who travel for work may have a more important point of view on the topic than me but I am always one to err on the side of caution.

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familyadhd March 23, 2017 at 12:26 pm

Very true, it’s one thing to be bummed not to get to play your favorite app or have to use in-flight entertainment, but another to be forced to check your work electronics in a checked bag (which is treated very poorly)!

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Kathy March 23, 2017 at 12:03 pm

Interesting to know this. I don’t really travel though, never been on a plane. This would honestly suck though. I wouldn’t want to be banned of electronics.

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familyadhd March 23, 2017 at 12:27 pm

I definitely think there are a lot of people that feel this way. Such a fine line to walk between safety and practicality for those that really need their electronics while traveling for work!

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Shannon Gurnee March 23, 2017 at 3:25 pm

I read this the other day and was curious about it. If the ban is for safety reasons, I’m all for it.

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familyadhd March 23, 2017 at 4:31 pm

According to the announcement we read, it was based on general intel regarding threats against U.S. aviation. I think our confusion regarding the countries on the list centers around the UAE. That left us scratching our heads a bit…

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Chrishelle Ebner March 23, 2017 at 4:03 pm

We not privy to the intel that put this policy in place, so we have to assume it is being done for the security on everyone on these flights. I will deal with inconvenience any day to feel a little safer.

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familyadhd March 23, 2017 at 4:34 pm

We also noted that not having access to the intel that inspired this ban left us assuming it was because there were specific concerns. I think for us it’s more of a logistics thing versus inconvenience. We can do inflight entertainment over our own electronics, but we’re going to have to figure out how to potentially work without our usual cameras if we travel to or through any of the countries on the list (which we hope to someday in the near future) before the ban is lifted since there’s no way we could risk checking our cameras.

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Eloise March 23, 2017 at 10:34 pm

I never knew about this ban taking place… I guess whatever keeps people safe is the main priority and an important for that matter (you gotta do what you gotta do, right?!) better safe than sorry!

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familyadhd March 24, 2017 at 3:08 pm

Yes, it’s very recent! 🙂

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Lynndee March 25, 2017 at 9:05 am

We’ve seen it on the news a few days ago and honestly, I don’t have a problem with it because it is for everyone’s safety.

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Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly April 1, 2017 at 1:34 pm

I have seen it. I think things are getting way out of hand, and most people like to get stuff done on the plane like knock down emails or download books to read. I’m not happy about it but it is what it is.

Reply

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