The end of air travel?

As a result of the latest alleged foiling of a terrorist plot, new restrictions have been placed on airline travelers flying between the UK and US. Specifically:

  • No laptops.
  • No PDAs.
  • No iPods or other electronic audio or video players.
  • No books.
  • No cameras.
  • No beverages or other liquids.

As someone used to flying, I don’t set foot on a plane without at least a book, an audio player to drown out the screaming children, and a large bottle of water. Now, they say everything on the above list must be checked in to the hold.

An 8 hour flight, plus 2+ hours at the airport, with no music, no video games, not even a paperback book? Check my SLR and laptop in, so the baggage throwers can destroy them or steal them, like they stole my iPod charger and camera charger? Are they insane?

Yet according to the BBC, they’re thinking about whether to make these restrictions permanent. If they do, I think the airline industry is finished. I can’t imagine voluntarily flying anywhere with those restrictions in place.

I’ve had some pretty hellish flights. Like being trapped for 4 hours on a motionless plane stuck on the runway with no air conditioning. Like flying across the Atlantic, with the ‘flu, on a plane full of cheerleaders. (Really.) Try to make me go through something like that with no books and no music and I’d be a wreck.