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Electronic devices ban Europe to the US [merged threads]

Electronic devices ban Europe to the US [merged threads]

Old May 31, 17, 12:51 pm
  #1126  
 
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Originally Posted by MSY-MSP View Post
So thinking about why the US is appearing to back down from the laptop ban, a couple things came up in a conversation with a friend at DHS last night. First the ban is not off the table. It is still very much a plan from TSA, but also the statement that the “laptop”ban is scrapped is not completely wrong either. So the restrictions that would be implemented would be 1+1. Because it would be implemented as 1+1 it wouldn’t “ban” laptops, just limit them. It is completely playing with semantics on this, but it allows both sides to “claim” victory in the negotiations that weren’t negotiations. Oh and apparently someone at DHS liked the 1+1 as it was “catchy” just like 3-1-1.

The second thing that this person mentioned to me, was something I hadn’t fully appreciated in previous conversations, is the completeness of the EU position on this. The EU was saying no to having the items in the hold, while the US wanted them in the hold. That position was what I though stopped the US from going forward with the ban at this time. However, there is possibly a second position that the EU had brought forward that may have been the actual reason DHS backed off. The EU basically said, (unconfirmed), that if you impose this ban, it will apply both ways, and further that any person who has access to any aircraft or articles intended for any aircraft bound for the EU must have gone through a security screening equivalent to that imposed by EU airports. Further, those individuals could not have contact with persons who were not screened to those same standards, after they were cleared. The target of this position appears to be ground handlers, caterers, and other airport and airline personnel who do not currently go through any security whatsoever to access the secure side of the airport. This had it been implemented would have been a nightmare for the US to implement, and likely the US could not come into compliance with that restriction. There are too many airports in the US that would need to be overhauled to come into compliance with these restrictions. Sure it could be done by some airports, at massive inconvenience to the airlines and airports. Just thinking what airports could implement it in a short time period and the list to me is pretty small. It would take a terminal that could be completely segregated from the other parts of the airport, as well as have a perimeter around the terminal that could be secured, and also have its own baggage system. The result would have been the cancellation of almost all Trans-Atlantic air traffic between the US and the EU. This sounds to me like the EU said to the US, we see a big hole in your security system that we have tolerated, but if you are going to go this way on something we don’t agree is necessary (basically saying we have a hole on our end), then we want you to fix that hole on your end that we see. Ball is in your court US. The US blinked, because they didn’t want to the EU to control the messaging on this.

Again I cannot confirm this is an actual position of the EU or if this was actually brought forward by them. However, I can see the US blinking under this nuclear option from the EU, and re-evaluating their position, and this makes more sense to me than the it cannot go in the hold. This might be the “technical issues” related to the implementation of any level of restrictions.
In short the EU saw what quite a few folks both on this site and elsewhere have seen for quite some time and called the US on it.

(And why do I think we may someday come to regret having you help DHS figure out a "marketing" campaign?)
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Old May 31, 17, 12:57 pm
  #1127  
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Originally Posted by MSY-MSP View Post
So thinking about why the US is appearing to back down from the laptop ban, a couple things came up in a conversation with a friend at DHS last night. First the ban is not off the table. It is still very much a plan from TSA, but also the statement that the “laptop”ban is scrapped is not completely wrong either. So the restrictions that would be implemented would be 1+1. Because it would be implemented as 1+1 it wouldn’t “ban” laptops, just limit them. It is completely playing with semantics on this, but it allows both sides to “claim” victory in the negotiations that weren’t negotiations. Oh and apparently someone at DHS liked the 1+1 as it was “catchy” just like 3-1-1.

