Extended Airline Ban On Electronics Could Prove Costly

Traveling has never been a simple venture for anyone to undertake, but the recent travel ban instituted on large electronics in airline cabins hasn't helped the situation. And if the ban gets extended into the summer, it could cause more headaches and prove quite costly.

Most Frustrating Way To Travel

The original ban, put in place in March, banned large electronics, like laptops, in airline cabins on U.S.- and UK-bound flights from several predominantly Muslim nations. The ban was sparked by a government belief that terrorist groups had put renewed efforts into making bombs that could be hidden in devices, like tablets and laptops, making these harder to detect.

This implies that a finished bomb could get through airport security, which, in some cases, still lacks the tools to detect certain materials. A would-be bomber could also slip the pieces onto a plane separately to make the bomb in flight.

The ban, expected to run through October this year, may also be extended in the States to include nonstop inbound flights from Europe. European and U.S. representatives were expected to meet this week to discuss the potential ban extension. This extension could, potentially, jump the number of affected flights up from 50 to more than 400 flights a day.

The situation is made more complicated because if the ban was extended, it would be a quick implementation - leaving airlines little time to make the necessary adjustments.

Any Alternatives?

In response to this news, the International Air Transport Association, a global airlines group that represents more than 250 airlines, asked for the representatives to find an alternative to a larger ban. It echoed the sentiments of airlines, saying that the ban could create more problems than it may solve. It could also cost passengers more than a billion dollars.

The ban could also create new safety risks, given the fire risk modern batteries could present in the plane's hold.

The timing of this couldn't come at a worse time for travelers, given the amount of traveling that occurs over the summer. The aforementioned costs create a new headache - one without a remedy - for both sides, considering the busy travel season.

It could be even worse for the airlines themselves, considering that airlines are reliant on selling upgraded seats and the need to train and re-train staff around the extension. So while flying is the fastest, safest way to travel across continents, the electronics ban could make it the most complicated too.

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