Airports Exempted From The U.S. Electronic Ban (Updated)

Large Electronic Device Ban

Etihad Airways (EY) and Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) were the first airportss to demonstrate to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that they have the enhanced security measures (Related news on Enhanced Security Measures) in place for all US bound flights and were rewarded with the large electronic device ban lift (Related news on Ban Lift at Abu Dhabi International Airport).  Emirates (EK) / Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Turkish Airlines (TK) / Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport (IST) are the next two to obtain approvals to allow these devices on board. This post has been updated on progress on other countries.


Large Electronic Device Ban

Both were initially included in the March 2017 directive banning all large electronic devices on board US found flights.


Large Electronic Device Ban Locations
Large Electronic Device Ban Locations      Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security


The ban is more than 100 days old. Emirates is the most affected as it has the biggest network from its hub to the US using a mix fleet of Boeing 777 and Airbus A380. The airline grounded 13 aircrafts due to lower loads from connecting traffic as passengers chose other carriers to connect to the US.



The airline currently flies 84 weekly flights from DXB to the following 11 US destinations:

City Airport Name  Airport Code  Frequency  Aircraft Used
Boston Logan International Airport  BOS  1x daily [2]  Boeing 777
Chicago O’Hare International Airport  ORD  1x daily  Boeing 777
Dallas Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport  DFW  3x weekly  Boeing 777
Fort Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport  FLL  4x weekly [1]  Boeing 777
Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport  IAH  1x daily  Boeing 777
Los Angeles Los Angeles International Airport  LAX  1x daily [2]  Airbus A380
New York City John F. Kennedy International Airport [3]  JFK  3x daily  Airbus A380
Orlando Orlando International Airport  MCO  1x daily [4]  Boeing 777
San Francisco San Francisco International Airport  SFO  1x daily  Airbus A380
Seattle Seattle–Tacoma International Airport  SEA  1x daily [2]  Boeing 777
Washington, D.C. Washington Dulles International Airport  IAD  1x daily  Airbus A380

[1] Back to 1x daily in August 2017

[2] Down from 2x daily – may be reinstated when connecting traffic demand returns to normal.

[3] Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) operation is not included because EK flies to Athens International Airport (ATH) from there. 

[4] Down to 4x weekly on some months

Since the ban started, the airline cut more than 20,000 seats weekly between the US and UAE.

Emirates spokesperson said, “Effective immediately, the electronics ban has been lifted for Emirates’ flights from Dubai International Airport to the USA. 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.”

“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.”


Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines representatives issued the good news from its social media accounts and on its website. Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee of Turkish Airlines Mr. M. İlker Aycı said, ‘‘During 102 days , 81.736 electronic devices were carefully collected from our passengers at gates by our staff and carried in overprotected baggage on 1,087 flights to the US. 75 per cent of devices were laptops and tablets. 25 per cent of devices consisted of cameras, GPS devices and kindles. I would like to express my gratitude to all my colleagues who carried out this operation with a sense of mission and sensibility.”

The Star Alliance member currently operates 11 daily flights to 9 US cities:

City Airport Name Airport Code  Frequency  Aircraft
Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport  ATL  1x daily  Airbus A330
Boston Logan International Airport BOS  1x daily  Airbus A330
Chicago O’Hare International Airport* ORD  1x daily  Boeing 777
Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport* IAH  1x daily  Boeing 777
Los Angeles Los Angeles International Airport LAX  1x daily  Boeing 777
Miami Miami International Airport MIA  1x daily  Boeing 777
New York City John F. Kennedy International Airport  JFK  3x daily  2x Airbus A330, 1x Boeing 777
San Francisco San Francisco International Airport* SFO  1x daily  Boeing 777
Washington Washington Dulles International Airport* IAD  1x daily  Airbus A330

*- Fellow Star Alliance member – United Airlines (UA) hubs


Future Development

Saudi Airlines noted that it is working with DHS to get the ban lifted by July 19, 2017.  Others including Qatar Airways have not made any announcements on getting the ban lifted.

Update July 6, 2017

Qatar Airways (QR) and Doha’s Hamad International Airport (DOH) also got the approval from DHS to allow large electronic devices on board again as per their new release and the following Twitter post.

Update July 26, 2017

All ten airports on the banned list have provided evidence to show the DHS that they are following security protocols required. Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport (RUH) was the last of ten to meet the criteria. As of July 26, 2017, no new airports have been added to this list though DHS will continue to evaluate the security landscape and make modifications based on risks accordingly.

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