Life without laptops? Airport staff inform passengers at the entrance to the Casablanca - New York flight checkpoint at Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport on Thursday, March 29, 2017. (AP Photo/ Abdeljalil Bounhar/AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)
Life without laptops?
Lexile

International air travelers might soon rediscover magazines. And paperbacks. And playing cards, too.
 
Airline passengers have become hooked on their laptops and tablets. The machines help to get work done. Or, they help just to kill time during long flights. But U.S. aviation-security officials appear determined to ban large electronic devices in the cabin of flights from Europe.
 
Business travelers are worried about lost productivity. Laptops in checked baggage could be stolen or damaged. Travelers could leave the machine home if their employer won't let them check it on a plane. Parents also are thinking about how to keep children busy.
 
Now, U.S. and European Union officials have exchanged information about threats to aviation. These are believed to include bombs hidden in laptop computers. Airline and travel groups are concerned about the possibility that a ban on laptops and tablet computers will be expanded. It currently applies to mostly Middle Eastern flights. The ban could soon include U.S.-bound flights from Europe.
 
The airlines are still talking to government officials. The airlines want to know how a laptop ban would look at European airports. It will require one set of screening rules for U.S.-bound travelers. Another set of rules would be required for people headed elsewhere.
 
Nearly 400 flights leave Europe for the U.S. each day. They carry about 85,000 people. This is according to the airline industry and U.S. government figures.
 
The laptop ban in March covered far fewer flights. It is about 50 on an average day. It hurt Middle Eastern carriers. That is because the ban targeted their hub airports. Emirates blamed the ban among factors reducing demand when it scaled back flights to the U.S.
 
Expanding the ban to Europe will hit American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. It will also impact their European partners. It will affect many more travelers.
 
Airlines also fear that expanding the ban will lead to more flight delays. It will increase their liability for theft or damage to electronics devices in checked luggage. Safety advocates are worried. They say that putting devices with lithium batteries in the cargo hold could create a fire threat.
 
Airline groups offer several different ideas to the laptop ban. These include more use of machines that detect residue from explosives. And, turning devices on to show that they are not bombs. They could sort low-risk passengers from high-risk ones. This would likely let frequent travelers keep their laptops in the cabin.
 
Michael McCormick is the executive director of the Global Business Travel Association. He said he believes the threat identified by security officials is real. But the laptop ban will hurt business travel, he said. This may only be in the short term.
 
The International Air Transport Association is a trade group. It represents global airlines. The association said banning laptops in the cabin would cost passengers $1.1 billion. This amount is for a year.
 
"Businesses will cancel trips rather than risk having laptops checked due to risk to confidential information," said the group's CEO. He is Alexandre de Juniac.
 
Edward Pizzarello is an investor in a Washington-area venture-capital firm. He also writes a travel blog. He said he is holding off booking a July business trip. He planned to travel to Germany and the United Kingdom. 

Pizzarello said he'll wait "until I figure out what's going on."

"Maybe I don't take the trip," he said. "That's one of the options. It's not my first option."
 
Gene Marks is a small business consultant. He said he and many of his clients work when flying to and from Europe. He tried to look at the annoyance of a computer ban from another angle.
 
"I would be more anxious if there was a bomb on my flight," Marks said. Besides, he said, he sees plenty of business travelers who spend the flight doing something else. They sleep.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why wasn’t this an issue before?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (23)
  • CR5
    6/01/2017 - 09:26 a.m.

    I think this problem wasn't an issue before today because terrorists didn't think of this maniacal plan. I can't sleep on planes no matter how hard I try. That's why I rely on devices and books to keep me busy. I go on flights a lot during the summer,and I don't want laptops to be banned! But, I agree with Gene Marks when he says that he "would be more anxious if there was a bomb on [his] flight".







  • CR10
    6/01/2017 - 09:28 a.m.

    Banning laptops wasn't an issue before because people didn't have the money to afford laptops. But now almost everyone has a laptop and they could put a bomb in it and kill or injure civilians. I don't like the ban of laptops on a plane. Banning laptops could hurt businesses. Laptops kill time and make flights more enjoyable. If you really needed your laptop you would have to drive it might take three hours on a plane but in a car it could take up to eight hours.

  • CR4
    6/01/2017 - 09:30 a.m.

    There wasn't a problem before because many airline passengers have become hooked on their electronics. They've become so hooked on electronics because they help kill time during long flights. U.S. aviation-security officials look determined to ban large electronics in the cabin from europe. Business travelers are worried about lost productivity. Laptops in checked baggage can be stolen or broken.

  • CR2
    6/01/2017 - 09:30 a.m.

    I agree with the article because some people have been killed with laptops or tablets. On the plane people can do other stuff instead of technology for example look at magazines, read books, or just stare out the window. Also laptops could be damaged or stolen. But if they do ban laptops they could loose passengers or business workers. This wasn't an issue before because a long time ago there wasn't airplanes. Or it could be that they didn't have devices or they didn't use it very often at all they just sat and looked out the window. This article was a good article.

  • JESS1872
    6/01/2017 - 09:33 a.m.

    This was an interesting article.

  • CR1
    6/01/2017 - 09:51 a.m.

    I thought that this article was very meaningful and I agree I would rather sleep,play cards,or read a magazine than risk having a bomb in computers while i am on the plane. I also think scanning the laptops and other electronics to decide if they are safe or unsafe is a good idea so they don't go out of business.The other reason is that the laptops or tablets could get damaged or stolen. This wasn't an issue before because people use there laptops way more now than back then. That is why i agree with banning laptops and tablets on planes.Plus I think that we should not take so many risks and be safe.

  • JAC2
    6/02/2017 - 08:23 a.m.

    I think it wasn't an issue because no one was devoted to use a device

  • JAC12
    6/02/2017 - 08:24 a.m.

    this wasn't a issue before because we did not have that fancy tec as we do know in the us.it is scary as people can just sneak bombs in to there computer and bring them on the the plane.

  • JAC18
    6/02/2017 - 08:34 a.m.

    i would love to have a laptop on an airplane because i get really bored really easily.

  • CR3
    6/02/2017 - 08:46 a.m.

    It wasn't an issue before because they never new that pasengers are so hooked to there electronics. Also they didn't know that computers can be stolen or dameged easaliy.I thought this article was a good article because . It was talking about the risk they would have to take to banned computers. They could also do both like nap,read a magazine,play cards,and do things on there computers.

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