US & EU decide against banning phones & tablets on flights from Europe

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in General Discussion
Officials from the U.S. and the European Union have reportedly decided against a ban on travelers carrying devices like Apple iPads and MacBooks in the cabin while on flights from Europe.




The decision came after a four-hour meeting in Brussels discussing threats to aviation, according to the BBC. Previously, the U.S. was considering expanding a phone and tablet ban imposed on flyers from Turkey, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait.

Instead the U.S. and E.U. are considering alternate measures for dealing with threats against airlines, officials said.

Concerns had been raised about possible bomb plots using converted laptops, although no specific threats have been shared with the public. The U.K. also imposed a similar ban on six countries.

While reasons for rejecting the European ban are unknown, one may be worries about keeping so many lithium-ion batteries together in a plane's cargo hold. If a fire were to break out, the damage could be lethal, especially since the crew would have a hard time reacting -- if at all.

Such a ban might also create chaos given the number of business and tourist travelers who cross the Atlantic each day. Making sure electronics are checked would likely hamper already slow times at airports like Heathrow, Schiphol, and Tegel, and generate many complaints from people wanting to do work or at least be entertained on 7- to 8-hour flights.

Similar complaints have been made in the Middle East, but European traffic may be considered too big to ignore and only an indirect threat to the U.S.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,771member
    Perhaps they should go back to the policies of having the devices turned on and examined by a human in addition to x-rays. I think it would be pretty difficult to put an explosive inside a laptop and still have it operate normally. Better than just checking it in the luggage. They shouldn't even let you check it in as luggage because it would pass the luggage scan but could potentially be a bomb in disguise. I fly a lot and these terrorists really worry me.
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 2 of 14
    kiowavtkiowavt Posts: 78member
    FYI: Headline says one thing, ("phones & tablets") and article another ("devices like Apple iPads and MacBooks") so I have to go now to other sites to be sure I know what's what.
    applecoredSpamSandwichanantksundaram
  • Reply 3 of 14
    wonkothesanewonkothesane Posts: 1,344member
    Actually, the cargo topic is valid: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/UPS_Airlines_Flight_6

    Other than that: good that Apple appears to take product validation serious such that iOS devices in general can be taken off the list of potential hazards in flight. 
  • Reply 4 of 14
    rotateleftbyterotateleftbyte Posts: 1,045member
    I think that this is only a temporary stay.
    In the long term certain TLA's will want people to fly in orange jumpsuits (bare feet naturally) chained to their seats and with no baggage in the hold or cabin.
    Just because it might be possible to do something bad while flying.


    retrogustor00fus1
  • Reply 5 of 14
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,158member
    I think that this is only a temporary stay.
    In the long term certain TLA's will want people to fly in orange jumpsuits (bare feet naturally) chained to their seats and with no baggage in the hold or cabin.
    Just because it might be possible to do something bad while flying.


    From what I read, it sounds like the ban still could happen, but probably after the summer. 
  • Reply 6 of 14
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,158member
    volcan said:
    Perhaps they should go back to the policies of having the devices turned on and examined by a human in addition to x-rays. I think it would be pretty difficult to put an explosive inside a laptop and still have it operate normally. Better than just checking it in the luggage. They shouldn't even let you check it in as luggage because it would pass the luggage scan but could potentially be a bomb in disguise. I fly a lot and these terrorists really worry me.
    Do you know when they actually stopped doing that? Personally, I think airports need to invest in more bomb sniffing dogs. While people are waiting to go through security, have the dogs go down the line to check everyone.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 712member
    Airlines have lost (or "lost") my bags so many times that I'm always a little leery about putting anything of value in them. Encryption can provide some protection from data theft, but once a device is not in your physical possession, it is vulnerable to certain kinds of tampering, not to mention damage from careless handling. I bet insurance claims would go up a lot if suddenly everybody was putting laptops and tablets in their checked luggage, because not everybody would lay out the extra cash for a good hard case. 
    r00fus1
  • Reply 8 of 14
    r00fus1r00fus1 Posts: 65member
    Airlines have lost (or "lost") my bags so many times that I'm always a little leery about putting anything of value in them. Encryption can provide some protection from data theft, but once a device is not in your physical possession, it is vulnerable to certain kinds of tampering, not to mention damage from careless handling. I bet insurance claims would go up a lot if suddenly everybody was putting laptops and tablets in their checked luggage, because not everybody would lay out the extra cash for a good hard case. 
    Bingo. If they were to force me to put my work laptop in the hold, I'd be forced to essentially not travel with it. Company policy indicates it can't be out of my control (though we do FDE and other control measures, having console access to the device is game-over).
  • Reply 9 of 14
    mobirdmobird Posts: 111member
    I think that this is only a temporary stay.
    In the long term certain TLA's will want people to fly in orange jumpsuits (bare feet naturally) chained to their seats and with no baggage in the hold or cabin.
    Just because it might be possible to do something bad while flying.


    Welcome to "CON AIR"👍
  • Reply 10 of 14
    anomeanome Posts: 1,258member
    I think that this is only a temporary stay.
    In the long term certain TLA's will want people to fly in orange jumpsuits (bare feet naturally) chained to their seats and with no baggage in the hold or cabin.
    Just because it might be possible to do something bad while flying.


    I don't know about that. There's an awful lot of ways you could potentially use an orange jumpsuit to either hide, or manufacture explosives. I don't think they should take that risk.

    And those seats look pretty risky, too.

  • Reply 11 of 14
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,021member
    Countries that enact this sort of ban might as well put up a big sign saying "Closed for Business".
     
  • Reply 12 of 14
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 3,225member

    Governments are just making it more and more inconvenient for the common man. Just because it is easier to have a blanket ban rather than actually doing some research and coming up with ways to identify unconventional threats, they do it.

    If they decide to ban laptops from in-cabin luggage, what's to say that some terrorist won't come up with a way to trigger a laptop bomb that is in the checked-in baggage?

    History has shown us that people will always find a way. "Necessity is the mother of invention".

  • Reply 13 of 14
    birkobirko Posts: 60member
    There is already a lot of companies humming and hawing about whether to fly into meetings or do it by video conferencing. Having your top execs not be able to work during travel will make video conferences take off and the airlines will be hit hard.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    volcan said:
    Perhaps they should go back to the policies of having the devices turned on and examined by a human in addition to x-rays. I think it would be pretty difficult to put an explosive inside a laptop and still have it operate normally. Better than just checking it in the luggage. They shouldn't even let you check it in as luggage because it would pass the luggage scan but could potentially be a bomb in disguise. I fly a lot and these terrorists really worry me.
    Do you know when they actually stopped doing that? Personally, I think airports need to invest in more bomb sniffing dogs. While people are waiting to go through security, have the dogs go down the line to check everyone.
    That's too late surely, as we seen in Brussels, as soon as they are inside the building they can cause untold damage and countless deaths exploding themselves at any point once inside. Sniffer dogs would have to be at all entrances - if you are inside the building you are checked and safe. Of course, then they just explode themselves outside or just drive large vehicles into crowds of people as they have been doing lately (Stockholm, London etc.). It's quite possibly the hardest thing to prevent let alone police.

    I too noticed they no longer check the iPad is switched on - seemed a really easy, quick verification to me. I remember one time I was flying out of Bremen (Germany) a few years ago and I was hauled into a side room while they thoroughly examined my Samsung Note 10.1 - never had problems with the ipads but they took exception to the samdung haha.
    edited May 2017
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