The Most Practical Way Airlines Could Avoid The Electronics Ban

As I’m sure just about everyone knows by now, the US has implemented an electronics ban for passengers traveling nonstop to the U.S. from Amman, Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Casablanca, Dubai, Doha, Istanbul, Jeddah, Kuwait City, and Riyadh.

The questionable logic behind the ban

While I don’t question that they’re likely working off of a very credible threat, and while I think it’s important to keep passengers safe, I have a lot of questions about the implementation:

  • The UK has instituted a similar ban and presumably they’re sharing intelligence, so why did the US put the UAE and Qatar on the list, when the UK didn’t?
  • More specifically, there’s a US Pre-Clearance facility in Abu Dhabi with an additional and thorough security screening checkpoint, so why aren’t those flights excluded, because the security is unarguably tighter than if you’re traveling through many European airports?
  • Only direct flights from the above countries are included in the ban, so Emirates’ flights from Dubai to Milan to New York, and Dubai to Athens to Newark, are excluded. Does that really make sense?

US-Pre-Clearance-Facility-2

What I think impacted airlines should do

Maybe I’m in the minority, but as long as I can avoid it, I’m absolutely not booking any travel on airlines impacted by this ban going forward. I feel horribly for the airlines because this ban is really going to hit their bottom lines, but I’m just not going to voluntarily check electronics.

I say that both in terms of the lost productivity, as well as the potential risk of the electronics being stolen or damaged. While I imagine the Gulf carriers won’t suffer too much among low yield leisure travelers, I have to imagine that a lot of business travelers will be avoiding them going forward.

So while it’s not ideal, I think there is a solution that’s a better option than just requiring these electronics to be checked. Carriers should plan “security stops” in Europe to split up the journey. I’ve done this twice in the past year.

For example, last year I flew Pakistan Airlines from Manchester to New York. Their flights from Pakistan to New York stop in Manchester primarily so passengers can be screened, since nonstop flights from Pakistan to the U.S. aren’t allowed for security reasons.

Pakistan-Business-Class-777 - 4

Pakistan-Business-Class-777 - 3

Similarly, just last week I flew Kuwait Airways from Kuwait to New York, and the flight makes a stop in Shannon. They don’t pick up or let off passengers, but rather everyone just goes through security and then gets back on the plane.

Kuwait-777-Business-Class - 1

Kuwait-Shannon

Now, the challenge of course is going to be finding an airport that can accommodate so many passengers. I imagine there are airports in Europe that could handle a few extra A380s a day for the purpose of screening passengers. However, I doubt there’s a single airport that can suddenly accommodate dozens of additional widebody flights a day.

Obviously they’d want to pick a secondary airport, given the lower fees and lower chances of congestion.

While this would cause the flight time to be increased by a couple of hours, there are advantages to this for the carriers:

  • Their fuel burn will be lower, given that they’ll only need eight hours of fuel at a time (give or take), rather than 16; the incremental fuel burn just from carrying additional fuel can be significant
  • Because of that, they’ll in many cases be able to carry more cargo in place of fuel, which could be valuable, especially since these ultra longhaul flights are often weight restricted in some form

Emirates-A380

So financially it could work out for the carriers, and ultimately I can say without a doubt that I’d rather have travel time be two hours longer than to check my electronics in the cargo hold.

Really this just underscores how silly the implementation here is. If you go through security at Abu Dhabi Airport, and then again at the US Pre-Clearance facility (which is super thorough) before boarding, you can’t take on your electronics. Meanwhile if you go through security in Dubai and then get screened again in Milan, you can.

What do you guys think — would you rather be on a flight where electronics are banned, or have a forced security stop for a couple of hours?

Comments

  1. This idea wont work at all. It would destroy their hub complexes/ connecting banks at their home airports in the Middle East and blow all connections with their partner carriers in the US.

  2. So if I want to fly BKK to NYC…I’d have to fly BKK–>DXB–>somewhere in europe–> NYC ummmmm…yea no thanks

  3. @ kajuma — As it stands, would you book BKK-DXB-JFK in spite of the electronics ban, given how many other options there are?

