Donald Trump’s had another cracking week of PR, so naturally he’s going to deal with it in the only way he knows how: by announcing something ludicrous so everyone concentrates on that instead of the fact that he’s fired the guy investigating him which definitely isn’t suspicious at all, no sir, definitely not suspicious.
And his latest wheeze? He’s going to ban laptops, notebooks and similar devices from cabins on flights to the US from Europe and the UK.
European security officials told The Daily Beast about the plans, which are expected to be officially announced today (Thursday). Laptops are already banned from flights from ten airports in eight Middle Eastern Countries, apparently following evidence of a plot to blow up aircraft using notebooks packed with explosives.
As The Register explains beautifully, the ban makes little sense on any level, and could seriously harm the aviation industry, since the ban would hugely impact on businesspeople, who use the fact that they can work in-flight to justify the enormous cost of Business and First Class flights. If they can’t work, they’ll be much more likely to take the cheaper cabin class.
In addition, people would undoubtedly be dissuaded from taking their devices at all, since having to part with them opens up the possibility that they could be stolen, cloned, or simply end up in a different country if their luggage goes missing. And if they can’t take their devices, they may not even bother making the journey.
And will the ban make flying safer? Probably not, since any bomb-laden laptop that gets through security would simply end up in the hold instead of the cabin, which could make any firefighting even more difficult. At the end of the day, if it makes it through the checks, it’s going on the plane either way.
It’s undoubtedly a move to give the appearance of protecting American citizens, even if the reality is that it’s absolutely pointless; something which is not exactly new in politics, and is almost de rigeur for Donald Trump.
It’ll be back to reading books and trying not to kill the kid kicking the back of your chair then. Great.