>> As if air travel wasn't bad enough, sources tell Reuters the White House now is moving towards expanding an in-cabin laptop ban to include flights coming from parts of Europe. US Homeland Security meeting with the airline industry Thursday to discuss the plan. Reuters airline correspondent Victorian Bryan.>> Should this ban be extended to Europe, we could be seeing a lot of disruption at airports.
Passengers will have to be checked to ensure that they are not taking these devices on board. Whether that occurs at the check in desk, at security checks, or even at the gate remains to be seen.>> One suggestion even includes ending online check ins to make sure laptops don't make it to the security line.
The initial laptop ban was aimed at flights coming from the Middle East in response to a perceived security threat tied to explosives possibly being smuggled onto planes in laptops and tablets. The new ban would not just impact European airlines, United, Delta, and American would also have to comply.
Air carriers already working on contingency plans, according to sources. They could copy what's happening in the Middle East.>> What we have seen is that at airports such as Dubai Emirates has been allowing passengers to use their laptops right up until they board the plane. Gate staff then take the laptops off passengers, pack them, put a bag tag on them, much as you would do with hold baggage, and then the devices are stowed in the hold of the plane.
>> Some are concerned having too many lithium batteries so close together and out of eyesight creates a safety risk of a whole different kind. Despite voiced concerns about fire breaking out in the belly of the plane, sources say the ban is likely coming. They just don't know how soon.