  4. @Lucky – I understand from sources that the TSA has clarified that the Emirates flights via MXP/ATH will also be included in the ban for passengers originating or transiting via Dubai (viz. passengers joining in MXP/ATH will not be subject). This is unconfirmed and unofficial at this point however.

  5. If a drop in business travel on these airlines means lower premium cabin fares, I’ll gladly take advantage of the situation to my benefit, even if it means checking electronics!

  6. @ Sean M. — Interesting! On one hand that makes sense in terms of consistency, while on the other hand it doesn’t. You have to clear security, so what’s the logic of not being able to take them when flying Dubai to Milan to New York on Emirates, but being able to take them when flying Abu Dhabi to Milan on Etihad and Milan to New York on Alitalia? Fun stuff, eh? 😉

  7. Wait. makena stop so I could use a laptop. You’ve GOT TO BE KIDDING ME !!! Everyone can survive and I mean EVERYONE can survive no problem without work for 12 hours. Especially considering most US flights from Middle East have red eye options. SLEEP!!

  8. All direct flights to US should make a security stop in DEL and then fly non stop.

    If Indians have any brains they will try to capitalize on this.

  9. I would prefer the stopover. It would be annoying to go through the additional security but it would be more annoying if my electronics got broken on the trip. Because of the ban, I am open to taking Emirates’s Dubai – Milan – New York flight to get to the US.

  10. @ Ryan — Again, the issue isn’t just not being able to work for 12 hours, it’s the risk associated with damage or theft to your electronics. C’mon now… even if you don’t share this concern, you should understand why this is something others are uncomfortable with.

  11. Exactly I can live without my electronics for the flight but I am not going to take the risk of loss/damage/theft. Also the fact that I would have to check a bag is also a big negative. Like Lucky I will route around this issue as my international travel is all personal tourism. I can be highly flexible in where I go and how I get there.

  12. You do realize that the HLS thinks that there are terrorist coming from these counties, on these airlines, with intention to kill? Why not take their implied advice and stay away from these flying bombs?

  13. @Ryan – I’ll expand on what Lucky says. Not only is there the potential for damage or theft to the electronics themselves, but the potential for stolen credit card numbers, passwords, bank account numbers, etc. You can argue whether this stuff should be kept on your laptop or not, but the reality is, it is. Furthermore, many companies strictly prohibit the checking of work laptops specifically because of the risk of loss of sensitive client and/or commercial information. My previous employer had such a restriction, and if I still worked there, I’d have no choice but to book away from EK/EY/QR on a return trip from India. So yes, there’s going to be some serious damage to F/J bookings.

  14. Not sure this is correct, Lucky, Read some of the articles out and they are apparently updating this to be any flights that “originate” in those airports. The WaPost has a number of updates. I am still not clear on this but I think that the Milan/Athens Emirates flights will not be allowed to carry laptops in the passenger cabin.

  15. Instead of making you check gadgets into the hold in your luggage (which you might not have planned on), couldn’t there be a system of gate-checking gadgets where cabin crew hang onto electronics and hand them back after landing? At the very least for premium cabin passengers where, quite frankly, you just can’t check company laptops into the hold.

  16. @Lucky: you are arguing that the ban won’t affect the me3, as leisure travellers won’t mind that much (as you obviously do).

    However what you miss in your post is that your suggestions will (in my opinion) have an drastic affect on leisure travellers. I can’t imagine a leisure traveller is keen to ly 2+ hours just that business travellers are ble to be productive on a plane 😉

    Therefore implementing your idea will have an huge impact on me3, while the ban itself doesn’t (according to your post)

    Jm2c 😉

  17. What about:
    -Stock computers on board with MS Office/Adobe Acrobat/etc … they could even co-brand with a computer mfr to provide the computers in exchange for sponsorship (“productivity provided by Dell” … whatever)
    -Inform customers they can bring a USB drive onto the plane and do their work on airline-provided computers which will be securely wiped at the hub after every usage
    -Give free wifi to all passengers to facilitate the experience

