Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Will this fly?

Banning tablets and laptops on flights from foreign airlines leaving from eight Muslim countries, but not banning those same laptops and tablets from European and American aircraft on those same routes makes no sense at all. It is going to have a devastating effect on those airlines, and really just comes down to unfairly advantaging domestic and European carriers over middle-eastern based carriers for no good reason.

I mean, if I were planning a round-trip from Philadelphia to a place with no direct air connection (like India, for example), I would have to choose between using Qatar Airways (with a switch in Doha) or taking either American Airlines or some European airline with a transfer in Europe. Either way, it will be a long flight, so going without my electronic device is going to be a big deal. That goes double if I am traveling with Noz Jr. (who mostly enjoys air travel because the normal limits on his screen time go out the window in an effort to just keep him happy and quiet). Even if Qatar Airways has a much better price and a more convenient itinerary, I probably am going to go with someone else. Banning laptops by itself is going to stop many business travelers from using the airline.

I don't know enough about aviation law, but surely this kind of carrier of origin based discrimination is going to violate some law or treaty governing international air travel. Does anyone know what laws govern these things?