>> The idea was to make air travel safer. Laptops banned from the cabin on some flights to the US. But now it's thought having them in the baggage hold could be just as dangerous. That's because of the risk of battery fires. Reuters' European airlines correspondent Becky Bryan explains why they pose a problem.
>> The dangers of lithium ion batteries in the hold of planes was really brought to the floor in 2010 when a UPS cargo plane crashed in Dubai. And the crash was caused by a fire in the hold of the plane that was caused by a shipment of lithium ion batteries that had been incorrectly packed.
Since then, the industry has introduced new standards for the packing of lithium ion batteries. However, there have been complaints from airlines that fears its standards are often not followed and the risk is still present.>> Two weeks ago the US and British authorities banned gadgets larger than smartphones from cabins on flights from certain countries.
That over fears they could be used to conceal bombs. But now the European Aviation Safety Agency says lithium batteries inside electronic devices actually should be carried in the cabin.>> Aside from the safety risks, this ban is also making it very difficult for airlines that serve a lot of business passengers.
Around 50% of those traveling on business like to work on their laptops whilst they're on board. That's why we're seeing carriers such as Emirates, and Qatar offering laptops on loan for first class and business passengers, so that they can continue working while still on the plane.>> Last week a group representing 38,000 European pilots said it was seriously concerned about the ban.
Explaining that a fire in the hold might be impossible to extinguish, especially if lithium batteries are stored together. Now the EAFA recommendation is not mandatory but it will rekindle a debate about the new rules and demonstrate that solving one problem can just lead to another.