As Laptop Ban Talks Drag On, Airlines See Cargo Bin and Operational Issues — Not Big Demand Dropoff – Forbes

Kuwaiti social media activist Thamer al-Dakheel Bourashed puts his laptop inside his suitcase at Kuwait International Airport  before boarding a flight to the United States on March 23, 2017. Yasser al-Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images)

Should we ban airline passengers on U.S.-bound flights from carrying on laptops and other large electronics?

Or, already three weeks into what is expected to be the busiest summer travel season in U.S. history, should we just keep talking about it?

The latter course has so far been the preferred one, not surprisingly, since banning laptops seems to be an exercise that eliminates one potential problem while creating others.

“Placing {laptops} in cargo doesn’t solve the problem,” Todd Insler, chairman of the United chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association told TheStreet las month.  “It just creates a different problem.

“Lithium-ion batteries are clearly hazardous — I don’t want a hazardous device in my cargo hold,” said Insler, a New York-based Boeing 767 captain.

Additionally, the International Air Transport Association has estimated global airlines could suffer an impact of $1 billion from delays that would increase travel time and eliminate productive time aboard aircraft.

At the same time, last week top executives from United Airlines and American Airlines questioned whether the laptop ban in itself would discourage passengers from flying.


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