Friday, May 19, 2017

Passenger arrest in Honolulu could complicate deliberations about the in-cabin electronics ban even on domestic flights

A man originally from Turkey was arrested in Honolulu today after, under fighter escort, his American Airlines flight from Los Angeles landed.

On the flight, the man had hovered near a bathroom near the cockpit, and then tried to enter the cockpit with laptop in hand.

Heavy has a story with pictures here.

A Hawaii news site has more details here.

Authorities will certainly look at the laptop, given all the attention recently to intelligence suggesting explosives could be hidden in the battery component. A theoretical (at least) concern is that someone could send a laptop from the Middle East in checked luggage and then use it on a US domestic flight, unless US normal security would definitely have caught it.

That could be relevant to discussions of the electronics inflight ban coming up on flights from Europe. Could it even extend to domestic?

The passenger had behaved erratically in other aspects and been arrested once already.  He could have been kept off the flight for other reasons.

Update: May 29

The TSA might ban laptops in cabins from all outgoing and incoming international flights, story.

Note that in the past, the TSA has recommended that passengers not put laptops in checked baggage because they would be damaged.  Duh....

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