The US launched a ban on large electronics a couple of weeks ago.
I still can’t understand why the ban only applies on nonstop flights from select Middle Eastern airports. Apparently we’re relying on terrorists not knowing how to buy a flight to the US that connects in Europe to easily circumvent the ban.
If there is a real threat it should apply from everywhere, otherwise the ban seems toothless from a security standpoint. So it won’t surprise me if the ban is expanded to more airports than are now included.
The fact that I arrived into the airside domestic section of JFK from Abu Dhabi means that the US trusts that the security and customs pre-clearance operation works well enough to trust that passengers coming from Abu Dhabi can fly onto domestic US flights without any additional security screening. Which of course means that the electronics ban from there is even more illogical.
But enough with logic.
I had an Etihad first class award from the Maldives to Cleveland via Abu Dhabi and JFK booked with American miles for my wife and myself. As I wrote in the trip report, my wife was not able to join me on the trip. However, I never cancel awards and pay redeposit fees before I need to. Better off waiting to see if there will be bad weather or a schedule change that will allow for a free cancellation. With American you can even change the dates on an award for free and see if a schedule change or bad weather will apply then 😉
In this case I had booked a ticket for a flight that included the ability to bring a camera and laptop on the plane. Was the ban a material change in the ticket that was sold?
I called American and the first agent agreed with that logic, but had to get a manager to sign off on it. The manager refused as it was a US government rule and not American’s rule. Normally I’d play HUCA, but I wasn’t interested in wasting the time while in the Maldives, so I had the manager cancel the award without redepositing the miles. That way I wouldn’t have to fight for a refund down the road or I could change the dates without paying a fee later on.
I wrote to the DoT to ask their opinion on the electronics ban being a material change to the ticket’s terms.
They agreed that it did fall under their jurisdiction.
The last time the DoT agreed with me over American it took 8 months to get a final resolution.
This time it took just one week for the DoT to work with American to have the miles put back into my account without a fee.
So in the end I missed out on taking good pictures of the Etihad Apartments cabin, but my electronics did survive the journey, and I came out $150 ahead. All’s well that ends well?