Monday, July 24, 2017
   
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Worries About Laptop Ban Ease - But Only Temporarily

Worries about a possible laptop cabin ban in aircraft have eased - but only temporarily.

No ban was imposed after a four-hour meeting between EU and US officials in Brussels yesterday, but more talks have been scheduled in Washington next week.

The European Union has been worried about the United States extending its ban on airline passengers from some countries taking laptops into aircraft cabins. There are fears that the Trump administration is likely to extend the ban already applicable to flights originating from 10 specific airports in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey because of fears that a concealed bomb could be installed in electronic devices taken on to an aircraft, officials said.

A joint statement said the next meeting would allow them to 'further assess shared risks and solutions for protecting airline passengers, whilst ensuring the smooth functioning of global air travel'.

Reports had emerged that US officials were looking to extend to Europe a ban on electronics in cabins on flights from eight mostly Muslim countries. The US restrictions, introduced in March, apply to flights from Turkey, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Experts said extending the ban to flights from Europe would affect 65 million passengers a year and could severely affect transatlantic business and leisure travel.

After reports that the recently imposed ‘laptop ban’ could be rolled out globally, a poll shows that over a third of Brits will be dissuaded from boarding flights if the move goes ahead.

From the 3,500 people polled by travel extras specialist HolidayExtras, 35 per cent felt they’d be forced to reconsider their flights if faced with having to put their much-loved electronics in the hold of an aircraft.

For almost one in five people (18 per cent), a fear for the safety of their belongings is simply unacceptable. A further 17 per cent said they just couldn’t be parted from their devices or switch off from devices during their journey.

The survey also revealed that tablets are the nation’s most treasured tech, with 34 per cent of people stating that this is the gadget they’d have most trouble checking in. Kindles came in a close second (proving almost twice as popular with women than men), with 19 per cent taking their light-weight libraries abroad.

Ant Clarke-Cowell, Communications Director at Holiday Extras, said: “Whether they’re used to update social statuses, translate local languages or plan our journeys, electronic devices are a huge part of modern travel. According to our survey, two thirds of Brits now pack a gadget to help them travel better, with women being more likely to take them than men."

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