The second thing that this person mentioned to me, was something I hadn’t fully appreciated in previous conversations, is the completeness of the EU position on this. The EU was saying no to having the items in the hold, while the US wanted them in the hold. That position was what I though stopped the US from going forward with the ban at this time. However, there is possibly a second position that the EU had brought forward that may have been the actual reason DHS backed off. The EU basically said, (unconfirmed), that if you impose this ban, it will apply both ways, and further that any person who has access to any aircraft or articles intended for any aircraft bound for the EU must have gone through a security screening equivalent to that imposed by EU airports. Further, those individuals could not have contact with persons who were not screened to those same standards, after they were cleared. The target of this position appears to be ground handlers, caterers, and other airport and airline personnel who do not currently go through any security whatsoever to access the secure side of the airport. This had it been implemented would have been a nightmare for the US to implement, and likely the US could not come into compliance with that restriction. There are too many airports in the US that would need to be overhauled to come into compliance with these restrictions. Sure it could be done by some airports, at massive inconvenience to the airlines and airports. Just thinking what airports could implement it in a short time period and the list to me is pretty small. It would take a terminal that could be completely segregated from the other parts of the airport, as well as have a perimeter around the terminal that could be secured, and also have its own baggage system. The result would have been the cancellation of almost all Trans-Atlantic air traffic between the US and the EU. This sounds to me like the EU said to the US, we see a big hole in your security system that we have tolerated, but if you are going to go this way on something we don’t agree is necessary (basically saying we have a hole on our end), then we want you to fix that hole on your end that we see. Ball is in your court US. The US blinked, because they didn’t want to the EU to control the messaging on this.

Again I cannot confirm this is an actual position of the EU or if this was actually brought forward by them. However, I can see the US blinking under this nuclear option from the EU, and re-evaluating their position, and this makes more sense to me than the it cannot go in the hold. This might be the “technical issues” related to the implementation of any level of restrictions.
That's largely right from what I've gotten, but the EU position was one of wanting completely reciprocal limits with the segregation from those not screened to the same standard directed at making the ban a domestic US carrier ban too. Some would say this was a good strategy to buy time for additional discussion about the risk of fires in the hold.
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Old May 31, 17, 1:39 pm
  #1128  
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Laptop fire on B6 tied into the current DHS proposed ban:

http://www.businessinsider.com/jetbl...top-ban-2017-5

A fire onboard a JetBlue flight exposes why Trump's laptop ban could be so dangerous

Snippet
On Tuesday, JetBlue Flight 915 from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to San Francisco was diverted to Michigan after a lithium-ion battery in a device in a passenger's bag caused a fire.

It's an occurrence that exposes one of the major dangers experts have associated with the Trump administration's ban on large electronics in the cabins of certain airliners.

The Airbus A321, with 158 passengers and crew on board, landed safely at Gerald Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids around 8 p.m. local time.
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Old May 31, 17, 2:08 pm
  #1129  
 
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
Yeah, I just don't see the logic behind 1+1 unless they are going to swab everything at the checkpoint and they're trying to limit what they have to swab and test. It would be even dumber than the reasons given for the 3-1-1 limitations ("it won't prevent determined terrorists, but it will make them have to work a little harder").

This whole thing is fraught with potential crazy delays. People get upset enough when TSA confiscates things at the checkpoint. I think there will be even more issues when first-time/infrequent flyers reach the checkpoint and realize their electronics are going to be confiscated, particularly when TSOs use their 'discretion' to go hopelessly overboard.

I still maintain that this is nothing more than a money grab. TSA and the folks who will get rich off this want to create massive delays to force not just the US, but the rest of the world to buy their over-priced still-limited checkpoint CT scanners. There's the possibility that the backups will also spur a rash of Precheck signups - at least until the next group wises up and realizes that Precheck doesn't guarantee the service will be available as advertised at any airport at any time. It will suck to show up at the airport with Pre and your electronics, only to find that Pre is closed or Pre-lite and you have to surrender your laptop or go back and check it.

I think people, in general, put up with the inconvenience of 3-1-1 primarily because it was just that- an inconvenience. I think only a very limited number of people actually did not fly because of it; most people just put up with the hassle of tiny bottles, buying stuff at destination, and/or checking bags instead of carrying on. I doubt many businesses cancelled travel because of it. Plus there was a financial benefit to certain groups, e.g., airport shops selling overpriced water bottles, more buy-on-board customers, etc. that the industry as a whole didn't push back a whole lot on it.

An electronics restriction like 1+1 is a totally different ball of wax- there's a very real risk of business travel reduction/cancellation if travelers can't bring electronics on board, given the very real risks of hardware/data theft if checked or forced to use loaners. Plus airlines still don't accept responsibility for electronics in checked bags. Shipping by Fedex in advance? Lot of business travelers can't afford to not have their electronics for the entire time they're in transit. What if you have a personal and work phone, and for data security reasons can't use work phone for personal stuff, and vice-versa? Are you supposed to live without one or the other while in transit? Plus if 1+1 applies to all electronics, most travelers have far more than 1+1, e.g., headphones, electric razors, portable battery, etc. etc. etc.

