A Practical Guide To The Carry On Electronics Ban

Recently the U.S. enacted a carry on electronics ban requiring any device bigger than a smartphone to be packed in checked baggage on certain flights to the U.S. This includes just about every major device larger than an iphone including cameras, laptops, tablets and e-readers.

Having recently returned to the U.S. from Tanzania on a Turkish Airlines flight via Istanbul with a laptop, camera and tablet in hand, I found the new procedures to be just a minor inconvenience and all items were returned safely. Furthermore, other guests returning on the impacted flights are reporting the same.

This new electronics ban is applicable on flights to the U.S. from 10 airports in 8 countries. Three specific flights commonly used by ADS guests are impacted by this new rule and include:

– Turkish Airlines flights from Istanbul to the U.S.
– Qatar Airways flights from Doha to the U.S.
– Emirates Airlines flights from Dubai to the U.S.

Note that the Delta/KLM airlines flights from Amsterdam to the U.S. and the Ethiopian Airlines flights from Addis Ababa to the U.S. have NOT been impacted. Also, note that the new rules only apply to the one specific flight segment (i.e. Istanbul to the U.S., etc.) and you can continue to carry on devices on all other flight segments.

There are two options available for checking in devices on your trip home:

Option 1
Pack your camera, tablet, laptop and any other device larger than a smartphone in your checked luggage from your point of departure in Africa, which is Kilimanjaro Airport for most guests. Make sure to securely bubble wrap the items (bring some bubble wrap from home) and use a TSA approved lock.

Option 2
Carry on your electronic items on your first flight segment from Africa to Istanbul/Doha/Dubai and then check the items in at the gate on your final segment back to the U.S. I recently did this at the gate in Istanbul and they are well organized with padded bags and hard shelled suitcases. You could even check in a suitcase at this point too if you have several devices.

Either way you will be given a claim ticket. Once you land in the U.S., the electronic devices will be deposited next to the baggage claim and you will need your claim ticket to pick them up. The ‘electronic device line’ next to the baggage claim can be a little long so make sure to head straight there.

Please feel free to post any questions below.

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