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Wider ban on laptops would cost passengers $1 billion, airline group warns

19 May 2017

The proposed electronics ban would have created logisitical chaos on the world's busiest air travel corridor.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents 265 airlines, wrote to both the US State Department and the European Union on Tuesday to strongly oppose the proposed ban.

Russian Federation has not adopted a European laptop flight ban, despite evidently having being briefed by the U.S. pres.

The new laptop ban would work like the current one from the Middle East, except that it would affect all flights from Europe to the U.S.

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos and Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc took part in what US officials said were four hours of "robust" talks with a United States delegation led by Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke.

The European Aviation Safety Agency, the EU counterpart to the Federal Aviation Administration, counseled in April the exact opposite of the U.S. proposal, telling airlines that personal electronic devices "should preferably be carried in the passenger cabin" so that flight attendants could more easily address fires if lithium-ion batteries combust.

But European aviation safety officials are alarmed at the prospect of large numbers of electronic devices powered by lithium batteries being carried in the holds of passenger aircraft.

A European Commission spokesperson says USA and European officials are not expected to make a decision Wednesday when they meet to discuss plans to broaden a US ban on in-flight laptops and tablets to include planes from Europe. Still, these details suggest the threat may not be significant enough to ban large electronics from carry-on luggage on all flights from Europe.

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The Department of Homeland Security sparked deep concern in Europe last week when it said it would soon decide on extending the ban to European airlines.

Most travelers from Europe are known to spend between $3,000 to $4,000 each time they visit the U.S., according to the U.S. Travel Association.

"I definitely think it will change consumer behavior", said Patrick Surry, chief data scientist for Hopper, a fare forecasting app. Hopper is planning to warn consumers if their flights would be subject to the ban.

The association says travelers should also consider buying supplemental insurance for their electronic devices, since some plans exclude personal electronics in checked baggage from coverage. The reports say that the terrorists may not have the ability, however, to remotely detonate the explosives, and that security officials say a bomb in the cargo hold of a plane might do less damage than one in the cabin. In addition, baggage in cargo usually goes through a more sophisticated screening process than carry-on bags.

A senior U.S. administration official said there was no time frame for making a decision on the extension of the ban but U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly was "currently considering next steps".

US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesman David Lapan said on Tuesday it is "likely that the restrictions that were put in place in March could be expanded to other areas".

Deploying extra staff would take time because they would need to be trained and get security clearance.

He said that U.S. homeland security secretary, John F. Kelly, could decide on the measure "in the next several days or in the next several weeks".