Finally, after four months of scrutiny and self-harming public outrage, the electronics ban has finally been lifted.
The ban was put into place back in March 2017 which forbid passengers flying from 10 airports to the Middle East countries from carrying handheld electronics, like laptops and iPods. On Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security officially lifted the ban, according to Reuters.
With enhanced security measures in place, all restrictions on large PEDs announced in March for 10 airports/9 airlines have been lifted.
— DHS Spokesperson (@SpoxDHS) July 19, 2017
King Abdulaziz International Airport and King Khalid International Airport in Saudi Arabia were the last ones to lift the ban, with other airlines already removing the restrictions in recent weeks.
The United States put a ban on all electronics, larger than a smartphone, to be carried onto an incoming flight to the US from nine airlines. These included Egypt Air, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Saudia Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, and Royal Jordanian Airlines, which operated from nearly ten airports in the Middle East.
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No specific threats were confirmed, yet the ban was put into place after US intelligence suggested that the terrorists are planning on hiding explosives in the batteries of devices such as laptops.
DHS Secretary John Kelly, who works for the Aspen Security Forum, revealed that officials have actually tested out a laptop bomb inside an airplane.
“To say the least, it destroyed the plane,” he said, according to The Daily Beast.
John Kelly said DHS tested a laptop bomb on a real airplane. "To say the least, it destroyed the plane." #AspenSecurity
— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) July 19, 2017
The ban has been lifted after placing new and more rigorous restrictions for U.S. bound flights from these areas, as well as Canada and Mexico.
The new measures include canine screenings, frisking of personal devices, and “increased security protocols.”
So while you’ll get harassed at the airport like never before, at least you’ll have your laptop to make the ordeal a little less painful.