DHS’s Kelly voices move toward international flight laptop ban (video)

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If you’re traveling abroad, you may have to start storing your laptop with your checked luggage because Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said he’s considering banning laptops from the passenger cabins of all international flights in and out of the United States, citing “numerous threats against aviation”.

Kelly also said that terrorists are currently “obsessed with knocking down an airplane in flight, particularly a U.S. carrier, if it’s full of mostly U.S. folks.”

Affecting approximately 50 flights per day from 10 primarily Middle Eastern cities, the laptop ban was first implemented in March and stops airline passengers from taking laptops, tablets and certain other devices on board in their carry-on bags, which means that anything larger than a smartphone has to go in checked luggage.

When the ban was first put in place, Kelly said his department would implement a broader ban “when the time is right.”  It appears we are approaching that time.

Airlines that make direct flights to and from countries currently under the laptop ban are listed as:

  • Royal Jordanian Airlines
  • Egypt Air
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines
  • Kuwait Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Qatar Airways
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways

The airline industry expressed its opposition to the proposal of a ban, claiming that it would cause “a severe downturn in trans-Atlantic air travel and cost travelers more than a billion dollars in lost time.”

The proposed electronics ban would cause a logistical nightmare for busy airports, which move approximately 65 million people between Europe and North America each year on approximately 400 daily flights.

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