If you’re traveling for business, one of the last things you want to hear is that you can’t bring your laptop on the plane. Whether you need to get some work done before or during your flight, having a personal computer and/or smartphone is almost necessary on business trips. The electronics ban currently implemented by the U.S. and U.K., bans all electronics (larger than a smartphone) from being carried onto the passenger portion of the plane due to high risk of terrorist activity. The U.S. ban covers flights from Turkey, Egypt, Jordan Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. Recently, TSA employees have been forcing random travelers to give up their smartphone passwords and detaining them if they don’t comply. If they’ve taken it this far already, will they ban smartphones too?
How does this affect business travelers?
This would completely disrupt the business travel world as today’s travelers are dependent on their mobile devices. Business travelers need their laptops, and if this ban extends to cell phones, they will be completely incapable of communicating with anyone from work or on the other end of the trip. Not being able to communicate with anyone during a trip can be detrimental to a traveler’s safety, as well as interrupt their company’s duty of care. Luckily, travelers will still be allowed to pack their electronics in their checked luggage. This Especially with all the travel apps out there, including TripActions, travelers are dependent on their smartphones, for itinerary and even boarding passes.
In addition, security lines could be longer due to more thorough searches and confiscations of large electronics. Travel delays without a phone or any form of communication could cause serious problems for business travelers with meetings to get to, and people worrying about their whereabouts.
How does the electronics ban affect the safety of travelers?
The goal of this security measure is to combat an increase in terror attacks seen throughout the world. Terrorists and terrorist groups have found a way to turn a laptop into an explosive. A device like this is easily detectable with the x-ray machines for bags heading to cargo, but if one happens to make it to the plane, there are other security measures in place. Cargo hulls on airplanes are equipped with a fire-proof barrier that prevents fires up to a certain degree from taking over the whole plane and putting the passengers in danger. This is why officials are still allowing laptops to be packed into your checked luggage.
What to do if this ban affects you:
As a traveler, communicate with other parties involved in your travel plans before and after your flight. If this ban extends to cover smartphones, it could help you to write down any important phone numbers to have incase of an emergency. This way you can still get in contact with these people if you end up having to travel without your cell phone in hand.
As a travel admin or manager, if one of your travelers will be on a flight with one of the airlines previously listed, you will still be able to keep track of them on the admin dashboard. When an employee’s flight leaves the airport for its next destination, you will be able to track the flight in real-time, even if you won’t be able to communicate with them otherwise.
We can only hope that this ban doesn’t extend to cover smartphones but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared if it does. Stay current on travel regulations if you will be visiting one of the countries listed above, and take necessary precautions to keep yourself safe!