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July 11, 2017

Air Travel: Laptop Ban Lifted, Another British Airways Strike

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The lifting of the laptop ban on several airlines and another strike for British Airways are the top air travel stories affecting the meetings and events industry this week. 

Laptop Ban Lifted on Four Airlines

The ban on laptops and other large electronic devices has been lifted for flights to the U.S. on Qatar Airways, Emirates, Turkish Airlines and Etihad, our partner publication Travel Agent reports. 

The move comes after the airlines and airports involved implemented new measures from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). While the new security measures include elements both visible and invisible to passengers, according to a statement by the DHS, the new rules do not involve changes to items allowed in carry-on and checked baggage. However, passengers flying to the U.S. may experience additional screening of their person and property, the DHS warned.

Another Strike on Tap for British Airways

British Airways is currently in the midst of a 16-day strike that began July 1, and another one is on set to begin just three days after that strike concludes, on July 19, Travel Agent reports. The strike that begins July 19 will last 14 days. 

The strike is by cabin crew represented by the Mixed Crew Unite union and is part of a long-running pay dispute. According to the latest statement from British Airways, the airline plans to operate 99.5 percent of its schedule by merging a small number of its Heathrow long-haul services. Affected customers are being notified of their new flight details with as much notice as possible.

British Airways said it plans to operate all short-haul flights to and from Heathrow, with Qatar Airways, which owns part of British Airways parent company IAG, flying a small number of those services. Travelers can see if their flight is being operated by Qatar Airways using the Manage My Booking section on the British Airways website.

All flights to and from London Gatwick, London City and Stansted will operate as normal, British Airways said, as well as the airline’s recently launched weekend-only Mediterranean services to and from Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester.

The airline has asked travelers to ensure that their email and phone contact information is up to date in the Manage My Booking section so that the airline can continue to provide updates on their flights.

All Nippon Airways Increases Flights From LAX to Tokyo, Narita

Finally, in flight news, All Nippon Airways (ANA) has announced that it will increase the number of flights between Los Angelas and Tokyo (Narita) starting October 29, 2017. 

Currently, ANA operates one flight a day between Los Angeles and Tokyo (Haneda), and one flight a day between Los Angeles and Tokyo (Narita). These added flights will allow ANA to expand the networks served by Haneda Airport, which functions as a transit hub linking international and domestic flights. 

The number of daily flights between Narita and Los Angeles will increase to two, responding to the strong demand for travel between the U.S. and Japan, as well as between the U.S. and Asian countries, the airline said. This route has seen consistent growth in its number of passengers, according to the company. As a result, ANA will be offering a total of three flights between Tokyo and Los Angeles, providing additional connectivity, and enhancing Narita's competitive strength as a transit hub between the Asian countries and North America

Travelers will fly on a Boeing 777-300ER which can carry 250 passengers. 

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