StudentUniverse Travel Blog

Everything You Need to Know About the Electronics Ban on Flights to the US

No laptops, no Kindles, no tablets, no cameras. Oh my!

Yes, this is actually happening. All affected airlines will have to comply by March 25,, 2017. Don’t panic just yet because we’ve got all the deets. Here’s everything you need to know:

Who does this affect?

Anyone traveling to the US from airports in the following cities:

The airlines affected by this are: EgyptAir, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Turkish Airlines.

*Even if you have a connecting flight with a layover in one of the above cities, the ban still applies.

I’m enrolled in Global Entry and I have TSA PreCheck, does the ban apply to me?


So what can I bring?

Smartphones/cell phones and medical devices are still allowed in carry-ons but anything else including but not limited to laptops, tablets, e-readers, cameras, portable DVD players, electronic game devices (bigger than a smartphone) and travel printers/scanners will have to be either checked or handed over to the flight crew at the gate depending on the airlines.

Both Emirates and Turkish Airlines are allowing passengers to keep their electronics until it’s time to board. You will then be required to hand them over to the airline staff who will safely stow them on the plane and will be returned to you upon your arrival.

Can I bring my laptop, tablet, etc. on flights within/departing from the US?

Yes, the ban does not apply to flights within the US or any flight departing from the US. Even if your destination is one of the countries mentioned above, you can bring your electronics onboard.

When will the ban be lifted?

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the ban will stay in effect until October 14, 2017, but could be extended for another year.

What should I do with my electronics?

If you absolutely need a laptop, camera or any other electronic device, it should be carefully placed in your luggage and checked in or given to the airline staff upon boarding if that’s an option for you. However, keep in mind, the airline will not be held responsible for damage or loss. So, if you are checking a valuable laptop, camera, etc., do so at your own risk.

So what are you supposed to do without your laptop or tablet?! Don’t worry, we have some ideas.

  1. Download the Netflix app on your phone – this is a must, but don’t forget your charger! Pro Tip: You can now download select Netflix TV shows and movies to watch offline! And don’t worry, we’ve got the lowdown on the best shows to binge watch during a long flight.
  2. Bring a book (or two) and/or some magazines Which book should you read based on your trip type? Find out here!
  3. Bring an adult coloring book – this will keep you busy for hours. Just don’t forget the colored pencils.
  4. Play card games with a friend or solitaire if you’re by yourself.
  5. Download an addicting game on your phone (Tetris, Walking Dead: The Game, PinOut!, Super Mario Run).
  6. Nap! As an overtired college student, take advantage of this time to catch up on some zzz’s. Make sure you’re tired before your flight so you will be able to doze off for a couple hours. If you have a tough time falling asleep on planes, pack some Dramamine or Melatonin to help you take a well-deserved nap.
  7. Create some new music playlists on your phone. Mix some throwbacks in there to keep it interesting. Lucky for you, we’ve already compiled the Ultimate Travel Playlist so you don’t have to.

If you’re a student, check out StudentUniverse for some sweet deals on cheap flights for your next adventure!