Trans-Atlantic flights laptop ban called 'off the table'

US and Europe to hold fresh talks to broaden laptop ban on flights

US and Europe to hold fresh talks to broaden laptop ban on flights

It wasn't clear whether there would be an immediate announcement of new electronics restrictions on flights to the United States of America from Europe or other airports, the people said.

Last week there were reports claiming that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was just about ready to ban any laptops from being in the passenger cabin on any flights between the European Union and the US.

In a brief joint statement related to the discussions on "issues related to aviation security and safety", both sides said: "At the meeting, both sides exchanged information on the serious evolving threats to aviation security and approaches to confronting such threats".

The ban would take after a previous rule that bars travelers from taking laptops, tablets, e-readers, cameras, portable DVD players, travel printers/scanners and other electronics bigger than a smartphone into the passenger cabins.

The ban proposal is now set to be extended to Europe in some manner, a move that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said would cost more than $1 billion to implement and be a logistical nightmare to adhere to for airlines.

It's also worth noting that transferring electronics into the plane's cargo compartment is also unsafe, since lithium ion batteries are known to occasionally catch fire when they are damaged or short-circuit. As it proclaims, European travel is ridiculously lucrative for the airline industry: "The route between Europe and the U.S.is the busiest worldwide corridor in the world".

United States and European Union officials met yesterday in Brussels to discuss plans to widen the ban. The measures, said de Juniac, would mitigate the danger of a large number of lithium battery-powered devices in airplanes' cargo holds, a prospect IATA considers an unacceptable risk.

"No final decisions have been made on expanding the restriction on large electronic devices in aircraft cabins; however, it is under consideration", the Department of Homeland Security told the Daily Beast website last week.

The meeting next week is not tied to any decision by the US government on expanding the ban, the official said.

Any extension of the ban could affect USA and European airlines such as United, Delta, American Airlines, Lufthansa, British Airways and Air France-KLM.

He said he had contacted US, United Kingdom and European Union authorities about the matter, and urged governments to "work very closely with the industry" to develop appropriate measures to protect passengers without burdening the airline business.

BALPA went even further by suggesting that storing PEDs in aircraft holds actually "clashes with current safety advice" stating that such devices should ideally be carried "in the cabin in case of a fire".

The airline industry had feared the widening of the laptop ban would mean longer lines at security, significant delays and confusion at boarding gates during the busy summer period. "In 2016, 31 million passengers departed European airports on flights to the US of which 3.5 million were connecting from flights that originated outside of Europe".