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Airlines Bracing for US Laptop Ban Chaos

Airlines Bracing for US Laptop Ban ChaosAirlines Bracing for US Laptop Ban Chaos

Carriers are bracing for operational chaos at European airports after the Department of Homeland Security said last week it might expand to Europe a ban imposed in March on US-bound flights from 10 Middle Eastern airports.

The new security protocol could mean longer security lines, heightened delays, boarding gate confusion and more hassles for fliers, reported.

"I think it's going to be extremely chaotic," said Rich Roth, executive director of CTI Consulting, a security firm that focuses on aviation. He predicts that airlines, airports and European officials will press the DHS to review its analysis of the trans-Atlantic threat, hoping for a more lenient strategy than the currently envisioned ban.

"I think they went a little bit overboard in their risk assessment," said Roth.

Greg Raiff, chief executive of New Hampshire-based charter operator Private Jet Services, said corporations and their travel managers are up in arms about the proposed electronics ban.

"Picture a technology firm moving employees from Europe to the US and telling the developers in those firms they can't use laptops on airplanes," Raiff said. "I think you're looking at a substantial uproar from the business community over this."

This prospect and the possibility of summer airport havoc mobilized airlines last week to try to minimize the impact of any broader ban. It also prompted European Union officials to invite their US counterparts to Brussels this week for a meeting about the underlying security threat of laptop-borne explosives being used by the Trump administration and others to justify it.

EU officials told US Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Friday that any terror threats affect both continents and require a coordinated response.


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