Sunday, November 19, 2017
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EU Demands Talks Over Possible Laptop Ban

The European Union is trying to arrange urgent talks with the United States over a possible extension of the US ban on airline passengers from some countries taking laptops into cabins.

Apparently, 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.

According to Reuters, a letter from the EU Executive to John Kelly, US Secretary of Homeland Security and Elaine Chao, US Secretary of Transportation, said it was important that information concerning possible threats involving EU airports be shared.

“We therefore reiterate our willingness to pursue constructive dialogue and we propose that meetings are held as a matter of urgency, both at political and technical level, to jointly assess the risk and review possible common measures,” said EU officials.

While no decision has yet been taken, any restrictions could hit major European airlines such as British Airways, Lufthansa and Air France-KLM and industry sources have said airlines and airports have already been working on possible contingency measures.

Olivier Jankovec, Director General of airport trade association ACI Europe, said it was worrying that there appeared to be little co-ordination between the EU and the US.

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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