Why do planes have cameras

Laptop, smartphone and camera: hand luggage or not?

Keep an eye on your laptop and co

Many passengers prefer to have valuable items with them in their hand luggage. There you can always keep an eye on so that your laptop and the like are not lost or damaged. Many passengers also work on their laptops or listen to music on their smartphones while they are traveling. Usually that's not a problem either. To support this, some aircraft are now even equipped with WiFi. However, the USA has introduced stricter security controls - for a few months since March 2017 there has also been a general laptop ban for all passengers with direct flights from Amman, Kuwait City, Cairo, Istanbul, Jeddah, Riyadh, Casablanca, Doha, Dubai and Abu Dhabi came to America. A laptop ban for flights from Europe was not enforced.

The USA has now relaxed the strict ban again

Airports that can prove stricter security controls are allowed to send their passengers back with laptops and the like in their hand luggage. This applies to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Istanbul, for example. In order to protect against terrorist attacks - experts in the USA fear that explosives could be smuggled into laptops - all electronic devices at airports have to go through advanced scans. In addition to laptops, this also applies to tablets, e-book readers and digital cameras.

The Department of Homeland Security had already announced that airports and airlines that do not adhere to the new security regulations from the USA will no longer be allowed to fly to America. But if you travel to the USA from Germany, you don't have to worry: Laptops, cameras and the like should and may continue to fly in hand luggage.

That is why expensive items should be carried in hand luggage if possible:

  • You have an eye on the camera, laptop and the like
  • In hand luggage, you decide how your private belongings are handled
  • Every now and then it happens that suitcases travel to the wrong countries, arrive late or disappear completely
  • It's hard to prove what items you had in your suitcase in case something goes missing
  • Many airlines have a maximum reimbursement limit for lost baggage. This can be achieved quickly, for example if you checked in an expensive camera with several interchangeable lenses in your luggage


It is important that you plan your hand luggage well in advance. Most airlines tell you exactly how big and heavy your hand luggage can be. However, even the airlines usually prefer to take a camera and laptop with you into the cabin. If your equipment is larger than allowed for hand luggage, you should contact your airline beforehand. Perhaps there will be a possibility to take all camera equipment including a laptop into the cabin. It is always safer. Otherwise it may be advisable to split the luggage: If possible, take your camera and laptop with you in your hand luggage, as well as expensive interchangeable lenses. Smaller and lighter lenses - as well as tripods and chargers - can also be carried in the case if necessary.

Read more important information in the Laab car park service guide

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