The Association of Corporate Travel Executives

Dear ExampleContactFirstName,

Are you prepared for an expanded electronics ban?

That is the question I posed yesterday to a group of buyers. The responses I received are telling. One buyer said, yes, she’s already coordinating with the IT department and others to develop travel policies that protect company assets, both physical and intellectual property.


One buyer said they will just leverage video conferencing.

The reaction of other buyers was the look one gets when they just realized they hadn’t turned in their homework assignment on time, and would have to explain to their parents why they failed the class. We’ve all been there and had that look.


But to have that look now on an expanded travel ban is what has caused me to write this letter to you.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is reviewing plans to extend its laptop ban to all U.S.-bound flights from Europe, with the additional possibility of further expanding the ban in the months to come.

 
We have been vocal in our response to an extended ban, as we believe economies around the world, including the U.S., are set up to lose—big time. This ban will severely hamper travel to the U.S. and elsewhere, and it hits us where it hurts the most: lost productivity for businesses and major disruptions to the airline, hotel and ground transportation industries. The lost revenues from tourism are also significant and cannot be ignored.
 
But as before, the ban continues to leave numerous questions up in the air. Couldn’t would-be terrorists circumvent the policy by travelling through Asia or other non-EU member countries, creating the need for a global ban? Will other countries follow suit and further cripple the travel industry?

 
Business travellers want and need to be productive, and few will be willing to check their laptops. Businesses will also have to invest in alternative solutions to help their employees access laptops and other devices at their destinations.
 
If there’s one upside, it’s that this ban might create opportunities for busy travellers to rest. But entertainment options on flights are limited, and for some airlines, dwindling. The ban also affects tablets, the most viable alternative to laptops for entertainment and work alike. This is no silver lining.

 
We urge governments to revisit this ban to ease the burden businesses are now facing. We should be instead investing in policies and security screening techniques that take a comprehensive look at the threats facing travelers instead of focusing on such a small piece of the puzzle.

Please don’t have that look if and when an extended ban in announced. Get ready now.


As always, I want to hear from you on ideas your company is considering to adjust to an extended electronics ban. Please email me at gkoch@acte.org. Keep your eyes on our blog, ACTEChatter, in the coming days where we will anonymously post how others are tackling this challenge. Let’s share ideas now!

Thank you.
Regards,

Greeley

Greeley Koch
Executive Director
Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE)

 




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