- According to the Trump Administration, due to recent terrorist threats, devices that are bigger than your average smart phone will be banned in the cabin on airlines traveling into the U.S. from Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
- “The Underwear Bomber (several years ago) made us aware of radical Islamic groups that are experimenting with various types of explosives to take down airplanes,” Dr. Bernard McCarthy, the director of the Center for Homeland Security and Defense and a Criminology professor at Missouri State University said.
- This electronics ban will force people to pay to ship their personal items that they do not trust in the cargo hold of a commercial airline.
- This ban affects a lot of people approximately 393 flights a week will be affected, according to the International Air Transport Association.
Imagine you are a doctor that is on a mission to help people in Jordan, Egypt, or Qatar, and you have a 12 hour flight to get back home to the States, what are you going to do to pass the time on that flight?
You are probably going to want to watch Netflix on your iPad, browse the internet on your laptop, or you might have to get some work done on the flight and the only way to do that is on a laptop.
Well, you are out of luck.
As of March 21, passengers traveling to the United States from 10 airports in eight Muslim-majority countries will not be allowed to have iPads, laptops or any communication devices in the cabin of the plane.
The devices can be no bigger than your average smartphone in the cabin of the plane.
According to the Department of Homeland Security’s website, the eight countries that are affected by this electronics ban are Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
It was said by the Trump administration that the electronics ban was put into place because of some intelligence that said how some terrorists are continuing to target airlines that are flying into the United States.
The United States is not the only country that has a ban like this in effect; the United Kingdom also has an electronics ban on airplanes.
Dr. Bernard McCarthy, a criminology professor at Missouri State University, talked about how this ban came to be.
“The Underwear Bomber (several years ago) made us aware of radical Islamic groups that are experimenting with various types of explosives to take down airplanes,” McCarthy said. “You know, ISIS and Al Qaida believe that blowing up a plane in the sky would be a great multimedia event for them. That is allowing them to demonstrate their strengths and reach, and they wish to terrorize people.”
McCarthy also runs the Center of Homeland Security and Defense in Springfield.
According to the Department of Homeland Security’s press release, the electronics ban also includes portable DVD players and cameras.
Dr. Andrew Cline, a media, journalism and film professor at Missouri State University, is currently dealing with this electronics ban.
“We have a team of four traveling to Amman with several thousand dollars worth of video equipment,” Cline said. “We have cameras, computers, lenses and other audio equipment … All of these things are going to be disallowed to fly back in the cabin.”
Cline said that his group will have no problem carrying their equipment in the cabin as they travel from Chicago to Amman. Coming back however, that will not be the case.
“There is no way that I am going to expose my personal equipment to the hold of an aircraft or to aircraft baggage handlers,” Cline said. “My equipment and the equipment of the others is just too valuable to us.”
Cline said shipping their equipment bak to the United States will be expensive, but it will be worth it not having to hassle with either broken or stolen equipment when they get home.
While, some people believe that this ban is unnecessary, McCarthy said that he believes that this electronics ban is effective to help protect people.
“If I was traveling to Dubai to the United States, if there was a threat, I would say to people, ‘just buy a paperback book,’” McCarthy said. “I think that would be a minimal disruption to my travel if it helps keep people safe.”