Wait to Do Heroin Until You Land and How We Know the Electronics Ban is Bogus

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Really good deal. Join Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan and get 5000 miles with your first flight on either Alaska or Virgin America.

  • Please wait until you land to do heroin. JetBlue flight was forced to turn back after passenger overdosed.

  • How we can infer that the electronics ban is bogus: Neither Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, nor Canada have implemented an electronics ban — despite evaluating evidence that the US is supposedly looking at. The UK was willing to implement an electronics ban but not willing to apply it to flights from the UAE or Qatar. If we’re stuck deferring to national security judgments based on secret evidence, then shouldn’t we respect the judgments of all of these countries?

  • You wouldn’t think this was notable, but.. Boeing is paying federal income tax for the third year in a row. Of course corporate income taxes are really just pre-taxes on the returns to investment…

  • Expertflyer now lets you set alerts for changes in flight schedules. Remember that schedule changes can get you free cancellation/refunds of your tickets, or let you leverage a connection into a non-stop flight.

    Have you ever had an unexpected schedule change or missed connection because the airline changed the time of your flight without notifying you? .. Flight Schedule Alerts will monitor a flight for any schedule or airport changes and notify you if a change is made by the airline.

    You can set the sensitivity of the alert to only let you know when the scheduled time of the flight has changed by at least 5, 15, or 30 minutes or 1-2 hours

  • Boeing does cold weather testing of new planes at Yakutsk Airport in Russia — where it’s regularly 40 below in winter. By comparison, testing in Barrow, Alaska is for pikers.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. the impressive part is how the departure airport allowed the pax to bring heroin onto his jetblue flight. what exactly were the K9s doing all that time ?

  2. @henry LAX:

    I took 130 flights in 2016, and saw maybe hounds maybe 5 – 10 times. And most of those were at customs for arriving pax. 🙂

  3. We can always count on the brits.

    tony blair was bush’s lap dog and theresa may is trumps lap bitch – although being a woman and no better than a “2”, I doubt trump has any appreciation for her loyalty.

  4. Gary, how do you know the totality of the information was shared with Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada? You specifically used the word “know”, so are you privy to the secret evidence and the sharing relationships?

  5. I think it’s pretty obvious that the electronics ban was a lobbying effort by AA/UA/DL. The Trump administration wanted to help these legacy carriers continue to kill competition but couldn’t do so legally without making it about national security.

    Sure, the fact that all those other countries aren’t banning electronics in cabin originating in the middle east, but I think the most telling piece of evidence is the fact that Etihad flights out of Abu Dhabi are included in the ban. The US TSA operates pre-clearance security check points at that airport. If the US is in charge of screening passengers and those passengers still can’t be trusted to not be smuggling dangerous then what is the point of having the TSA there in the first place?

  6. Pete, do you want to address the example of Abu Dhabi? Do you not trust our own TSA that has a pre clearance station for Ethiad and AUH flights to the US?

    If anything, the “view from the left” stab is wrong considering this type of regulation flies in the face of conservative principles of free markets and increased competition. If the bans were of places other than Qatar or the UAE, no one is saying a peep here.

  7. LOL if you actually read this blog you would know that Gary is not “from the Left.” And what the deuce does “sovereignty” have to do with anything? Do you know what that word means? Yes the US government has the “right” to ban electronics on flights or for that matter to ban flights altogether from anywhere for any reason, I suppose. That doesn’t mean it’s smart to do so, or that citizens who have their freedom abridged don’t have the right to complain and to demand an explanation.

  8. @Sajer Guy – Australia, New Zealand, and Canada are part of the UKUSA Agreement (“Five Eyes”) for signals intelligence sharing, I’m assuming in the case of US/UK/Oz/NZ/Canada that the agreement is being honored by the U.S. It would be a pretty bold story if that wasn’t the case!

  9. I find the posts referring to Gary’s as a “view from the left” or similar to be seriously misinformed. It is a view from a perspective of a limited government, personal freedom advocate – which neither major party respects at all, now that a big government statist and would-be Putinist, took over the party that once kind of, sort of leaned in that direction. At the time of the electronics ban, I said I’d believe it if the Europeans, Canadians, Japanese and Aussies went with it too. The fact they didn’t makes me agree that it’s likely one part security and twenty nine parts political/protectionist. Personal freedoms are just about completely lacking in the countries whose airlines are most affected by the ban, so no sympathies there, but I hate to see the autocratic trend here. As usual, this latest ban was bumbled out poorly, with bad planning, bad implementation, and arrogance. And nobody has explained how it can do any good since, guess what, a terrorist doesn’t have to board a plane in one of those specifically designated Muslim countries in order to create havoc.

  10. Funny how the left’s collective minds run wild with Trump derangement syndrome conspiracy theories, but on the other hand can’t understand a simple security measure based upon actionable intelligence.

  11. I’m pretty sure the only thing that would convince the pro-Middle Eastern airlines crowd that this ban is justified is if somebody actually blew up a plane using a laptop.

    That said, I’m personally skeptical that the ban is needed, because I’m naturally skeptical of “intelligence.” There’s a long history of thinking our adversaries can do things they can’t. I’m guessing the ban will soon be relaxed in some form, and then the bloggers can go back to carrying their laptops on their free trips to the Maldives.

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