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Electronic devices ban Europe to the US [merged threads]

Electronic devices ban Europe to the US [merged threads]

Old Jun 1, 17, 6:16 pm
  #1141  
 
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I've long wanted to see some sort of "thou shalt staff these lanes" mandate as part of the Precheck deal. With due disrespect to the folks running DHS, I've run into closed Precheck lanes alongside backed-up-to-hell main lines at LAX (chronically in T2) and IAD (during the evening TATL rush). SFO is pretty good about it, but they're privately contracted. Really, when you try to sell folks on springing for perhaps $400 for this for a household and they see stuff like that, it goes a LONG way towards "un-selling" them on the idea. The other side of this is that they probably also need to make Precheck participation a condition of regularly-scheduled service to/from the US, full stop. There are definitely pax for whom Precheck is useless because for insert-reason-here they do a lot of TATL/TPAC travel but they tend to use foreign carriers.

Now, credit where it is due, I've also seen multiple airports where if they don't have a Precheck lane open they at least issue you a laminated pass that says you're subject to less screening. I believe I've run into this at RIC/ORF/PHF, IND, and DSM (the only issue with remembering which ones is that my flights out of RIC/ORF/PHF are almost exclusively at stupid hours of the morning...I don't think I've taken a flight out of any of the three later than 0630 in the last year or two, usually because I'm trying to connect with that DL TCON out of Atlanta with the lie-flats).

The other side of this is that if they say this isn't going to apply to Precheck (or Precheck will get some higher limit), then if someone flashes a Global Entry/NEXUS card they had godsdamned well better at least let them have the higher limit even if they're "de-selected" for a trip or something misconnected at the airline level. For a hypothetical situation, if I basically had to choose between abandoning my laptop (or an expensive camera, or a hard drive full of data, or a smartphone), or not traveling, guess who's cancelling and walking out the door?

Something else that did just come to mind: On some trips (mostly domestic), a second ticket would be cheaper than insuring and shipping stuff. Presuming that this was done at security, what's to stop someone from simply buying a ticket for a friend on the cheapest flight of the morning (or on a no-fee refundable ticket), have them carry a pair of surplus devices through security, and then have the friend simply no-show on the flight? I can say with reasonable certainty that a "Basic Economy" ticket can end up being cheaper than overnighting stuff, while in the case of an international trip eating a cancellation fee on a ticket would be less hassle than frakking around with dealing with shipping and customs.

This also brings to mind situations where I'll pull someone along on a trip because their presence increases a baggage allowance or enables bona fide use of hotel discounts (e.g. Hyatt applies the Government rate regardless of whether the employee is on a personal trip or a work assignment, so it was actually cheaper to pay to bring my older brother along to DragonCon than to leave him at home). There are some insane permutations of this: "Why yes, officer, my one-year-old has a hard drive and a mouse but that's my laptop, why do you ask? And that's definitely my two-year-old's MP3 player..." Granted I suspect that this has been going on with 3-1-1 as well (though I am now envisioning explaining to security why a two-year-old has a pair of scotch samples).
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Old Jun 1, 17, 6:27 pm
  #1142  
 
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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.
This reminds me of the time I realized the savings from bringing a carry-on bag on Amtrak full of Quebec-sourced Coca-Cola would save me enough money vis-a-vis buying Mexican-sourced Coca-Cola that it could nearly pay for the train ticket...

I think such a scheme could be slammed down upon in various ways. It would take some time and effort but it would be doable. Now, with that said in the cases of KCM you'd probably see some sort of employment rules-related crackdown after someone gets too froggy with it and is bringing carry-ons full of laptops through security every trip.

My guess is that the solution on the crew side would be to allow for the airlines to move company tablets into the "secure universe" and keep them there, not unlike the Emirates kludge (or indeed, like the tablets some airlines offer passengers or like a bunch of IFE systems being moved into said universe).
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Old Jun 2, 17, 10:31 am
  #1143  
 
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Originally Posted by bseller View Post
How would this work in conjunction with the "questions" about are you carrying something from someone else?
I haven't beeen asked that question in years.
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Old Jun 2, 17, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by GrayAnderson View Post
This reminds me of the time I realized the savings from bringing a carry-on bag on Amtrak full of Quebec-sourced Coca-Cola would save me enough money vis-a-vis buying Mexican-sourced Coca-Cola that it could nearly pay for the train ticket...

I think such a scheme could be slammed down upon in various ways. It would take some time and effort but it would be doable. Now, with that said in the cases of KCM you'd probably see some sort of employment rules-related crackdown after someone gets too froggy with it and is bringing carry-ons full of laptops through security every trip.

My guess is that the solution on the crew side would be to allow for the airlines to move company tablets into the "secure universe" and keep them there, not unlike the Emirates kludge (or indeed, like the tablets some airlines offer passengers or like a bunch of IFE systems being moved into said universe).
The thing is that electronics aren't (yet) considered to be true contraband, and without easy identifiers, how would security personnel determine what constitutes "too many?" We've seen the lists of electronics pax regularly carry, and two laptops, two phones, tablets, camera gear, etc. isn't out of the ordinary.

