Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

UK laptop ban will cripple business class productivity

Posted by Tom Foremski - August 10, 2006

The UK ban on laptops in planes leaving the UK or transferring through, is going to be a big blow to productivity for business travellers. Flights to the West Coast of California can take 12 hours or more, (equal to one and a half UK business days or one US business day.)

The UK is a major destination for many Silicon Valley executives. And London has been making a big push in Silicon Valley and in southern California to position itself as an ideal place to site European headquarters. Could the laptop ban hurt London's ambitions to attract more companies?

The ban comes in the wake of the discovery by British police of a plot to blow up an airplane.

The laptop ban, however, might enable airlines to offer travellers in-flight rentals of laptops. Users could bring their data and applications on USB flash drives.

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