US May Expand Laptop Ban to All International Flights

Since Donald Trump has become the president of the United States there has been a sudden change in US immigration policy. From asking visa applicants and travelers for their social media credentials to the installation of face recognition system for locals or banning laptop from 10 countries over ISIS fears rules are changing like never before.

Now, things may change since recently, the Secretary of Homeland Security Gen. John Kelly told in an interview that he might be planning on expanding the ban on laptops in US-bound flights. The ban will mean that passengers on flights from countries around the world will not be allowed to carry laptops on air.

What is the ban all about? In an interview that aired on Fox News Sunday, Gen. John Kelly stated that he might expand the ban since he believes electronic devices can pose a real threat. He said:

“There’s a real threat. There are numerous threats to aviation. That’s really the thing they’re really obsessed with, the terrorists, the idea of knocking down an airplane in flight, particularly if it is a US carrier, particularly if it is full of mostly US folks.”

As such, it seems like the General will probably expand the ban to avoid any terrorists slipping past US border security. However, this does not mean that people have welcomed the ban. In fact, passengers complain that the ban would mean that they will not have anything to kill time while they are on the flight. This is particularly true for those who are traveling long distances.

Countries currently affected by the ban: On March 21, the ban came into effect taking in its reach a number of countries. The ban prevented passengers on flights coming from ten airports in eight countries from bringing any electronic devices with them and that the devices need to be checked-in with one’s luggage.

The countries to which the ban applies include Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, Kuwait, Egypt, Cairo, Jordan, Jeddah and Riyadh, Morocco, Qatar, Doha, Saudia Arabia and Amman. It must be noted that it was not only the US that put such a ban on certain countries. The UK too followed a similar pattern and imposed a laptop ban on some countries.

Plans for expansion: The ban is expected to increase its coverage and various experts say that the initial ban was simply in the early stage and was rolled out so as to familiarize travelers with the new law. The ban is likely to extend to European countries where US-bound flights from European airports will not be allowed to have anyone with laptops or tablets on board.

Increased security screening: The Gen. has not only expressed plans to expand the ban but has also stated that baggage screening will be enhanced so that carry-on bags can be scanned much more effectively for any weapons. He stated that this is necessary since many passengers have a lot of items in their bags and this makes the regular scanners unable to dig deeper.

Image Credit: Shutterstock/ioat


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Jahanzaib Hassan