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No electronics on certain flights

Africa Middle East

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#41 inyathi

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 12:12 AM

According to what is being reported, US Navy SEALS during a recent raid on al Qaeda in Yemen (you might recall the raid from the news because one of the SEALS was killed) recovered specific intelligence suggesting that terrorists were intending to use bombs concealed inside laptops to bring down airliners. Furthermore last year an al Shabab terrorist attempted to do this on a flight out of Mogadishu he blew a hole in the side of the plane, fortunately only just after take-off, he was apparently sucked out of the hole and killed but the pilot was able to turn the plane around and land everyone else safely. The battery compartment in a laptop in which the explosives would be hidden is not that big but it would only require a small amount of explosives to blow a hole in the fuselage if it was positioned next to a window, at altitude this would cause a catastrophic loss of cabin pressure and destroy the plane. The same bomb packed in the middle of a suitcase full of clothes and surrounded by other bags in a container in the hold would not likely cause catastrophic damage there’s therefore a much better chance that the plane would survive. Of course Pan Am Flight 103 that was destroyed over Lockerbie in 1988 was apparently blown up using explosives hidden inside a radio cassette recorder placed inside a suitcase that was in the hold, but the terrorists had removed a good portion of the insides of the machine to accommodate the explosives so it was I presume a more powerful bomb than would be the case with one hidden in laptop. I would hope that the assumption might be that the screening for hold luggage would pick up a bomb of this size. Also as someone interviewed on the radio this morning said separating the bomb from the bomber is always a good idea, if the bomb goes in the hold the bomber should have no control over where it ends up even if they could still set it off remotely from within the cabin say by mobile phone which I assume might be possible. Inside the cabin the bomber can place the bomb exactly where they need it to be to cause the most damage and set it off far more easily. The real problem is that the bomb makers are getting more and more sophisticated at producing IEDS that are very difficult to detect, the fear is that they have managed to find a way to secrete a bomb inside a laptop so well that airport security would very likely not find it. In the event that that happened then an entire plane load of people could be killed. I don't have a laptop but I do travel with an iPad and I'm used to having to get it out so that it can be x-rayed so that they have a much better chance of seeing if it looks suspicious, on my most recent flight after they had already done that and just before boarding someone asked to see it and ran what I assume was an explosives detector over it just to be absolutely sure.  

 

It seems to me that there may well in fact be good justification for a ban, however the way that this whole thing was announced and has been carried out is not good, furthermore I cannot understand why US carriers seem to be exempt unless this has been done for commercial advantage. I also don’t quite understand why the US and UK bans don’t apply to the exact same countries, airlines and airports, that doesn't make much sense as we are both responding to the same intelligence. Likewise if the US is banning cameras why is the UK not also doing so? I'm glad I'm not just about fly via one of these airports because I might well be somewhat confused as to exactly what is allowed and I how should carry it to ensure it arrives in one piece at the other end and doesn't get stolen. However inconvenient all of these things are you should always remember to blame the terrorists and not the security people who are just doing their jobs and thank them, even when you are annoyed and wondering why they've picked on you and why it all takes so long. Better to be inconvenienced than blown out of the sky.  

 

As many people are thinking baggage handlers of the sticky fingered variety will be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of all the valuable electronics that will be in people’s hold bags now. No doubt the guys who operate the baggage wrap machines will also be rubbing their hands together. Perhaps we should all be buying shares in companies like Pelican and Pacsafe who will no doubt also be doing good business as a result of this. 

 

I am afraid until someone can develop a foolproof method of detecting explosives problems like this will just go on, the awful events that have just occurred in Westminster outside our parliament in London just illustrate that we have to take the issue of terrorism very seriously,  :angry:  :( 


Edited by inyathi, 23 March 2017 - 01:25 AM.

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#42 AmyT

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 12:54 AM

(facepalm) wondering how much more this could grow before my trip



#43 amybatt

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 01:16 AM

I think US carriers are exempt only because there are no direct flights on a US carrier from any of the countries of origin on the list (Qatar, UAE, Turkey, Jordan, etc.)
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#44 pault

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 02:30 AM

Good points @inyathi  And the savings on flights would allow you to buy a secure case or two which cannot be broken into - although of course it could still manage to get lost. I believe that shipping your camera gear (I buy and have sold camera gear internationally so it's not as frightenig as it sounds) to your ground operator in your destination country or to be collected from the airport office of an international shipping company would be an option, although bloody inconvenient, and whether the savings would be sufficient to cover potential taxes (worst case in Thailand is 7% VAT but you could be looking at a lot more in Africa) is debatable.  Who wants to be the first too!!!/

 

You need to look for silver linings (bargains on flights). Sounds like it is here to stay, or at least for a while.

 

Shares in Pelican........don't think they are available but good idea.. :D


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#45 madaboutcheetah

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 02:48 AM

I think US carriers are exempt only because there are no direct flights on a US carrier from any of the countries of origin on the list (Qatar, UAE, Turkey, Jordan, etc.)

 

 

That's only because they could not compete with the ME airlines ....... Emirates for one has a huge market here in the Sub-continent and a lot of people travel to the US via Dubai for work and otherwise ........ Who wants to fly Continental or Delta???? they are awful!


