The electronics ban, also called the laptop ban, affecting limited commercial flights threatens airline and airport operations. It also presents a massive disruption to the passenger experience.
This weekly post is my ‘round tuit’. Included are stories which caught my eye and others which I couldn’t cover in-depth during the week, but thought Flight Chic readers would want to know about.
1. An extension to the existing electronics ban has been avoided, for now. But is it inevitable?
EU seeks US cooperation on electronics ban … https://t.co/f6dxEjan8q pic.twitter.com/yeysRvhAVh
— Air Transport World (@ATWOnline) May 12, 2017
EU call with US buys time on wider airline electronics ban https://t.co/zjOX9XEiyB via @Politico
— FlightChic | ✈️💺 (@designerjet) May 12, 2017
The aviation family works each and every day to keep the skies safe for all passengers. Various threats to safety and security over the decades have prompted corrective actions which led to improvements to products, design, and procedures.
CNN’s ‘U.S. intelligence’ sources forgetting/ignoring Lockerbie is truly shocking. https://t.co/ycoqwDyf1H #LaptopBan #aviationsafety pic.twitter.com/ZtDaE4oij2
— FlightChic | ✈️💺 (@designerjet) May 11, 2017
- Whatever the present threat, the method of deployment and nature of the current electronics ban has been damaging to those airlines already affected and to their customers. A last-minute intervention by the European Union avoided the threat that such a ban might extend to flights from Europe to the US. But the possibility of such extension still exists.
- There has to be a better way. Preventing millions of passengers from travelling with their electronics devices does not fit our modern hyper-connected society.
- Having to carry hundreds electronic devices in the hold of the aircraft during each flight presents a safety risk. The industry has been trying to lessen this over the past few years through its procedures and policies for handling and carriage of lithium-ion powered battery devices.
- To now say it is OK to store these devices as cargo contradicts information the aviation industry has given the public. Thus, this sudden change in procedures threatens to shake public confidence that air transport processes are meaningful and serve a useful purpose.
- If the ban were to move forward, and be lasting, the technology industry would urgently need to develop alternative batteries, with lower risks of volatility, but we already know they have been slow to do so.
In short, the existing ban is not viable. Its extension is not sustainable.
That such a proposal to add ineffective and burdensome procedures is on the table, at the same time that policy proposes scaling back on regulations which are intended to ensure safety or defend consumer rights, is, at the very least, illogical.
- The APEX (Airline Passenger Experience) Association has sent out a request to members for support in finding alternatives, and in collaborating to resolve the challenges this ban poses. Interested parties among member companies should send in their proposals right away.
There is more than sufficient technological know-how in the aviation sector to find a happy resolution to this challenge.
APEX members: Please send planned efforts to support airlines affected by #ElectronicsBan to email@example.com. Click image below for more info pic.twitter.com/9OEuYQkzpc
— APEX (@theAPEXassoc) May 12, 2017
Employ #biometrics “green listing” 2 work around inflight electronics ban says APEX CEO @joepleader. @tnooz https://t.co/qJFK4f8EUW #avgeek
— Maryann Simson (@JetwayMJ) May 12, 2017
RELATED: EgyptAir may have been brought down by a runaway battery fire from a single tablet. Though device fires to date have been identified and put out in the cabin, this conclusion by investigators suggests that lithium-ion batteries are a real threat.
EgyptAir Crash Not Terrorism & #Gogo’s #2Ku Reaches 100 Mbps: Click through for this week's top #PaxEx news: https://t.co/i4YnnKdZWu #AvGeek pic.twitter.com/YpqhqXUtcD
— APEX (@theAPEXassoc) May 12, 2017
2. Top 3 Passenger Experience Priorities
What would you name as 3 most important things when you fly? #paxsurvey https://t.co/isQpst65YD pic.twitter.com/u2hiZHWhbH
— IATA (@IATA) May 12, 2017
3. There’s nothing funny about hatred.
As I am sure many were, I was very bothered to see the news of the pie attack this week against Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce. Decades of slapstick comedy may account for why this story cycle was initially amusing to many, but there was never anything funny about it. Joyce was assaulted. That pie might easily have been something more sinister.
Indeed it was far more sinister.
The news followed that the culprit intended to intimidate Joyce and to protest Joyce’s support of same-sex marriage. I know that this is a contentious topic around the globe. But really, really, REALLY: with so much EVIL about, can we NOT harass people for loving whomever they want to love?
My heart goes out to Alan Joyce for going through this. My respect for him, in how well he has handled this event, has also grown.
4. Emirates reports a dramatic drop in profits.
Emirates – more passengers, more mobile bookings, less profit https://t.co/z9Irf7mQpg
— PhocusWire (@phocuswire) May 12, 2017
5. EasyJet gets smart about cabin maintenance.
EasyJet Eyes Cabin Survey App for Interior Damage Reporting https://t.co/z5zFcgbuOL h/T @theAPEXassoc
— FlightChic | ✈️💺 (@designerjet) May 13, 2017
6. Inside American Airlines’ New Flagship First Lounge at JFK
SNEAK PEAK: @AmericanAir new Flagship First #FFDining at JFK! #GoingForGreat @AirlineGeeks @AirlineFlyer @airwaysnews #AvGeek @FlyerTalk pic.twitter.com/53nNkZFHDK
— Clay Doherty (@clay_doherty) May 12, 2017
7. Airbus enjoys successful Early Long Flight trials of the A350-1000 plane.
During 12 hrs aloft, we tested the #A350-1000’s cabin comfort & operability in our Early Long Flight trial https://t.co/JrgexV8ruX #A350ELF pic.twitter.com/0wLj26YUMm
— Airbus (@Airbus) May 12, 2017
8. Boeing resumes 737 MAX test flights after engine troubles ground fleet.
Boeing resumes 737 MAX test flights https://t.co/B3yJzCI0Qt
— ReutersAerospaceNews (@ReutersAero) May 12, 2017
9. Growth in Asia continues.
I’d say it’s bound to accelerate, given the complications of flying to certain other large markets.
Robust gains in passenger traffic at hub airports serving trans-Pacific & East Asian routes. Read more: https://t.co/IhvkeikhUI #WorldReport pic.twitter.com/V3Un35LZ4L
— ACI World (@ACIWorld) May 12, 2017
.@AlaskaAir swats down rumor that it banned bees from flights, reports @PSBJaero https://t.co/urCZ0WSxMi pic.twitter.com/4Soun658Bb
— Puget Sound Business Journal (@PSBJ) May 12, 2017
11. And then…
Scorpion reported on United flight — again https://t.co/ppT1R9sx2s pic.twitter.com/DSR9KhCT4g
— Travel + Leisure (@TravelLeisure) May 12, 2017
UNITED: Take heart. All of this is an opportunity.
Air New Zealand boss to United: Don’t “waste a good crisis” https://t.co/crYDhUmwZZ
— Jessica Plautz (@jessicaplautz) May 12, 2017
There is more news to mention from week 19, but not enough time.