Enhanced screening procedures for flights to the USA

The USA's Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that it will introduce additional, enhanced screening procedures as part of the security checks on all commercial flights to the USA. Anybody boarding a flight to the USA may be subjected to having their electronic devices checked by airport security staff.

What devices are included?

Currently, any electronic devices larger than the following dimensions may be subjected to further checks:

  • Over 16cm in length
  • Over 9.3cm in width
  • Over 1.5cm in depth

This will mean 'phablet'-sized mobile phones will be included in the ban. All iPhones are under these size limits. Laptops, tablets, e-readers, power cables and transformers will all covered by these dimensions.

Please be aware that any devices that appear to be damaged or show signs of having been tampered with, as well as any devices that cannot be removed from external and/or protective casing (such as laptop bags and tablet protectors) may be confiscated or destroyed. Furthermore, if the electronic device cannot switch on for any reason, or triggers the security staff's explosive trace detection alarm, it may also be confiscated or destroyed.

The official advice from The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) is that the enhanced screening procedures may be introduced at UK airports as early as Wednesday 19 July, so we recommend you make preparations for these changes as early as possible.

Our advice for travellers

We advise all our travellers to ensure sufficient time is left before reaching the boarding gate before departures to the USA in order to allow for the additional screening measures. Moreover, travellers should place any electronic items that are out of battery/charge (or close to it) into their hold luggage. Any electronic items that show any signs of damage, whether internal or external, or those which cannot be removed from protective casing, should also be placed into hold luggage prior to check-in.

Our account managers have been contacting any potentially affected clients and travellers to explain the changes. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us using the enquiry form below or emailing your account manager today.


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