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Re: Laptop Computers on International Airplanes

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Tom, with all due respect, I find this one a bit hard to believe.  First, I
would be far more ecconomical to design the tray with metal at the rims and
place the magnet into the seat well.  It seems that it would be very
expensive to create a fully magnetic tray.
I tend to take rumors like this with a grain of salt. By all means, ask the
airlines that you choose to confirm or deny this claim - it's well worth the
risk to ask.
Just seems a bit far fetched. The last time I returned a tray to the upright
position I found the simple latch to create a tight fit since the seat
bulged into the well enough to keep pressure on the tray against the latch
(is this becoming a structural question?).
Please let usknow if you can verify this.
-----Original Message-----
From: Tom.Hunt(--nospam--at) <Tom.Hunt(--nospam--at)>
To: SEAOC(--nospam--at) <SEAOC(--nospam--at)>
Date: Tuesday, December 16, 1997 5:48 PM
Subject: Laptop Computers on International Airplanes

>     The following is a warning we received from one of our clients for
>     those that use their laptop computers on international travel.
>     Thomas Hunt
>     Fluor Daniel
>>       Laptop Computers on international Airplanes:
>>       Recently, two individuals from USPL were traveling to Belgium on
>>       Sabena Belgium World Airlines, which is affiliated with Delta
>>       Airlines.  They were seated in row 6 of the plane where seats
>>       contain
>>       the tray tables in the armrest section of the seat.  They setup
>>       their
>>       tray tables and proceeded to use their laptop computers.  During
>>       flight, both their PCs began experience problems, and soon they
>>       unable to use their PCs.  Apparently the tray tables were
>>       magnetized,
>>       so that tray tables will not make noises while stored in the
>>       armrests.
>>       The magnetized trays corrupted the hard drives of both laptops.  On
>>       this particular Belgium flight, the aircraft happen to be a "new"
>>       Airbus 340, which explains why this has not surfaced until now.
>>       problem seems to be with a specific European aircraft seat
>>       manufacturer.  US Airways, NorthWestern and United have no plans to
>>       utilize these magnetized trays in their new Airbus aircraft.
>>       and McDonald Douglas also has no plans to use these magnetized
>>       in their new aircraft, and there have been no reported cases of
>>       other
>>       types of aircraft experiencing this problem.
>>       The purpose of this notice is to simply make travelers aware of the
>>       "potential" problem, especially on Airbus aircraft built for
>>       European-based airlines.  If the tray table appears to be
>>       (use a paperclip to see if it sticks), then I advise people not to
>>       use
>>       their laptop computer on these trays.  Please pass this advisory on
>>       to
>>       your international travelers.