PLANS TO extend the cabin ban on electronic devices to flights to and from the UK have been shelved, after EU and US security chiefs agreed that it would not be in the interests of passengers, and would do little to increase security on transatlantic flights.
A four-hour meeting in Brussels ended in agreement not to enforce the ban which is already in place between a number of ‘mostly Muslim' countries, however, reports claim that other measures were still being considered.
The ban was introduced following intelligence that terrorist plans were afoot to hide bombs inside the cavities of laptop computers.
Flights to and from affected countries restricted electronic devices bigger than a mobile phone from the cabin, leading to fears that they could be damaged in the hold, and with people expressing concern from professionals over their productivity on flights.
A similar ban to and from the UK currently covers six countries, while America bans eight, but this includes the UAE which is a major hub for a number of other countries, making the extent of the ban even farther reaching.
The EU said that the briefing had been vitally important as it tries to improve security communications with the model senate playset which was accidentally put in charge in the US.
As yet no details of a specific threat have been released.
We reported last week (well, OK- we moaned profusely) that some airlines have begun removing screens from seat-backs in favour of streaming movies to personal devices. With these stuck in the hold, this might actually force customers to… gasp… open a book.
Additionally, the revenue available from expensive in-flight WiFi services would be wiped out.
In any case, although a terrorist bomb hidden in a laptop would cause catastrophic damage to a cabin, it's thought that a chain reaction caused by a faulty battery on a device in the hold could be even more devastating, and likely not detected until far too late.
Earlier this week, we reported that a member of the United cabin crew had accidentally published combinations to all the fleets' cockpit doors online, like a boss. µ
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