Other than an obnoxious dig at Emirates, U.S. carriers have remained silent on the in-flight electronics ban. With rumors swirling that it will expand to flights out of the EU, will U.S. carriers finally speak up?
News broke in a pair of UK newspapers this morning that the Trump Administration is considering an expansion of the in-flgiht electronics ban to include flights from the United Kingdom and possibly all of Europe.
Thankfully, U.S. Transportation Security Administration spokesman Michael England has since gone on record stating there are no immediate plans to expand the electronics ban.
There are no imminent changes to the electronics ban…However, we are continuously assessing security directives based on intelligence and will make changes when necessary to keep travelers safe.
But the fact remains: policy could change at a moment’s notice.
How Would U.S. Carriers Respond?
Although the precise impact is unknown, it is indisputable that the electronics ban is hurting Gulf carriers and other competitors to U.S. airlines. One reason U.S. airlines have had little to say on the electronics ban is because it does not impact a single Delta, American, or United flight.
But if the ban spread across Europe, the playing field would again be leveled. If onboard laptops are not permitted no matter what carrier is flown, suddenly Emirates and Qatar become attractive again.
Here’s my hunch: U.S. carriers are already pushing back. Through government liaisons and Airlines for America, airlines have already been waging a silent war against the expansion of the ban. With politics guiding policy and the Administration not wanting to offend a key constituency, the ban will not expand.
Even so, if threats are 1.) credible and 2.) TSA incapable, then I demand that the United States be the next departure point in which laptops are banned.
An expansion of the ban is not going to happen. This is all a ridiculous game. I’m sorry those who willingly accept the government story, but I still declare it is nothing but a red herring to cast attention off more serious matters.