* Proposed ban would prevent passengers from bringing electronics into cabin
* Follows ban of devices from 10 airports in Middle East and Africa
* Washington says ban is to ensure safety and security
Two months after large electronic devices were banned from flights coming to the U.S. from 10 Middle Eastern and African airports, there’s word that the ban could apply to flights arriving from Europe, too.
The proposed plan would require any electronic device larger than a cell phone to be checked in with your luggage and stowed in the cargo hold. You would not have access to your laptop or camera, though the regulations for tablets and e-readers are still unclear.
The initial device ban was introduced in March, but only applied to flights coming from 10 airports in the Middle East and Africa, where U.S. intelligence officials had cited high rates of terrorist activity. The ban was meant to prevent terrorists from sneaking bombs or explosive devices onto flights.
The new plan would now also limit devices on flights from European airports to the U.S. Currently, more than 350 flights arrive into the States from Europe every day. As many of these travelers are coming for work, analysts say the proposal would have a huge impact on the global aviation industry — and industry as a whole.
No laptops in the cabin would mean less work being done. Many businesses won’t even allow you to check in your laptop — for fear of it getting lost, damaged or potentially being stolen with sensitive information on it.
Emirates, meantime, which was one of the airlines directly impacted by the first electronics ban, has already cut back on flights to the U.S., citing lack of demand. Analysts fear the new ban would discourage even more people from traveling to the States, further affecting an already weak tourism projection for the year.
Nothing has been confirmed by Washington or the Trump administration just yet. Airlines are hopeful that President Trump will re-consider the new device ban.
According to research firm Euromonitor, the U.S. currently welcomes more than 14.5 million travelers from Europe each year.