Traveling from Africa to USA – what electronics am I allowed to take as carry on?

by Sandy Salle on March 30, 2017

Revised as of 30th March 2017:  We know you’re so excited about going on an African Safari Vacation.  You’ve got your bags packed, you have your passport in hand and then all of a sudden you hear about new restrictions.  To help you plan and to take the stress away from you, here’s the latest on what you’re allowed to carry on to the aircraft in terms of on electronic devices allowed in the airplane cabin on flights inbound to the United States and United Kingdom.

Electronic devices larger than a cell phone/smartphone or exceeding 16 x 9.3 x 1.5cm (h x w x d), excluding medical devices, will not be allowed to be carried on board the aircraft in carry-on luggage.  Electronic devices that exceed this size limit must be secured in checked luggage. Necessary medical devices will be allowed to remain in a passenger’s possession after they are screened.

The approximate size of a commonly available smartphone is considered to be a guideline for passengers. Examples of large electronic devices that will not be allowed in the cabin on affected flights include, but are not limited to:

  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • E-Readers
  • Cameras
  • Portable DVD players
  • Electronic game units larger than a smartphone
  • Travel printers/scanners

We advise that you carefully check your flight itineraries to see if you may be affected by these new restrictions.

Flights going directly from Johannesburg to United States or United Kingdom, and flights going from Cape Town/ Nairobi/ Kilimanjaro/ Entebbe/ Kigali to the United States via Europe and the United Kingdom are not currently affected.   But again, be sure to check any connections you may have en-route.

These enhancements currently apply to 10 specific airports, but the list could be broadened. Again, be sure to check your flight itinerary for updates prior to travel.

  • Queen Alia International Airport (AMM)
  • Cairo International Airport (CAI)
  • Ataturk International Airport (IST)
  • King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED)
  • King Khalid International Airport (RUH)
  • Kuwait International Airport (KWI)
  • Mohammed V Airport (CMN)
  • Hamad International Airport (DOH)
  • Dubai International Airport (DXB)
  • Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH)

We encourage you to check TSA.GOV, follow developments in the news, and check with your ticketing agent for details on how your flights may be affected.  It is our hope this is a temporary ban, and we will endeavor to keep our travel clients up to date as best as we are able.

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need any help with your travels to Africa.


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