    Nobody is saying you can’t /use/ a computer … just that you can’t bring your own computer onto the plane… unless I’m misunderstanding? If the airline provides the computers, it seems to skirt around the regulation for now … though if hacking into airplane systems is the concern, it will probably be re-regulated very quickly. Also anyone whose company requires they use secure computers, etc. won’t be able to do this (nor would they be able to check their laptops anyways) … but it’s at least something…

  18. @Roren. Yes, we will blindly follow the mandates of Trump without protest when it’s clear this is a trade war bundled into security. Get updated on facts. HLS sees a threat on a small scale from certain airports that may have poor security and facilities. The Big Three are clearly not and this is all Trump. Perhaps you should take a lesson from Germany in the 1930’s about following without protest the lies and mandates of Government. If you want me to outline facts, as Lucky has, which shows clearly a trade war tactic at our expense I will be happy to.

  19. Maybe it’s time to play with the TSA via legal creativity. Something like this: the government-targeted airline on the ground rents the otherwise banned electronics from the passengers with a rental/lease term for the duration of the flight in an amount that equals the amount that the passengers may rent them back for use in the cabin on the flight.

    Airlines are allowed to rent equipment and charge cabin passengers for rented equipment. Airline-provided equipment in the passenger cabin isn’t currently subjected to the US ban.

    As part of a risk mitigation strategy, the airline could subject such (rented/leased and re-rented/re-leased) electronics to extra screening — including ETD testing — at the gate. Making America great again by toying with the ridiculous regulations that were so “urgent” and “necessary” for “security” that the US ban gave targeted airlines 96 hours to comply after notification.

  20. @Ronen The risk of terrorism on a plane is so low it doesn’t figure into my risk equation. I am much more likely to die in a car accident or at the hands of a fellow American with a gun or other weapon. Not that I spend much time worrying about those either. You can live your life in fear or enjoy it. As to the credibility of DHS that is a whole other can of worms.

  21. To those proposing issuing computers on the plane your are dramatically underestimating the cost and logistics involved. How do you reserve the PC? What guarantee do you have you will get one? If it doesn’t work onboard the passengers will expect support from FAs. There is all the back end work of patching and updating software, etc. And finally many companies prohibit the use of no corporate machines. I’d get fired doing work on an airline issued PC.

  22. @Stuart – yes, this is very similar to Germany in the ’30s. Thank you for reminding me what happened to my family then.

    Lucky may have developed one theory about the business reasons behind this, but implementing such a procedure in this tight schedule certainty shows that there is an imminent threat to passengers.

    Good luck in your future travel with airlines from terror supporting countries.

  23. My big concern is how this may expand. For example I have a trip next week that involves travel to France, Turkey and Israel. Right now I’m good but what if I take my laptop and it expands to include other countries, etc. And then I’m forced to check a bag and check my laptop’s I to that bag. So I’m leaving it at home and will suffer through with my smartphone I guess. #firstworldproblems

  24. What about the ‘sealed bag’ model they use for duty free purchases? You go through security, have your electronic devices screened and then they are handed back to you in a secure/sealed bag that you cannot open until you disembark. And if the ban becomes more permanent or widespread, they could even develop and sell “TSA-approved” bags which cannot be opened or locked other than by the TSA.

    To me, the big concern is not inability to work on a long flight, but fear of loss or (more likely) damage if I were to check a laptop. Although I know that this is about safety first, but I’m wondering if this will have tangible effects on bottom lines. I can imagine at least a portion of business class travelers choosing to fly other carriers instead.

    And finally, why on earth is Abu Dhabi on the list given that it’s an official pre-clearance airport?

  25. @Sean M., Lucky- Just curious, so passengers on EK from Dubai won’t have laptops, tablets and other electronic devices while passengers hopping in at Milan or Athens can do so on the same flight, in other words, what’s stopping someone getting in at Milan or Athens from giving their electronic devices to some passenger from DXB? And how will the TSA enforce this?