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#46 COSMIC RHINO

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 03:25 AM

be cautious when packing  if regulations suddenly change

 

  • leave room in your main  checked bag for your  camera  in its padded camera bag
  • make sure that you have a lock, make sure it is a TSA lock if you are going through the USA
  • think bag wrapping, I asked someone in Nairobi why it is so popular, the answer was to stop someone  else adding narcotics to my bag

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#47 xelas

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 07:53 AM

  • think bag wrapping, I asked someone in Nairobi why it is so popular, the answer was to stop someone  else adding narcotics to my bag

This is the main reason I am wrapping our checked luggage whenever travelling to any of the destinations that have very strict anti-drugs law!



#48 madaboutcheetah

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 01:26 PM

@xelas - that's a scary thought! 


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#49 dinkdunk

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 01:37 PM

I was reading about all the reasons why this ban is poorly thought out, of which there are many.  This seems to be the norm these days in the US.

 

The one I thought was the best example of why this is a ridiculous ban was the example of two associates going through security at the same airport, booked on different flights, one to the US/UK and another to a non-electronic banning location.  One can carry a laptop through security and hand it off to his associate that is flying straight to the US or UK once in the terminal. 


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#50 madaboutcheetah

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 01:41 PM

If they are paranoid about the security protocol in many of these airports - TSA should have their own security in some of these major airports that serve several US routes on a daily basis ( Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha).  I'm sure those cities will happily pay their bill!!!! 


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#51 xelas

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 02:41 PM

I was reading about all the reasons why this ban is poorly thought out, of which there are many.  This seems to be the norm these days in the US.

 

The one I thought was the best example of why this is a ridiculous ban was the example of two associates going through security at the same airport, booked on different flights, one to the US/UK and another to a non-electronic banning location.  One can carry a laptop through security and hand it off to his associate that is flying straight to the US or UK once in the terminal. 

 

There might be an extra inspection at the boarding gate. It happens in Costa Rica on flights going to US.


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#52 madaboutcheetah

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 03:06 PM

https://www.emirates...-for-us-flights

 

Here you go ....... Quick response as always..........  


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#53 amybatt

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 04:00 PM

Amazingly fast response from Emirates, although the story is that they have seen this coming for a while, so maybe they'd been working on this.  I'd love to ask though about cameras.  Can those be packed/stored/safely returned on arrival in the US, I wonder?


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#54 ld1

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 07:52 PM

That's pretty fine service from Emirates. Whilst I can live without a laptop and ipad. I'd feel much better about handing a camera in at the gate and then picking it up at my destination. It could still go missing of course, but less time hanging around Baggage handling on the outward journey has got to increase the odds of safe arrival.
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#55 janzin

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 08:44 PM

Good response from emirates, but I agree with Amy--what about cameras? To me and I think many of us safari-goers on that's the bigger issue. I can live without my ipad and laptop on the flight but just don't trust putting my camera equipment in the hold.  Also, if we do end up having to buy Pelican or another hard case for camera equipment, then I suppose we will be charged for an extra bag--could be $100 or more! 


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#56 AmyT

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 11:50 PM

I wanted to purchase our flights today, before prices go up more than they have this week. Unfortunately, the daughter of my friend doesn't have her passport yet so we will have to wait a couple of weeks. In the meantime, hopefully other carriers will offer camera services.



#57 COSMIC RHINO

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 12:53 AM

I am not affected by this given the route I am taken but if I was and I was taking a SLR I would try to find out if the airline will accept the lens as hand carry and the camera body as checked.

 

start at the airlines home page then try an email 

 

since  Australia is not doing this , if you put in cameras and airport security , all you get  is general on airport CCTV 


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#58 ZaminOz

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 02:57 AM

Emirates understand customer service!


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#59 Alexander33

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 05:21 AM

It's going to be very interesting to see how this all unfolds.

Emirates sounds like it is doing the best it can with this "valet service" approach for laptops and tablets, but it's very questionable to me as to whether that would work for camera equipment -- if that service were even offered. In fact, I find it odd that there is so little dialogue elsewhere that I can find as to the effect of the U.S. ban on the transport of camera lenses. I guess everyone is still bewildered by it all.

I'm starting to feel like I really do live in a far-off bubble. Friends tell me not to worry about it -- that if I can't take my camera equipment, I can still take photos of the gorillas with my i-Phone. Obviously, they are not into nature photography like I am. I almost became physically violent in my frustration with their flippancy in making that comment!

I've dreamed of this trip to Rwanda for a number of years, and I've got a lot riding on it, both financially and emotionally.

Do I purchase one-way return tickets now on a route that, for the time being, is unaffected by the ban? It's an expensive proposition, adding about 20% to the cost of my trip (but still a fraction of the replacement value of my camera equipment). If I go forward with that, I risk there being some workable solution achieved before we leave, making the purchase a complete waste. On the other hand, I also risk that the ban will be expanded, and that I will then have two sets of worthless tickets.

If I wait, I then risk there being no acceptable solution reached and that ticket prices will be even higher -- or that they will be unavailable altogether -- by the time I decide to act.

I'm leaning heavily in favor of alternative one-way return tickets, but it's definitely keeping me up at nights.
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#60 madaboutcheetah

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 05:30 AM

@Alexander33 - ring up the Emirates 800 number yet?  I'm sure they'd give you the upto date information.

 

I'm at the moment looking to invest in a Pelican Case - although, the electronics ban does not affect me from India ........ this might become the norm eventually around the world, like the liquid ban! 


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