Skift Take

Although the number of people actively reconsidering changing their plans is small at this stage, you'd expect it to increase if and when a ban comes into force.

Concerns about the possible impact of a Trump administration ban on taking laptops onboard flights between the United States and Europe don’t seem to have have had an impact on consumers yet.

Over the past week reports have emerged suggesting that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was looking to extend the ban it already has in place at 10 airports in North Africa and the Middle East to cover most if not all flights between the U.S. and Europe. The intelligence behind the ban became central to one of the Trump administration’s numerous scandals this week when it was revealed that the president bragged of the intelligence to Russian diplomats.

Although airlines have been briefed about possible changes, as of yet no formal decision has been made.

The earlier ban has already had an impact on demand with Emirates making the decision to trim its capacity.

Passengers traveling from airports affected have been required to check laptops and certain other electronic devices into their hold luggage.

Although airlines, consumer groups, and business travelers have expressed their outrage over the proposed ban and questioned what security gains could actually come from placing laptops a few feet beneath passengers, we wanted a sense of how consumers feel about the ban and what it may mean to future travel.

We asked 1,502 people in the United Kingdom about their travel plans in the near term. The question was worded so: “If the United States bans laptops on flights from Europe to U.S., would you reconsider your travels to the country this year?”

Important: This survey — not served to Skift users — was administered to 1,502 members of the UK adult internet population May 12–13, 2017, through Google Consumer Surveys. The methodology is explained here.

Of the respondents to the survey, 39.5 percent said they were not considering travel to the U.S. in the coming year. The remaining 60.5 percent chose one of two answers. Of those that were planning travel to the U.S., 17.5 percent of respondents said that the threat of a laptop ban would lead them to reconsider their plans to travel.

A strong majority, though, answered “No, it won’t bother me.”

Respondents’ answers were relatively consistent across both age and gender, with only one or two percentage points separating demographics.


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Tags: laptop ban, surveys

Photo credit: A passenger in Virgin Atlantic's premium economy using a laptop. A ban on taking laptops onboard flights between Europe and the U.S. is in the works by U.S. officials. Virgin Atlantic

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