    Oh, and looks like Cannada and France are hoping on too: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/aviation/canada-france-considering-electronics-ban

  26. @Ronen. You clearly know little about geopolitics. For example Qatar the capital of which is Doha and included in this ban is a close US military ally. Approximately 10k US troops are posted there.

  27. Ben, While this is a smart idea, I’m not sure how many passengers would want the extra stop, as you said, given the number that are leisure travelers, I would imagine they want to get from point a to be as fast as possible, not me, I love flying, but from the perspective of the majority. For example, I know many people when flying from LAX to Mumbai, as good as SQ is, they avoid it because of that extra stop needed since SQ only operates 5th freedoms out of LAX. I fly from LAX to BOM quite frequently, so certainly wouldn’t mind the extra stop like I said, more flights for me, but hats just my aviation enthusiast perspective. I can’t imagine leisure travelers and business travelers share the same opinion as me, just a thought out there for the people who would need to fly. As it is, from the ME to the US is 12-16 hours roughly and many people would need devices bigger than a phone.

  28. I’m more concerned about thousands more combustion-prone lithium batteries being loaded into the hold, and so any fires unable to be extinguished per cabin procedures, than I am about terrorist undertakings. Hopefully passengers will be aware that all spare batteries and fuel cells (chargers) not in devices are still required to be carried in the cabin. And yes, it does smack of commercial dirty tricks. Surely on any aircraft that has BYOD entertainment or inflight wifi, a device in the hold could be controlled from a cellphone in the cabin anyway? Obviously we don’t know the specific nature of the threat they’re responding to, but on the face of it this move seems to increase, not decrease danger.

  29. Its NOT JUST LAPTOPS!

    We are scheduled to fly CPT-DOH-LAX – with 8 hour layover in DOH.

    If they take the electronics at CPT and (it is stolen) stays in checked bagged in DOH (where what’s left is stolen) we are still stuck in DOHA without – laptop, kindle 1, kindle 2, Kobo 1, Kobo 2, Tablet A, tablet B.

    How boring is an 8 hour lounge stop without a BOOK or e-mail or games? And the 24 hours on the plane – how many crummy movies can you watch at one go?

    I suggested they copy ALASKA AIRLINES with a “cart-to-go” at the loading dock which takes all the valuable electronics at entry and puts it safely in the hold and then immediately returns same electronics to passengers as they disembark.

    I am desperate to change routing. Can’t afford to love brand new toys and really good laptop.

    Hope some sanity comes out of all this.

  30. oops

    Can’t afford to lose expensive laptop and tablets because of them being forced into checked luggage that will sit in CPT for 5 hours, DOH for at least 7 hours and LAX (perhaps 3 hours)

  31. never liked these middle eastern carriers or their hubs.

    But i’m also boycotting the US till that clown is out of office so doesn’t really affect me.

  32. Whenever I’ve taken the JFK-MXP-DXB flight I’ve never had to clear security at MXP. They let us out into the terminal, I hung out in the lounge for a bit, and then we got right back on the plane. I’ve never done the reverse (DXB-MXP-JFK) so I don’t know if there’s screening in that direction. If not, any flight in the terminal at MXP at the same time as the EK stop could be considered “non-sterile” since theoretical terrorists could slip something to a colleague there.

    If this is a trade conspiracy against the ME3, Lucky’s plan would never work. No doubt the ME3 would push for fifth-freedom rights on the EU-US legs, and the EU transit country would probably support that, particularly if it’s a smaller airport getting new/increased TATL service as a result.

    The obvious solution is to improve security at the foreign airports. This should be possible, especially at AUH where there’s already that US-controlled pre-clearance facility. Just bring in US screeners, then all of these flights will have the same level of impenetrable security as the TSA provides for US departures. Oh wait….

  33. @Ryan

    Some travelers don’t have the luxury of being able to “unplug” when traveling on a 10+ hour flight. As telecommuting becomes easier and easier, many people are expected by their employers to be available 24/7 and not being able to access your laptop during business hours on such a long flight (given that most flights from the Middle East to the US occur during US business hours) is going to be a huge problem. It would be one thing if employers were accepting of the new reality and adjusted their expectations (in fact, it would be a reason for me to take one of the flights affected by the ban), but they won’t.

