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03-20-2017, 08:26 PM   #1
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Cameras and laptops banned in cabins of US-bound flights from certain ME airports

"Passengers traveling on certain U.S.-bound foreign airline flights will have to check electronic devices larger than a cell phone"

U.S. to ban some airline passengers from carrying larger electronics | Reuters

The Q cameras are thicker than a phone, but generally shorter and narrower.
So it's not clear right now if they will need to be checked.

03-20-2017, 08:36 PM   #2
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From the linked article;

" No American carriers were affected by the ban, the officials said. Passengers would be allowed to carry in their checked luggage larger devices like tablets, portable DVD players, laptops and cameras."
03-20-2017, 08:37 PM   #3
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From what I heard, it does not affect US carriers as they do not fly directly to or from the affected countries.
03-20-2017, 08:58 PM   #4
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I wonder if this is due to a specific piece of intel, a risk assessment that said it's too easy to turn a device into a bomb, or something else. I don't yet see how the change improves security because an exploding laptop in the cargo hold is still a very bad thing. Maybe airport design facilitates more thorough inspection of checked luggage than of carryons.

Regardless of any terrorism risk, I don't trust airport luggage handlers to: a) move fragile equipment; and b) not steal stuff. Flying itself is fun but I despise airports.

03-20-2017, 09:21 PM - 1 Like   #5
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If you read the article, you would realize the airlines affected are ten of them in the Middle East and North Africa. Still, this is very inconvenient for those passengers who want to travel to the U.S.
03-20-2017, 09:28 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
I wonder if this is due to a specific piece of intel, a risk assessment that said it's too easy to turn a device into a bomb, or something else. I don't yet see how the change improves security because an exploding laptop in the cargo hold is still a very bad thing. Maybe airport design facilitates more thorough inspection of checked luggage than of carryons.

Regardless of any terrorism risk, I don't trust airport luggage handlers to: a) move fragile equipment; and b) not steal stuff. Flying itself is fun but I despise airports.
Specific intel, yes. Most likely the use of special molded plastics that can be made into explosive devices or possibly packed with the same. Hence the reason you have to remove laptops etc for separate scanning at US airports.

Triggering a device that is in the cargo is a lot more difficult. Exponentially harder. If I put your cel phone in a solid metal box and shut the door getting a signal is difficult. Other than that they would have to devise some kind of pressure trigger that may or may not work, especially considering countermeasures that are taken.

Triggering it manually by a suicide bomber not so much.

Most airports have sophisticated equipment that can detect explosive residue. For example it's so sensitive that people who went skiing...they were blasting the mountain to cause avalanches and days later people went back country skiing through there. The machinery picked it up in their clothing days later as they went through the airport. The machines are programmed with thousands of different types of explosive profiles.

However the deployment of science may (or may not) be challenging these with some newer types of plastic explosives that aren't as easy to detect and can be molded into shapes just like any other plastics. Stuff like this ban happens when highly educated people join the ranks of groups like ISIS.

As for the airport or checking of expensive gear--I don't like it at all either but people do it all the time. Several friends are professional film makers or whatnot and they have to check their big heavy and way more expensive stuff. They simply do not use cheap luggage or half measures.

I have seriously considered once I upgrade my gear (or if the need ultimately arises) to investing in a really good pelican type case that can seal tight and have custom foam inserts. They can also have multiple layers of locks to keep eyes and hands off of the goods. I would still worry about them losing my stuff. That said if you take the special precaution to do 'special check in' (like you would with a firearm for example) then they are much better about it.

The downside is that's ANOTHER "bag" that has to be checked... which now a days costs a lot of extra money. All those luggage fees suck.
03-20-2017, 10:37 PM   #7
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Curious. I don't fly often but the last time I did the airline concerned would not allow any batteries of any type in the Check-In luggage. Laptops cameras flashes etc all had to go in the cabin. Perhaps they do things differently down under.
03-20-2017, 11:15 PM - 1 Like   #8
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the airline concerned would not allow any batteries of any type in the Check-In luggage

Same here. It was OK if the battery was in the equipment (eg camera) but you could not check in luggage with spare batteries. That even included AA batteries. And last December the Sydney airport PA was announcing that you could not take a Samsung Galaxy 7 on board at all. I think it gets to the point where they don't know how to deal with an issue so they just have blanket bans (That will be next - no blankets allowed on board.)

03-20-2017, 11:26 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bruce Clark Quote
Curious. I don't fly often but the last time I did the airline concerned would not allow any batteries of any type in the Check-In luggage. Laptops cameras flashes etc all had to go in the cabin. Perhaps they do things differently down under.
That's very interesting.

I had an experience once on a flight from Mexico to the USA where an "excess" number of batteries was determined to be in my carry-on. It was no more than the batteries in my Penxtaxes, plus spares for each camera (one set of spares was 4 AAs, one set of spares was 2 OEM batteries). I had the choice of throwing away my 4 Eneloop and 2 OEM batteries or not boarding the plane. They told me I should have placed the batteries in my checked luggage, enclosed in plastic carrying cases.

