UK and US Travel Ban and Electronics Ban. I call Shenanigans
There’s a new US Travel Ban going into place, and it’s not either one of Trump’s failed travel bans. This one is potentially even more crippling. Sometime in the next few days, you will not be able to bring any large electronics into the cabin of the aircraft if you’re coming on a direct flight from one of a dozen or so named countries. And I’m calling bullshit.
This US ban, under the fake guise of national security concerns, affects only foreign carriers, and only coming from certain foreign airlines. Those airlines are:
Egypt Air, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, Saudia and Turkish Airlines
Notice anything? Notice the lack of Delta, American, United, etc? Notice the lack of British, Air France, KLM, etc?
Need I remind you that the failed “shoe bomber” attempt was on an American Airlines flight?
Need I remind you that the failed “underwear bomber” was on a Northwest Airlines flight?
Middle Eastern Carriers US carriers aren’t on the list, even though they have been targeted in the past for terrorism and terrorist threats. Explain that one to me? Oh wait, you can’t. Some might say it’s because there are no direct flights to those airports from the US carriers, and while that is true, they certainly take connections from their airline partners.
The UK ban targets both British and International Carriers. Those are:
British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2.com, Monarch, Thomas Cook, Thomson, Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airways, Atlas-Global Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Egyptair, Royal Jordanian, Tunis Air and Saudia.
Wow, British Airways flights aren’t going to be allowed to have laptops and CAMERAS in your carry-on luggage? That isn’t something that should be taken lightly. On our flights, we seldom check bags because of the ridiculous amount of time it wastes, and the concerns over theft and damage to our things.
There’s no secret that there is a lot of hate between the Big 3 Middle East carriers and the big US Carriers and their lobbying groups. It wouldn’t surprise me that if there were some lobbying groups that were behind this ban under the guise of a security threat, especially considering the legal troubles that the Trump Travel Ban has been having in the courts. If you truly wanted to make this about national security, the ban would apply to all airlines coming from these countries, not just these carriers from large Muslim population countries.
What’s supposed to happen when you’re connecting on one of these carriers? Lets say you’re flying (like we did) from Johannesburg, South Africa to Doha, Qatar, and then on to Dallas, Texas? Am I supposed to collect my luggage in Doha, re-clear security, and then get my laptop in my luggage? Or do I not get to use any of my equipment on the Africa flight because my final destination is the USA?
What about security of the aircraft itself? The FAA had a lithium ion battery ban in the holds of aircraft in place for quite sometime, and now that seems to be superseded by this ban.
How about theft of my belongings? For years airlines have said “don’t put any valuable electronics in your luggage because they could be stolen.” Now I’ve got to trust the baggage handlers to now jack my luggage and throw it everywhere, damaging potentially sensitive electronics? Come on now, be serious.
This is obviously a developing story with more details to come, but the airlines have until Friday to comply.