    Even if you still think that its absurd for people not to be able to “unplug” for 12 hours and that they should just sleep, as mentioned above there aren’t that many red eyes on those routes and, at least for me, sleeping for an extended length of time on longhaul daytime flights that arrive in the afternoon/evening will completely mess up my sleep schedule. I might nap here or there on a flight, but I’m going to need something to do for most of the time. These restrictions don’t just ban laptops, but they also ban things like e-readers. While I do and can read books in physical form, I’m a pretty fast reader and, depending on the book, I can easily get through 2-3 books on a flight of that length (even if I pause to eat/nap/watch a few things on the IFE). E-readers were great for travel because I could take as many books as I wanted without having to lug them around with me. Under these rules, I would have to carry all these books around if I wanted enough reading material.

    Finally, and most importantly, the security risks are absolutely huge for all travelers. Even as a tourist, I rarely travel without my computer. The security risks inherent in checking your electronics (coupled with the fact that baggage handlers will be all too aware that high value electronics are far more likely to be in checked luggage than previously) is a huge concern.

  34. @Lucky a thought: What if you have a flight with a layover in DXB while having your bags label for your final destination? If you arrive at DXB with these items still on-hand, how would they handle your belongings? Sure you can’t expect a laptop or camera bag to be checked as an item on its own?

    On the other end, it allows for some ‘abuse’ for LCCs: they will have to allow bags to these destinations to be checked as hold luggage free of charge while theoretically passengers could bring a second full sized trolly as carry on. This is under the assumtion they’ll allow you to check it in at the counter rather than at the gate, (which would mean a major time consumer before boarding).

  35. @Ronen
    “3 US airlines were able to manipulate the whole world just to win market share.”

    No – because the UK has NOT imposed restrictions on the ME3. Only the US has done that. The US airlines appear to have very successfully manipulated the US government.

    Besides, the UK has imposed restrictions which will damage the commercial business of half a dozen UK airlines, including the giants BA and easyJet. As if by magic, the US has managed to avoid *any* damage to the commercial business of any US airline – and, in fact, those airlines stand to gain business from the way the US has framed these regulations.

    What a coincidence. But it’s got nothing to do with dollars – all about security.

  36. I wonder what the cost of purchasing fuel would be at these potential EU airports vs. what they’re paying at home. Assuming it’s higher in the EU, would that offset some/all of the increased cargo revenue plus operating cost savings of carrying less fuel?

  37. I think there’s too much telegraphing of personal impact to the wider audience.

    Emirates shared hard data:

    “on Emirates’ US flights, 90% of passengers using our onboard mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity services do so via their smart phones. Only 6% connect via their laptops, and 4% via their tablets. ”

    This is not the big issue it’s being played out. In one direction, you’ll gate check your laptop, and pick it up in the US.

    No ban on laptops ex-US, and you’ll have it the whole time you’re transiting Dubai.

    Seems pretty sensible.

  38. My primary concern would be the security of my laptop. I have 2 different laptops I travel with. One is an absolute beast at 19″ and very heavy. I would never place this laptop in my checked luggage. My other lighter duty travel laptop could very easily get checked and that would be the one I would take to this region.

    Obviously another issue besides security of our checked electronics is will they fit in our luggage? Will they cause our bags to be over the weight limits for checked bags?

    I would most definitely miss having my iPad for long range flights as I do a lot of reading and reading with an iPhone is not as easy.

    So to answer the question, would I fly a route with the electronics ban….yes I would but I would need to game plan how to better protect my laptop inside of my checked luggage than using just a sleeve cover. I would look to see if they have cases similar to Pelican cases so the laptop would be secure in the luggage. For my camera, I would just pull out the memory card and hope it makes it home safe.

  39. Additional thoughts, if this open up more award space for flights transiting the ME, then yes I would absolutely book if it helps me with a trip that was not previously readily available.

