YAY: The Electronics Ban For Flights From Europe To The US Has Apparently Been Called Off

For weeks we’ve been hearing rumors of an electronics ban being introduced on flights from Europe to the US. An announcement was initially expected last week, though late in the week we found out that the US Department of Homeland Security and European security officials would be meeting to discuss ways they can work together to prevent something like this from being enacted.

While all countries involved want their skies to be safe, they also want to minimize disruptions to passengers as much as possible, given that the cost and inconvenience of an electronics ban would be massive. Perhaps most important was that these various departments were sharing the information they had access to, so they can work together to come up with practical and effective solutions.

Well, the BBC is reporting that the electronics ban apparently won’t be expanded to flights from European to the US after all. The report suggests that a four hour meeting happened in Brussels today to discuss threats to aviation security. While other measures may still be considered, the US doesn’t have plans to extend the electronics ban that they presently have in place for flights from select Middle Eastern countries to the US. Per the story:

US and EU officials have decided against a ban on laptops and tablets in cabin baggage on flights from Europe.

The meeting was requested by EU officials after recent reports suggested US authorities had new information regarding laptop parts being turned into explosives.

An EU source described the briefing as vitally important.

The authorities had been assured by their US colleagues that the meeting signalled the start of an era of better communication on security issues under President Donald Trump.

Inflight-wifi

This is FANTASTIC news! However, given the speed at which things change, let’s hope that this is actually a mutually agreed upon decision, and that one side doesn’t change their mind in the coming days.

In the meantime, I consider this to be a very positive development.

(Tip of the hat to @BabushkaThe)

Comments

  1. A very happy camper over here too. I have a lot of travel coming up with longish layovers. Need my electronics handy.

  2. Great news but,

    I wonder why they didnt had such meetings with Middle Eastern authorities to avoid inconvenience to passengers ??
    Or rumors are true that US carriers played their game against them ??

  3. I don’t understand the security theater here. More French nationals have committed terrorism against the Western world of late than, say, Syrian nationals. Why a Syrian laptop ban and no French one?

  4. It would have been a huge negative impact to not only the airlines but to US and EU economies with the downturn in travel and tourism. Forty percent of all tourists to the US come on flights from Europe. All that aside, I just hope they can keep us safe.

  5. @Supropal One thing to take in consideration here is that the news of the EU-Electronics ban leaked and became huge. This was a call for preventive action from the European side upon which the US agreed. It is easy to not invoke something, rather than retract something which was already in place, the latter is -in a political point of view- seen as weakness.

  6. You need to upgrade that laptop pic to the new site. Guess that means you have to fly Mint again 😉

  7. Don’t readers of this blog keep up with the news?

    Cancellation of the decision to implement this ban became certain after Trump revealed to Russian diplomats at the White House, of all places, highly classified intel (provided to the US by Israel intelligence) that was basis for the contemplated electronics ban. The intel was that ISIS would be trying to blow up planes between EU and US using laptops and other electronics. Trump made it an open secret and, thus, useless intel…

    Why did Trump do it? He was trying to impress upon the Russians that as the now Center the Universe, he, Trump has access all kinds of cool intel…

  8. @stvr: “Why a Syrian laptop ban and no French one?”

    There is no Syrian laptop ban, as there are no commercial flights from Syria to the US.

    That said, I completely agree with your sentiment that the laptop ban (both the first one and the broader one that apparently has been scrapped) amounts to little more than security theater.

    I am STILL waiting for an explanation for why the security agencies aren’t worried about a terrorist rigging up his cell phone to detonate a laptop bomb in the plane’s cargo hold.

  9. Wow. Trump and the Russians got together in the Oval Office and finally shared some basic intelligence against the terrorists. Next thing you know, a major threat to the well being of world business and travel is neutralized and oppressive and burdensome security measures can be relaxed.

    See what a little cooperation can get you when you don’t let national security bureaucrats isolate themselves in little paranoid silos?

    Thank you, Mr. President. Good job and carry on!

  10. @Owen — Too bad he’ll soon be ex-Mr President. On the bright side, he’ll be able to swoon thinking about his buddy “Vlad” in his Manhattan Tower and not in the American people’s House…

  11. @SeekerofTruth

    Assuming “mussies” means Muslims, that’s immaterial since they were legal residents of the EU, whether Belgium or France or wherever. So the point remains that a ban only from the Middle East means little to nothing since it’s very apparent that European Union citizens could also carry out a terrorist act aboard a plane originating in the EU. What this bans really tells me is that the ultimate goal is a ban on “Middle Eastern-looking” people on the assumption that they’re A. Muslim, B. a terrorist, and C. planning on carrying out a terrorist attack. If this were truly about terrorism prevention, then ALL electronics on ALL flights would not be permitted, regardless of flight origin.

  12. @Adam ‘immaterial since they were legal residents of the EU, whether Belgium or France or wherever.’

    And, in fact, Islam is the top most practiced religion already in quite a few European countries, including France.

  13. @Owen,

    No it’s not. Islam isn’t even close to the most practised religion in any Western European country. France is only 3% Muslim, so take those made-up facts to Breitbart.

  14. @Brian,

    Ask the US-based airlines how many first- and business-class flyers are taking trips overseas for work, not pleasure. My guess is at least 40%, perhaps more. Laptops are essential for the 15-20 hours in flight.

  15. As a practising Christian, I am alarmed at the unstoppable rise and rise of Islam in the world. When I started going to school in the late 1950’s (West) Pakistan became the world’s first Muslim state. Now over half of Africa has been taken over by Islam. In 50 year’s most of Europe will be Islamic states too

  16. Banning laptops and other electronics from the cabin, and requiring them to be checked and placed in the cargo area, does not improve flight safety. I think this is the real sticking point. The cost and inconvenience are minor details. The threat of lithium batteries causing fires is well known. And a terrorist could place an explosive device in checked luggage and detonate in the cargo hold – happened before.

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