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How the ban on electronic carry-ons from certain airports screws Logan

The government's quietly announced ban on electronic carry-ons from certain foreign airports on certain airlines could have a harsh impact on three airlines that have ramped up their operations at Logan Airport in recent years, because the ban could cause business travelers, who pay more for the ability to work in flight, to seek other ways to the US.

The ban covers flights on Emirates Airlines, which started flying to and from Logan in 2014 and Qatar Airways, which began flying to and from Logan in 2016.

A third airline, Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi, shares booking with JetBlue, which has turned Logan into one of its US hubs. Matthew George writes:

Laptop ban is disastrous for Boston - huge growth from Mid East carriers driving expon. growth of BOS's JetBlue hub.

The Washington Post, which notes the ban on carry-on laptops seems to have little actual security rationale - because the laptops can still be checked on a flight - wonders if the real reason is to punish airlines the government thinks are unfairly subsidized by their home governments, such as Emirates and Qatar.

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Comments

That's what the guy at his rally said! Was I duped by a grown man holding a TRUMP THAT BITCH sign? I don't believe it.

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Implement the same restrictions. This is clearly being based off intel which is being shared between the US and the UK.

But hey, who am i to stop you being a shrill!

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I can buy that this may be based on intel but if the concern was really about security why are these devices being allowed in checked luggage? And why are US carriers flying to/from the same destinations not affected by this rule?

And why is the UKs implementation different than what the US is doing if the intel is shared?

The Washington post story is interesting. It's not a hit piece against trump or anything like that -- its a pretty interesting story about why this could be the result of US/UK/CA governments taking action against foreign airliners who have been getting massive government subsidies that allow them to compete unfairly against US/UK/CA airlines that are unsubsidized.

I've seen this in action myself when I was invited to Qatar by an organization with close government ties -- they magically made a business class ticket on Qatar Airways out of BOS appear for almost zero cost. The retail value of that ticket was close to $12,000 bucks if I remember correctly.

Basically it could be a sneaky fair-trade response done in a pretty clever way that pretty much makes it impossible for the foreign airlines to even file a WTO complaint.

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Two wrongs, bro. Intel =/= grounds for security theater.

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US TSA and UK Border Force mirror one another when it comes to intel responses, so the overlap isn't surprising but its implementation is not consistent. The UK response covers Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. The US version includes Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

What is with the different responses to Qatar, the UAE, Lebanon, Kuwait, Tunisia, and Morocco? What about Somalia and Yemen, major centers for al Qaeda which has played around with laptop bombs in domestic North African flights? The UK ban excludes Doha (Qatar), Dubai (Emirates), and Abu Dhabi (Etihad), all of which host the offending airlines US carriers have lobbied against. America first, right?

Also, forcing everyone to check their laptops, tablets, and phones is great a backdoor way to search devices without an interfering owner present.

There likely is a credible threat, but a bomb in a cabin is still going to be a bomb in the cargo hold. This isn't security, this is theater.

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I thought that scince 9-11 they made the cargo containers fairly bomb resistant? I'm sure not perfect and fire could be just as bad, but good enough that maybe you could land the plane in many instances?

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Is that the reason the UK and Canada are following suit, and a Dem member of the House intel committee, Eric Swalwell, is also in favor of the ban?

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Perhaps he's scared of being labeled "soft on terrorism" if he protests yet has been given no real evidence of a threat.

Protip: If it's actual concern they'd ban it on all flights (domestic included), not just flights from a few countries.

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I guess BostonDog knows more than someone that sits on the House Intel Committee. Good to know.

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Republicans don't care about this because it only hurts democratic areas. International travelers, be they students, business workers or tourists, are going to very blue areas like SF, LA, NYC, DC, Boston. They sure as hell aren't traveling to republican areas like Kansas, West Virginia etc where there are no good jobs, schools or places to visit. People in the tourism industry have said that the US has already lost hundreds of millions since the election. Its being called the "Trump Slump". People from other countries are increasingly spending their money in countries not run by a racist, conspiracy theory believing lunatic. So much for republicans being "business friendly".

