US could expand laptop ban for flights from Denmark

Experts point to catastrophic consequences of laptops being banished to check-in luggage

If you have a penchant for using your laptop for work or recreational purposes on long-haul flights to the US from Denmark, then buckle up for some potential turbulence.

The ban on laptops that the US government has initiated for flights to the US from the Middle East and north Africa could very well be expanded to include European departures as well.

“No final decision has been made on expanding the restriction on large electronic devices in aircraft cabins; however, it is under consideration,” the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wrote in a statement to the Daily Beast.

“DHS continues to evaluate the threat environment and will make changes when necessary to keep air travellers safe.”

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Dire consequences
The ban was initiated as the DHS feared that terrorists could have discovered a way to convert laptops into bombs that couldn’t be detected.

Meanwhile, experts have warned that banning laptops in the cabin could lead to a catastrophic fire in airplane holds, where it is more difficult to deal with.

“We have had numerous incidents of devices with lithium batteries suddenly bursting into flames. If that is in the aircraft cabin, it can be dealt with,” Laurie Price, a pilot and former aviation advisor to the British Transport Select Committee, told the Independent newspaper.

“If it’s in the aircraft hold, the fire-suppression systems would struggle to contain it, and there is a lot of material to exacerbate such fires – including other baggage, the aircraft structure, fuel, and wiring – all in an area that is inaccessible during a flight. The consequences could be catastrophic.”