We’re Way Past Farce, US Considers Extending Laptop Ban to European Flights

Via Skift the U.S. is considering extending the electronics ban beyond just Middle Eastern airports to U.S.-bound flights from the U.K..

U.S. President Donald Trump is reportedly considering extending his laptop ban to the UK.

Two UK newspapers, The Times and The Guardian, carried stories quoting anonymous sources that suggested the current proposals might widen the current U.S. laptop ban to include one of the U.S.’s biggest allies.

This would be one way to answer the criticism of the laptop ban that it targets only airports with flights operated by competitors of U.S. airlines.

The UK’s Guardian newspaper says the policy under consideration is a ban on electronics larger than a smartphone on flights to the U.S. from European airports, not only those from the U.K.

Of course many stupid things are considered all the time and most do not come to fruition. Even things that aren’t seriously being considered are leaked as though they’re real to shift the focus of debate or to make ‘compromise’ decisions appear more reasonable. I do not expect a laptop ban that’s extended specifically and narrowly to flights from the U.K. I dearly hope that a European ban doesn’t come to fruition, it’s a silly policy that doesn’t promote security and the head of world airline association and standards setting body IATA has called for its end.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. If I had a dollar for every ‘news’ story based on an anonymous source that ended up being bogus I’d be quite a bit wealthier in 2017

  2. So what happens God forbid that an incident happens linked to a lap top? Just saying.

    I travel a lot for business both domestic and international travel is becoming less and less fun. No one seems to listen to the flight crews and “its all about themselves” no decorum on many flights of late. The planes are packed, crews are stretched and the planes dirty and getting worse. Thankfully for me I am up front.

    When in Paris last it was like an armed camp.

  3. I believe nuclear plants should always be staffed with competent people that can handle any situation.
    I believe that hospitals and medical facilities should likewise be fully staffed.
    beyond the above and similar, I can’t accept that anybody is so important that the world can not continue a few hours with those people out of contact and not in front of a laptop.
    I ran a major import/export operation and did so without tablets/smartphones or internet at 35.000 feet.

  4. I’ve stumbled on the State Dept’s complicated algorithm. I’m sure this is confidential so please keep it on the down low…

    Nationalism = stay at home = make travel as unpleasant as possible

  5. @Charles this issue for many including myself is not so much that we are out of our devices while on board (that is not a big deal for me as I like the downtime) but it is the risk of theft and damage from checked devices. This is further compounded by the limits for liability airlines place on checking such things and insurance also tends to be difficult to get on such things.

    P.S. I also love how folks get so wound up about terrorism yet American drivers and gun owners kill vastly more Americans than terrorists do each year. We all take risks every day. My concerns about being killed by a terrorist despite a lot of travel is way down on my list.

  6. Farce? Ha. Get used to it. I’m sure Spicer could come up with a great explanation if this ridiculous idea was implemented.

  7. @ghostrider5408: The risk of being killed by terrorism generally, not to mention in an airliner specifically, is way, way, way lower than myriad other everyday events including slips and falls, car accidents, fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, pedestrian accidents, accidental poisoning, gunshot (accidental and purposeful), suicide, the list goes on. This doesn’t even count diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

    It’s a matter of objectively weighing risks (including the likelihood of occurrence with the impact) with the tradeoffs in methods to avoid or mitigate said risks.

    If society will only accept traveling if there is a 0% chance of a successful terrorist incident, then we may as well park all of the airplanes now and be done with it. Life has inherent risks – even staying sheltered in one’s home doesn’t preclude risk of injury or death.

    And agree that it isn’t about being “too important” to not have a laptop along…it’s about loss, damage, and theft to expensive electronics – cameras and other gear, too. Sure insurance can be an option but policies have exclusions and loopholes – and insurers are quick to try and get out of paying if possible. That’s why the advice has always been “Never put electronics or valuables in checked baggage”

  8. But isn’t safety the most important thing? Sometimes the cost of safety is giving up some of our freedoms.

  9. Indeed, just wait till a lithium ion battery in a checked laptop catches fire. In that case it seems the cost of safety would be giving up DHS’ freedoms.

  10. What I would be worried about having to put all our expensive electronic devices in our checked baggage is the increased risk of theft (as well as batteries catching fire)!

  11. Anybody know what part of Europe are the southern white Americans from.

    Why are they so dumb. Is. It the genes or the water?
    Yes, to answer your question, I just recently stopped beating my wife.

  12. Ugh. Well the Trumpkins (the core of his voters) who rarely leave their state, let alone the country will love this. A “win” in the name of “security” that has no direct impact on them.

    Add to the concerns about damage and theft if computers must be put in checked luggage – the fact that I then HAVE to check something, meaning the benefits of travelling carry-on only goes away.

    Hopefully the U.S. airline lobby is powerful enough to shut this down before it goes any further.

  13. Better extend it to domestic flights too. What’s to stop the same terrorist from flying here on any airline from anywhere, buying a device in the U.S., and blowing up a domestic flight? Obviously if they were going to be flying to the U.S. from anywhere they already have clearance to come.

    Actually why not just require everyone to take nothing along and fly nude, after, of course, body cavity inspections? Maybe then we’ll get enough safety.

    Yes, I’m being sarcastic.

  14. For the love of God Emperor, just give us some freaking notice. I’d sooner leave my laptop at home than check it.

  15. Buy a REALLY, REALLY cheap laptop (I got one for $149. last week; If you only need e-mail and office apps, you can do that through the cloud. Don’t save ANYTHING on it).

    Leave your SLR and all those lenses you spent thousands on just for travel at home and be satisfied with the picture quality of your smartphone.

    Unfortunately, this is our future. Get used to it…

  16. I travel frequently (domestic and international) and I’m not as concerned with not having access to my devices (although I agree with the ineffectiveness mentioned above), but with the safety of the lithium batteries in the cargo hold and having to check a bag in the first place. I don’t see a lot of comment regarding checking a bag, but I currently almost never do which is far more convenient and it saves a lot of time on arrival. Obviously I’d be ok with that if this policy actually made a difference.

  17. So here’s my problem – how can we believe anything the authorities say

    cell phones interfere with navigation (altho evidence was to the contrary) until it doesn’t
    wifi on planes isn’t safe – until they find a way to sell it -then suddenly it IS safe
    Li batteries CAN’T BE CHECKED – and now they (in some cases) HAVE TO BE
    Safety isn’t the issue – leaders who don’t understand science or evidence and the force of those with a financial interest seem to be more important than facts 🙁

  18. Do you really think corporate America won’t rise up in arms over this?

    Alternatively, I predict an implementation, followed by a fee-based service for securely gate-checking one’s electronic devices. If there’s money to be made on a solution, that solution will be found.

  19. Never has taking my beat up, fully depreciated, 10 year old VAIO while traveling made more sense. If I hook it to my USB3 128Gb thumb drive, high value critical data stays in my possession while a low value laptop goes in the hold.

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