The United States has stepped down its ‘electronics ban’ on all Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways flights from Dubai, Abi Dhabi and Doha to the USA, with passengers again able to carry larger electronic devices like laptops, tablets and noise-cancelling headphones into the aircraft cabin, effective immediately.
The ban originally came into effect in March this year with almost no prior notice, which saw many business and leisure travellers forced to place their gadgets into their checked luggage – or ‘gate check’ these items for later collection – making them out of reach throughout long flights from the Middle East to the US.
“Emirates has been working hard in coordination with various aviation stakeholders and the local authorities to implement heightened security measures and protocols that meet the requirements of the US Department of Homeland Security’s new security guidelines for all US bound flights,” a spokesperson for the airline told Australian Business Traveller.
“We would like to express our gratitude to the US and local authorities for their support and thank our customers for their understanding and patience during the last few months when the ban was in place,” the spokesperson added.
A statement released by Etihad Airways earlier this week also affirmed that “additional security checks also mean you can now take all your electronic devices safely on board with you” on flights from Abi Dhabi International Airport to the United States.
Qatar Airways expressed similar sentiments, noting that "Qatar Airways and Hamad International Airport have met with all requirements of the US Department of Homeland Security’s new security guidelines and we would like to express our thanks to the US and local authorities for their support during this process."
It’s understood that the electronics ban continues to apply to all US-bound flights from Cairo, Kuwait City, Casablanca, Amman, Jeddah and Riyadh.
Flights from Istanbul to the United States have also been exempted from the ban as of July 5 2017: a welcome move for the country's home carrier, Turkish Airlines.
The United Kingdom’s similar ban does not cover flights from Abu Dhabi, Doha and Dubai, from which travellers can continue to bring their large electronic devices aboard when jetting to the UK: including when travelling on Qantas’ QF1 and QF9 services.
Updated on July 6 2017 to reflect changes in Doha with Qatar Airways.