Trump 'laptop' ban may not be extended to flights from Europe

Violet Powell
May 19, 2017

Extending a carry-on laptop ban, imposed in March, would cost passengers $1.1 billion a year in lost productivity and travel time, said the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents 265 airlines.

At least for now, we can breathe a sigh of relief that the EU/US meetings have ended without a plan to ban laptops on planes. though such a plan could always pop out again in the near future (and, it will nearly certainly happen if there is an airplane bombing).

The UK then banned airline passengers on direct inbound flights from six Middle Eastern and North African countries from taking electronic gadgets bigger than smartphones - such as laptops and tablets into the cabin. EU Home-Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, who participated in the meeting Wednesday, on Tuesday said: "We are very much concerned". "Given the volumes involved, extending the current US ban to European airports would result in significant disruptions, with implications on various aspects on airport and airline operations", the ACI stated.

The meeting next week is not tied to any decision by the USA government on expanding the ban, the official said.

Other groups also spoke out against the laptop ban, including Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe), which noted that between 60 and 90 percent of European travelers carry a large personal electronic device with them onto a flight. The Department of Homeland Security issued a statement Wednesday saying only that further discussions with European Union officials will continue next week in Washington, D.C.

The European Union has demanded urgent talks with the United States over a possible extension to some European countries of a USA ban on airline passengers taking laptops into cabins, saying any security threats faced are common.

Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny stepping down
Fianna Fail agreed a year ago to abstain in key votes to let the minority government run until late 2018. In a statement, Enda Kenny revealed he will "retire as leader from midnight tonight 17th May 2017".

USA and United Kingdom authorities implemented a ban on larger mobile devices being taken into airline cabins on some flights from the Middle East and North Africa in March. Travis Katz, co-founder and CEO of, tells Travel Agent that imposing a ban "sends a signal of distrust to a region we've long enjoyed warm relations with". More than 350 flights depart Europe for the USA each day, according to IATA.

The U.S. airlines still hope to have a say in how the policy is put into effect at airports to minimize inconvenience to passengers. The intelligence came from a US partner and was considered so sensitive that it was distributed among only a small circle within the USA government and withheld from broader sharing among English-speaking allies that US intelligence agencies do as a matter of course.

In 2016, 30 million people flew to the United States from Europe, according to US Transportation Department data.

Experts say that the original ban focused on certain countries because their equipment to screen carry-on bags is not as effective as machines in the US.

A meeting Wednesday between European Union and Department of Homeland Security officials ended with an agreement to take the ban "off the table" for now, the Associated Press reports.

De Juniac suggested expanded random explosives screenings inside airports, which he said would improve security but would be less disruptive.

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