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Electronics ban on flights via Abu Dhabi

Following a directive from U.S. authorities, guests travelling to the United States from Abu Dhabi International Airport are not permitted to carry electronic devices larger than a cell phone or smart phone on board. 

Mobile phones spare lithium batteries, power banks and medical devices are permitted but larger items including laptops, tablets, larger cameras and e-readers will need to be placed into checked-in baggage. 

We encourage all guests to do this at the start of any US-bound journey. However, guests wishing to carry their larger electronic devices to Abu Dhabi Airport will be guided to a re-packing point before screening at the airport’s US Immigration facility. You will be asked to pack these items into specially provided secure cases, which will be stored in the aircraft’s cargo hold, for your collection on arrival in the US. All checked-in baggage must be within the weight allowance limits for the cabin in which you are travelling.

The ban does not affect flights leaving from the US towards Abu Dhabi and beyond. Any guests travelling to the UK via Abu Dhabi are not affected by the directive from the UK authorities for UK-bound travel. 

Our offering on-the-ground and in-the-air

All our US flights have power and USB ports at every seat, mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity and hundreds of hours of inflight entertainment including the latest movies, TV series, boxsets, music, interactive games, seven channels of live sports and news and a wide selection of children’s programming. All children receive a kid’s pack with games and toys, and Flying Nannies are on board to help parents.

In all cabins there is a selection of digital magazines that can be viewed for free on a smartphone via the Wi-Fly homepage. A variety of printed magazines and newspapers are also available for guests traveling in our Premium cabins.

On the ground, Abu Dhabi Airport has free Wi-Fi and a great selection of duty free shopping.

If you have more time or are in transit, you can choose to pay for access and relax in our Etihad Business Class Lounge in Terminal 1 or 3 (space permitting). Facilities include dining with international buffet, premium spirits, wines and champagne as well as Wi-Fi access, a business centre, children’s play room, prayer rooms and shower facilities. You can also enjoy a Six Senses Spa treatment, manicure or wet shave for an additional fee.

In the airport you can catch up on sleep using the sleeping pods in Terminal 3, or get pampered with express manicures and massages in TOSA Spa in Terminal 1. Male and female prayer rooms with ablution areas and a mosque are available.

US Immigration facility

All guests travelling to the US, must clear US Immigration and customs before they fly using the US Customs and Border Protection facility in Terminal 3. This means that on landing in the US, you arrive as a domestic passenger with no need to queue for immigration checks again. Your luggage will arrive at your final destination in the US without needing to re-check it for an onward US journey.

After US Immigration checks, First and Business Class guests can use our US Premium Lounge in Terminal 3. Inside you will find free Wi-Fi, power sockets and a selection of light bites, drinks and other beverages.

Additional baggage allowance

In case you need to take additional baggage, here are some ways to increase your allowance:

Via Etihad Guest:

If you are an Etihad Guest Silver, Gold or Platinum member, you receive additional baggage allowance as follows:

  • Etihad Silver members can take one extra bag of up to 23kgs for economy and up to 32kgs in premium classes on piece concept routes, and up to 10kgs additional baggage on weight concept routes.
  • Etihad Guest Gold members can take one extra bag of up to 23kgs for economy and up to 32kgs in premium classes on piece concept routes, and up to 15kgs additional baggage on weight concept routes.
  • Etihad Guest Platinum members can take one extra bag of up to 23kgs for economy and up to 32kgs in premium classes on piece concept routes, and up to 20kgs additional baggage on weight concept routes.
Etihad Guest members can also redeem miles for excess baggage.

Learn more on Etihad Guest benefits or to sign up ► 

Buy additional baggage allowance online or through our call centre:

You can buy additional baggage allowance online and save 20% on airport rates. 

Find out more information on exccess baggage ► 

Alternatively, you can call our Contact Centres or visit your local Etihad Airways office and receive a 10% saving on airport rates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I carry electronic devices in the cabin on flights to the US?

If you are travelling from Abu Dhabi International airport to any city with the US, electronic devices larger than a smartphone or exceeding 16 x 9.3 x 1.5 centimeters (height x width x depth) are not permitted in the cabin of the aircraft. The electronics ban includes but is not limited to:

  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • E-readers
  • Bigger cameras
  • Portable DVD players
  • Electronic game consoles larger than a smartphone
  • Travel printers/scanners
  • Portable speakers

More details on what electronic devices are allowed in your cabin baggage can be found on the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) website.

I want to work on an electronic device on my flight to the US. How can you assist?

To help you keep in touch with work, friends and family, we are offering First and Business Class guests free Wi-Fi and iPads on all our US bound flights from Abu Dhabi.

Premium Class guests on Etihad Airways flights to the US will receive Wi-Fi vouchers from our cabin crew with the onboard welcome drink. These vouchers will provide free Wi-Fi for the duration of the flight.

In addition to free Wi-Fi, we’ll have iPads available on all US-bound flights for those that need them. Power and USB sockets at every seat will keep devices charged throughout the journey.

Alternatively, sit back, relax and enjoy hundreds of hours of inflight entertainment including the latest movies, TV series, boxsets, music, interactive games and seven channels of live sports and news. 

I need to take my electronic devices with me to the US, what are my options?

