U.S. to expand laptop ban to all flights that flunk safeguards

The Trump administration is threatening to expand its laptop ban to all U.S.-bound flights from anywhere in the world for airlines that fail to take additional security measures against concealed explosives, DHS plans to announce Wednesday.

The restrictions would also apply to checked luggage — not just to the carry-on bags targeted by a more limited ban the U.S. imposed for some Middle Eastern airports in March. That additional provision would make the ban considerably more onerous for business travelers, but would also avoid the dangers of stacking laptops and their flammable lithium batteries inside planes’ cargo holds.

But the new measures could also allow several foreign-owned airlines to escape the existing laptop ban that the U.S. imposed in March for carry-on luggage from 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa, if they adopt the additional screening procedures.

The U.S. hasn’t announced when the new restrictions would take effect but said some airlines could adopt the enhanced security procedures as early as this summer.

Like the initial ban, the expanded restrictions would apply to electronic devices larger than a cellphone, including laptops, tablets and e-readers.


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