I’m Confused: Kuwait Airways Announces The End Of Their US Electronics Ban

Filed Under: Kuwait Airways, Travel Technology

The US electronics ban is almost over, as we’re down to just a few airlines that are still subjected to it. Over the past week or so we’ve seen five airlines have the electronics ban lifted for flights from their respective hubs to the US:

Yesterday Kuwait Airways became the sixth airline to announce that they’re no longer subjected to the US electronics ban, and that leaves me confused. Kuwait Airways announced on Twitter that “now our passengers flying from Kuwait International Airport to JFK in NY will be able to use all their electronic devices.”

This confuses me, since I was under the impression that Kuwait Airways was never subjected to the US electronics ban. Yes, nonstop flights from Kuwait City to the US would be subjected to the electronics ban, but Kuwait Airways doesn’t operate such flights. Instead their Kuwait to New York City flight operates via Shannon. While Kuwait Airways doesn’t use the US Pre-Clearance facility in Shannon, passengers re-clear security there.

Flights with intermediate stops haven’t been subjected to the electronics ban, just as passengers flying Emirates from Dubai to Milan to New York, or Dubai to Athens to Newark, weren’t subjected to the ban. Yet the Kuwait Airways website references that they were subjected to the ban, and says that flights “flying onwards from Kuwait International Airport to the United States” are subjected to these restrictions:

In line with new regulations introduced by US Homeland Security- TSA, Kuwait Airways received official notification that all flights originating or flying onwards from Kuwait International Airport to the United States will have restrictions placed on the transportation of electronic devices larger than a mobile or smart phone.

So was Kuwait Airways secretly subjected to the ban and I didn’t know about it, or is the airline confused?

For anyone interested, I took the flight from Kuwait to Shannon to New York in Kuwait Airways’ new 777-300ER business class in March. While Kuwait Airways doesn’t pick up any passengers in Shannon, it’s my understanding that they had that stop for security reasons, because nonstop flights from Kuwait to the US didn’t used to be allowed (just as Pakistan’s flight to New York stops in Manchester).

But then they were cleared to operate nonstop flights and were going to do so, but changed their mind last minute, and maintained the tech stop. I wasn’t sure if this was due to the electronics ban, because the US changed their mind, or what.

Regardless, does anyone know what’s going on here? Was Kuwait Airways’ Shannon flight ever subjected to the electronics ban, or is the airline confused, and basically saying “hey, in case we do ever fly nonstop to New York, you’ll be able to take your electronics?”

  1. As they don’t have fifth freedom rights and all snn-JFK passengers must start in Kuwait, the flight is considered to originate there and therefore subject to the travel ban till today.

  2. Pre clearance at SNN closes before the KU flight arrives – last slot is 1400, and KU arrives 1420

  3. @ kt1974 — Right, as I said, it doesn’t use the Pre-Clearance facility, but rather passengers just clear security there.

  4. @ Izz — Very interesting, shows just how arbitrary this all is. So even though passengers clear security at SNN, they were subjected to it. Yet someone flying from Dubai to New York via Milan wasn’t, simply because the ticket could be purchased as a fifth freedom route. Hmmm…

  5. Its clear the ban was never about security but airlines and country in middle east or muslim populated.

  6. The SNN stopover may end soon if KWI passes the security audit which is coming up sometime in July. (http://news.kuwaittimes.net/website/kuwait-airport-security-assessment-july/)

    The stopover was added as an extra security layer to the US bound flight until KWI could revamp its security procedures. (http://news.kuwaittimes.net/website/kuwait-airways-fly-new-york-via-ireland/)

    KU have expressed their desire to fly non-stop from KWI to JFK, but are waiting on the required security approval to do so (http://www.arabtimesonline.com/news/kuwait-airways-offers-daily-flights-new-york-carrier-taking-larger-bite-big-apple/)

  7. Seems like Kuwait Airlines is the worst one I ever experience without even flying. I tried to check their flights and if you try to book, their website does not work at all. I tried 3 different browsers and always the same. Nothing happens after entering the flight details and hitting the “find flight” button.

    I asked them on twitter and facebook weeks ago but no response at all so far. If I wouldnt know better it seems like they dont even exist.

  8. Dude Kuwait procedure are confusing even Kuwaiti people them selfs nobody know what we are doing cheers!

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