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US may expand laptop ban on all international flights

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security may be expanding the ban on large electronics that’s been in place on several flights overseas since March.

President Trump and his administration banned some devices from 10 Middle Eastern and North African airports. Now, they are considering expanding the ban to all international flights and it would be the most sweeping change to what passengers can bring on board since 9/11.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said terrorist groups are “obsessed” with taking down passenger planes, which is why he is considering restricting passengers from carrying laptops and tablets on flights into and out of the U.S.

DHS has been in talks with European officials about extending a prohibition.

About 4,300 international flights take off and land in the United States each day, carrying 560,000 passengers. To put that into perspective, that works out to more than 200 million people a year.

Some are criticizing the possibility, saying it would threaten and damage tourism in the U.S. and the world aviation industry.

In addition, another new security measure is now in place at ten U.S. airports. Electronics larger than a cell phone must be taken out of carry-on luggage and screened separately, which will likely expand nationwide.

“People trying to avoid the $25 or $50 to check a bag are now stuffing their carry-on bags to the point of you know they can’t get more in there,” said Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. “The more you put in there, the less the TSA professionals that are looking at what’s in those bags through the monitors they can’t tell what’s in the bags anymore,” Kelly said.

DHS hasn’t made a final decision. But, the U.S. Travel Association says authorities need to be very clear about why an expansion is necessary. 

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