  40. @Secstate:

    Two major bases in Qatar, fivec major bases in Kuwait, an air base in Turkey, and a couple of bases in UAE.

    Not just the soldiers who would go home on R&R, but contractors that support these troops are going to be significantly affected. Most of the contractors out here do fly the ME3 as they are significantly better (and priced way cheaper) and offer way better options.

    Out of Kuwait for example, the “US” flights are flights on Lufthansa, KLM, and BA. In fact, with these three and the destinations that they serve (Frankfurt/Amsterdam/London) there is no further security checks if you are a transferring passenger. In Qatar its only BA or Lufthansa (which the flight is now has a stop in Kuwait) as KLM pulled out of Doha leaving no real SkyTeam presence here outside of Saudia. Not only that, the flights that Lufthansa, KLM, BA fly out to these countries might only have 50% full flights. I took a BA 747 to Kuwait and there were rows of seats empty to where you could stretch out and create a economy bed in the middle section. The same when I flew to Doha was that you could create your own little bed on an A330 from Lufthansa.

    If this ban was about a specific security concern, than they would put the restriction on all passengers with a final destination of the United States irregardless of the

    Furthermore, the lists would be consistent with one another. The UK list which is more thorough in terms of airlines that are subject to the ban to include all airlines that are from specific countries

  41. Nice in theory but no airlines affected by this stupid ban will implement this due to cost, time and many other logistical nightmares that come with having to make an extra stop, not to mention the manpower and security needed just to screen these passengers again.

    These airlines affected will just tell their passengers to suck it up and deal with it. Will they lose business? Yup, most certainly they will. Life will go on and business will carry on as usual. A few months down the road this will all become standard and just another rule we have to follow if we ever want to get anywhere by plane.

  42. Another thought. What if one of these airlines refuses to play to these rules and just allowed business to carry on as per normal? How would TSA even know if someone onboard one of these flights carried electronic equipment with them? Not like they come and check.

  43. I’ve flown out of AUH quite a few times to the US and I honestly don’t see the need for a ban with the preclearance facility, it is by far the most strenuous security I’ve seen at an airport, they made me remove all electronics, and power them on and pass them through the X-ray, they unpacked my whole bag and made me re pack it entirely. Thank god there were electronic kiosks for US passport holders, and all we get is a small croissant stand on the US side, other than the premium lounge which was nice. Unless they have intelligence that we don’t, I really don’t see the logic for this rule to be applied out of AUH.

  44. While I hate to see Boeing become a victim to this trade war as it will cost jobs and advancement within a truly great American brand I am nonetheless relishing an announcement by the Big Three of order cancellations or a big splash of Airbus orders. Trump fired his shot and they should answer back with a clear lesson in the idea that protectionism comes with massive costs in our increasingly global eceonomy.

  45. @Lucky, I fully agree with you. With the exemption on your “Fuel” detail for an extra stop. I’m sure you know that most fuel is burned between taxi and reaching Cruise altitude. For example on a 3 Hour Flight about 35% of the fuel is burned between Push-Back and reaching Cruise Altitude.

  46. I don’t know how many of you are actual business travelers, but I am. I make 10-15 international trips per year, many to the ME and South Asia. All paid J. All high visibility company critical travel with hundreds of millions of dollars at play. I absolutely need the 12-14 hours of uninterrupted time on the plane to catch-up with work and I need a laptop to do it. If I don’t get to use the flight to work, the need to do the work doesn’t go away. It comes out of my family time. I don’t need/want to watch movies when I fly. Flying is the only time I get long stretches of uninterrupted time to work. This directive takes that away from me. I am livid. There is essentially a 0% chance that a plane on which I am flying will be subject to a terrorist attack. Hell, even on 9/11, the odds were overwhelmingly in your favor of not being on a plane subject to a terrorist attack. I would gladly take the virtually 0% risk of a terror attack to keep my flight time productive. To think otherwise is irrational.

