When I read about the new cabin airline bans on electronics such as laptops, tablets and other devices on many US airlines, and now in the UK too due to security concerns, I was horrified. How would I get any work done on long haul flights? How would parents keep their kids amused (ahem… ‘quiet’) if they can’t plug them into something? What if the inflight entertainment is poor and I want to watch a movie to pass the time?
How Could Airline Bans on Electronics Affect Us?
It’s usually when I’m on board a flight that I get some good one-on-one time with my trusty laptop and manage to finish an article or two so this electronics ban could be a real inconvenience.
Then I started to think about this from a different perspective. If we can’t take our laptops, tablets, e-readers, cameras and other chunky electronic equipment into the cabin with us, what will do instead?
We’ll Have to Carry Real Books Again
The first thing that occurred to me was that if I can’t take my tablet or e-reader, I’ll have to carry a paperback book again. I can’t remember the last time I read from a real life book. Would it be such a bad thing to have to carry an actual novel? To flick through some real pages again? For backpackers or those needing to travel light you could always drop them off at a book exchange point, or simply give your book away to someone at your destination once you’ve finished with it.
Maybe Our Handwriting Will Improve
I do feel the need to be productive during a flight in some way. Long haul flights are by their very nature, long. They’re often a great opportunity to write up a blog post or catch up on some work. I’m so used to working on a laptop and unused to holding a pen, that these days my hand hurts if I have to write for a while. Since the art of handwriting is declining, would it be such a bad thing if we have to carry a notebook and practice putting pen to paper while on board?
Non-Electronic Creations Last a Lifetime
If we are forced to be san-electronic for a time, then maybe we could take the opportunity to pen an important hand written letter to someone, maybe even a love letter? I still have all the love letters I received from boyfriends from over twenty years ago. Emails, no matter how romantic, just don’t stand the test of time. So maybe use your flight to write that letter you know someone would love to receive? At the very least write your postcards!
Maybe We’ll Make New Friends?
One of the things I love most about travelling is meeting new people, but it’s not always easy. If we’re not all looking down at our laptops or tablets, maybe we’ll look up more, and perhaps we’ll even talk to each other?
I’ve taken several trips when, for whatever reason, I didn’t have access to my various devices. It was on those trips that I invariably made friends. Several years ago, for example, I took a bus tour through Jordan and I got chatting to a lovely couple. We’re still really good friends today. I also travelled in the US and made several friends who I have since been back to stay with. I would never have met them if I’d been plugged into my laptop that’s for sure.
Potential Benefits of Airline Bans on Electronics
My point is, whilst there is undoubtedly going to be some inconvenience having to fly without access to our laptops and other devices due to these new security restrictions on some flights, there could also be many hidden advantages. Those few hours spent inflight could lead you to come home with more than just another souvenir that’ll be thrown in the back of a cupboard. By looking up, you might actually come home with a new friend!
How do you pass the time when you’re flying? Have you ever met anyone while travelling and made a new friend? I’d love to hear your travel tales in the comments below.
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A Media Psychologist & Life Coach by profession, Honey loves to help people create a life & career that they love. She has always been passionate about travel and the incredible life enrichment it brings.
Honey is a highly experienced Brand Ambassador and Spokesperson. In her thirteen year career she has worked with some of the world's best known brands such as Virgin, Google, Disney, American Express, Jet2 Holidays, Eurostar, British Airways and many more.
Honey is founder and editor-in-chief of The Wanderlust Post. She started the mag in order to provide bloggers with an opportunity to share their travel tales, recommendations, reviews and adventures with each other and the world at large.
A self confessed 'Stamp Tramp' Honey is always happiest with her passport in one hand, and a Baileys on ice in the other.