And as someone mentioned upthread, what about electronic flight bags on iPads for flight crews? How about electronics used by cabin crews for buy-on-board transactions? Noise-cancelling headphones provided by the airline to premium pax on some carriers? etc. etc. etc.

Considering we've already heard about the economic impact to ME3 carriers due to the laptop ban, I doubt if US3 and/or European partners would do anything other than push back vehemently- unlike 3-1-1 I don't see any upside to the commercial aviation industry for this. (for bag scanning machine makers, however, that's a different story)

I agree with some earlier posters that there will ultimately be more detailed screening of electronics, but a 1+1 restriction (or anything similar) is simply not realistic, unless the intent is long-term damage to commercial aviation industry. Or a money grab for pre-check. Of course I might be totally wrong.
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Old May 31, 17, 2:24 pm
  #1130  
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The money grab for Precheck is meaningless, because TSA already regularly refuses to staff Pre lanes or to provide the full Pre experience on a reliable basis. Right now they will suggest that the ban won't apply to Precheck pax - but we all know they can reverse that decision any time they want.

Precheck has never guaranteed the full experience.

One other issue that hasn't been mentioned: the time-consuming hassle of dealing with Fedex at one's destination. You have a business trip. You Fedex your electronics ahead to your destination. You can't work on the plane.

When you arrive at your destination, presumably they've accepted delivery of your Fedex package at your lodgings or place of business. You still have to make some kind of arrangements to ship your electronics back. Will they pick up from your hotel or workplace? Will you have to drop it off at a Fedex center?

That's a lot of unproductive wasted time and inconvenience.
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Old May 31, 17, 2:41 pm
  #1131  
 
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
The money grab for Precheck is meaningless, because TSA already regularly refuses to staff Pre lanes or to provide the full Pre experience on a reliable basis. Right now they will suggest that the ban won't apply to Precheck pax - but we all know they can reverse that decision any time they want.

Precheck has never guaranteed the full experience.
Precheck also doesn't exist globally. I haven't seen anything like it in Europe.

And even if there was a similar program, what are the chances that DHS would accept their background check?
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Old May 31, 17, 2:54 pm
  #1132  
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post
Precheck also doesn't exist globally. I haven't seen anything like it in Europe.

And even if there was a similar program, what are the chances that DHS would accept their background check?
I don't see any feasible way for the US to implement a full ban on international flights while allowing domestic pax (Precheck or not) to keep their electronics. The problem is that we all generally mingle in the sterile area, so domestic pax with electronics could pass them off to international pax. I don't think most US airports are set up to easily segregate departing domestic and international pax immediately post-security.
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Old May 31, 17, 3:05 pm
  #1133  
 
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
I don't see any feasible way for the US to implement a full ban on international flights while allowing domestic pax (Precheck or not) to keep their electronics. The problem is that we all generally mingle in the sterile area, so domestic pax with electronics could pass them off to international pax. I don't think most US airports are set up to easily segregate departing domestic and international pax immediately post-security.
Right. I have the feeling that the whole idea failed because those who were pushing for it hadn't thought about how to actually implement it.
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Old May 31, 17, 3:48 pm
  #1134  
 
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Originally Posted by NickP 1K View Post
Laptop fire on B6 tied into the current DHS proposed ban:

http://www.businessinsider.com/jetbl...top-ban-2017-5

A fire onboard a JetBlue flight exposes why Trump's laptop ban could be so dangerous

Snippet
On Tuesday, JetBlue Flight 915 from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to San Francisco was diverted to Michigan after a lithium-ion battery in a device in a passenger's bag caused a fire.

It's an occurrence that exposes one of the major dangers experts have associated with the Trump administration's ban on large electronics in the cabins of certain airliners.

The Airbus A321, with 158 passengers and crew on board, landed safely at Gerald Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids around 8 p.m. local time.
If the DHS had their way the plane would have crashed. But it wouldn't have been a terror attack!
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Old May 31, 17, 3:53 pm
  #1135  
 
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Originally Posted by JakiChan View Post
If the DHS had their way the plane would have crashed. But it wouldn't have been a terror attack!
I suspect initial reports would have blamed a bomb in the hold, and would likely have been used to justify the very policy that would have caused the crash.

