Just when we thought travel couldn’t get any worse, they took away our computers. The ever expanding electronics ban could prove to be a watershed moment in the travel industry. What started as a controversial move, which many have accused of being a political stunt aimed at protecting US airlines, is now making landfall in Europe, leaving business and leisure travelers reeling. With little option and less official information, there’s a lot we know…

“Highly Likely” Electronics Ban Will Extend To All Flights From Europe, UK To US Indefinitely…

Rumors from several credible sources suggest that the Trump White House will announce an expansive ban on all electronics larger than a cellular phone from the European Union to the United States, as soon as Wednesday of this week. The move would affect millions of business and leisure travelers alike, along many of the world’s most trafficked travel routes. As airlines boast record profits and passenger traffic, this could represent a damning blow to the industry. Transatlantic routes account for much of a given airlines positive revenue, taking advantage of expensive business travel at high premiums. No laptop, and many will say no travel.

Why Doesn’t The Electronics Ban Apply In Reverse?

This is the question worth asking, over and over again. Can we really assume that European Union nations and the United Kingdom would ignore credible threat warnings? No, we cannot. If there are credible threats from Europe to the U.S. flights, how likely is it none exist in reverse? Is the flailing TSA the impenetrable decider? The original U.S. electronics ban, imposed almost exclusively on Middle Eastern carriers, was seen by many as a highly politicized move to defend US airlines from increased competition. This move, in which all airlines, U.S. and abroad would be affected, is already, even before potential enactment seen as an attempt to deflect that very notion. It could potentially protect safety. The space to watch is whether European nations enact similar restrictions on flights from the U.S.

In Experience, There’s More Worry About U.S. Screening Procedures Than European Efforts, Making This A Very Precarious Move…

I travel frequently between the US and Europe. On my most recent flight to the European Union my wife accidentally passed liquids far over the 100ml allowance through TSA security at JFK. The items were flagged, but without inspection they were cleared and continued on board the flight to our European destination. This is one of many, many mishaps, from the so called “professionals” at the TSA, increasingly distracted with phones, co workers and feeble romantic passes at passengers. The TSA is a proven failure. Going through security in the UK and Europe on the other hand, I feel as if I am dealing with properly trained and motivated professionals with a heightened sense of alert. Screenings are thorough, the people conducting them are involved and I feel genuinely safe.

What Can Travelers Do To Make Due?

IF enacted, business travelers reliant on laptop access and connectivity are left with very dim prospect, with leisure travelers facing fewer entertainment options. Historically, when valuable items have been forced into cargo, theft levels have risen precipitously. Throw in increasing corporate security woes, and it’s very hard to simply hand over sensitive electronic devices. Leisure travelers would be advised to download any content they hope to view onto their cellular phone and bring a USB charger so that they may utilize seat power throughout the flight. Business travelers will want to inquire with corporate IT departments in advance in regards to utilizing remote access laptops while abroad, potentially leaving their device at home. If bringing a personal laptop on a flight to the U.S. is a must, business travelers should consult their corporate cyber security teams in advance for proper procedures on securing their laptop before handing it over to baggage. Of course, all travelers will want to make sure their personal electronic devices are photographed at the airport counter (and insured beforehand)…

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