Rabat - On Sunday, United States Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly indicated that the laptop ban that already impacts several Middle Eastern and North African countries might be expanded to all international flights coming to or from the US.
Rabat – On Sunday, United States Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly indicated that the laptop ban that already impacts several Middle Eastern and North African countries might be expanded to all international flights coming to or from the US.
In an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” Kelly explained his concerns about threats specifically to aviation: “That’s really the thing they’re obsessed with, the terrorists: the idea of knocking down an airplane in flight, particularly it it’s a US carrier, particularly if it’s full of mostly US folks.”
When asked if he would address this threat with a ban on laptops in carry-on bags on all international flights both into and out the of the US, Kelly responded “I might.” He later added that no final decisions about an expanded ban on large electronics had been made but that “we are in the process of defining this, but we’re going to raise the bar generally speaking for aviation much higher than it is now.”
This is the latest update on a ban on large electronics that was first announced by US authorities in March, 2017. That ban prohibited electronics larger than cellphones from carry-on luggage on nonstop flights originating from ten airports in eight countries including Casablanca, Morocco.
While the previous electronics ban could be avoided with a layover in a country that was not impacted, a broader ban would make traveling to and from the US with a laptop much more difficult.
The idea of checking a laptop concerns many flyers as the possibility of a device being damaged or stolen from checked luggage is much higher than with carry-on bags. Additionally, many business travelers use long flights as an opportunity to catch up on work which would not be possible without access to laptops.
While airlines are concerned that a broader ban might decrease demand they recognize that threats need to be taken seriously. As a spokesperson for Delta Airlines said in a statement, “if there’s a credible threat out there, we need to make sure we take the appropriate measures.”