U.S. electronics on flights ban may not be just about security

NY time Tuesday to carriers that fly between the airports located in eight countries and the U.S. Any electronic device larger than a mobile phone – such as laptop computers and portable DVD players – will have to go in the airplane’s cargo hold in a move to address potential security threats, according to administration officials who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity Monday evening.

On Tuesday, Britain joined the U.S.in banning travelers on some direct, US -bound flights from airports in Muslim-majority countries from bringing tablets, laptops, and other portable electronic devices larger than a smartphone with them on board when they fly.

Travel advocates continue to express concern and frustration over the latest airline-centric move by the Trump administration-a ban on carrying on electronic devices bigger than a cellphone into the cabin of certain airplanes.

The new regulation forces people flying to the US from 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa to put any electronics larger than a cell phone into their checked bags.

The electronic travel ban is not-so-surprising considering the President’s rhetoric concerning Muslim-majority countries.

“We are working with the airlines”, a Downing Street spokesman confirmed to AFP, adding that “passengers should contact their airlines to find out if it applied to them”. Which is why the rules achieve the desired result, since the logistics of a selective ban would be even worse. We can’t take the direct flight to the US! 6,600 academics have signed a pledge to boycott all global conferences held in the USA in response to Trump’s first “Muslim Ban”.

Others aren’t so sure that security issues are the only forces at play. “Not a chance”, said Washington, D.C. -based writer and photographer Emily Troutman, via Twitter.

Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways have been battling lobbying from major United States carriers which have accused them of receiving unfair subsidies, charges the Gulf carriers deny.

No. As part of the legal agreements that allow commercial airlines to enter U.S. airspace, they must abide by TSA security rules.

No United States airline like Delta, American, or United fly non-stop to or from those countries. “If you’re booked on the Emirate non-stop from Dubai to the US, see if they’ll move you to one of their one-stops through Milan or Athens”, he said.

The Trump administration has once again targeted Middle Eastern travellers to the US. I don’t know what portion of travelers is flying for business and needs their laptop on the plane.

For travellers, it is not just the inconvenience of not being able to work on a laptop or tablet during the flight, but for the business traveller, travelling with carry-on luggage only will no longer be an option. And you could do that from airports that surely have far more lax security procedures than Dubai International.

Others agree with that assessment.

The ban covers devices which are larger than a typical smartphone measuring 16cm by 9.3cm by 1.5cm.

“We have reason to be concerned”, the agency said – but did not address any specific threat. “Transport Canada continuously assesses our security and makes adjustments whenever needed”.

“The corporate segment is the one that brings more revenue”.

“If you’re trying to travel onwards on to India, you might be best advised to travel with a different airline”, he says.

TSA, DHS Will Bar Electronic Devices On Some Overseas Flights