Some US airlines have been making plans in the event of an order to require them to bar passengers from travelling to the United States without larger electronics in the cabin, airline officials briefed on the matter said.
US officials instituted the current ban in March over fears that terror groups have the ability to convert laptops into bombs that could potentially bring down a passenger airplane.
Now, the ban is expected to be expanded to include flights coming to the US from Europe. "DHS continues to evaluate the threat environment and will make changes when necessary to keep air travelers safe", the agency said in a statement on Wednesday.
European aviation security experts are meeting in Brussels on Thursday to consider possible responses to any extension of the ban.
All of this to say, maybe change that European summer vacation you just booked to a South American getaway - those countries don't have electronics bans, yet.
Until then, USA officials are staying tight-lipped on what otherwise appeared to be a done deal.
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While the DHS is only considering implementing a similar ban for travellers from European countries at this stage it could be a bad move considering the number of travelers moving between the two regions for business.
Under the policy, passengers are prohibited from carrying electronic devices larger than a cellphone - such as laptops, tablets, cameras and portable DVD players - onto cabins of select flights, but can still stow the items in checked luggage. This time, however, the ban is European countries and could even affect flights coming from the United Kingdom, a staunch ally of the US. The Guardian reported last month that such a ban was under consideration.
A ban on carry-on laptops is already in place for US-bound flights from 10 airports located in Middle Eastern and North African countries, including Morocco, the UAE, Qatar, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.
In a letter to John Kelly, secretary of homeland security, and Elaine Chao, US secretary of transportation, and seen by Reuters, the European Union executive said it was important that information concerning possible threats involving European Union airports be shared.
The original device ban-coming shortly after the Trump administration's Muslim travel ban-has been highly controversial: Several Middle Eastern countries have challenged it at the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations agency.