Laptop ban may expand to US-bound flights from Europe


A senior official with a USA airline said that carriers had been in talks with government officials for weeks about the possibility of an expanded ban, mainly over the logistics of carrying it out.

A senior European transport official said the aviation industry was expecting the extend the ban to Europe, and described the situation as "a total mess".

An airline ban on laptops on commercial aircraft could be expanded to include flights from some European countries to the United States. The UK imposed a similar ban shortly after, although its list of countries notably excluded the large hubs in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha.

But according to DHS spokesman David Lapan, no final decisions have been made, though an expansion is "likely".

A French official with direct knowledge about the meeting said France planned to push back against the measure, saying there was no information to suggest a significant increase in the terror threat.

Some experts believe there is also a security risk in putting them in the hold given the danger of their batteries catching fire.

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The move, which would impact routes that carry as many as 65 million people a year on over 400 daily flights, would expand a ban already in place for planes flying out of eight Middle Easte and African countries.

The EU is seeking urgent talks with Washington over a possible U.S. ban on carry-on computers on European flights to the United States, an EU source said on Friday.

At the time, Secretary Kelly talked about terrorists' efforts to develop bombs that could fit in these devices and explode mid-flight.

Two airline officials who were briefed on the discussions said Homeland Security gave no timetable for an announcement, but they were resigned to its inevitability.

While several sources claim that the expansion of the large electronics ban is coming, there has been no official word on the change.

At present, passengers departing from 10 airports of Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, can't take it with you into the cabin of the electronic device more dimensions than a cell phone.