There's no way to prove that, of course
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Old May 31, 17, 3:58 pm
  #1136  
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
The money grab for Precheck is meaningless, because TSA already regularly refuses to staff Pre lanes or to provide the full Pre experience on a reliable basis. Right now they will suggest that the ban won't apply to Precheck pax - but we all know they can reverse that decision any time they want.

Precheck has never guaranteed the full experience.

One other issue that hasn't been mentioned: the time-consuming hassle of dealing with Fedex at one's destination. You have a business trip. You Fedex your electronics ahead to your destination. You can't work on the plane.

When you arrive at your destination, presumably they've accepted delivery of your Fedex package at your lodgings or place of business. You still have to make some kind of arrangements to ship your electronics back. Will they pick up from your hotel or workplace? Will you have to drop it off at a Fedex center?

That's a lot of unproductive wasted time and inconvenience.
FedEx and other courier/mail services can have items delayed at customs. Even something as basic as passports sent cross border by registered mail can take a week or two at times to even make the journey across the border that can be accomplished by even a 1 hour bike or slow boat ride -- just because customs clearance is not always fast and convenient when not in the company of the person owning the item and/or to whom it is to be delivered. This isn't a great solution to this crazy ban idea.
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Old May 31, 17, 3:59 pm
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Originally Posted by JakiChan View Post
If the DHS had their way the plane would have crashed. But it wouldn't have been a terror attack!
It had occurred to me that if this ban were to be met with lots of resistance, someone might come up with a false flag incident.
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Old Jun 1, 17, 12:40 am
  #1138  
 
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Originally Posted by Maxwell Smart View Post
I think people, in general, put up with the inconvenience of 3-1-1 primarily because it was just that- an inconvenience.
I was traveling when the "war on water" started. In DC with a flight to FL the next morning. The only "liquid" I had in my carry on bag was sunscreen. I moved it to my checked bag. I have never used a liquid bag, have not really carried liquids when flying since the liquid stupidity began.
In fact, I was once berated by security staff at LHR because I didn't have a bag (or any liquids to put in such a bag).

An electronics restriction like 1+1 is a totally different ball of wax- there's a very real risk of business travel reduction/cancellation if travelers can't bring electronics on board, given the very real risks of hardware/data theft if checked or forced to use loaners.
My typical electronics 'kit' when traveling is:
Phone
Laptop
Tablet
MP3 player
3-4 USB portable hard drives
Noise canceling headphones
Camera + spare battery
Related power/recharge cables

Some of those I use on the flight (I got them because I fly), others I need during the trip. They aren't things I can just not take or risk theft/damage in checked bags.
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Old Jun 1, 17, 2:14 am
  #1139  
 
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I suspect a ban would have exemptions for Known Crew Members and government/military personnel with "essential need" to travel with electronics onboard. The thing about personal electronics is that there is no practical way for airport security to tell if the electronics these people carry are theirs or someone else's.

Right now there are websites where you can put out a request for a traveler to transport something for you, such as a bottle of wine from Italy to the US, for a fee. There is no practical way to prevent or regulate such transactions.

If a ban is implemented, I could see the rise of bidding sites where KCMs and exempt travelers offer to transport electronics to make some extra money on the side. Highest bidder wins.

There is no way such a scheme could be controlled or prevented that I can think of if there are exemptions to a ban.
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Old Jun 1, 17, 7:16 am
  #1140  
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Originally Posted by BSBD View Post
I suspect a ban would have exemptions for Known Crew Members and government/military personnel with "essential need" to travel with electronics onboard. The thing about personal electronics is that there is no practical way for airport security to tell if the electronics these people carry are theirs or someone else's.

Right now there are websites where you can put out a request for a traveler to transport something for you, such as a bottle of wine from Italy to the US, for a fee. There is no practical way to prevent or regulate such transactions.

If a ban is implemented, I could see the rise of bidding sites where KCMs and exempt travelers offer to transport electronics to make some extra money on the side. Highest bidder wins.

There is no way such a scheme could be controlled or prevented that I can think of if there are exemptions to a ban.
How would this work in conjunction with the "questions" about are you carrying something from someone else? I like the idea, as we often travel with multiple Li-on battery devices and two medical devices.
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