I calmly complained and a manager came to security with a book full of directives from the TSA & CBP. One page -- with the Department of Homeland Security seal and TSA heading -- was on batteries and carry-on items. "Excess batteries" were clearly prohibited, but the definition of "excess" was not included.

I explained that the TSA had allowed me to fly to Mexico with exactly the same arrangement, but they were not about to allow me to travel back with "all those batteries" within my access in the cabin. I could not recover my checked luggage at that point and move the batteries. I was stuck.

So... I threw them in the trash, sadly. Since then, I've spread batteries between all my various bags, checked and unchecked, and no one has complained.

I'm here to say that from personal experience, at one point, TSA clearly prohibited "excess batteries" in the cabin. It cost me over $120.

Enforcement may have varied by airport and security training, but Mexico typically includes the xray scan of carry-ons entering the secured area, plus a secondary manual search just before each gate. My batteries were flagged at the xray, before the gloved hands went through everything.
03-21-2017, 01:39 AM   #10
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Checking potential bombs into the hold is much safer. Since Lockerbie, a lot of work has gone into making the baggage bins better at containing explosions, and the equipment that goes into remote or timed triggers is easier to spot than a simple switch. Plus, if the explosion fails to bring the aircraft down, some damaged bags is better than the result of a bomb detonating in the cabin.

When it comes to batteries, the idea is that a lithium fire is easier and quicker to deal with when trained humans are present, than it would be in the hold.

However, I'm flying to the Canaries tomorrow, so I'll think happier thoughts now.
03-21-2017, 04:12 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by PJ1 Quote
the airline concerned would not allow any batteries of any type in the Check-In luggage

Same here. It was OK if the battery was in the equipment (eg camera) but you could not check in luggage with spare batteries. That even included AA batteries. And last December the Sydney airport PA was announcing that you could not take a Samsung Galaxy 7 on board at all. I think it gets to the point where they don't know how to deal with an issue so they just have blanket bans (That will be next - no blankets allowed on board.)
Yeah, well that one is a KNOWN spontaneous fire or explosion risk with multiple examples documented, and regardless of takeoff instructions you just KNOW that some idiot is going to turn one on in flight (just as I have seen multiple examples of mindless twits not bothering to switch their phones to flight mode until they're practically airborne).

It makes me wonder if the next camera I travel with shouldn't be my S1a.
03-21-2017, 07:21 AM   #12
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I guess if someone is determined to bomb the airplane, it's still simple to use transit flight by other carrier from Europe. Like 9/11 pilots were trained here, in Florida.
03-21-2017, 07:47 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by automorphism Quote
the airlines affected are ten of them in the Middle East and North Africa.
And three of them are heavily subsidized state carriers
that have become serious competitors to the major US commercial airlines.
03-21-2017, 07:58 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
Specific intel, yes. Most likely the use of special molded plastics that can be made into explosive devices or possibly packed with the same. Hence the reason you have to remove laptops etc for separate scanning at US airports.

Triggering a device that is in the cargo is a lot more difficult. Exponentially harder. If I put your cel phone in a solid metal box and shut the door getting a signal is difficult. Other than that they would have to devise some kind of pressure trigger that may or may not work, especially considering countermeasures that are taken.

Triggering it manually by a suicide bomber not so much.

Most airports have sophisticated equipment that can detect explosive residue. For example it's so sensitive that people who went skiing...they were blasting the mountain to cause avalanches and days later people went back country skiing through there. The machinery picked it up in their clothing days later as they went through the airport. The machines are programmed with thousands of different types of explosive profiles.

However the deployment of science may (or may not) be challenging these with some newer types of plastic explosives that aren't as easy to detect and can be molded into shapes just like any other plastics. Stuff like this ban happens when highly educated people join the ranks of groups like ISIS.

As for the airport or checking of expensive gear--I don't like it at all either but people do it all the time. Several friends are professional film makers or whatnot and they have to check their big heavy and way more expensive stuff. They simply do not use cheap luggage or half measures.

I have seriously considered once I upgrade my gear (or if the need ultimately arises) to investing in a really good pelican type case that can seal tight and have custom foam inserts. They can also have multiple layers of locks to keep eyes and hands off of the goods. I would still worry about them losing my stuff. That said if you take the special precaution to do 'special check in' (like you would with a firearm for example) then they are much better about it.

The downside is that's ANOTHER "bag" that has to be checked... which now a days costs a lot of extra money. All those luggage fees suck.
Buy a pelican case and then put it inside your normal suitcase. If you buy a larger hard case it should fit plus hard cases (with latches, not zips) are much more secure then soft cases.
03-21-2017, 08:19 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Theov39 Quote
Buy a pelican case and then put it inside your normal suitcase. If you buy a larger hard case it should fit plus hard cases (with latches, not zips) are much more secure then soft cases.





I have actually thought about that too. Hopefully it doesn't come to that. On a lot of short flights the max weight is 20kg for check in bags. You have that to contend with too. Odds are depending on how much stuff you have you will end up paying extra in some cases.
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