Electronics Ban Lifted for Both Emirates and Turkish Airlines
Both Emirates and Turkish Airlines have announced that effective immediately, the US electronics ban no longer applies to their flights to the US. The news means passengers on nonstop flights on either carrier from Istanbul (IST) or Dubai (DXB) to the US can now bring their large electronic devices on board rather than checking them in the cargo hold.
In March, the US Department of Homeland Security announced that it was going to implement the large electronics ban, at which point airlines operating from 10 airports across eight countries were forced to require travelers on nonstop flights to the US to check their large electronic devices. However, last week, the US Department of Homeland Security announced that it was rolling out new, enhanced security measures that, if airports were to implement, they would be exempt from the electronics ban.
Emirates' Dubai hub was removed from the list of electronics ban airports, and the carrier said that it worked with US authorities to meet the new requirements. Also, just yesterday, we reported that Istanbul (IST) was expected to be removed from the list of electronics ban airports, and today, that news is official. Since the DHS announced that airports would be exempt from the ban if they complied with new security regulations, three airports have been removed from the list — DXB, IST and Etihad's base in Abu Dhabi (AUH). However, none of the airports or airlines have detailed which specific changes they've made.
According to the BBC, US officials have begun testing out both new equipment and procedures at the enhanced security airports. While it's not clear what exactly these new procedures entail, the DHS says they could include:
- Enhancing overall passenger screening;
- Conducting heightened screening of personal electronic devices;
- Increasing security protocols around aircraft and in passenger areas; and
- Deploying advanced technology, expanding canine screening and establishing additional preclearance locations.
This is good news for passengers who are traveling between DXB and IST and the US. The carriers for which the electronics ban still applies include EgyptAir, Kuwait, Qatar, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian and Saudia. However, according to Reuters, Saudia expects to lift its electronics ban on nonstop flights to the US by July 19.