Try this alternative to banning laptops and tablets on planes, airline group says

As U.S. security officials consider expanding a ban on laptops, tablets and other such electronic devices in the cabins of commercial flights, an airline trade group proposed tightening security measures instead.

Passengers on flights to the U.S. from eight Middle Eastern and African countries already are banned from carrying on electronic devices larger than a cellphone. On Wednesday, U.S. Homeland Security officials were in Brussels talking with European Union leaders about possibly banning those devices on flights from Europe too.

An official who attended Wednesday"™s meeting told the Associated Press that an extended ban to include Europe was "off the table" for now. The Department of Homeland Security issued a statement Wednesday saying only that further discussions with European Union officials will continue next week in Washington, D.C.

Expanding the ban to flights from Europe could cost travelers $1.1 billion a year in lost productivity and added travel time, the International Air Transport Assn., which represents 265 airlines worldwide, said in a Tuesday letter to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly and Violeta Bulc, the European Commission"™s transport commissioner…

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