This morning, Etihad Airways announced that all flights from Abu Dhabi, UAE to the United States are no longer subject to US Electronics Ban. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) certified Abu Dhabi’s security measures this weekend. This is great news and was expected after the US DHS announcement earlier this week.
Effective immediately, the removal of the restrictions allows passenger flying to the US to carry all laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices onto the aircraft, subject to enhanced security measures, Etihad said.
The move by DHS was expected as Abu Dhabi is a US Preclearance Facility, where you actually clear US Customs before leaving the UAE and land at a domestic gate when you arrive in the US. Because of the US Preclearance Facility, it never made sense to me why Abu Dhabi was subject to the ban in the first place, but that’s a story for another post.
Hopefully we will see the ban lifted in several of the other countries subject to the rule. I flew Qatar Airways from Doha to JFK a couple months ago and the ban was definitely a pain. I would expect more countries subject to the ban to implement enhanced security measures and be cleared by DHS in the coming months.