Whoa: Electronics Are Now Banned From Checked Bags On US-Bound Flights?!

Update: The DHS spokesperson claims that TAP Portugal is incorrect, and that there are “no current restrictions on large PEDs in checked bags.”

As of now this is still very much “developing,” though it potentially has huge implications. Let’s keep in mind that we first found out about the US electronics ban when Royal Jordanian leaked it on their Facebook page.

Well, now another airline has posted something interesting on their Facebook page. Earlier I posted about how the US seems to be implementing new security requirements for US-bound flights from several countries today. TAP Portugal wrote on their Facebook page that as of today electronic devices larger than smartphones are banned from checked bags on US-bound flights. Per their announcement:

Traveling to the USA – new security rules

TAP alerts its Customers with travel to or via the United States of America for the new rules for electronic devices transportation on board.
As of July 19, 2017, as determined by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA), it will not be allowed to carry electronic devices that are larger than a conventional smartphone in the checked baggage.
Electronic devices that are larger than a smartphone may be carried in cabin luggage, but may be screened at boarding gates through explosive detection systems (EDS).
For more information, please check the TSA website at www.tsa.gov.

This is the first I’ve heard of this, so I can’t personally vouch for whether or not this is true. If so, I’m not sure if it only applies for certain countries (in which case Portugal seems like an odd choice), or if TAP Portugal is misinterpreting a new security directive.

If this is in fact the case, then I can’t help but laugh at the fact that we’re going from having electronics banned from the cabins of flights, to having electronics banned from the cargo hold. I guess having some element of mystery and unpredictability will help keep us safe. 😉

Fortunately this wouldn’t be a big deal, since I don’t recommend checking electronics anyway. Furthermore, I think there’s actually a legitimate reason behind this, which is the increased risk of fire in the cargo hold if an electronic device sets fire, without any way to put it out.

Has anyone seen anything else about electronics being banned from checked bags?

(Tip of the hat to Mauricio)

Comments

  1. I’ve been thinking for a while now that eventually electronics will be banned from cargo and from the cabin.

  2. if you want all of your electronics to dissapear, go ahead and check them in.

    They will be on sale at an auction site soon

  3. Curious what checking a bag will look like then, will you have to wait for it to be screened? If not what happens if you do check an electronic and they scan it later on?

  4. @raksian you literally cannot do that in the technological age we live in. People need a way for their electronics to come with them for work, whether that’s checked (unsafe) or in the cabin (much safer). Lucky wouldn’t have a job.

  5. Airlines have long banned lithium ion batteries in checked luggage, so isn’t this just a new version of an already existing policy?

  6. In the future, all electronics, luggage and clothing will be banned and everyone will have to fly naked.

  7. “Fortunately this wouldn’t be a big deal,…”

    You are wrong. This is a big deal. It showed the process of decision making in US Government related to safety of airline passenger. Two contradictory directives, each for safety reason.

    It makes you wonder, what if shit happens? What if they still wrong? Is safety just try and error and re-try? What if shit already happened but a good cover-up was in place? Are they really there for our safety? Is the hard earned money we pay in taxes really goes back to us?

  8. Hahaha from being banned in the cabin to being banned in the cargo hold. At least this makes sense from a lithium ion safety point of view.

  9. @raksian & @ben – I already have my technical demo equipment shipped via FedEx when I travel from Canada to the US for technical business trips, even though the equipment stays with me and gets shipped back at the end of the trip. It’s just too much hassle to ensure the correct paperwork for import & export of electronics is on me when I go through Customs. If one tiny aspect of the paperwork is not in absolute compliance you get rejected and you can’t get on your flight. So when I travel, the equipment is shipped to my hotel in advance and FedEx clears it through US Customs. Then I drop it off at a FedEx store on the last day for shipment back to Canada. Could this be where this is all headed? Please tell me we won’t have to pre-ship our computing devices!

  10. This will be killer for people like myself who travel with a crew of 6 people checking in musical instruments/equipment that’s largely electronic.

  11. @James – great comment.

    Also, just my opinion, I am really not sure what is all this actually about. Security? $$$?

    (James’ comment for those who do not remember what he wrote:

    “Fortunately this wouldn’t be a big deal,…”

    You are wrong. This is a big deal. It showed the process of decision making in US Government related to safety of airline passenger. Two contradictory directives, each for safety reason.

    It makes you wonder, what if shit happens? What if they still wrong? Is safety just try and error and re-try? What if shit already happened but a good cover-up was in place? Are they really there for our safety? Is the hard earned money we pay in taxes really goes back to us? )

  12. So I’m flying from Dublin to the US tomorrow, and I fully intend on packing my drone in my suitcase. What the hell is all this about?!?! What’s gonna happen if it’s not allowed in the suitcase then?!

  13. @Jesse – IF they refuse to check in your drone (I’m saying IF), then either you leave it behind or, have it delivered to the States via UPS/FedX… Oh, and don’t forget to be well early at the airport prior to the departure.

  14. What idiots. You can’t have cameras in checked luggage, they’d get destroyed bouncing around all over the place.

  15. This is good. It keeps the terrorists guessing. They will never know what that crazy Trump will do next, ha ha ha. They’ll just give up and go home, saying “Drat, foiled again!”.

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