Laptop / tablet ban on flights to USA from Europe rejected


A passenger using an iPad on an aircraft.US and EU officials have decided against a ban on laptop / tablet computers in cabin baggage on flights to the USA from Europe, reports the BBC.

After meeting in Brussels officials said other measures were still being considered.

IATA had warned that the widening of the US ban could cost travellers in excess of $1bn in terms of lost productivity, longer travel times, and the rental of loan devices on board.

The U.S. had previously said they were looking into extending the ban on electronics on flights from eight mostly Muslim countries.

This was introduced after fears that terrorists were developing ways of building explosives into consumer electronics, including laptop / tablet computers.

In March the U.S. announced that the devices would have to be in checked baggage on incoming flights to the USA from Queen Alia International, Amman, Jordan; Cairo International Airport, Egypt; Ataturk Airport, Istanbul, Turkey; King Abdulaziz International, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; King Khalid International, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Kuwait International Airport; Mohammed V International, Casablanca, Morocco; Hamad International, Doha, Qatar; Dubai International, United Arab Emirates and Abu Dhabi International, United Arab Emirates.

For UK-bound travellers, the ban affects all flights coming from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

Laptop / tablet

And is not just laptop and tablets. The US ruling also includes E-readers, cameras, portable DVD players, electronic game units larger than a smartphone, travel printers and scanners.

The US ruling says: “Electronic devices larger than a cell phone/smart phone will not be allowed to be carried onboard the aircraft in carry-on luggage or other accessible property.”

The UK has offered clearer rules – nothing bigger than 16cm (6.3ins) long, 9.3cm (3.6ins) wide or 1.5cm (0.6ins) deep will be allowed into the cabin – which means mobiles like the larger iPhone Plus are still allowed.

In March, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on governments to urgently find alternatives to the measures

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said: “The current measures are not an acceptable long-term solution to whatever threat they are trying to mitigate.

“Even in the short term it is difficult to understand their effectiveness. And the commercial distortions they create are severe.

“We call on governments to work with the industry to find a way to keep flying secure without separating passengers from their personal electronics.”

De Juniac made this demand in a speech to the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations in which he highlighted the need to maintain public confidence in the security of the global aviation industry which safely and security operates an average 100,000 flights a day.

“How can laptops be secure in the cabin on some flights and not others, including flights departing from the same airport?” he continued.

“And surely there must be a way to screen electronic equipment effectively?

“The current situation is not acceptable and will not maintain the all-important confidence of the industry or of travellers. We must find a better way. And Governments must act quickly,” said de Juniac.

Bloomberg video: IATA’s De Juniac asks what the basis is for a laptop ban

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Laptop / tablet ban on flights to USA from Europe rejected was last modified: May 18th, 2017 by Steve Nichols
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