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I think your claim needs to be backed up with statistical evidence.

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When you can rant and rave and make wild accusations! Hysteria rules!!! Trump did this to hurt NYC and Boston! Trump hates Muslims and wants them all to go to other countries!! The fact that the UK, the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee and Canada agree with the ban means nothing, I bet Putin has blackmail material on all of them as well!!

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UK, the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee and Canada agree with the ban means nothing

Yes, the ban means nothing. Much like the ban on liquids above 2oz, there is no legitimate security threat which is mitigated by this ban. The ban exists for the sole purpose of inconveniencing people.

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"Three intelligence sources told The Daily Beast that the ban on carry-on electronics aboard U.S.-bound flights from 10 airports in North Africa and the Middle East was the result of information seized during a U.S. raid on Al Qaeda in Yemen in January. The United Kingdom joined the U.S. ban Tuesday.

Information from the raid shows al Qaeda's successful development of compact, battery bombs that fit inside laptops or other devices believed to be strong enough to bring down an aircraft, the sources said. The battery bombs would need to be manually triggered, a source explained, which is why the electronics ban is only for the aircraft cabin not checked luggage.

The chief bomb maker for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Ibrahim al-Asiri, has been working on packing even smaller devices, the source added. CNN first reported the news on Tuesday evening.

Eric Swalwell, a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, told ABC News there was 'a new aviation threat'."

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So let me make sure I understand the exact constraints of what this hypothetical explosive device (and its handlers) can and cannot do.

1. It can elude all existing explosives-detecting measures in security checkpoints.
2. It cannot be modified to trigger remotely, either via radio signal or by the addition of a timer.
3. It can, through unknown means, be made smaller without compromising any of the above.
4. However, it cannot then be implanted in a smart-phone, medical device, or other electronic equipment currently permitted on flights from these airports.
5. Its handlers can be thwarted by forcing them to check their luggage from these 10 airports.
6. Its handlers cannot devise a way of booking separate itineraries/hybrid airlines from one of the affected airports by deplaning in Canada or Mexico
7. Its handlers cannot otherwise be detected by any other existing intelligence apparatus

Did I get everything?

That sure does sound like one hell of an unstoppable bombing menace. Why, a MacGuffin like this is worthy of a Bond film. Good thing its technical details are specifically handicapped so as to be defeated by policy measures that just so happen to benefit the administration's agenda.

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I haven't seen that yet. The US and UK bans are different: The US ban applies to 8 countries whereas the UK, only six. The UK ban applies to all carriers flying out of those countries; the US ban excludes American carriers. The US ban is purely to benefit American, United, Delta, and other American carriers that can't compete with Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, and other airlines that provide a far superior customer experience. At least on its face, the UK ban isn't giving preferential treatment to any airline. (I still disagree with it.)

If electronics larger than cell phones are actually be a threat, I prefer them in carry-ons where they are all taken out and inspected, and not in checked luggage that are only thoroughly inspected "at random."

And yes, if this were actually about terrorism, the ban would apply everywhere, not just in certain countries.

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Um, not exactly. One big reason to fly to those countries is oil business. Guess where the oil folks are based? Certainly not in Boston.

If you have to fly to Dubai to give a company presentation, are you really about to check your company laptop? Disaster.

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Even still, although Boston isn't a big oil hub, how do you think those oil folks actually get to the Middle East? It's the East Coast - NY, DC, and Boston.

Beyond being major centers for international business, Doha and Dubai are massive hubs for travel to South Asia. All the Emirates flights I've taken from BOS (over a dozen since 2015) are 1/3 to 1/2 travelers connecting in Dubai to go on to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc. because it's only another 3 hours away. This in turn not only screws business travelers tourists going to the Middle East but ripples beyond into South Asia.

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So you are going to not go somewhere because the prez/PM is a racist or whatever?

Have you seen the value of the dollar lately?

That's why foreign travel is down.

