Earlier today, headlines started to pop up suggesting that the TSA was entertaining the idea of expanding the current Laptop ban to include the whole of Europe, including the UK. Mind you, this is a TSA that has a 95% failure rate when it comes to screening tests.
Currently the ban applies to certain carriers operating from certain Mid-Eastern countries, so news of the ban being expanding comes as a bit of a frustrating surprise.
Homeland Security officials in the USA have not commented on this other than the generic and predictable ‘We’re considering all options and have not made any decisions’ type of worthless commentary.
Any new policy or expansion of the existing version would mean that a device larger than a ‘Smart Phone’ would be considered too large to bring aboard, including any kind of laptop or tablet device.
Maybe at this point, major US and European carriers will speak up against the ridiculous policy and sway their respective governments. Now that the shoe may be put on the other foot, lets see how non-Mideast carriers will respond.
Predictably to this point, the non-M/E carriers have not spoken out against the current ban since the existing policy hurts their competitors. Let’s see what kind of whining we’ll get if everyone has to play by the same rules, regardless of how stupid and ineffective the rules would be.
Yesterday afternoon, news began to emerge that the TSA was putting in place a ban on large electronic devices being brought aboard flights from certain countries, aboard certain airlines.
This morning at 3:00a Eastern, the TSA had sent out emails to the affected countries and carriers giving them 96 hours notice before the ban was scheduled to take effect.
In yesterday’s, news only Saudia and Royal Jordanian were known to have been aware of the ban. In today’s release the list has been fully disclosed.
The following 8 countries are confirmed by the TSA as being on the list:
Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Kuwait, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates.
Any flights or passengers departing airports in these countries that on non-USA based airlines are subject to the TSA Ban.
The airlines that will be impacted by the ban are Saudia, Royal Jordanian, Kuwait Airlines, Egyptair, Royal Air Maroc, Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar.
Even if a carrier does not fly directly to the USA, if one of their passengers is connecting to flight that ultimately arrives in the USA, that passenger will be covered by the ban.
The UK version and the TSA version of the ban are not identical. Certain airlines or countries are not on both lists.
The United Kingdom has following in the wake of the TSA and has announced that they too will ban certain electronic devices from being brought aboard certain flights operating to the UK from the Mid East.
The UK lists differs from the US version in that it includes airlines other than those based in the Mid East, and also covers countries that are not on the TSA’s list.
Specifically, the airlines impacted by the UK ban include:
Atlas Global, British Airways, Easy Jet, Jet2, Thomas Cook, Monarch, Turkish Airlines, Middle East Airlines (MEA), Egyptair, Saudia, Royal Jordanian, and Tunis Air.
The countries affected by the UK ban include direct flights from:
Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, and Tunisia.
According to various outlets, there appears to be a bit of an Intelligence Alert by various government agencies warning that there may be terror attacks planned that would involve the use of electronics brought aboard aircraft.
The ban prohibits any electronic device large than a smart phone, including iPads, large cameras, and laptops from being brought on board, forcing passengers to pack these items in their checked luggage.