Homeland Security expected to extend electronics ban to European flights
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - The Department of Homeland Security is expected to announce the electronics ban could be expanded to European flights. The ban prohibits anything bigger than a smart phone to be carried on certain flights.
Flying to the United States from Europe or the United Kingdom in the coming months may not be smooth sailing for some travelers as reports surface that the biggest electronic device passengers could carry on is a phone.
“I’m not sure if it makes sense,” said Lesley Williams of San Jose. “Being someone who travels with a small child, if they extend it to iPads that's a nightmare for us.”
At the British Airways counter at Mineta San Jose Airport, travelers had strong opinions over checking in their laptops and tablets. Williams flies to Europe at least once a year with her child keeping his iPad with him. From a parent’s perspective she calls the ban an extra layer of hassle.
“I’m not pleased about it,” said Williams. “If there's a genuine security risk, okay, fair enough but from what I’ve read about it, it suggests it's not the case.”
Business travelers who work during the flight are also upset.
“To me it's a little ridiculous,” said Linda Klinger of Sacramento. “There's so many ways you can put explosives and things in other gadgets.”
“I think it's a lot of rubbish,” said Marc Roussel of London. “I don't understand why. Trump is just getting paranoid.”
The policy is already in place for flights out of 10 Middle Eastern and African airports. The concern is electronic devices could be stuffed with explosives and detonated mid-flight. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly alluded to changes last month.
“It’s real,” said Kelly. “I think it's getting realer so to speak.”
Experts warn terrorists are trying to find new ways to kill innocent people.
“The radical Islamist terrorists have never given up on using airplanes as a device to kill Americans and that's why they experiment with plastic bombs,” said Fox News Military Analyst Gen. Jack Keane. “That's why they put bombs in the human anatomy and they're using computers.”
For those safety reasons, at least one traveler said he supports the ban.
“I think it's a good idea in a bad situation,” said Jan Durez of San Jose. “If someone puts a bomb in it we cannot let it happen.”
The new policy could be announced by the end of this month before the summer travel rush.