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I work for a travel metasearch company. Flight searches to to US dropped significantly on November 9th, and fell off a cliff the day the travel ban was announced. Why would you fly to a country whose tinpot leader has openly announced his intention to sic law enforcement and customs agents on anyone who doesn't look Aryan white? Add the stupid security theater laptop stuff, and now you've targeted business travelers and tourists...who's left?

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Dropped off a cliff?

I follow biz news every day in great detail. I have only recently heard of international travel to the US dropping and that was attributed to the dollar.

Do you track stats on international arrivals declining? I've only seen anecdotal evidence of minor drops.

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When people use MS Excel on planes, the terrorists have won.

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This should help make Skymall great again.

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knows how real people get treated when I got my wine taken away when coming back from Italy. Or when they took my water at Logan 2 weeks ago

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You hear that? The the sound of airports in Canada and Mexico perking up.

Dubai-Montreal or Doha-Tijuana on one ticket, followed by Montreal-Boston or Tijuana-LAX on a completely separate ticket.

If this becomes permanent, and you have a business trip which requires use of a laptop, expensive camera, or other sensitive electronics, why wouldn't you route this way?

Checking your laptop means some baggage handler can swipe it and your spreadsheets are gone.

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flying out of Canadian airports is considerably more expensive than U.S., which is often why Canadians will cross the border and fly out of a U.S. airport.

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Solution: bring a starter pistol on your trip. Your luggage then travels very securely.

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to swipe the pistol as well.

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You forgot one. THY just started flying direct from Atatürk to logan.

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...that anyone should ever have to fly commercially where you are treated pretty much like cattle. But then to expect you to sit there doing nothing for a 6+ hour flight from overseas? No. You can not even read a book anymore without an electronic device such as a Kindle*.

*on that note, producing paper books should be illegal, as thanks to cuts in the EPA we need to start rationing trees to only be used for fancy toilet paper production - the one lumber product you can NOT substitute.

Anyhow, if they can't spot a bomb in a laptop or tablet when it gets xrayed on entrance to the airport then they pretty much can't spot a bomb in anything. Those are devices that pretty much have fixed interiors with little to no variation [even between manufacturers and models], making alterations easy to spot. In fact the one instance where a laptop bomb made it to an airplane [Mogadishu airport] it was because it bypassed the xray machine due to complicit airport personnel. If you have the problem of airport employees smuggling things around the security, then all of these rules are moot anyhow.

On this same note the electronic devices during takeoff myth has long since been dispelled. So why is that still in place?

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On this same note the electronic devices during takeoff myth has long since been dispelled. So why is that still in place?

Um, that "myth' hasn't been totally debunked. This is because electronic devices are being made more cheaply, with the result that they give off more RFI that can affect radio-based aircraft instruments, which are hypersensitive to RFI. But let's go ahead and risk a flight's radio altimeter being off by a few degrees so selfish idiots like you can use their toys on the plane.

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Whoh. Mr. 1950 is here - and he doesn't know what grownups who fly for business do for a living!

Hint - it is called WORKING and it is EXPECTED by your EMPLOYER that you will be WORKING on the plane.

Any questions? The 21st century is going to be tough on you if you don't know these most basic things.

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people with TRANSPORTATION, not YOU with an office. And insisting it is your "right" to use your electronic devices, even at stages in the flight when doing so could compromise safety be affecting the accuracy of the instrumentation, is just plain selfish. It's sad society has come to a point where we are so connected to our gadgets that we've lost all common sense and respect for basic rules.

And I know many people who routinely travel for business. I have yet to hear even one of them say "My employer REQUIRES me to work on the plane." And I've never heard one of them say "I have to do my work from the second I step on the plane until the second I step off."

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...if a cell phone or a laptop can interfere with them to the point of causing a hazard to the operation of an aircraft.

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(radio altimeter, IFR, etc.), avionics are deliberately designed with extreme sensitivity. The problem is not poor design of the avionics, but the poor design of most consumer electronics such as cell phones and laptops, which can radiate considerable RF interference.

Know any commercial pilots? If you do, ask them what a PED check is, and if they've ever had to request the cabin crew to do one. Then you might understand that this is not a myth, but a legitimate and serious issue.

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