May 19, 2017
How to Prepare for a European Electronics Ban
Yesterday we reported that the European electronics ban was being delayed due to heavy pushback from European officials (yay!). To recap, the US is considering banning tablets and laptops on flights from Europe to the US, citing intelligence that terrorists want to smuggle bombs hidden in the devices onto airplanes. Although the ban has been delayed, there’s a good chance it could still be implemented. So, how should flyers prepare?
I travel between the US and Europe with my laptop quite a bit. There’s two steps I’m taking to prepare for the laptop ban. First, I’ll be purchasing a second laptop to use exclusively for these international flights. I won’t bring my primary laptop, which contains my essential data, on these flights. The laptop I bring on these flights would have to be checked with my luggage. Luggage can be lost and items can be stolen. I won’t be saving any important data on my second laptop. That way, if something happens, I only have to worry about the financial impact of loosing a computer, not about losing important computer files.
The second step you should consider is flying from Europe-Canada-USA. If the laptop ban only applies to direct flights from Europe to the US, you could hop on an Air Canada flight that connects in Canada. Since you’d be flying from Canada-USA, you could keep your laptop on board for both legs of the flight. I flew Air Canada Business on a Boeing-777 between Toronto-Munich last December and loved the experience.
Finally, I’d think the fact that you can easily connect in Canada to get around a European electronics ban renders the ban useless no? Terrorists can just book a ticket which routes through Canada. Or, I’m doing some heavy mental gymnastics here, they could just route their flight from Asia to the US. Am I missing something? What’s the point of banning laptops which could contain bombs if a terrorist can just take another flight that does allow laptops?
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