As you intimate, bringing ten laptops might raise a flag, but just carrying a few extra items probably won't reach the suspicion level.

IMHO it would take an extraordinary effort and lots more personnel to screen for these sort of "blackmarket" transports.
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Old Jun 2, 17, 10:45 am
  #1145  
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Originally Posted by BSBD View Post
I haven't beeen asked that question in years.
I've been asked these questions a few times each year for years now, and that includes earlier this year. While this particular question line and that about electronics has declined in frequency, it's still been asked this year on at least three continents when flying to the US.
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Old Jun 2, 17, 11:06 am
  #1146  
 
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Originally Posted by BSBD View Post
I haven't beeen asked that question in years.
Really depends on where you fly. Flying out of Europe i am always asked that type of question by the screeners but rarely when leaving the US (and only when checking a bag).
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Old Jun 2, 17, 1:34 pm
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Originally Posted by BSBD View Post
I haven't beeen asked that question in years.
I was asked that question last week at CDG and a few months back at LHR.
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Old Jun 2, 17, 10:16 pm
  #1148  
 
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Originally Posted by BSBD View Post
I haven't beeen asked that question in years.
I got grilled at security once due to a stray contraband item (long story short, I do enough travel by train that some trips wind up "mixed" and I pack for the train while forgetting that I'll be flying). At one point I was asked "Weren't you asked if you had packed your own bag?" to which I responded "No, I used the electronic check-in. You're the first human beings I've dealt with since entering the airport and the check-in system asked no such question..." which left them slightly flummoxed.
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Old Jun 3, 17, 8:02 am
  #1149  
 
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Another article in WSJ about the danger of batteries in the cargo hold of planes. Good to see this publicized more.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/broader...isk-1496343634

"The trade association, IATA, which represents 275 airlines, reiterated its position Thursday that there are ways to check for explosives in passengers’ portable electronic devices short of a ban on such devices in aircraft cabins, including using explosive-trace detection technology and more canine units at airports, and having governments share data on passengers deemed risky."
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Old Jun 3, 17, 11:48 am
  #1150  
 
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Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
Another article in WSJ about the danger of batteries in the cargo hold of planes. Good to see this publicized more.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/broader...isk-1496343634

"The trade association, IATA, which represents 275 airlines, reiterated its position Thursday that there are ways to check for explosives in passengersí portable electronic devices short of a ban on such devices in aircraft cabins, including using explosive-trace detection technology and more canine units at airports, and having governments share data on passengers deemed risky."
DHS decision is based on security. Or it is based on TSA stuffing its pockets, by mandating something that is easily overcome if it had more money, but TSA can not ask for more money because its track record for security is deplorable. TSA must force US Congress to mandate more using outside pressure.

But putting faith in a dog, really isn't a good idea.
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Old Jun 3, 17, 11:55 am
  #1151  
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Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
Another article in WSJ about the danger of batteries in the cargo hold of planes. Good to see this publicized more.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/broader...isk-1496343634

"The trade association, IATA, which represents 275 airlines, reiterated its position Thursday that there are ways to check for explosives in passengersí portable electronic devices short of a ban on such devices in aircraft cabins, including using explosive-trace detection technology and more canine units at airports, and having governments share data on passengers deemed risky."
Look at this quote from the same article, an administration official dismisses the risk of cargo fires:

A U.S. administration official, who asked not to be named, last month said the risk of batteries in devices such as laptops or tablets catching fire was low. The fire risk largely involves bulk carriage of lithium devices that arenít installed in equipment and therefore less well-shielded from damage.
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Old Jun 3, 17, 12:12 pm
  #1152  
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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
Look at this quote from the same article, an administration official dismisses the risk of cargo fires:
I suspect that 'administration official' chose to remain nameless because s/he has no data to support this assertion.
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Old Jun 3, 17, 1:01 pm
  #1153  
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The risk of any given battery causing a cargo fire is indeed very low, but the number of screener-detected passengers' li-ion batteries that may cause a cargo fire would be way higher than the number of passengers' laptop/tablet bombs being screener-detected.

Last edited by essxjay; Jun 10, 17 at 11:33 am Reason: unnecessary wholesale quote
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Old Jun 3, 17, 1:13 pm
  #1154  
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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
Look at this quote from the same article, an administration official dismisses the risk of cargo fires:
What is the risk of a laptop bomb?
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Old Jun 3, 17, 1:42 pm
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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
Look at this quote from the same article, an administration official dismisses the risk of cargo fires:
I suggest a trial. For a year, load 300 bags with dirty clothing and random laptops bought on eBay in the cargo hold of every UAF aircraft used for government personnel transport (incl AF1 aircraft). Between flights, discharge and recharge them. Use regular airline bag handlers to load/unload
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