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  1. #1
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Laptop Ban for flights from the Middle East to the US and UK

    Bad news bears: Trump?s laptop travel restriction is a confusing mess - The Verge

    Last night, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a decision to ban carry-on laptops and tablets on direct flights from eight Muslim-majority countries: Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. Passengers traveling to the US from 10 airports in these countries will be barred from bringing laptops, tablets, or any devices “larger than a cellphone” as carry-on items; they will instead have to take them in checked luggage. It was reported on Tuesday that the UK is implementing a similar electronics ban on flights from some Middle Eastern countries.
    I certainly don't trust airport security staff, customs, or baggage handlers with my laptop, so I'm thinking if this is still in place when I fly to/from any of these countries, I'll simply have to pick an intermediate layover airport to use. Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    So alternative airport seems like one option but lousy for some destinations or if you are going to say Kuwait for work (last month for me). Other idea I've had is since everything is on google docs get a local laptop or have a colleague from another place bring me one. My HQ is in India so last week I could have flown without a laptop and gotten a spare at the office. Regardless it's unfortunate. All articles + UK doing the same seems to indicate it seems required. The no ipad is also a pita for entertainment
    Last edited by hillview; 03-22-2017 at 05:34 AM.
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  3. #3
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    they will instead have to take them in checked luggage
    I've only ever seen one person (a colleague at an old company that almost never fly) check a laptop once. That laptop arrived with a broken screen. How many caches inside caches inside braincells inside braincells inside TB luggage surrounded by TB packing cubes of nothing but clothing would it take for a laptop to actually be safe from baggage handlers?

    Edit: So, looking at the TB Dimensions page, that'd be an iPad Mini Cache in a 12" Macbook cache, in a 4z Braincell, inside an A45, sandwiched between 2 Large packing Cubes and both end pockets stuffed with cubes?
    Last edited by Kaadk; 03-21-2017 at 06:29 PM.

  4. #4
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    I don't regularly fly to that part of the world but I have friends that do -- almost all who do aren't allowed to check their company laptops, then what? I mean, okay so maybe there is Intel, but a laptop in the hold that explodes can cause damage too. At least in the passenger cabin people can try to put a fire out. This has me scratching my head. And I wonder about the tablets and ereaders-- wouldn't it be near impossible to fill one with explosives and still have it turn on and work? It seems the better thing to me is to make sure they turn on and work at security.
    I guess if you have to fly with one you'd want to get a burner chromebook or older used laptop off eBay and then check it in a heavily padded case within a regular suitcase, but talk about a hot mess. its gonna be great pickings for thieves. And forget one-bagging it unless you leave all electronics at home....

  5. #5
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    This is wild media conjecture again. This has nothing to do with "Trump's muslim ban". These types of security measures are based on threat streams and I suspect you'll see the country list become very fluid - both on origins and countries that will require larger electronics to be checked. In some cases you may only find out about it at the airport.

    It is a bad place out there and we have to deal with it.

    Yes, I'm afraid that we'll see more brokem laptops (and probably more stolen bags at baggage claim) but a properly packed laptop (i.e. brain cell in another bag) should be fine.

    My recommendation is that you take a picture of the serial number of the laptop and maybe how it is packed.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  6. #6
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    I have seen suggestions that the laptop ban may not be about security.
    Why the laptop ban may not be about airplane security - World - NZ Herald News

    If hiding explosives in a laptop really was an issue, then I don't see that putting laptops in the hold makes them any safer. I also thought that airlines didn't like batteries in checked luggage, for safety reasons.
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  7. #7
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    If it's not really about security, then perhaps those countries version of the TSA should ban laptops/ipads/similar items from coming into their country on US based carriers.

  8. #8
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    The U.S. based carriers do not fly to those countries. Delta and United use to have nonstops from the U.S., but not anymore. I had to fly from West Africa on Air Morocco to Casablanca. Then I had to fly to London. If the ban was in place then I would have had to pack my laptop, Nook, and Ipad. It was bad enough I had to check my carryon.
    Last edited by travelman; 03-23-2017 at 06:59 AM.

  9. #9
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    C'mon guys, let's drop the Trump conspiracy theories. If it were a Trump plan to hurt the foreign airlines, then is that the UK's plan too?

    Airlines don't like Li-Ion batteries but a bomb is worse than a bunch of batteries. It is harder to set off a bomb reliably if you're in the cabin and the bomb is in the belly of the plane. Timers and stuff make it far easier to find an explosive device which is why they are seldom used in devices that go through security.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  10. #10
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    While initially the bans seemed similar, on closer examination, they each cover a slightly different assortment of countries and devices. It's hard to know whether they're based on the same intelligence which has been interpreted differently, or whether they are reacting to different threats.