If you are travelling to the US on a non-stop flight from Abu Dhabi, please pack all electronic devices larger than a smartphone in your checked baggage at the start of your journey.

However, if you would like to carry your larger electronic devices to Abu Dhabi Airport, you will be guided to a re-packing point before screening at the airport’s US Immigration facility. You will be asked to pack these items into specially provided secure cases, which our dedicated ground staff will carefully label, before securely loading on board for your collection on arrival in the US.

All checked-in baggage must be within the weight allowance limits for the cabin in which you are travelling. 

What is the secure package area and how will it help me?

Our secure package area was designed with your convenience in mind. Located at the entrance of Abu Dhabi airport’s US Immigration facility, our dedicated ground staff will be there to assist you with packing your electronic items. 

You will be given an industrial standard, durable box to protect and secure your belongings. However, we do recommend that your items are placed in a protective sleeve or laptop bag, prior to packing them in the box provided.

Once packed, you will be issued with a bag tag to identify your package once you reach the US. You will be able to collect your box from the baggage belt at your destination.

Please ensure to allow sufficient time to pack your items and clear US Immigration at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

If you have connecting flights after your arrival to the US, please make sure to pack your electronic items into your checked bag.

How do I know my electronic devices will not be damaged during the flight?

If you have packed your electronic devices (or any other fragile items) in your checked baggage, please ensure they are placed in to a protective sleeve before packing, and inform our check-in staff who will mark your baggage as fragile, indicating extra care to be taken when handling your baggage.

If my electronic devices are damaged during the flight, what should I do?

If you discover that your baggage and/or its contents are damaged during the journey, and you have reported it prior to leaving the airport, you will be in possession of a Property Irregularity Report (PIR).

If you reported it after leaving the airport, please contact us in writing, along with supporting documents within seven days of arrival. We will assess the claim and notify you accordingly.

If you believe you have lost contents or had contents damaged during a US baggage inspection you can claim compensation directly from the US Transport Security Administration (TSA).

Contact TSA through their website: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/claim-forms

Or by email on: TSAClaimsOffice@tsa.dhs.gov

Find out more about our mishandled baggage policy.

What if I have confidential/sensitive information on my laptop? How will I know it is secure?

All bags are handled with extra care, but we do request that our guests have bags that are fit for air travel as recommended by IATA. It is essential not to overload your bag above the weight and space limit defined by its manufacturer, which may lead to damage.

Our packing advice would be to place your iPads, laptops and other electronic equipment into their respective carry bags preferably within the middle section of your suitcase. Place your cords and charging cables to the side of your devices, so that they don’t scratch or damage the screens of your devices. Don’t forget to back-up all your documents onto a memory-stick, which you can carry with you at all times. Take important documents including your travel documents and medicines in your cabin baggage. 

Can I use my laptop bag to carry laptop accessories, documents and other personal items as part of my cabin baggage?

Your standard cabin baggage allowance remains unchanged. You can carry one bag up to 7kg in Economy Class and two bags with a total weight of 12kg in our Business and First Class cabins.

We recommend that when you pack your laptop, it is packed inside its laptop bag as the bag was specifically designed to protect your laptop during travel. If you want to carry your laptop bag on board, you need to ensure that, along with any other hand baggage you are carrying, you are within the cabin baggage weight allowances for the cabin you are travelling in.

If I purchase electronic devices at the airport, am I able to carry them on board?

No. You will be required to declare them at our US Immigration facility, where you will safely package your new purchases and collect them upon landing in the United States.  

Can I check in my laptop in a separate bag without extra cost?

Your laptop and other electronic devices must fit within your overall baggage allowance for the cabin and route in which you are travelling. For example, if your allowance is one piece, and you wish to pack your laptop in a separate bag this would be counted as two pieces and additional fees will apply.  

You can buy additional baggage allowance online and save 20% on airport rates.

Can I carry my electronic device if I remove the battery and place it in my checked baggage?

No. The restriction prohibits guests from carrying electronic devices other than a smartphone and/or medical device required for the flight. Lithium batteries, power banks and other electronic devices that do not have a battery attached to them cannot be carried in the cabin. 

I’m transiting through Abu Dhabi International airport from another country. Can I bring my device on board?

If you’re transiting through Abu Dhabi to the US from another country, you can bring your devices on board for the part of the journey until Abu Dhabi International Airport. After that, it is mandatory to take your device(s) to the re-packing point before screening at the airport’s US Immigration facility. You will be asked to pack these items into specially provided secure cases, which will be stored in the aircraft’s cargo hold.

Please note that loose lithium ion batteries cannot be packed into checked-in baggage, but lithium ion batteries contained within a device can be transported as checked baggage. 

I have a connecting flight. Will the electronic device ban impact my connecting time?

Your connecting time will not be impacted as long as you leave sufficient time to ensure your devices are securely packed, and your cabin bag and/or personal item does not weigh more than 7kg in Economy Class and two bags with a total weight of 12kg in our Business and First Class cabins.

If carrying electronic devices, we recommend that you allow as much time as possible between flights, and plan for additional time at the airport.

If you have a connecting flight in the US, please remember to collect your laptop/electronic devices from the baggage belt at your point of entry.