Unsure about what tech you can take on a plane and what has to go in the hold? We break it down for you. If there are any products not covered here, we’d advise using your common sense or checking directly with the airline.
Although it’s not law yet, the Guardian reported that the US is considering banning any device bigger than a smartphone from hand luggage if you’re flying to the US from the UK.
That would mean no tablets or laptops to keep you entertained – or working – on some transatlantic flights.
For now though, here are the rules.
Recent changes affecting flights to the UK
If you’re travelling to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia or Saudi Arabia, then all smartphones, tablets, laptops or any other electronics device larger than 16cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm must be stowed in your hold luggage.
Don’t worry, it means popular larger phones such as the iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge are still okay under these rules.
If you are travelling with just hand luggage then you will not be allowed to take any device that falls into the above category on the plane with you.
Also bear in mind other electronic items such as keyboards, spare batteries, power banks and external hard drives are not allowed in hand luggage if they are larger than 16cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm – even if you got them in duty free before the flight.
These rules only apply to direct inbound flights to the UK – not from the UK to the countries in question.
The ban affects UK airlines British Airways, EasyJest, Jet2.com, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson and overseas airlines Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airways, Atlas-Global Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Eqyptair, Royal Jordanian, Tunis Air and Saudia.
If you’re travelling to or from the UK from any other country
The rules are different for all other countries. You can take the following devices in hand or hold luggage:
- Mobile phone
- MP3 player
- Wireless headphones
- Travel iron
- Electric shaver/razor
- Camera equipment (check with your airline for specific rules)
Charge your devices before you travel
Remember that if you take a permitted item on a plane it must be charged and you must be able to show when asked that it has power. Airlines can ban you and your device from a flight if your device has no power.
Battery rules are complicated
There are more specific rules on what kind of battery technology you can and can’t take in hand and hold luggage.