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Europe Is Spooked by America's Proposed Laptop Ban on Planes

A policy already affecting some Middle Eastern and African countries might come to France, the UK, and Germany, where locals think it will cause chaos.

by Allie Conti
May 12 2017, 6:18pm

Photos of a plane and laptop by Flickr users Brett Levin and Patrick, respectively; PNG via Pixabay

The US Department of Homeland Security is currently deciding whether to ban the use of laptops on flights coming from Europe after electronic devices larger than a smartphone were barred on planes originating in ten Middle Eastern and African airports earlier this year.

Europe on Friday sent a clear message: Please don't do that.

Hoping to ward off a travel nightmare for their own citizens working on the go, officials from France, Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy are begging the feds to reconsider. They say the policy would be a shit-show for the 65 million people who travel from Europe to the US each year.

But two anonymous airline officials told the AP that they thought an expansion of the ban was pretty much a done deal after DHS spoke with representatives from American, Delta and United Thursday about the logistics of putting it into place.

Reuters reported in March that original, Muslim-majority-country ban came after the United States learned that Al Qaeda in Yemen wanted to put bombs in computers and use them to take down American airliners.

As of now, only about 50 flights a day are affected by that moratorium.

Alain Bauer, a regulator of private airport security in France, told the AP that a sudden laptop ban in Europe would lead to bona fide chaos.

"It's not like losing your water bottle or your scissors," he told the outlet. "It will take more time to negotiate."

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