  47. The fuel burn will be significantly higher. A plane will burn much more of its fuel on climb and approach x2 than it would from carrying extra fuel. Especially when I’m sure they get a discount on fuel in their home country versus buying it somewhere else. Many airlines tanker fuel from their hubs so as not to have to purchase as much fuel at the outstation.

  48. An extra stop for security is more expensive than you might think. Think about the extra handling, landing, security and technical handling fees. Also crewduty comes into play, so you probably need a new set of crew, new crewmeals, hotels, taxi’s and daily allowances. Three hours extra aircraft utilisation (with an extra take off, thus again stress on the engines) a day would result into an operational, scheduling and technical nightmare. The bit of fuel you might save on the first flight goes down the drain once the aircraft powers down the runway on the 2nd take off. Also these airlines probably pay less for a gallon of fuel than for a gallon of potable water on their home base.

  49. How much more are yiu going to write about this. I mean seriously, you’re upset because your unnecessary trips will become “less productive.” Then stay home. If you need to write, bring pen and paper. I’m so sick of everyone whining about this.
    My company has a policy that we will not check our laptops either, but they sent an email saying that in order to comply with the band they would amend the policy. The sky is not falling. Get a grip everyone. You will survive a long haul flight without the laptop or tablet. You will get the work done.

  50. My biggest concern when I heard about the electronics ban was something else entirely. It was recently explained to me on my Air Canada Express flight that I shouldn’t check my laptop even though it was off because any problems in the battery could potentially cause a small fire, even if the device is off. A small fire in the cabin can be easily put out with a fire extinguisher but a small fire in the hold can quickly become catastrophic. A trade off of safety in the name of security isn’t one I want to make.

  51. you should check out PIA on twitter and Instagram! they are having a field day over this ban LOL.

  52. @Ronen: Not sure how old you are, but placing bombs in the cargo hold of the aircraft used to be the “traditional” way of blowing up aircraft, if not preferred for reasons I’m not going to get into in a public forum. With this new policy, we’re flat-out encouraging it. Trust me, it would take someone no more than 10 minutes to convert a laptop into a timed and/or remote controlled bomb… No hands needed, and undetectable with current (and future) screening methods.

    Terrorism may be scary to some, but it’s not a credible threat, as in you’re very, very, very unlikely to ever be affected directly by it in the West. Case in point: On Sept 11, 2001, 99%+ of people flying that day weren’t on the 4 doomed flights.

    If you really want to go to someplace scary, go to your doctor or hospital. According to Johns Hopkins (well-known US hospital group), doctors are the #3 leading cause of death, responsible for 10% of deaths in the USA…and this is a hospital group saying this. (http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/study_suggests_medical_errors_now_third_leading_cause_of_death_in_the_us)

    There may be a credible threat out there, but the US/UK reaction feels ham-fisted, as they clearly haven’t thought about the ramifications to travelers NOR terrorists.

  53. Tijuana airport has a direct bridge into the US. Carriers like Emirates serving SoCal should look into providing Tijuana service.

  54. DAFT IDEA.PERIOD!!! Fuel is dirt cheap in the Gulf and cheaper than water. Ultra ling hauls from the Gulf make most financial sense than from anywhere else in the world. European stops will mean additional costs associated with expensive european jet fuel, landing and parking fees, crew changeover expenses. Airplanes and flights from the Gulf to distant destinations are most economical.

    Kuwait Aurways and PIA stop at european cities enroute to the US for security screenings enforced by the US. Not that KU and PK asked for it. Both countries have a large virulently anti western population that the US is scared of. No denying it.

    The onus is on the Gulf carriers like EK and TK to be proactive and innovative in carrying electronic goods in a safe and secure manner in the cargo hold. Will they be watching the carho 24/7 . Not a moment when their eye is off the ware. These are hard questions to which airlines need to provide quick answers. EK, TK QR and Etihad will probably do a good job. Not sure about Saudia, KU and the other carriers, knowing how sloppy they are.

    Best to send Trump and fellow despots from the Middle East to Siberia where Putin plays host. Freeze your BUTT

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