Laptop Computer Ban on International Flights?
With the busy summer travel season upon us, many folks are concerned about reports of a laptop ban on international flights.
As of yesterday, Reuters was reporting:
“The U.S. Homeland Security Department said on Wednesday that no specific timeline had been set for a decision on whether to expand a ban on larger electronics as carry-on luggage for air travel.
DHS spokesman David Lapan told reporters at a briefing there was “nothing imminent” that would require an immediate decision to expand the ban on laptops, which currently applies to 10 mostly Middle Eastern airports. He also said there had been no discussion on expanding the ban to domestic U.S. flights or flights leaving the United States.
In March, the United States announced laptop restrictions on flights originating from 10 airports, including in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey, because of fears a bomb could be concealed in electronic devices taken aboard aircraft.
Britain quickly followed suit with restrictions on a slightly different set of routes.
Lapan reiterated that DHS still believed it was “likely” the U.S. ban will be expanded. He said talks with Europe were not a “negotiation” over whether to expand the airports covered because Homeland Security director John Kelly would make any decision based strictly on an analysis of threats.
DHS and European officials held a working group level meeting on Tuesday, but no new talks are currently scheduled, Lapan said.
Lapan said the United States would give airports at least the same four-day notice it gave Middle Eastern and other airlines in March before the restrictions took effect, but said it could be longer.
Reuters and other outlets reported on May 11 that the ban on laptops on commercial aircraft was likely to include some European countries.”
This morning, I sent a Tweet to AskTSA on the subject and received the following response:
- As of today, no laptop restrictions on flights originating from the U.S.
- Laptops are banned on flights originating from 10 airports in the Middle East to the U.S.
- The laptop ban is likely to expand. How and to where we don’t know.
As Carol and I consider our international travel over the coming months, I suppose we need to consider what travel might look like if we can’t bring anything larger than a cell phone on the plane with us as we’re generally working on our laptops when we travel.
While we would probably be able to pack our laptops in our checked luggage, that course of action doesn’t seem very prudent from a theft perspective.
Therefore, as I contemplate this issue while typing this article, I think we will make plans assuming that we will be forced to work from our phones. While it’s not ideal, it can certainly be done.
Link to Reuters article: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-airlines-electronics-idUSKBN18K2AP
As this issue develops over the coming weeks and months, we’ll keep you informed.
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