Trump administration considers expanding laptop ban in Europe; would cost airline passengers $1.1 billion

“There’s a lot on the line as the Trump administration considers expanding its laptop ban to include flights from Europe,” Alanna Petroff reports for CNN.

“New security measures could result in major logistical disruptions at airports, and airlines might face reduced demand for lucrative tickets. Passengers could be hit by delayed flights and higher costs,” Petroff reports. “‘We think that it could impose an additional cost of more than $1 billion on passengers,’ Alexandre de Juniac, head of the International Air Transport Association, said in a televised interview. ‘The Atlantic [route] is a big source of revenues and profits both for U.S. and European carriers. The impact could be significant.'”

“The annual $1.1 billion cost estimate from IATA includes the loss of productive time in the sky for business travelers and longer travel times,” Petroff reports. “The route between Europe and the U.S. is the busiest international corridor in the world. More than 350 flights depart Europe for the U.S. each day, according to IATA. If business travelers ditch flying in favor of Skype or conference calls, airlines could be forced to operate fewer flights. Emirates — which was directly impacted by the original electronics ban — said last month it was cutting back on flights to the U.S. because of weak demand.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What’s the cost of a jetliner full of business travelers blowing up in flight? Figure in the people, the plane, the cargo, the business disruption for each company who loses an executive, the lost business for the airline, the lost business for all of the other airlines, the lost business at the airports, at hotels, at restaurants, etc.

Here’s an idea: How about spending some money on methods and devices to identify actual laptops from bombs disguised as laptops at check-in? Sheesh, trained dogs can do it, right?

Also, if a terrorist can fashion a bomb to pass as a laptop, what’s to stop them from blowing one (or more) of them up in the plane’s underbelly baggage hold via cellphone detonator? Depending on placement, much damage could ensure, including catastrophic damage. And, forget the terrorists for a second: What happens if just one damaged lithium battery out of hundreds of laptops aboard each flight (too many of them very shoddily-made Windows PCs) decides to ignite in the hold?

Trump admin considers widening electronics carry-on ban to European airports; nothing larger than iPhone permitted in cabin – May 11, 2017
US-UK electronic devices ban on planes came after plot to make iPad bomb uncovered – March 27, 2017
Trump administration bans iPads, laptops and other devices in cabin on flights from certain Middle Eastern airports; Britain follows suit – March 21, 2017


  1. I wonder where CNN comes up with these numbers?

    Answer, out of thin air..

    Sure they reference IATA, but they too pulled that number out of thin air.. Because CNN would rather watch people die in the air then be safe, makes for news… I think CNN is still looking for that Malaysian Jet

  2. MDN,

    Luggage on overseas flights is stored on blast resistant containers. These containers drastically limit the damage caused by an explosion. Often the damage is only to the said container and the contents of the container.

    You are right though about the cost of destroyed lives and an airliner. Agree completely about spending money on detection.

    1. How much C4 or whatever would fit into something like a smartphone’s Mophie case and what would be the result if it were placed against the wall or window of a jetliner and detonated?


    Exactly the opposite of what candidate Trump promised.

    Call it Trump’s paranoia tax. Everyone pays but the costs out of your pocket are not acknowledged by this corrupt administration.

      1. Big difference between national security from a foreign invader and policing small isolated incidents. It is only recently that the military industrial complex has decided that endless war on the concept of the bogey man called terrorism, with no actual declaration of war on those who fund it ( Syria, IS, Russia, etc) is the surest way to guaranteed profits. Keep the population afraid and engaged in partisanship, and the military contractors can keep raping taxpayers as they have for decades.

        So about that little Constitution: defense is okay with a declaration of war and congressional approval. unreasonable search and seizure is never okay.

        Amendment 2 fans claim they can take care of their own security. Why aren’t they up in arms about the ridiculous security theater that taxpayers are forced to fund?

        Why aren’t people disgusted by Trump dropping bombs without declaring war and getting congressional approval? Even that idiot Bush took the time to mislead congress before his $7 trillion wars.

  4. MDN,

    Checked luggage goes through a much more thorough inspection than your hand luggage. Yon bet that the screening that you advocate is exactly the type that takes place with checked luggage. There is no way to implement the same type of screening on the regular hand-baggage checkpoints.

    Also, as Tim above states, ever since Lockerbie disaster, luggage containers have been significantly reinforced to withstand quite a strong explosion, so that the only damage done is to the other luggage in the same container, and perhaps to a neighbouring container.

    Coordinating multiple explosive devices in several laptops to compound the damage would be difficult, as they would likely end up in different containers and their explosions would be contained separately.

    I totally agree that there should be a method to screen laptops quickly and efficiently, rather than denying passengers the use of these devices, but until there is, perhaps it is more prudent to simply screen them with the rest of the luggage and send them to the blast-proof baggage containers in the belly of the plane.

  5. In addition to everything else, modern chemical sensing systems are getting very very good at detecting extremely low levels of explosive chemical compounds and residues.

  6. MDN, it is just security theater. Plus putting laptops into checked luggage – risk of theft and risk of espionage (if you have physical access toa device, all bets are of when it comes to security). How many planes have exploded lately? How many trains? Buses? Now really, have a look at the actual numbers and get your emotions under control. And maybe keep to Mac news.

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