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US laptop ban on flights could extend to all flights

Paul Brislen, Editor. 30 May 2017, 6:47 am

Long haul flights are already a tedious prospect for many travellers but soon they could be even worse if US plans to launch a full scale laptop ban to all flights are introduced.

The US already bans devices larger than a tablet from cabins on non-stop flights from ten Middle Eastern countries but apparently senior security officials are considering extending it to all international flights entering the US.

Currently only the UK has followed suit, although Australia has discussed something similar. New Zealand seems uninterested in joining the fray at this point, however if all flights to the US are impacted, those business trips to LA and San Francisco will become an opportunity to catch up on past episodes of The Big Bang Theory you may have missed.

While the ban is described as a "laptop" ban, it also affects tablets and devices larger than a smartphone. And while the current ban still allows laptops to be included in checked-in bags, there is some concern that any future expansion of the ban will include all laptops, even those in the hold.

The concern stems from intelligence that bomb makers are at work building devices into laptops where they will be harder to detect. These devices, it is suggested, will have to be manually triggered as remote bombs require more wiring and more electronics that will likely stand out more to those searching for such things.

All this of course comes after news that US border agents are seizing smartphones and other devices and requiring some travellers to hand over details of their social media accounts.

However this pans out, it would appear the trip across the globe is in future likely to involve less work and more staring out the window.


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