Turns Out Trump’s Laptop Travel Restriction Was a Deadly Fire Risk

Aaand now we probably can't take laptops abroad. Period.

October 20, 2017 9:00 am

Among many things, 2017 has been the year of travel bans.  And now, according to a report from the FAA, there could be another on the way: the ban of laptops in checked baggage. 

In a paper filed with the United Nations, the FAA conducted extensive tests showing that a certain type of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries found in laptops have a tendency to explode when stored at high-temperatures or next to objects like aerosol spray cans. 

In one of the tests — which attempted to replicate conditions that can occur after baggage is checked — an 8-ounce aerosol can strapped to a laptop caught fire almost instantly.

The FAA’s report concludes that explosions caused by overheated batteries are capable of disabling a plane’s fire suppression system and starting a fire that could lead to “the loss of the aircraft.” As a result, the FAA is asking the UN to consider a ban on checking large, personal electronic devices like laptops on international flights. The UN will discuss the ban next week. 

It’s worth mentioning that earlier this year the Trump administration imposed a ban on laptops in cabins of planes coming in the country from 10 Middle Eastern airports for security reasons.

The only way to fly with the restriction? By stuffing laptop into your checked baggage. Luckily, the ban was fully lifted in July.


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