The United States and United Kingdom announced Tuesday that passengers on inbound flights from certain Muslim-majority countries would be barred from carrying laptops, tablets and other electronic devices in their carry-on luggage.

Key Points:

  • In the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security said that laptops, tablets, e-readers, cameras, portable DVD players, game units (if larger than a smart phone) and travel printers or scanners would be barred from the cabin on direct flights from 10 airports in eight countries.

    The affected airports are: Cairo International Airport in Egypt; Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan; Kuwait International Airport in Kuwait; Mohammed V International Airport in Morocco; Hamad International Airport in Qatar; King Abdulaziz International Airport and King Khalid International Airport in Saudi Arabia; Istanbul Ataturk Airport in Turkey and Dubai International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport in the United Arab Emirates.

    The policy took effect Tuesday and airlines were given 96 hours to comply. Phones will still be permitted, but the items listed above will have to be placed in checked luggage. DHS said in a statement online that the measures were indefinite. DHS released a Fact Sheetand FAQ with additional information.


  • In the U.K., officials announced that laptops, tablets and other devices larger than 16.0cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm will not be allowed in the cabin on inbound flights from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey.

    Most phones, though not those larger than the dimensions provided, will be permitted. Additional information is available on the Department for Transportwebsite or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s travel advice site. Officials urged travelers to contact their airlines with questions about transporting laptops, tablets and other items that would not be allowed in the cabin.

BAL Analysis: Officials in both the U.S. and the U.K. said the new policies were put in place for security reasons. The measures will apply to passengers of all nationalities, but will not apply to domestic travel in the U.S. or U.K. or to flights departing from the U.S. or the U.K. The changes may inhibit the ability of business travelers to work while flying from one of the affected airports or countries to the U.S. or the U.K. They may also cause delays at the airport, particularly for those who are unaware that laptops, tablets and certain other items will not be permitted in carry-on luggage. BAL will continue to follow this issue, including any information about how long the restrictions might remain in place.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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