US Set to Ban Carry-On Laptops for Flights from UK

US officials have said the decision in March to bar laptops and tablets from the cabins of some international flights was not based on any specific threat

US laptop ban could be extended to flights from UK

People familiar with the matter told Reuters that DHS officials were planning to meet airline industry representatives on Thursday (11 May) to discuss security issues.

The DHS announced on March 21 that laptops and other large electronic devices would be banned from airliner cabins on direct flights to the USA from 10 Middle Eastern airports.

The ban is not without its critics in the airline industry, who are concerned about lithium ion batteries catching fire in a plane's cargo hold.

The move comes on the heels of a decision made by the DHS in March to ban the use of laptops, iPads, Kindles and cameras aboard flights from Amman, Jordan; Cairo, Egypt; Istanbul, Turkey; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Kuwait City; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Is the Department of Homeland Security about to announce a ban on laptops aboard all USA -bound flights from Europe?

Another government official, also speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the new ban was being considered because the USA government considered immigration policies in Europe to be lax.

The European Union is requesting urgent talks with the USA over the matter, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports.

Staff then pack and check electronics at the gate, under procedures introduced by several airlines, making the devices less vulnerable to being stolen from standard checked baggage.

If the ban does go into effect, it could add a layer of risk for travelers, as there is a possibility of theft by luggage handling personnel and consequently the potential for data loss or theft, said Richard Stiennon, chief strategy officer at Blancco Technology Group, a data erasure company. As NPR's Jason Slotkin reported, the airline cited the Trump administration's bans on travel from other Muslim-majority countries, now held up by the courts, as additional factors in the reduction of business.

Writing in the Daily Beast, Clive Irving said that an announcement from Washington is expected on Thursday.

The Trump administration has said the original ban was necessary because intelligence suggests terrorists are now able to hide explosives in laptops and other devices.

Banning electronic devices on flights from Europe to the United States would be a big deal. A new ban would affect all USA airlines, including American Airlines, which has a hub and a trans-Atlantic gateway at Philadelphia International Airport.

Numerous flights are operated by US airlines such as Delta, United and American, or their European partners.

Commenting on these tests, the Federation of Airline Pilots' Associations, IFALPA, representing airline pilots worldwide, said, "In fact, the fire proceeded is if the halon were not present". One messy scenario could ensue when connecting flyers depart from a country where large electronics are not banned only to arrive at a European airport with a prohibited item in their carry-on bags.

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