European Union officials to evaluate airline laptop ban

Corporations and travel managers are already speaking out about the proposal, saying it would hamper the conduct of business and sharply reduce global travel.

At that time, the USA and Britain barred passengers traveling through airports in 10 Muslim-majority countries from carrying laptop computers, tablets and other devices larger than cell phones aboard direct inbound flights. The United Kingdom quickly followed with its own version of a ban. European Union aviation authorities will meet this week to consider the proposed laptop ban.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents 265 airlines, said that while current restrictions on laptops in cabins on flights from the Middle East and north Africa affect 350 flights a week, some 390 flights a day would be impacted if it was extended to European airports.

Bennis also said that "we need to push our own government to look to diplomacy, not war and military force, in dealing with other nations - that would build much better relations between the USA and other countries".

Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines have the most to lose.

Extending the US restrictions on electronics in the cabin from the Middle East to Europe would have a significant impact on the aviation industry. The measures, said de Juniac, would mitigate the danger of a large number of lithium battery-powered devices in airplanes' cargo holds, a prospect IATA considers an unacceptable risk.

Expanding the ban to Europe would disproportionately affect USA airlines.

What are officials talking about Wednesday?

On this occasion, the United States and United Kingdom claimed that such a ban was due to some security reasons.

The International Air Transport Association, or IATA, which represents 265 airlines, wrote to both the European Union and the U.S. State Department on Tuesday to oppose the proposed ban, which it said would deeply affect the economy and cause the equivalent of $1.1 billion in lost time to passengers.

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The ban would affect a lot of travelers.

While the current US ban affects 350 flights per week, the expansion of the ban to Europe as a whole would affect more than 2,500, estimates IATA.

European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told ABC News Monday that the high-level talks are meant "to jointly assess any new threats and work toward a common approach to address them".

The Trump administration has released few specific details on the in-cabin restrictions or why they exist since it imposed them in March. When asked if the laptop ban is another link in a chain of "tough on crime" policies, Bennis answered, "It's very hard to know the specifics of the exact threat that this latest security plan is created to answer".

In March, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced a ban on large electronics for passengers on flights to the United States from airports in Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

What are opponents saying about the proposal?

It is not yet clear how long any ban on devices may last, but it is sure to dent profits of airlines, which count on business travelers as a main source of revenue.

The European Union and airline pilots are also anxious about potential safety issues.

"We have had numerous incidents of devices with lithium batteries suddenly bursting into flames", pilot Laurie Price told Britain's The Independent this week.

Travelers flying during the next few weeks could find themselves scrambling to accommodate new and potentially confusing rules. Passengers are only allowed to travel with those devices in their checked luggage.

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