The United States and United Kingdom have announced that laptops, e-readers and almost any other electronic device that is not a phone will be banned from cabin luggage on some flights. The US rule only applies to 10 airports, but one of those is the world’s busiest international airport – Dubai International. The UK ban does not include Dubai, and only has six countries on the list.
The US rule is broad and wide-ranging, affecting almost anything that is not a phone. It says: “Electronic devices larger than a cell phone/smart phone will not be allowed to be carried onboard the aircraft in carry-on luggage or other accessible property.”
Anything larger will have to go in checked luggage in the hold.
But the advice does not define that size with any measurements, saying simply that “the approximate size of a commonly available smartphone is considered to be a guideline for passengers”.
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) gave a list of examples, but said it was not exhaustive:
- Portable DVD players
- Electronic game units larger than a smartphone
- Travel printers/scanners
For US-bound passengers, it is not clear if the vague sizing could cause problems with interpretation, especially when it comes to larger phones or so-called “phablets” such as the iPhone 7 Plus.