Airlines told to "be prepared" for an expanded ban on carry-on electronic devices allowed on airplanes.
On February 2, 2016, an explosive that was hidden in a laptop exploded 20 minutes into the flight of a Somali airlines plane. It blew a hole in the airplane, but since it had not reached cruising altitude, the plane was able to return to the airport and landed safely. Fortunately, the plane’s departure had been delayed for an hour which prevented the explosion from occurring at cruising altitude where it would have destroyed the plane and everyone onboard. The explosives in the laptop were not detected during the x-ray screening prior to boarding.
As a result of this incident and a similar airliner downing in 2015, the United States Transportation Administration and United Kingdom Transport Security placed a ban on electronic devices larger than a cell phone/smart phone in carry-on luggage on certain direct flights to the United States and the United Kingdom. Currently the ban applies to U.S. and U.K. inbound flights from eight countries in the Middle East as of March 24, 2017.
On May 9, 2017, Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan confirmed to reporters that the U.S. administration is considering expanding the ban on laptops, to potentially include "more than a couple" other regions, including flights from Western Europe.
What does this mean for those of us who travel frequently? It means we can’t take our laptops on board to finish that last minute presentation before we arrive at our next meeting. While we might welcome the excuse to put off our work, it creates a bigger problem since it means we will have to pack our laptop in our checked luggage where it is subject to damage, loss and possible theft.
Hitachi Data Systems’ Mobile Computing Policy prohibits company issued laptops, tablets and mini tablets to be placed in checked baggage just for that reason. Packing our Laptops in our checked luggage is not an option for us. However, that does not create a problem, since we use our HCP Anywhere, file synch and share solution. All the files we need for the trip can be loaded into our HCP Anywhere folder and we can retrieve it from our smartphones or a loaner PC at our destination.
It just so happens that I will be in Istanbul next week to participate in several conferences. My presentations are loaded in my HCP Anywhere folder, and I am leaving my laptop at home. I plan to pack one of my private iPads in my checked baggage, to use when I get there since I prefer a larger screen than my iPhone. and I can face time with the family. I have several iPads since I seem to get one free every time I upgrade my iPhone. These iPads are cheap to replace and they don't contain company data. I will spend my time on the flight sleeping, watching movies or doing email. This ban is likely to be extended to other countries, and possibly domestic airports, and that is fine with me since it means another layer of security. So not having a laptop in my carryon, means a safer, more restful flight.
Since airlines are not the only places where I can lose a laptop while I am travelling, HCP Anywhere eliminates the liabilities of travelling with a company laptop altogether.