    I work for an organisation which produces a travel product for Turkey available as apps (phone and tablet), e-books, and print, so there's been some thinking about what to advise our users. A number of them will definitely be travelling between the UK and Turkey, with far fewer likely to be travelling from the US, but it's still possible. The similar-but-different nature of the restrictions is going to be confusing for travellers, and doesn't lend itself well to a simple and memorable explanation.
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  11. #11
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Ilkyway's Avatar
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    Hi all: if, how and where laptops are banned from carry on is a very importent topic to discuss. This forum is for a big portion about travel and we have to be able to seek help from fellow travelers regarding how to deal with restrictions.
    BUT if, how and to what extend this is a political desition is not a nesseserty to discuss here. The interenet is full of places where we can discuss the political situation from all over the world but these discussions get heated quite fast and than people will hurt or get hurt. We need to save some spaces in our lifes for politicly untainted constructive and helpfull discussion of simply to share experiances.

    So please refrain from making this into a political discusion and stay on topic about how to transport a laptop savely and what precaution there are you can take.

    Thanks for your understanding
    Ilkyway
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    By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

  12. #12
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    Have to concur with @Ilkyways comments of keeping this to topic. The two travel issues that jump to my mind as I travel with work:

    1. I only travel carry on (Tristar) but with a laptop and iPad. This forces me to check which is a huge change of 'setup' for me when I travel.
    2. If I do have to check, it will likely not be a soft sided bag, I'd need to go back to hard sided wheeled. This isn't good for the TB line of soft sided travel bags. However, it may cause them to revist their decision on the Brain Cell retiring, looks like there could be a much bigger demand for these now to protect laptops in your checked luggage.

    I think this is a big change for some and quite frustrating (No iPad in the cabin - AAARRRGGHHH! Thats my main entertainment device)
    Last edited by Perseffect; 03-23-2017 at 01:59 AM.
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  13. #13
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    There are several issues we need to consider here. How do you keep the electronics (anything bigger than a cellphone - where do "phablets" fit?) safe? A Pelican case will do that, but will that increase the possibility of theft - either at the baggage handler side or at the baggage carousel?

    This will increase the time needed to scan luggage and how many people will miss their flights because the walk up to screening with a laptop - it isn't like a bottle of water where you say "where's the trashcan?"

    This affects the "no checked bag" travelers like many of us here. It won't increase costs because this affects international flights where a checked bag is generally free, but what do you check? While TB bags are great for protecting our gear day to day, they really aren't great for protecting your laptop from a baggage handler dropping a 100lb crate on top of the checked daylight briefcase.

    The electronics need something like a "hardened" brain cell, because there is another problem . We know how to pack, we put our electronics between articles of clothing to protect them - but here come the screeners that don't have a lot of time to scan all the baggage before the flights. They'll pull out the laptop that you so lovingly wrapped in a brain call and a bunch of wool sweaters in the middle of your Aeronaut, scan it and toss it on top of all your clothes with only the open brain cell (closing the top properly increases the structure, but the scanners normally don't bother) and the thin lid to the Aeronaut to protect your $2000 laptop from that 100lb crate.

    Me, I'm taking my docs on a portable drive and bringing my old laptop. The drive stays with me in the cabin so that if the laptop gets broken or stolen I have access to my current laptop. Remember that this currently only applies to flights FROM the designated countries - so most of us will be on our way back home when we need to check the devices. Accordingly, it is more important to save your files than your laptop.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  14. #14
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    I will refrain from discussing the politics of this, although I'd have a lot to say. But practically speaking, it's interesting that airlines apparently won't cover damage or theft of checked electronics. This CNN article lists some supplementary insurance that does.

    I don't normally travel any of the affected routes or plan to in the future, but if the ban changes to include the West African country we travel to for work, that would be significant. We'd have to re-route, because checking our laptops isn't practical or safe, both because of the loss of productivity of showing up for a meeting or conference without a working device, and the possibility of having sensitive information stolen.

    For leisure travel, I'd just limit myself to a cell phone, if this ban was imposed on a new route after I booked travel. Sometimes I bring my kindle but I'd rather leave it at home vs. having to bring a checked bag just for that one item.
    ----
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  15. #15
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    Like medication, sensitive information should never be in checked baggage - keep your data on an encrypted drive in your carry-on. I actually carry two copies - on on an IronKey flash drive and another on an encrypted hard drive - in separate locations in case one gets lost or stolen.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

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