Advantage 2017: Deloitte warns of far-reaching impact of laptop ban

Advantage 2017: Deloitte warns of far-reaching impact of laptop ban

The ‘laptop ban’ could be rolled out globally and cause a bigger stir than when the liquids ban was first introduced, according to an expert from Deloitte.

Speaking at the Advantage Conference 2017, Alistair Pritchard, the firm’s lead partner for travel, told delegates that it will be a harder problem to solve than the liquids ban and that it could have far wider reaching effects if extended to flights to the US from the UK, and potentially worldwide.

“Some of our intel tells us that this may now go further, it could be a global ban for laptops and tablets.”

Pritchard said that many airlines offering short haul flights have adapted since the rise of laptop and smart phone technology not to have entertainment systems, so a ban on larger devices may pose a problem for families getting away on holidays.

“They may look at shorter short haul or look to stay domestic,” he said. “Some airlines had planned that you can take your own devices on board.”

But he said the biggest problem would be posed for business travellers, who would lose not just working time on flights but at the airport.

Some, he added, do not have insurance to put computers with sensitive data in the hold, meaning they would be forced to leave laptops behind.

“That would make a four-day business trip become useless,” he said.

He said the laptop ban, along with the risk of cyber crime and the growing problem of fraudulent holiday sickness claims should be the industries main concerns.

On holiday sickness, Pritchard said the travel industry needs to work together to root out the plague of fraudulent holiday sickness claims and said the time for action was now.

He told Travel Weekly: “It’s a big issue for the industry.

“At the beginning, when you start to see these problems come through, it’s not always best to make a big deal out of it but it’s got to the level of claims now where it’s already extreme. It has got to the point where something needs to be done.

“There’s an issue here that needs to be addressed and this is something the travel industry needs to be together on.”

Pritchard also warned of the growing danger of cyber attacks on smaller agencies such as Advantage members.

He warned agents to always update software and make sure their firewalls and anti-virus software is modern.

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