FCO: Additional Hand Luggage Restrictions on Some Flights to the UK

23 Mar 2017 by Olga Brighton

Travel Information

Large phones, laptops and tablets not allowed in the cabin on flights to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia. Learn more about hand luggage restrictions below. 

On Tuesday 21 March the government announced new aviation security measures on all inbound direct flights to the UK from the following countries:

  • Turkey
  • Lebanon
  • Jordan
  • Egypt
  • Tunisia
  • Saudi Arabia
Airport security UK

Under the new arrangements, passengers boarding flights from these countries to the UK will not be allowed to take phones, laptops and tablets which are larger than:

  • length: 16.0cm
  • width: 9.3cm
  • depth: 1.5cm

into the cabin of the plane. Passengers with these devices should check with their airlines for more details on transporting these items.

The additional security measures may cause some disruption for passengers and flights, and we understand the frustration that will cause, but our top priority will always be to maintain the safety of British nationals.

Direct flights to the UK from these destinations can continue to operate to the UK subject to these new measures being in place. Travellers are advised to keep up-to-date with the latest FCO travel advice and to check online with their chosen carrier for further information.

Which devices are not allowed in the cabin?

  • large phones
  • all laptops
  • all tablets and e-readers

Which flights and routes will this apply to?

Flights to the UK

These new measures will apply on all inbound direct flights travelling to the UK from the following countries:

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

Passengers travelling on these flights should check online with their carrier if they require further information.

Should I cancel my trip? Is it still safe to go to these countries?

These new measures are concerned with flights into the UK. The UK is not stopping direct flights to and from those countries. Those with imminent travel should contact their airline for further information. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office also publishes travel advice.

Read also: FCO Travel Guidance: Personal Food, Plant and Animal Product Imports

What’s a ‘normal sized mobile phone’?

Most smart phones will be allowed in the cabin, including many common popular handsets such as:

  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy 7 Edge
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
  • LG G3
  • Sony Xperia Z2

The new UK measures will mean that phones, laptops and tablets larger than:

  • length: 16.0cm
  • width: 9.3cm
  • depth: 1.5cm

will not be allowed in the cabin.

Can I take items purchased from duty free on board?

Duty free restrictions

Any phones, laptops or tablets larger than the above dimensions will not be allowed in the cabin, regardless of whether they were purchased in duty free.

Why are these measures not in place for flights travelling from the UK?

This applies to inbound flights. The UK has some of the most robust aviation security measures in the world but we keep this under constant review based on assessment of risk.

More about hand luggage restrictions on electronic devices and items at UK airports.

What about any costs incurred as a result of this? And what if I want to cancel my flight can I get compensation?

This is matter for the airlines. We encourage them to take a customer focused approach.

Read also: 10 Smart Ways to Get a Flight Upgrade

How long will these measures be in place?

The UK has some of the most robust aviation security measures in the world and we will continue to take all the steps we believe are necessary to put in place security measures we believe will be effective and proportionate. We keep our aviation security measures under constant review.

Is this in response to a specific threat?

Aviation security measures

It is long standing government policy not to comment on intelligence matters.

Why isn’t the UK following the US and banning all personal electronic devices from the cabin, why only phones, laptops and tablets?

We are confident these measures are proportionate and effective.

What happens to passengers travelling from countries unaffected by the measures who are transferring to an affected flight?

Transfer passengers who board a flight on a route affected will be subject to the measures.

Check essential travel rules and information before you go and have a safe trip with one of Globelink Travel Insurance policies.

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