Talking Points – DHS Electronics Restrictions on

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Talking Points – DHS Electronics Restrictions on
Talking Points – DHS Electronics Restrictions on Certain Flights
Copyright © 2017 – Travel Leaders Group LLC. All rights reserved.
The following Talking Points may be used in conversations with the media and clients when
discussing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s recent ban on large electronics on U.S.bound flights originating from certain countries in Africa and the Middle East. (March 21, 2017)
1. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has banned electronics larger than a phone
in the cabin of flights originating from 10 airports in eight countries.
2. Safety is our top priority for our clients.
3. We provide the facts so our clients can make an informed decision about their travel
plans.
Below you will find additional information, supporting material, and statistics supporting each
talking point.
1. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has banned electronics larger than a phone
in the cabin of flights originating from 10 airports in eight countries.

Due to concern about electronics potentially being used as explosive devices, inbound
flights to the United States from eight countries are now being required to check any
personal electronic larger than a phone. This includes laptops and tablets.

While no U.S. airlines are impacted, the following airlines must enforce the ban:
o
Egyptair
o
Qatar Airways
o
Turkish Airlines
o
Etihad Airways
o
Emirates Airlines
o
Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia)
o
Royal Jordanian Airlines
o
Kuwait Airways
o
Royal Air Maroc

These airlines fly nonstop flights from their home base countries to the United States. No
US airlines fly direct to or from Mohammed V International (Casablanca, Morocco),
Ataturk Airport (Istanbul, Turkey), Queen Alia International (Amman, Jordan), King
Abdulaziz International (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia), King Khalid International (Riyadh, Saudi
Arabia), Kuwait International Airport (Farwaniya, Kuwait), Hamad International (Doha,
Qatar), Abu Dhabi International (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates), and Dubai
International (Dubai, United Arab Emirates); therefore this electronics restrictions will not
affect airlines based in the United States.

Passengers’ electronic medical devices will undergo special security screenings in order
to be allowed in the cabin.

This restriction applies only to passengers, not cabin crew.

Any flights on the nine airlines that are departing from the United States will be allowed
to have non-phone electronics in the cabin; this restriction only applies to flights entering
the United States.

The affected airlines have been given 96 hours to comply with this new policy. According
to CNN:
o
“Turkish Airlines told passengers traveling to the U.S. that anything bigger than a
smartphone must be checked in.”
o
“Emirates said it would implement the new measures for all passengers bound
for the U.S. from Dubai on March 25.”
o
“Etihad said it had received the notification from the U.S. government and was
reviewing it. A spokeswoman for Qatar Airways said it would take full advantage
of the 96-hour notice period and implement the change on Friday.”
o
“Other airlines, including Royal Jordanian and Saudi Arabian Airlines, have said
they will implement the measures.”

Should any of the airlines refuse to comply with the measure, they will lose permission to
fly to the United States.

The United Kingdom has enacted a similar ban. There are some differences in the
countries affected.
o
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that “’The Prime Minister has chaired a
number of meetings on aviation security over the last few weeks, including this
morning, where it was agreed that new aviation security measures on all inbound
direct flights to the UK from the following countries will be introduced: Turkey,
Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia,’ a government spokesman said.”
o
Since some UK-based airlines offer nonstop flights from the affected
destinations, unlike US-based airlines, this means that several will be affected.

The Guardian reports that “UK airlines will come under the ban, including
British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson.
Foreign carriers affected are Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airways, AtlasGlobal Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Egyptair. Royal Jordanian, Tunis Air
and Saudia.”
2. Safety is our top priority for our clients.

This restriction is based on concern that “Bombs could be hidden in laptops, tablets,
cameras, DVD players and electronic games, the Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) said.” [BBC]

The Department of Homeland Security has released a comprehensive Q&A about the
electronics restrictions. Among the questions answered are:
o
“The U.S. Government is concerned about terrorists' ongoing interest in targeting
commercial aviation, including transportation hubs over the past two years, as
evidenced by the 2015 airliner downing in Egypt, the 2016 attempted airliner
downing in Somalia, and the 2016 armed attacks against airports in Brussels and
Istanbul. Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target
commercial aviation, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer
items.
Based on this trend, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), in
consultation with relevant Departments and Agencies, has determined it is
prudent to enhance security, to include airport security procedures for
passengers at certain last point of departure airports to the United States. These
enhancements include more stringent measures applied to 10 specific airports.”
o
“The new procedures remain in place until the threat changes. These are riskbased decisions and TSA continuously assesses security risks and seeks to
balance necessary security requirements with their operational impact on the
industry.”
o
“Electronic devices will still be allowed on all flights originating in the United
States. Security procedures, both seen and unseen, are in place to mitigate the
risk to flights in the United States.”

Although lithium batteries such as those used in electronic devices are considered a fire
hazard on planes, according to CNN, “Safety experts and regulators have long warned
that batteries shipped in bulk could constitute a fire risk that ultimately could bring down
an aircraft. The International Civil Aviation Organization advised global regulators last
year to ban carrying bulk shipments of such batteries in the cargo holds of passenger
jets. But electronics spread out across a person's luggage pose far less of a threat than
palettes of lithium batteries, according to a U.S. aviation official.”

We encourage our clients to purchase travel insurance, and make sure that all valuable
electronics in checked luggage are insured.
3. We provide the facts so our clients can make an informed decision about their travel
plans.

We closely monitor the U.S. Department of State website for travel alerts as well as the
more severe travel warnings for all destinations, including those that are most popular
with our clients.

Should we become aware of an issue for a specific destination, we alert clients who may
be planning to travel there so they can determine for themselves if they still wish to
travel.

Also, should we become aware of an issue for a specific destination where a client is
currently located, we try to immediately contact the client to check on their well-being
and work to assist them if they require alternate travel arrangements.

Our business is founded on repeat customers. Therefore, we want to be sure everything
goes off without a hitch.

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