Air passengers have shown they can grow accustomed to just about anything these days. But a news report–declared to be false by the Transportation Security Administration–had me wondering what it would be like to go to another level of inconvenience.
Veteran correspondent Alex DeMetrick reported for the CBS affiliate in Baltimore that the ban on bringing laptops aboard U.S.-bound flights from seven African and Middle Eastern countries “could spread to domestic flights,” and prompted a denial from the TSA.
“We are not considering a laptop ban on domestic or outbound flights,” says Michael England, a TSA spokesman told Inc.com. The TSA is looking at possibly extending the ban to flights to the U.S. from other countries, including European countries.
The ban as it stands…
As my colleague Heather Wilde summarized recently, international business travelers have been in a state of flux since March, when news broke that the U.S. would prohibit passengers aboard incoming flights from certain foreign destinations from carrying electronics bigger than a cell phone.
More recently, the Department of Homeland Security mused that laptops could be banned on all international flights arriving in the U.S.
(“I might,” said Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, when asked on Fox News Sunday this week whether he might ban the devices “on all international flights, both into and out of the U.S.”)
Can anything stop us from flying?
Flying is tough enough these days, and of course it’s important that we do everything we can to minimize terrorist threats.
While the current version of the laptop ban may have affected demand for flights from the Middle East to the U.S., actual terror attacks don’t seem to be doing anything to depress demand for air travel.
The head of British Airways’ parent company, for example, said this week that he was surprised that the airline hasn’t see any dip in business since the recent U.K. terror attacks.
“It would be terrible if people start just considering that this is routine or normal, but we haven’t seen an impact on bookings,” CEO Willia Walsh said, according to Bloomberg. “In the past we would expect it to have some impact, but we haven’t seen anything.”
Personally, I’m just glad I don’t have to travel for work anywhere as often as I once did.
What do you think? Are you willing to trade convenience for more security against terrorism–and would you support a ban on laptops on domestic flights? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated that the Transportation Security Administration was considering a ban on laptops in cabins in domestic U.S. flights. The TSA is not currently weighing such a ban, according to a TSA spokesman.