Published on : Thursday, May 18, 2017
The Business Travel Coalition (BTC) stated the situation could stir “economic tsunami” as the passengers are forced to stow electronic devices in the hold rather than being able to take them on in hand luggage.
BTC chairman Kevin Mitchell in a letter to European transport commissioner Violeta Bulc wrote in his letter “a ban from Europe could affect 3,500 flights a week this summer and 65 million passengers per year.” He continued, “the economic risk to airlines and the travel and tourism industry is orders of magnitude greater than the threat from pandemics, volcanoes or wars.”
He mentioned in his letter, “Most organizations – corporations, universities, governments – will not allow employees to check laptops, most of which have sensitive information on them. IT chiefs and risk managers are very conservative and assume everything on a laptop is sensitive – emails, contacts, hiring, marketing and sales strategies, new product diagrams, etc.”
“As such, well beyond lost inflight productivity, the significantly larger consequence of a potential electronics ban would be, for example, if a business traveller were going to London for a week, he would not have his laptop with him. That for most business travellers would be an absolute no-go, deal breaker. That’s where a dramatic falloff in business travel demand would be based. A monthly trip to London becomes a once-a-quarter.”
The electronics ban was introduced on in-bound flights to the US and the UK in March. Certain countries in the Middle East and North Africa passengers were forced to pack the electronic devices which are bigger than a smart phone in their hold luggage, rather than allowing them in the cabin luggage.
This rule is applicable on UK inbound flights from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey and US inbound flights from Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar and the UAE.
The travel experts warned that the ban would not only affect the business people but also the ordinary holidaymakers. According to Holiday Extras, the UK’s market leader for travel extras, more than a third of people said they would reconsider their flights if faced with having to put their electronics in the hold.
Ant Clarke-Cowell, communications director at Holiday Extras that whether they’re used to update social statuses, translate local languages or plan the journeys, electronic devices are a huge part of modern travel.
Budget holiday website HolidayPirates showed that most people would read on a flight. Some 66 per cent of those surveyed said they would be stuck into a good book, 28 per cent intended to catch up on their sleep and 14 per cent would talk to the person next to them.