No laptops on planes?

Michael Kleef, who lives in Perth, is probably no stranger to 4+ hour plane flights across Australia. He probably uses that time to process the thousands of e-mails that are sitting in his Inbox, its productive time, and if you do it on a regular basis it becomes part of your routine – you expect to have that time. If you take two flights a week thats essentiall a whole day that you gain.

So – when Michael suggests that the new cabin baggage policies being enforced and proposed are an overreaction, I’m inclined to listen. The new policies are a reaction to the discovery that terrorists plan to use new weapons on commercial flights – in this case – liquid explosives.

The problem with laptops and any electronic device is that they could be used to trigger explosives. Of course, anyone knows that two bits of wood could be used for the same purpose – but lets not let logic get in the way of a good scare campaign.

Unfortunately the “war on terror” is not a war, its an arms race, and everytime you invent a complex rule to cover another possible attack vector the attacker is just going to find another weakness to exploit – of course, they will have to modify every seat on the aircraft in the following ways . . .

  • remove electronic headset jacks,
  • remove overhead lights,

. . . and all the time the economic impact of this “war” gets worse and worse.

Lets look at the scenario:

  1. I’m not allowed to take my laptop on the plane as cabin baggage (2+ hours lost productivity per week).
  2. Having to check my laptop and entrust it to these people (one $3,000 laptop every six months).
  3. Paying increased insurance premiums because we had to entrust out laptop to these people (some % increase per year, increasing annually as these people rationalise their acts by saying that “its insured anyway”).

On the bright side this might encourage businesses to increase spending in the telecommuniting space which may reduce the stress we are placing on our oil reserves – there has to be a silver lining here somewhere right?

4 thoughts on “No laptops on planes?

  1. Joe Brinkman

    But mitch, think of all the dry chicken dinners that are no longer served because plastic knives can’t cut the tough-as-shoeleather chicken. That benefit alone is worth the extra inconvenience. Besides we all know that you were just playing freecell anyway.

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