Airlines, DHS officials discuss laptop & tablet ban on flights from Europe ‒ report

Airlines, DHS officials discuss laptop & tablet ban on flights from Europe ‒ report
A hush-hush meeting between officials of the US Department of Homeland Security, three major US airlines and a trade group is the surest sign yet that a carry-on ban on some electronic devices for European flights to US is imminent, according to a report.

Representatives of American Airlines Group Inc, Delta Air Lines Inc and United Airlines Inc all met confidentially with officials from DHS and Airlines for America, a trade group, on Thursday afternoon, Reuters reported, to review a likely expansion of US policy to ban electronic devices larger than cell phones from being on board certain foreign arrivals.

Some European terminals may soon be added to the list of 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa from which the US has prohibited passengers to board with laptops and tablets, according to “three sources briefed on the meeting,” Reuters reported. The sources were anonymous, because they were not authorized to talk about the meeting. The airlines, trade group and DHS all declined to speak to Reuters.

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While DHS spokesman David Lapan told the news agency that no official announcement would come Thursday, he did confirm DHS Secretary John Kelly met with US senators from relevant oversight committees to brief them on classified issues including “threats to aviation.”

Concerns among the airlines include whether there will be enough advance notice of the new ban, as it may require hiring more staff, according to Reuters.

Last year, 30 million travelers flew from Europe to the US, according to the US Department of Transportation.