PLAN FOR THE BAN Airlines prepare for laptop ban to be extended to Europe

Posted on 05/12/2017 | About Europe

It is believed that the Trump administration will move ahead in banning laptops on commercial flights from Europe in the near future. European airports, airlines and transport officials are looking into their options if the ban does come into effect.

Roughly 40% of overseas travellers to the US come from Europe, on more than 350 flights a day.

Many of the flights are operated by US airlines such as Delta, United, and American Airlines or their European partners.

Air France-KLM is allied to Delta Air Lines Inc. and Lufthansa is partnered with United Continental Holdings Inc.

There are a number of issues that will effect the impacted airlines, including the time required for additional security checks, the expenses to provide passengers with loaner device as well as the increased wait time at baggage checks.

Airlines are concerned that business travellers will have their own security issues with using an airline tablet and opt for economy coach class if they cannot use their own laptops to do business while flying.

But the most ominous issue is to ensure that lithium batteries stored in luggage holds do not explode en-route.

Airline industry officials met with Homeland Security yesterday to discuss the security issues. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly gave a classified briefing to senators about domestic threats and airline issues.

Two months ago the US announced laptop restrictions on flights originating from 10 airports including in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey siting fears that a bomb could be concealed in electronic devices taken onboard aircraft. Britain initiated the same ban.

The airlines affected are, Royal Jordanian Airlines RJAL.AM, Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways.

A number of ideas have been put forward should the ban on devices larger than a cell phone be extended to flights arriving from Europe.

Airports are looking into preventing on-line check-ins for the US bound flights, as well as dedicating restricted areas of airport terminals for US bound flights only.