TSA’s Selective New Secret Ban on Some Electronics

A secret new TSA ban, affecting some airlines, seems to restrict the electronics we can take on board with us.

The craziness of TSA security has reached a new height (or depth) with word leaking out about their promulgating a secret ban, prohibiting any electronics larger than a cell phone, on some airlines.

Now, you’re probably wondering ‘How does a secret ban work?’.  That’s a very good question, and for sure, the word ‘chaos’ has to figure somewhere in the answer.

Here’s what we know, courtesy of the English Guardian newspaper.

It seems that over the weekend, the TSA sent out a new notice to airlines from 13 countries (all non-US) requiring them to forbid passengers from taking any electronics larger than a cell phone as carry-on (presumably only on flights to/from the US, but who knows).  Everything else must be placed in checked baggage.

This means no cameras, no tablets, no Kindles, perhaps no MP3 players, maybe even no noise-cancelling headphones.  Well, who really knows for sure if noise-cancelling headphones are included or not.  And with cell phones sometimes almost as large as a tablet, who really knows what the size limits exactly might be.

To make things even better worse, it is apparently an optional (but mandatory) ban.  It is a ‘circular’, not a public regulation, but airlines are expected to comply.

So, there it is.  A secret optional ban, applying to some airlines (we don’t know which ones) and on some/most/all electronics, on some flights.

Truly, I’m not making this stuff up.  Yes, it is beyond lunacy, but it is also the reality we live in these days.  The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

The only bit of good news is that after some airlines deliberately leaked news of the almost secret almost ban, the TSA are now promising to go public with it on Tuesday.  But if you – or anyone you know – is planning on traveling in the next day or two, you need to be aware of this, just in case you (or they) might be affected.

Why only airlines from 13 countries?  If there is a security risk, won’t a terrorist choose to fly on a non-affected airline instead?

More details, but not answers to the questions which normal reasonable people might have, here.

4 thoughts on “TSA’s Selective New Secret Ban on Some Electronics”

    1. So, are you saying you would have no qualms about flying on these “selected” airlines from their home capitols in spite of some intelligence suggesting there is a real danger?

      1. Hi, Bob

        I can’t speak for Kevin, although I know him to be a sensible individual. But, for what it is worth, I’ll fly on Etihad from Abu Dhabi to the US as often as you wish, if you’ll pay the cost of the fares!

        Remember that Abu Dhabi has its own US Customs pre-clearance facility and security. Abu Dhabi to the US is considered a domestic US flight as a result. If we have sufficient confidence in >>our<< security at Abu Dhai to mean that passengers arriving from there don't need any further screening in the US, how can we now credibly claim a security risk at all? I'll also fly on Emirates from Dubai any time you send me a ticket, too. It doesn't have the pre-screening that Abu Dhabi has, but it is a well serviced secure airport and an excellent airline that is very mindful of the need to ensure high security. Further, to answer the question you didn't ask, if there is a risk, why is it limited to what is now defined as only ten airports? What is the magic that protects us in every other airport in the world, but not these ten? If you were a terrorist planning to exploit your new special weapon, why not go to any other airport in the world and fly from there?

  1. I’m so glad I’ve got a fantastic trip to Scotland coming up this June to look forward to. Otherwise, I’d say: “beam me up Scotty – I’ve got to get away from this political insanity!”

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top

Free Weekly Emailed Newsletter

Usually weekly, since 2001, we publish a roundup of travel and travel related technology developments, and often a feature article too.

You’ll stay up to date with the latest and greatest (and cautioned about the worst) developments.  You’ll get information to help you choose and become a better informed traveler and consumer, how to best use new technologies, and at times, will learn of things that might entertain, amuse, annoy or even outrage you.

We’re very politically incorrect and love to point out the unrebutted hypocrisies and unfairnesses out there.

This is all entirely free (but you’re welcome to voluntarily contribute!), and should you wish to, easy to cancel.

We’re not about to spam you any which way and as you can see, we don’t ask for any information except your email address and how often you want to receive our newsletters.

Newsletter Signup - Welcome!

Thanks for choosing to receive our newsletters.  We hope you’ll enjoy them and become a long-term reader, and maybe on occasion, add comments and thoughts of your own to the newsletters and articles we publish.

We’ll send you a confirmation email some time in the next few days to confirm your email address, and when you reply to that, you’ll then be on the list.

All the very best for now, and welcome to the growing “Travel Insider family”.