"On board, they’d have to sedate me."
Tom Byrum, a frequent business traveler, on the possibility of not being allowed to take along a laptop computer and other equipment while flying (from page 2 of today’s New York Times Sunday Business section and here)
I travel with two laptops currently, one Powerbook and one Sony Vaio. I need both of those laptops wherever I go, as do most people who carry the things. Since airlines cannot promise with any guarantee of certainty that my checked baggage will arrive when I do – airlines lost 10,000 bags per day in 2005 – there is simply no way that I can check my laptops and be assured of having them when I arrive at my destination. Not having the laptops would mean my trip was complete waste of time, and the chance of losing the laptops would be too much for me to risk. This is likely the same for most business travelers.
The fastest way to kill business travel would be to force flyers to check their laptops, because the risk of potential loss of both productivity and possibly equipment would be too great to take the chance. The cost of flight and the travel time would be a complete waste if I was unable to work when I got there.
On the other hand, this kind of thing is always great for videoconferencing and technologies like Skype.