Laptop and tablet ban on planes may expand to cover flights from Europe

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Emirates
Ban came on the back of plot involving bomb disguised as an iPad.
Photo: Emirates

The Trump administration is reportedly considering expanding its ban on the use of laptops, tablets and other large electronic devices to flights entering the United States from European airports.

The ban is already in place for travelers flying from 10 Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

In a statement, Gillian Christensen, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said: “We’ve said we will continue to evaluate the threat environment and make determinations based on that assessment, but we have not made any decisions on expanding the current restrictions against large electronic devices in aircraft cabins from selected airports.”

Although passengers are banned from taking devices larger than a smartphone in to the plane cabin, these items can be placed in checked baggage.

The U.K. has a similar ban in place for electronic devices on flights from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey.

The decision stems from growing concerns that terrorists may be looking to attack airliners and transportation hubs.

“Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items,” the Department of Homeland Security said.

The original tablet and laptop ban was reportedly put in place after a (thankfully foiled) plot to smuggle a bomb disguised as an iPad onto a plane.

Little more is known about the fake iPad plot, aside from the fact that the tablet appeared to be “as good as the real thing,” according to authorities. Details such as the date, the country involved and the group behind the threat remain secret.

In response to the ban, some airlines have launched new electronics loaner programs for passengers, giving them the option to rent an iPad while their own device is safely stored inside checked baggage.

Source: The Guardian