Published on Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Cabin bag laptop ban won't work, says IATA boss

International airline body IATA is calling on governments to urgently find an alternative to the recently introduced ban on large electronics in cabin bags on certain flights from North Africa, the Middle East and Turkey.

IATA boss Alexandre de Juniac said the ban was 'not an acceptable long-term solution'.

In a speech in Montreal, the CEO added: "Even in the short-term it is difficult to understand their effectiveness.

"And the distortions they create are severe."

The UK has banned large electronics from the cabins on all direct flights to the UK from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey, while the US has introduced the ban on direct flights to the US from 10 destinations.

Although the list of destinations is similar, the US ban covers Morocco but not Tunisia and also extends to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kuwait and Qatar.

While the UK ban affects several British airlines, including BA and easyJet, no US airlines are affected because they don't currently operate direct flights from the destinations covered.

Speaking to the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations, de Juniac said: "With the measures now in place, our passengers and member airlines are asking valid questions. Why don't the US and the UK have a common list of airports? How can laptops be secure in the cabin on some flights and not others, including flights departing from the same airport?

"And surely there must be a way to screen electronic equipment effectively? The current situation is not acceptable and will not maintain the all-important confidence of the industry or of travelers. We must find a better way. And Governments must act quickly."

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  • What difference if in hold?

    Presumably the fear is of a suicide bomber. What is the difference if the device is in hold luggage, which presumably is not so rigorously checked (ie inside a packed suitcase with other items) as cabin baggage where you have to separate electronic devices. Surely better to make people prove their laptop or other devices work as such - as we have often been asked to do in Athens airport.

    By Sylvia Cook, Wednesday, March 29, 2017

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